There was a surprisingly good turnout for the last Special Ride of the year - a cyclist's dozen of thirteen riders met at High Legh garden (and everything else) centre for the 1030 off. The weather was not promising in that there was light rain on the way to the cafe, but it improved to grey cloud cover for most of the morning.
The Moderate group consisted of Andy B, Mike D, Peter, Dave H, Steve T, Trevor and myself. I had already prepped the group that there were lots of twists and turns on this ride as we set off bound for Rostherne and its impressive natural mere (48 hectares and 30m deep). We wiggle our way through Mobberley where, detecting a loud noise, I pull to the side expecting a larger tractor to pass, only to find that a Virgin Atlantic 747 was taking off in the next field. Mobberley airport is in fact Manchester International Airport!
We are now on our way south east towards Nether Alderley and the start of Artist’s Lane aka Wizard Hill lane. We each grind our lonely way up the mile plus lane and rest outside the "Wizard of Edge” pub. It’s now largely downhill now through Birtles to Henbury. School Lane, down through Gravelhole and Hunt woods, is definitely downhill and as the road flattened out, a double cyclist nemesis greets us - two tractors hedge cutting! We gingerly pass by then turning into Bearhurst lane, I hear the plaintiff cry of "Stopping -puncture"! Andy has a front wheel flat and, as it is nearly mended, I espy a rather large thorn in his rear tyre. To add to the situation, Peter then owns up to a front wheel puncture as well. After about a 30 mins delay, we are off again for the 5 miles or so through Gawsworth to Marton and the Old Barn cafe arriving about 1330.
The cafe had reserved two tables for six for us but no Brisk riders were in evidence as yet. They had a longer and hillier ride to the same cafe. We quickly sit and order our repast. The Brisk group arrives complaining of a minor piece of off-road transfer and that the route was rather steep! We all agree that the repast was of excellent quality. Outside it is looking a little dark and I wonder if the we were going to get rained on. So we set off for the return route and I “decide” to make an instant minor route alteration on our way to Goostrey. The sun has now come out and a little bit of warmth is in evidence.
We are now heading north east bound for Knutsford where Steve has suggested we use the Tan Transfer to get us across the the very busy A556 at Tabley. This works a treat and it is now a 5 mile run back to High Legh. The Brisk group have supped and gone, as we arrive back around 1630 with 51 miles and 1800ft of ascent.
For me, there were miles of new lanes through beautiful and affluent Cheshire Life countryside; however, Dave and Steve seemed to know quite a few of the lanes today. So, paraphrasing the Morecambe and Wise Andre Previn sketch “ I was riding all the right lanes but not necessarily in the right order"
See route map and/or gpx file download
Retired, work part-time or shifts, enjoy being out in the countryside? Then cycle the lanes and byways of Cheshire and surrounding areas with Chester Easy Riders: you won't get left behind.
Chester Easy Riders is an independent cycling club affiliated to Cycling UK. We cycle every Thursday throughout the year with moderate and brisk day rides of 40 to 80 miles.
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