This was forecast to be the hottest day of the year, with temperatures in the mid 30’s in the south and east, while our local forecast was predicting highs of 28 degrees. Not that this deterred the moderates who again were out in force, but no brisk riders were to be seen. We sat on the wasp-plagued terrace of the Ice Cream Farm as riders assembled: Bryan and David M were only out for the café; Andy W was only going part way with us because of another commitment; the rest were up for the ride: Ian trying us out for the first time, Neil, Andy B, Dave H, Mike G, Clive, Dave P and myself.
Our destination was the Hinds Head in Norton in Hales. After some delay due to binding mudguards on Clive’s bike, we set out through Beeston, Bunbury, Haughton and Ravensmoor, to skirt Audlem via Kingsley Heath. The route so far had been very flat allowing a good speed to provide the wind chill needed to keep us from over-heating. As we approach out destination the land became more undulating and it was a relief to arrive at the pub.
We thought about sitting outside, but with tables and chairs bolted to the floor we couldn’t sit together. Indoors was comfortable and we were quickly fed with most choosing the baguette or wrap options at £7-8 each. Dave H’s attempt to call a plumber led to a discussion of planned obsolescence and the non-repairability of so many household items. Before setting off on our return, multiple water bottles were replenished, and the all-important group photo taken, with Dave H revealing his artistic temperament.
|Photo by Dave H|
We travelled west through Adderley and around Shavington Park, before passing through Aston and stopping at the village shop in Wrenbury. We sat outside consuming coffees, ice creams and other refreshments, while Dave H got into discussion with a local character. Finally extricating himself, our route continued, sometimes at ‘brisk rider’ speed, past Cholmondley and Bickerton. We took the less demanding climb past Bolesworth Castle, where the 2018 Carfest of the North (www.carfest.org/welcome/welcome-to-carfest-north-2018) was gearing up for the coming weekend, and it certainly looked a massive event.
|Photo by Mike G|
From there is was a short ride back to the Ice Cream Farm. No-one suggested stopping: it was the first week of the school holidays and the place was teeming. On what is my last ride for quite a few weeks, we had covered 50 miles, in fairly demanding weather conditions, but on lovely lanes with good company. Ian will be back for more.