Despite earlier warnings of the tail end of the Hurricane reaching Cheshire by Thursday morning, a fair sized group of easy Riders assembled at the welcoming Rose Farm café at 10:00. The moderate group, consisting of Bryan, Andy, Mike G, Steve H, Dave H, Trevor and Jim decided to head for the Red Lion at Goostrey. Dave and Liz arrived just as the group were setting off and decided to follow on when ready. We followed a well-recognised route past Oulton Park and Little Budworth down to Whitegate and crossed the Weaver by the locks. The rough track up to Moulton is still as rough as ever but we rode it valiantly and then sped down through Davenham, Lach Dennis and Lower Peover. We made good progress, helped by a slight tail wind and what seemed to be a generally downhill route. (Perhaps the training is beginning to pay off!)
Arriving in Goostrey there was no sign of the pub, but fortunately a passing local knew the area well, so we were practically the first customers in at 12.15. The local beer, Hancocks, a new one to most of us, was well recommended by Bryan and Steve, and we had just ordered our meals when Dave and Liz arrived.
The return journey took us south towards Holmes Chapel, where we followed a lane of slightly dubious quality across the River Dane and up into the village. A short spell of main road followed until we took the lane south of Sproston Green and to the south of Middlewich. This is sometimes used as a short cut for drivers also wanting to miss the town centre, as we witnessed when one nearly flattened the tandem with his impatience.
Following another short section of main road near Wimboldsley, it was with some relief that we reached the turning for Church Minshull, and the quieter lanes up through Wettenhall and Oulton Mill. At this point the lure of afternoon cake was too much for the two Daves and together with Bryan, Steve, Mike and Liz they took off for the café at the Shire Horse Centre, leaving Andy, Trevor and Myself to head straight back to Rose Farm.
Despite a slight occasional headwind on the return, a very pleasant 45 miles, or just short of 70 for those from Chester.