A reasonable sized group of riders met in the morning sunshine at Rose Farm, including prospective new member Graham who had ridden up from Malpas. In view of a promised wet afternoon the moderates decided to follow the tried and tested route to the Bhurtpore Arms and hopefully get back fairly dry. Led by Dave P and Liz on the tandem, and myself, we were joined by David M, Keith, and Andy B, and set off towards Cotebrook, Oulton Park and Reaseheath College. A slight hitch appeared in the plans in the form of a road closure on the lane just after the college but in true cyclist manner we decided to ignore it and hope we could push through. No chance - just prior to the canal bridge we were met with a barrier manned by a “jobsworth” who resolutely refused to allow us to push our bikes across his nice new tarmac. We eventually took the alternative which was to push our bikes across the nearby field [I’m sure the corn will re-grow] up some steps, under a line of barbed wire and onto the canal tow path. From there we went to the marina and back on route. Down to Acton, Ravensmoor, Wrenbury and arrived at the pub at a reasonable time.
Suitably refreshed David M set off early, hoping to get home before the rain and we followed some time later. Back to Wrenbury, Chorley, Faddiley, Bunbury and Beeston. The group split after the hill up from the Shady Oak, still in the dry much to our surprise, with the tandem and Keith going back to Utkinton and Andy and myself heading up through Greenlooms back to Chester. The rain started just as I got through Christleton, sadly promising a wet end to the day for Andy and probably Keith too.
About 40 miles for the official ride - longer for others!