The weather was much better than advertised, being sunny intervals as opposed to blanket cloud. This put a spring in my pedalling feet for the 52 miler to The George at Sandbach. Our group today was a lonely three consisting of Nick, Ken and myself. John M was out but not feeling 100%, and Ivan was at home recovering from being de-biked by a passing car at 18mph in Helsby on Tuesday. He is recovering well though. The bike was unscathed!
We follow the Mods out and branch off at Flaxmere and take Norley Lane, where the vista over the Cheshire plain is resplendent in the November sunshine. It is now a rapid succession of Croxton, Acton Bridge, Weaverham and Winnington to pass by the Anderton Boat Lift. I take the Comberbatch bypass as the locals are anti-MAMIL, and circle round to Pickmere.
Onwards, passing The Smoker pub (named after the local brook), we speed through plummy Plumley and "upper-class" Lower Peover. The crossroads in Goostrey are blocked up, but pavements are then very useful. Up the side of the Dane Valley, we are soon through Holmes Chapel and negotiating a housing estate to exit on a very narrow "Broad Lane" and thence on-track, via various tiny lanes, to enter Sandbach Market Place and The George.
The George is a Wetherspoon's establishment and was packed at lunchtime but we got a table; and as ever, the quality, service and price was very good. It was a listed coaching in apparently. The town was granted a Royal Charter by Elizabeth I in 1579 and Foden truck manufacturing started at the end of 19C and closed down in 2006. The Market Crosses are worthy of note as well ( see photo)
|Sandbach Market Crosses|
At Cotebrook, Nick takes the short return to Delamere via the Fishpool Inn and will have completed the 52 miles circuit. Whereas Ken and I take the usual route back via Utkinton and Waverton. Ken will have more than 90 on the clock today and I had just over 80 miles.
So thanks to Ken and Nick today for taking the wind off me at the front. Hopefully Ivan and John will be back to their usual full strength next week.
See route map and/or gpx file download
Photo by KP