Luckily for us the Sparrow’s Cafe on the Albrighton Estate was an ideal starting point just off the A49 north of Shrewsbury. The Moderate group consisted of Trevor, Keith, Ian, George, Steve H and myself. We let the Brisk group zoom off first as we followed them on roads anew to Bowmore Heath and Myddle. Approaching Myddle, we pass by an impressive red sandstone ridge which Ian confidently states is the southerly extent of Cheshire Sandstone. Passing through the middle of Myddle, we head north before taking a familiar lane to Loppington skirting Sleap airfield.
Dave M had taken the train to Gobowen and was planning to meet us here and going with us onwards to Hodnet. He was a little behind schedule, so texted to say he would meet us at The Bear. We are now approaching familiar territory as we take the NCR445 wiggling its way towards Whixall, Prees and Faulsgreen. Missing out Marchamley ridge (and its hills), we run down through Wollerton to The Bear in Hodnet at just before 1300. The brisk group have already finished their lunch, with Dave M tucking into his. Dave had apparently taken a more direct southerly route via Wem hence overtaking us in doing so. He was then cycling back home.
We have been to The Bear before, and, as before, the welcome and food did not disappoint. Conversation was as varied as ever but included club ride reminiscences of successes and disasters alike. For the return route, I had modified the published route to miss out a large section of the A442 Wellington road. So new long lanes and countryside to appreciate. Crossing the A442, we now enter into the Roden River valley passing through Higher Ercall, and skirting Roden and Rodington. Too soon we arrive at the A49 Shrewsbury bypass and wiggle our way through a massive housing estate as the late afternoon traffic builds.
Arriving back at Sparrow’s cafe, the Brisk group are tucking into hot drinks and cake having motored around the 62 miles at 17.7 mph. Our average over the 47 miles was nearer a sedate 14 mph as we also tuck into coffee and cakes before the 40 mile drive back to Chester.
So “thank you” to all of you who came out on both rides today. The weather was as forecasted - dry, very cloudy, light winds and 12C, but there was good visibility as we could see the Wrekin and Long Mountain in the far distance. There were at least 50% “new” lanes today joining with familiar lanes south of Whitchurch.
See route map and/or gpx file download