Asked if I could provide a route from Rose Farm, I consulted the CER bank of past routes, looking for somewhere to the south, so that I could cut across to Tilston on the return leg. So, Utkinton to Norton in Hales was duly selected. The choice was narrowed when I found I couldn’t download pre-2018 routes. However, it proved to be a good choice, even though the brisk riders were down to just two, me and Ken.
We opted to take the A49 road crossing along Heath Green to cut around the back of Tarporley, as opposed to negotiating the car madness of downtown Tarporley. The route took us along the quiet and scenic lanes past Beeston Castle, through Bunbury to Audlem, where we corrected a missed right turn.
Commenting on the strong headwinds, coming from a generally south direction, we were feeling smug in the knowledge of a return tailwind. While keeping up a good pace we were relieved to get to the Hinds pub in Norton in Hales. We arrived at about 12.15 when it was quite empty, but pretty busy when we left. Food was good, as was the beer, but an even better looking white IPA came on tap as we were leaving.
The return leg took us along very quiet and fairly direct lanes to Adderley, Aston, Wrenbury and Bickerton. It was fortunate it was dry because the roads around Adderley and Aston were covered in a smooth, dried mud road surface (resulting from farm vehicles cutting of the maize crop), that in the wet would turn into an ice rink. Staying upright still required concentration, especially with the odd kamikaze pheasant and stoat.
At Bickerton, I left Ken to negotiate Harthill and the very lumpy road surface of Wood Lane (Utkinton), and instead turned left at the church. After a small climb, three miles of blissful downhill landed me in Tilston. We had a great day out on an excellent route covering 57 miles. We completed this at an average of just over 15mph. Oh, and that tail wind of course never materialised!