Turning left out of Rose Farm we ran down the hill and then turned first right into Wood Lane – not our usual route. We then followed Dave through Clotton and Hoofield and across the Shropshire Union Canal at The Shady Nook before heading for Beeston and Peckforton Castles. At Peckforton, we went left into Peckforton Hall Lane and thence on to Spurstow. Here came the only ‘non-country’ bit – a half mile dash down the A49 until we reached the safety of Badcocks Lane from where we followed a winding route to Brindley, where we crossed the A534.
At Lardon Green, I heard a shout from behind and turned around to find Clive at the side of the road with his bike upside down, looking for the cause of the puncture in his (tubeless!) rear tyre. Soon all nine riders were standing around in the cold (it had started to drizzle a bit – as predicted by Carol!). Rather than everyone getting cold, Dave M took four ‘softies’ off to the pub whilst the ‘hard men’ stayed to help Clive.
The repair took a while, as the ‘goo’ inside the tubeless tyre didn’t seal the hole as it should. So Clive had to resort to putting a tube in, but this meant extracting the tubeless valve first. Eventually all was well, helped along by Keith’s CO2 cylinders (21st century technology, Clive) and we soon covered the remaining 7 miles to The Bhurtpore.
The advanced party had ordered but were not yet eating and the rest of us soon ordered and were served with curries, Balti, pies and other tasty food. Talk around the table covered the forthcoming Rugby World Cup final and how you’d never see Steve Bruce shed a tear however many Newcastle let in!
As we’d already covered some of my return route on the way down here, Clive did some routing on the fly (or rather his iPhone) and offered to lead back to Utkinton. This took us back to Wrenbury and then to Sound, Ravensmoor and Acton. Some wiggles down the lanes led to the Venetian Marina using NC551. At Cholmodeston, Dave M said that he’d take over to avoid going through Bunbury. So we headed east, wiggling down the lanes past Calveley Primary School, which seems to be a long way from the village. More wiggles down the lanes took us past Oulton Park, where the sound of racing cars could be heard; a track day, perhaps.
Crossing the A49 at Cotebrook took us into Utkinton Lane and so back to our starting point with 46 miles covered at an average speed of 13 mph – quite brisk for a mod ride! My thanks to Clive and Dave M for leading a great route down some quiet lanes and to the other mods for their company on a day when the rain held off yet again.
See route map and/or gpx file download