Trevor, Jim, Dave H, Steve H, Ivan, Dave P, Mike McC, Paul and John Wilkie turned up at Cleopatra's. The odd persuasive phone call had been made the evening before, but it was still a surprisingly good turnout for such a day. The not quite fully-baked plan was to ride a thirty something mile circuit, returning to Holt without a stop in order to beat the forecast afternoon rain. John and Ivan were off for a brisker run having just added extra bone cover to their insurance for 2016.
Trevor offered to lead us to Tattenhall, as he was leaving us early to have his legs waxed in readiness for the party he was attending in the evening. It was a pleasant run through Churton, Coddington and Chowley led at an ideal pace. We turned right just before Tattenhall, heading for Bolesworth Castle and Brown Knowl. Trevor carried on to Leaf Lifestyle and Beauty at Gatesheath. It was fairly demanding on this section, but once we had passed Larkton Hill it was a breeze to No Mans Heath.
Photograph by Mike McCormick
We took stock outside The Wheatsheaf, one of our favourite hostelries, but the troops stayed strong, and we forged on. I had intended to head for Malpas, Bishop Bennet Way and head up to Horton Green, but I was sounding a bit vague about this and need a new map holder. Dave Pipe had a pipe to fix (honestly!), and knew the quickest way back. Jim was leaving for Middle Earth as soon as he reached home. Heavy rain was likely to reach Holt around 13:00. Steve was leaving us to head northwest to Kelsall. It seemed best to take up Dave's kind offer to lead us back, so I put my map away, and relaxed. We headed up to Crewe-by-Farndon via Ebnal, Kidnal and Tilston. Dave took the cute route to Farndon and the bells were pealing as a wedding took place at St. Chad's. Two lovely vintage cars awaited the wedding party. At Holt, Mike, Paul, Jim and myself had a decent lunch at Cleopatra's. Dave, amazingly, decided to miss lunch and try for home before the rain. Paul's lust for baked beans probably cost him a thorough soaking before Blacon. A very social, very short and dry ride. Great camaraderie in the true CER tradition.