It was my first visit to the recently refurbished Rose Farm cafe, and very pleasant it was too. The coffee even tasted better as well. The weather forecast was spot on as the early morning rain had moved through leaving roads well hosed down. There were a lot of us to day, so the Brisk group consigned of John M, Ivan, Tom, Paul R and myself. Andy B would have joined us but he had rear mech problems and was directed towards Dave M, who was just out for coffee today. Dave offered to help sort the problem out back at his friendly bike repair facility in Oscroft. The route plan was to head for Woore for lunch, coming back via Audlem in a 50 mile ride. This with the 20+ miles out and back from Chester, would make a 70+ miler for those who had ridden out from Chester.
So we set off in glorious sunshine towards Cotebrook and thence to Eaton. We take the lengthy Winterford Lane towards Alpraham. It was awash in several places with storm debris still visible everywhere. At Calveley Farm, we take the eponymously named Calveley Hall Lane towards Wardle and the A51. Here it was a short run down to Barbridge and a left over the canal towards Wettenhall Lane and the outskirts of Nantwich. We are spinning along nicely in the cool but bright daylight. Hitting the A51 around the north of Nantwich, we circle around towards Bradfield Green, but soon cut right through Colley’s Lane to slide through Willaston. At the end of Wybunbury Road, there is a thoughtfully designed pedestrian bridge across the A500 to get us on our way via Blakelow to Wybunbury itself.
We are in and out of Wybunbury taking the Audlem road itself before turning left into new lanes, which will take us in a south easterly direction to Woore. So here we bimble through the small villages of Hatherton and Hunsterson. At Bridgemere hamlet we take Dingle Lane which looks dark and ominous with a “Ford” sign - just my type of lane! The ford thankfully had a bypass and the lane was very dirty but it's good to explore new lanes. Passing by “Threeper’s Drumble” - which as everyone knows is a small wood - we hit the A51 again. There is now a mile of steady climbing, passing the enormous Bridgemere Garden Centre, to arrive in Woore at 500ft, which is the highest elevation of the day.
As it was only about 1200, I suggest we ride on for lunch in Audlem. So there are 5 miles of easy riding to arrive at The Bridge pub after 30 miles. There looks to be a private function planned as there is a lot of food laid out in the dining area. The landlord advises us of the private function area but says it’s normal service elsewhere. We decide to order up promptly, which was just as well, as very soon, a deluge of guests arrive and, judging by their dress, it’s a wake lunch. Tom and Ivan now repair Tom’s slow puncture, and thankfully the food arrives just as they return.
The route back is straightforward taking the 552 cycleway to Ravensmoor via Sound. The weather feels cooler than the 6C, but it’s still bright as we spin along the long lanes north eastwards. I opt to go via Burland and the A534 before turning north to Bunbury via Brindley Hall Lane. Tilley’s cafe calls and is as friendly as ever. We leave at school-turning out time in Bunbury and as no-one has to go back to Rose Farm, we head towards Tattenhall and Chester. The route round would have been completed by going to Tarporley via Tilstone Bank to complete 50 miles.
Thankfully no incidents or accidents and we actually got to see the sun today. The bike needs a wash yet again as the 80 miles comes up for me.