The forecast for Thursday was a minus temperature, so pedalling to the start at Meadow Farm I was wondering if anyone would turn out. The café was full of CER riders - including 4 brisk guys who were up for a day out. Ray, Ken, Steve T and Andy B were my domestiques for a ride to Nantwich; so bidding the Moderates farewell and an enjoyable ride, we set of along Station lane and Wicks lane to join the A51 for the plod to Tarvin. Ken was on the front and we trailed behind keeping close together on this very busy trunk road. We turned right and through the town and turned right and crossed the A51 for Broom Bank. We then ran parallel to the A51 but via the lovely lanes across The Moss before crossing the A51 again at Duddon.
Between Ray and Ken, we are soon at the crossroads at Utkinton going straight over for Cotebrook and round to Eaton. Taking the usual left turn down the hill, we ride along the narrow lane to Cholmondeston before joining the Winsford - Wettenhall road. This is a long slog and against a 20+mph head wind it was hard work all the way to Rease Heath College at Nantwich. Along the very bumpy Welshman lane and then Welsh Row, we are at the Red Bull at 12:15. There was a big log fire in the lounge area which was full of early diners,so we had to settle for the snug and no vision of flames and heat.
Lunch and drinks (lime&soda for most) ordered, we started to strip off all our layers and let some air in. We were not cold and the roads from Tarvin onwards were very quiet of traffic and remarkably clean. A good lunch eaten, we passed up the offer of puddings for a £1.00 (had DP been with us he would have managed all ours I’m sure!).
Back outside it now felt very cold, so quickly dashing back through the town and along Welsh Row, we turn left onto Marsh Lane which joins the same route had we passed through the housing estate, a better route for us although a few speed bumps on this little lane.
We remain on Marsh lane passing Ravensmoor and on to Wrenbury Heathand into Wrenbury and over the Shropshire canal and onwards to Cholmondeley. Since leaving Nantwich, we now had the wind on our backs which was very welcome. Onwards passing Egerton Green and to Harthill then downhill along Bolesworth road into Tattenhall. We chose to ride back to Waverton along Long lane and then we got split going over the lights now controlling the narrow canal bridge. Ken and I had to wait at Waverton for the others to catch up.
At the junction at the Plough pub, Ken and Ray turn left for Christleton and home, whilst Steve, Andy and myself continue onwards for Guilden Sutton and the café. A ride of 52 miles at 15.5mph was recorded and considering the forecast, we have had a great day cycling at a pace that kept the -2C from our fingers and toes.
Andy cycled to and from Mold so another 34 miles to add to his ride tally ,and Ken to and from Rossett, 16 additional miles. Many thanks to my brisk group today for sheltering me from the wind and helping me round the route.