Today, Ivan was just out for a solo ride before he went to Liverpool to "meet" Bradley Wiggins for some riding tips. So our group consisted of John W, John M, Nick, Elwyn and a potential new member, John A. Too many Johns and Daves now!
The route had been prepared by using the new features of the Viewranger app which allows one to create a route on the phone directly, and it will auto-route for walking, cycling or motoring. It will also allow you to edit the route once saved. So we set off out of Tattenhall and up and over Harthill bound for Bickley. It's about here that I realise we are going out out on the return loop of the ride, but no matter I correct, re-set the direction of travel, and we head for Ashton via a circuitous route through Marbury. It is now along run down Steppenhall Lane. Checking again I realise that we shall be at Calverhall far too early for lunch and with not enough miles ridden. So a quick re-route takes us out in a loop to arrive in Calverhall after 25 miles. As it is still only 1230, I ask for permission to cycle on the Whitchurch town.
So off via Ightfield and the twin Ash villages, I dive off left down and through Brown Moss Nature Reserve to enter the back of Whitchurch and thence to The Wheatsheaf in Green End. We have been to this welcoming pub before and we are soon seated with food orders taken and drinks delivered to the table. There is the usual lunchtime banter, and Elwyn then informs me that the Mods are up the road in the Black Bear pub - so that is why there is a photograph of us outside it!
|This was taken outside the pub where we didn't have lunch in Whitchurch!|
At lunch, I had abandoned the planned route and put together an "improved" return section counter-intuitively going away from Tattenhall towards Fenn Bank via Alkington. We are soon heading in the right direction now with the wind behind us in the hilly borderlands of the Wyches. Pretty soon we in and out of Malpas heading for Brown Knowl and the hillside lane behind Bolesworth Castle
We arrive back into Tattenhall about 1530 to a closed cafe. It is then I recall that when I had last visited the cafe they said that on this particular Thursday they would be closing early.
So John W and A head off home as I promise a hot drink via the Spar shop, only to find their machine was "being cleaned". So John M and I settle for a cold chocolate drink to fortify us for the return to Chester in light rain.
The route around was 53 miles and at 15.6 mph with a surprising 2630ft of climbs - something to do with Harthill and Brown Knowl I suspect. Riding back to Chester I find that if have ridden 79 miles and my trusty Trek Pilot has just turned over 30,000 miles.
See route map and/or gpx file download