With a few members enjoying a cycling holiday abroad, briskers were in a minority despite a big turnout at the Ice Cream Farm. Ken, Paul R and Andy B quickly agreed to set off with me bound for Norton in Hales as I had the route on my garmin from a previous Easy Rider outing. Having climbed to Harthill we cruised along uneventfully enjoying glimpses of warm sunshine. These were interspersed with chillier temperatures when dark clouds blocked the suns rays and the effects of the cool headwind were felt. In fact this weather pattern of sun, cloud and wind was set for the rest of the day.
Our only minor hiccough came about south of Wrenbury when garmin failed to signal a right turn which would have taken us through Aston. We decided to ignore the eventual “Off Course” warning in the belief we would pick up the route a bit further on Well we did but in fact it was the return route! So it was that we headed north east to Ravensmoor rather than south east to Adderley . At Ravensmoor we corrected course by heading for Audlem and from there on to Norton in Hales with 3 or 4 extra miles on the clock.
The sun was shining as we arrived for lunch at the Hinds Head where we rapidly warmed up in the conservatory. We spent 10 minutes sorting out our return route deciding to ride initially to Adderley which we had failed to visit on our outward leg. Over an enjoyable lunch we heard a bit about Kens recent holiday in Tasmania which sounded great although he seems to have been overwhelmed with DIY since arriving home.
From Adderley we swept west for a few miles along some very pleasant lanes, then roughly north crossing the A525. We continued to the A530 near Aston where Ken headed straight on to find a direct way home. We remaining three turned right along the Nantwich road. With Andy moving up front to take the role of brisk “domestique” leading us all the way to Bunbury. As a result, we made fairly short work of the long run via Broomhall Green and Ravensmoor and had a welcome pit stop at Tillys in Bunbury .
With about 56 miles since leaving the ICF we decided not to return there and instead returned to Chester via Beeston Castle, Huxley, and Waverton. I had 78 miles under my belt on arrival home. I suspect Ken had done similar and both Andy (to and from Mold) and Paul (with a 20 miles warm up pre ride!) had a much bigger totals. We can take satisfaction from riding most of the planed route even if not in the expected order!
A good day out with the definite feeling that winter is at last behind us.