There was a fine turnout at Delamere Station Cafe. It was good to see Steve Haywood, who is hopefully on the mend. There are a number of us who have had an enforced absence from club rides for medical reasons, so we can empathise with the frustration felt by Steve. We are missing Steve's major contribution in not just posting all moderate ride write-ups, as he continues to do, but in his willingness to seek out routes and new pub stops, and to so often lead and write up the rides. As well as missing his usefulness, we just miss his company.
The route was great, originally created by Ken, with Paul Rose and Steve Tan in tow. Steve led with Fiona, Andy, daft Andy, Bob, George, Mike the voice, Dave Pipe and myself.
We turned left at Hatchmere, and left again toward Kelsall, and right down the delightful, little, leafy Grange Road to Ashton Hayes. Unfortunately, Bob was ahead and missed the turn. Eventually we were reunited, and passed through Oscroft and Waverton. Andy B. had a puncture before Saighton. Mike kindly offered to chase Bob and George who were off the front. Andy's rear tyre was as thin as a wafer of graphene, and I think he realised that it needed to be junked when he got home. In the tradition of true farce the lead three returned, as we unwittingly missed them on the Churton to Coddington back lane. As the main peloton were now running late we lunched at the delightful Mannerwood Country Caravan Park cafe. The young women serving were friendly and efficient, and the food was very tasty.
Our route back was through Tilston, Bickerton and Bunbury. Dave Pipe and myself were severely tempted by Tilly's, but we all ploughed on to Eaton via the tough Tilston Bank. I needed to get back home, so I haven't yet found out what happened to the breakaway group. I hope their lunch at The Bickerton Poacher was enjoyable! The weather was ideal, so I am sure we all enjoyed the day despite the unintended split. When I returned I found that I had lost one of my new flashing heel clips. Ah, well! They were half price! 43 relaxed miles in excellent company. Thanks again to Steve for resurrecting this picturesque route.