I rode out from Chester with John W today for the meeting at Cleopatra's café at Holt. This was my first CER ride of 2020 and my focus was only riding a bike!! On arrival at the café, there was another good turnout of nearly 20 riders for today. The weather was predicted as grey but it was quite colourful in the café!
For the Brisk group, Nick had come with a route and I had posted two routes on Ride with GPS; the route selected was a forty-six mile round trip to Ellesmere and the Red Lion. Ken joined us for coffee but not able to ride today and Clive was sailing in Conway Bay and Menai Strait. Our chosen selection of riders today were John W, John M, Nick, and Steve T and Steve F and Ray plus me!
Leaving the café, we head out to Tilston and along the lane’s via Ebnal crossing the A41 via the cycleway twice at No Mans Heath. It is straight lanes linking into one another to Hanmer before joining the A495. The fun started AS SOON as we turn into New Road heading towards Bettisfield; New Road in 1500 BC, but today it has more craters than the moon and more mud than Clive would have enjoyed.
We pass over the old Whitchurch/Ellesmere railway bridge and the Bettisfield café, I haven’t called here with CER but it is a lovely café to visit, it looks like more building work being carried out on the station. We ride on towards Lyneal and pass Colmere and to the A528. Instead of the usual run-down hill into the town today, we cross over and pass White Mere and arrive via Blackwater Marina arriving at our lunch destination The Red Lion.
Arriving at the roundabout at Ellesmere were Dave and Liz on their tandem, and we arrive at the Red Lion together and the Mod’s have also arrived in advance. With 20 additional lunches, our food was a little slow today in presentation. Making things more drawn out is the 3/2 course menu with some riders having starters delaying main course then we have to wait for the spotty dick sponge and custard deserts. Wow!!!!
|Magnificent Seven minus One|
Leaving Dave and Liz to finish their meal in peace, we eventually leave the pub following after the departure of the moderate group we head back to the roundabout and head up Swan Hill and Ellesmere Lane.
At Penley, we happen upon two moderate riders Keith and Peter (E-Biker) but they were okay and so we continued on. We are soon at Sarn and Nick leaves us to head home and we continue along the drag road from Shocklach to Farndon.
It was a brisk pace from Shocklach to Barton Road and Steve T did very well in maintaining the link. Steve F was the pacemaker, as Steve T left us at the junction to return to Cleopatra's, the remaining five riders continue to Chester via Churton and Aldford.
Anyone in this group hoping for a moderate ride on the return home must have been disappointed, both Ray and Steve kept up a fast pace to Huntington and into Chester. A 46-mile round trip from Holt to Ellesmere and 22 miles average to and from Chester, gave a 68 + ride on a mostly grey day and the worst mud lanes I’ve ridden this year! But throughout, we had no incidents and lots of chat and enjoyment for our effort.
Very glad to be out with the bunch.