Ten club members gathered at Delamere Station Café on a dry and sunny, if chilly morning. Dave M and Ken were there only for coffee, as they had commitments later in the day, so that left eight riders. These split into two fours, the moderates heading for the Red Lion at Pickmere and the briskers (John M, Ivan, Nick and Steve T) for “The Angel@ King Street” in Knutsford (96 King St, Knutsford WA16 6HQ. Tel. 01565 651165).
Initially we all set off together, but our routes parted at Hatchmere. From there we took one of the normal routes to Norley , Crowton and Acton Bridge. The climb out of the Weaver Valley took us up to Little Leigh from where we headed for Knutsford via Frandley, Antrobus and Bates Heath. Crossing the A556 at Tabley we zoomed into Knutsford, helped in no small way by the following wind, arriving at the Angel at 11:45.
To our surprise, they were already open and serving both food and ale. It’s a Joseph Holts hostelry that has recently had a makeover and it’s now a comfortable, well-appointed place. Ivan and John tried their ‘Two Hoots’ ale and seemed satisfied with it. The food was also of a good quality and at a reasonable price. A place to think about revisiting? Over lunch we discussed knee and back surgery (a subject relevant to several of our members); hearing aids, their limitations and technical developments and, weirdly, tides and why it takes half the time for the tide to come in at Widnes as it does to go out. I still haven’t found out why, but it seems to be peculiar to Widnes (why am I not surprised?).
The sun was still shining as we retraced our route out of Knutsford, but there were some dark clouds to the west, suggesting that we might encounter inclement weather before the end of the day. At Tabley Brook Farm, we stayed on the B5391, passing the Red Lion at Pickmere (were the mods still lunching?) and on into Higher Wincham. Here we swung right to pick up the A559 through Higher Marston before turning left up the short, but steep incline that took us to Comberbach. Steve had a minor mechanical here (chain off), but this was soon fixed and we cycled along Cogshall Lane to Dones Green where we crossed the A49 into Marsh Lane. This has to be one of the worst lanes in Cheshire. The top coat has been worn away in a random manner, leaving a rough and surface which makes it difficult to find any kind of smooth surface. It’s also slightly uphill which adds to the difficulty.
Turning left at the top of Marsh Lane, the skies darkened even more and the first spots of rain started. At Dutton, we stopped so that John could put on his waterproof. Steve chose not to do likewise, a decision he’d regret later. At Whitehouse Industrial Estate, we took a left turn down Aston Lane. Part of this has now been re-surfaced, so many of the potholes have disappeared and it’s now a nice lane to ride on. By now, the rain was coming down in buckets, with little prospect of a let up. So, rather than going on down into Frodsham, Steve opted to head for home as we reached Sutton Weaver, leaving the others to take refuge in Costa Coffee. From there, Nick headed back to Delamere and his car, and Ivan and John headed for home. As it happened, the rain stopped as soon a Steve left, so the others completed the ride in the dry.
The round trip from Delamere to Knutsford and back was about 44 miles and our average speed was 15 mph. A good ride with excellent company.
See route map and/or gpx file download ( on "plotaroute" as Bikeroutetoaster unavailable at present)