When a shaven headed guy from Runcorn gives you a steely stare you know it is time to step forward and "volunteer" to write up a ride. Only kidding Dave. Not that I am averse to the written word. I am from the educational era where writing was taught sitting in rows in wrought iron desks bolted to the classroom floor. Most of the teachers had taught your parents if not your grandparents. Writing implements consisted of a piece of wood with a bendy metal nib in the end. Ink the consistency of watered down boot polish was held in a ceramic pot in a hole at the top right hand corner of the desk lid, the least useful place for a left-hander. Lifting said desk lid revealed the names of the majority of the people who lived in the village, scratched into the wood. I was related to most of them, we were a close-knit community.
However, I digress. The weather forecast was for the westerly wind to ease to a moderate gale and the torrential rain to reduce to the occasional hailstorm. Good enough then. Eleven of us assembled at the Ice Cream Farm. Dave M and Bryan had other matters to attend to and Jim looking very fit and tanned after his two weeks in the Canary Islands was off to the Gym where it was warm and dry - sensible fellow. After a "debate" reminiscent of Prime Minister's Question Time but without Mr Speaker to referee we decided to split into two groups. Both would head for the White Horse at Overton. The "brisk" group, which consisted of Clive, Ivan, Paul and John, were going to take the long way round to get the miles in. The "moderate" group, Dave H, Steve H, Liz & Dave P and yours truly, who just wanted to get to the pub were going to take the direct route. So out of the Ice Cream Farm and left into the wind. Then left again heading south through Tattenhall, across the A41, through Clutton and across the A534. The long sweep past the golf course, through Higher Carden and Lower Carden took us into Tilston. Still heading south we skirted Horton Green before turning west into the wind again to reach Shocklach. Turning south again we made Worthenbury before one last adjustment on the compass took us southwest through Holly Bush to Overton.
A friendly greeting from the landlady and a warning that two Christmas groups had rather overwhelmed them and our food could be delayed. This is a Joules pub with a fine selection of excellent ales so we weren't too disappointed. In the event the food orders were taken after approximately 15 minutes. The food arrived after a further 15 minutes just as the "brisk" quartet, who had been wrestling manfully with a puncture, clocked in. Fully replenished we left our fellow club members to their puddings and the five amigos headed out. Aware of the weather forecast foretelling of Armageddon after 3:30 pm we decided that retracing our steps would ensure the maximum benefit of any tail wind. Steve H left us after Tattenhall to head straight for home and the remaining four amigos were enjoying afternoon tea and mince pies back at the Ice Cream Farm before 3:30pm. A round trip of 35 miles largely dry, we all agreed a bonus ride on a deep winter's day.