A great turnout for the first ride of the 2020 with a ‘bakers dozen’ of riders and the brisk group being outnumbered 2:1. The weather was overcast with strengthening winds from the south as the day progressed hence the route, the only one on offer, entailed an easier return journey taking account of the wind direction.
So we, i.e Nick, Ray, John W and myself, left Delamere, crossing the A49 at Cotebrook, and passed south of Oulton Park race circuit. The lanes, which for many weeks had been waterlogged, were drying up slowly but unfortunately the remaining debris continued to cause issues in many places. Along Wettenhall Long Lane and Winsford Road, we passed over the Shropshire Union canal into the outskirts of Nantwich and remembered to avoid the shortcut we cannot use through Rease Heath College.
From my perspective, the pace was a little too brisk for the first ride of the year, but clearly the rest of the group were carrying less Christmas stodge than yours truly. Luckily for me Ray called a halt to phone home and, after some pleading negotiations, confirmed he could continue to ride for the rest of the day.
We continued out of Nantwich crossing under the canal towards Acton where we turned left and left again passing through Ravensmoor. As we entered Wrenbury, Nick called a halt at the entrance to the Business Park to see if the bike lock he left here in November when attending to Elwyn’s tubeless tubed tyre issue was there. Not surprisingly it wasn’t. At this juncture, John decided it would be a good point for him to head home and resume Grandad duties.
The lunch stop at The Bhurtpore Inn was literally around the corner. In five years of riding with CER I had never been here and I was impressed with both beer and food. The lunch chat revolved around the pro’s and con’s of tubed or tubeless tyres; the consensus 2 to 1 against tubeless. Sorry Ray.
|Out-tubed! - 2:1 for tubes|
Lunch over, we head out back to Delamere, initially heading towards Cholmondeley before turning east and crossing the A534 at Faddiley. With a favourable wind direction and drier roads, our progress became much easier as we rode through Bunbury then dropping down to cross the Shropshire union canal, for the third time today, at Tilston Fearnall.
Once over the A51 it was plain sailing all the way back to Cotebrook where Nick headed back to Delamere and Ray and myself to Chester. Unusually, the weather was dry all day, not something we have been used to of late and with a good tailwind the 75km (47 Miles) made for excellent first ride of 2020.
Happy New Year !