The route took us through some tedious streets in Winsford and Middlewich before hitting open countryside as we passed through Brereton Green. Approaching Spen Green, the bulk of Mow Cop rose above us. We had done a similar ride to this in 2016 when the party had split, with half taking the ‘easy’ route up Mow Cop and the remainder heading direct for the pub. This time, as we approached, Andy B and Steve T left us to take the 'hard' way up Mow Cop.
The sensible four arrived at the pub and were tucking into good and substantial sandwiches and drinks, when our ‘summit party’ joined us, with tales of their successful ascent. At that point the heavens opened and we looked out from the safety of our ‘base camp’ at torrential rain. We hoped that this shower would be all that nature would offer and hoped that Steve’s earlier optimism had been justified.
Foolish us! The return soon confronted us with a strong gusty northwesterly headwind. It did however remain dry as we passed Rode Heath, Wheelock Heath and skirted the north of Crewe. We paused near Bradfield Green to decide which café to call at later. Then travelling through Church Minshull our luck broke and we were hit with a strong gusting hail storm. This eased but spasmodic rain continued through Wettenhall until we arrived at the Shire Horse Centre Café at Cotebrook just in time at 4.10pm (it closes at 4.30pm).
Having recovered with coffee and cake, it was a short ride back to Rose Farm, clocking up a total of 53 miles, albeit a much longer one for those who had to cycle home especially for Andy.
See route map and/or gpx file download