A good number of Easy Riders gathered at Cleopatra’s in Holt. The moderates were out in force: David M, Clive, Neil, Dave H, Dave P, Mike G, Andy B, George, Trevor and myself. The start of the day questioned whether the long hot dry spell was over: there was a very light drizzle on my ride to Holt, and Andy told us it had rained steadily in Mold the previous night. However we set off in dry and improving conditions with the Dog and Bull in Coton as our destination.
We crossed the bridge into Farndon, noting that it is due to be closed to traffic for 14 weeks from 16th July, and for some days in that period also to cyclists and pedestrians. Then we headed to Stretton (where David M left us), Tilston and the Cholmondley Estate, before turning south through Bickley and Marbury, and then joining cycle route 45. Here the more observant riders admired the Mercian Way statue. We entered Whitchurch on Black Park Road, which is closed to vehicles until 02/19 a sign said, possibly due to badgers undermining the carriageway, though we could squeeze through the barrier fencing. From Whitchurch we took the road to Alkington, then through Hollingwood to arrive at our destination just before 1 o’clock, with 26 miles completed.
|Photos by Mike G|
We sat outside seeking shade from the sun at a number of wobbly tables, but the food and drink were fine as usual: we had last been here in May. Clive left early to make his own way back for an afternoon appointment, while the rest of us gathered for a photo.
Our return led us north and westwards to Tallarn Green where a scarecrow festival was obviously underway. We dropped down to Sarn Bridge and turned left to avoid the bank, and made our way on a lovely quiet lane into Worthenbury. Then it was the usual route back, with half the party pushing on ahead in the traditional(?) race to the finish, this being at Lewis’ café. We sat on the terrace, enjoying coffee, cakes and the afternoon sunshine, when Ivan stopped on his way home after completing the brisk riders’ route.
Our total distance was 48 miles, covering many lovely gentle lanes in improving weather. The rain did eventually come, but later that night.