Steve had been chauffeured to Rose Farm by Lynne (my wife), and it was great to have him in the mix again. Lynne was favourably impressed by the company I keep. Perhaps, I had painted too much of an 'old lags in Lycra' picture at home, when describing our Thursday interactions! In a year when their changed circumstances had meant some individuals not renewing their membership, it was great to welcome Colin and Neil as fully paid up new members.
Route-wise, the moderate riders were without a clue, so chose our favourite default destination: The Bhurtpore. Mike, Keith, Andy, Neil, Dave Pipe and myself formed the moderate group. We took the route through Cotebrook and along the narrow lush lanes, next to the baking brick of Oulton Park boundary. At Oultonlowe Cottage we turned right and took a quiet lane favoured by Ivan and Clive. Andy wasn't keen, having remembered a rough section of tarmac from a few weeks back. As he was on his tank-tough heavyweight steed, no harm was likely. From Wettenhall we made swift progress down Welshmen's Lane, and turned off through the park just before Nantwich centre. The paths were dry and the greenery relaxing as we passed the ox-bow lakes of the River Weaver, and joined the A530 for only yards before heading south down Coole Lane. We then had a bit of an 85% thrash with the wind in our spinnakers, before turning north-west up Back Coole Lane. We crossed the Whitchurch Road into Aston to a very hoppy aroma. The surprisingly large grain mill in this small village was the source of the heady scent. We, of course were very at home in The Bhurtpore. We sat outside under canvas, and had a good selection of ales and curries to choose from.
|Photo by Mike G|
The route home took a turn left down Pinsley Green Road, for a change, and so by-passed Wrenbury. At Marbury the revamped Swan looked worth trying for a future lunch break. Ray Hardman used to have a drink and snack on the south side of the church with a lovely view over the Big Mere, which you can't even see from the road we are on. We should stop and try 'Ray's View' next time. We headed north to Chorley Bank via Norbury and Gaunton's Bank. We crossed the A534 at Brindley, passed Tilly's in Bunbury with difficulty, climbed Tilstone Bank, and headed for The Old Fire Station at Tarporley. We took our bikes through the cafe to the back, and sat at a shaded table. We had our usual friendly reception, and were supplied with jugs of water with slices of lemon. Dave Pipe and I enjoyed ice cream cornets as well as cake and coffee. It had been a hot day, but as I made the final ascent to Rose Farm, I was alone. Everyone had ridden their separate ways home, even Keith to Runcorn. About 43 relaxing miles for me, closer to 90 for Andy, and somewhere in between for the rest of the gang.