With Brian Mac’s warning of gales, snow, rain and plagues of locusts, it was with some trepidation that myself, Dave H and Steve T set forth onto the Greenway into the teeth of a stiff breeze. The cloud cover threatened, but we arrived at the café at Ness a bit late but dry, and hopeful that once again the meteorologists had got it wrong. However, hardly had the brisk group helmeted up but it began to snow in Alpine quantities. The car park was soon covered in about an inch of wet snow, but they bravely set off into the unknown. Steve decided to go for a burn and joined the group leaving Dave and me to fly the flag for the moderates. We hung around for a while waiting for the blizzard to go over and set off southwards for Burton. The riding was tenuous to say the least not helped by the local drivers who clearly had little understanding of how to drive in wet slush. We slowly climbed up to the old station at Willaston, the snow steadily turning to rain and the going becoming easier as we continued north to Thornton Hough. Any thoughts of abandoning the ride were forgotten as we headed up to Brimstage and Storeton under steadily clearing skies.
We ignored any temptation to take the unsurfaced Landican Lane at this point and turned west towards Barnston and then Irby. We even had a few sunny spells as we continued northwards to Pensby, Greasby and Meols. Our enthusiasm got the better of us briefly and we took to the sea front just outside Hoylake. The ‘breeze’ was well into double figures here and after struggling into a freezing head wind, we soon moved inland to get the shelter of the suburbs. Once into West Kirby we opted for a café instead of the usual pub lunch and found a very enticing establishment sporting a Victorian veranda that is probably very pleasant in summer but not at the end of January.
The service was speedy and despite the cosy interior we were soon heading back along the Wirral Way with a strong tail wind. Back at Ness we received a message from Clive that Steve was heading straight back along the Greenway, unfortunately having to stand around for a very cold hour before we arrived. Dave stoked up the Mazda however and Steve soon thawed out. A total of 56 miles in probably the worst conditions for a long time.