There were a lot of us at Meadow Lea farm and so it became clear that Jim’s 40 mile ride to Neston area would be oversubscribed. Ray had downloaded an “old” ride to Warmingham and so he led out with Tom, Steve T, Ken and myself in tow. The routing wasn’t ideal given the strengthening NW wind, but we enjoyed its support on the way out via Manley and Delamere Forest. Rolling around Norley, we were soon in Sandiway and bound for Foxtwist Green. We arrive at the Weaver Navigation planning to take the Weaver Parkway Path on the right hand bank, but the access gate was padlocked shut. Maybe this was to protect wildlife at the start of the breeding season; so we take the main drag of Bradford Road into sunny Winsford. We leave the town via Clive Green and end up going south on a short section of the A530 towards Crewe, before turning off at Wimboldsley Green, and, via Ecclestone Green, approach Warmingham.
It’s too early for lunch, so on the fly I navigate on to the “Coach and Horses" at Bradfield Green where we arrive having been somewhat drenched in the unwelcome rain. This pub should definitely be on Steve H list of CER lunch stops. They produce the best chips anywhere in my opinion and I have had a few of them here before! All agreed that the food, decent ales and the welcome were wholesome.
We can’t put off the return route any longer, so into a strengthening NW wind, we are off via Church Minshull, Bunbury bound. It’s hard work and we take it in turns leading the pack back home. Eschewing Tilly's, we head for the Ice Cream Farm for a welcome hot drink. The place is heaving as its Half Term week, but we go in and out via the specially labelled “Cyclists Exit” door. At Waverton, Ken heads for Rossett and Steve T heads back to Meadow Lea farm with 56 miles completed. The return home wasn’t exactly “brisk” but the NW wind definitely was!