It was a wet start to the day but with the promise of better to come but how many would turn up for the ride? Eight riders braved the early weather although I must admit that because I live close to today's starting point I left my decision till late and by the time I left home the rain had stopped. Neil and George hadn't fared as well and Neil had come off worse having been caught in heavy rain on his ride from home and was deciding whether or not to head straight back there. Two of the riders were of the brisk variety and they set to do what brisk riders do while I suggested a ride of about 50 miles with lunch at the Cotton Arms at Wrenbury.
After our morning coffee six of us (Brian Mac, Neil, George, Dave H, Steve T and myself) set off down through Guilden Sutton to the A51 and across towards Waverton. Neil had decided to join us but Brian was only coming a short distance, having not done much cycling recently. We took the Martins Lane route towards Hargrave. Halfway down Brian's phone rang and rather than hold us he decided that would be as good a place as any to turn back and the rest of us carried on. With the wind behind us we made good progress through Huxley past Beeston Castle and onto Bunbury. Too early for a stop at Tilly’s, we pressed on through Brindley and Ravensmoor where we turned south to criss-cross the Llangollen Canal for the final stretch to Wrenbury.
The Cotton Arms was our chosen hostelry. The wide choice of real ales was wasted on us as most of us opted for the traditional lime (or blackcurrent) and soda. Neil was tempted by the ciders, however, and was impressed by his choice. The sun came out while we were dining but as we prepared for the ride home it was raining again. Fortunately, it had stopped by the time we were climbing back on to our bikes but as we turned out of the car park we were head on into a cold wind. A feature that would be with us for the rest of the ride.
Our return trip took us along the lanes past Cholmondeley Castle, over Harthill and thence to Tattenhall where Neil left us to make his way home. With the wind against us progress had been a little slower than on the way out. Beyond Tattenhall we joined our outward route and followed it back, hoping that the twisting turns of the Martins Lane route would afford us some shelter from the wind. A forlorn hope as it turned out.
We arrived back at Meadow Lea having done about 48 miles. Not the best of weather but at least we had been lucky enough to miss the worst of the rain.