So the group, consisting of Steves T and H(NM), Peter, George, Trevor, Dave H, Denise and myself, set off down to the Dee shoreline along by Nets Cafe. Here was the first surprise of the day - a debris-strewn path - a result of a very high tide assisted by a fierce NW on-shore wind. There was a digger out by the Harp pub pushing the marsh debris back off the road. In and out of the Nestons, we wiggle through the big houses of Gayton to arrive near to Poll Hill in Heswall just off Telegraph Road.
In quick succession, as it is largely downhill, we are through Pensby, Irby and Frankby (former Viking villages) to arrive at West Kirby and the railway cut-through to Hoylake and Meols. Hitting the esplanade here, we are greeted with a seething seascape of enormous rollers as it is now about the height of the highest Spring tide. The wind was very strong N Westerly, probably storm force 8-9. It had been hindering us a bit, but not now as we were literally blown down the road towards the sea wall path to New Brighton.
As we get to the end of this road, it becomes clear that cycling the sea wall path will to be dangerous with the breaking waves and high winds. So what to do - find another way inland of course. This we do by wiggling down No-Thorough roads (which weren’t) and the housing estates of Moreton. We end up along Leasowe Road where Denise takes an unexpected tumble. Although shaken and slightly injured, her bike had sustained a brake/gear lever mounting bracket fracture, and it is wobbling around on the bars. A few cables ties later we are off again heading for the esplanade which has been closed to traffic. Sea water is splashing over the sea wall with somewhat mountainous waves just off-shore. Arriving at the boating lake by the fort, the sea is in a real turmoil as Steve H(NM)'s photo shows. Negotiating the temporary sea flood defences, it is now a few minutes to Weatherspoon’s “The Master Mariner” pub and a very quick and welcome hot repast.
The route back is as per usual i.e. along the western side of the Mersey promenade. The tide height at Gladstone dock is around 33ft today with a tidal range of nearly 30ft of seawater!. The Black Pearl pirate “ship” is no where to be seen, but there was a great pile of driftwood just off the prom though. So we wiggle our way back towards New Ferry where we pause to consider how the SS Great Eastern was broken up here at the Sloyne (see Trevor's photo). The wind was still a problem for us as we cut across the Wirral via Eastham and Willaston arriving back at Ness Gardens around 1600. Peter and Denise stay for a hot drink as the rest of us disperse for home. A 42 mile Wirral circular ride today with plenty of wild weather producing a different aspect of this former Viking kingdom.
|Photo by TC|
|Photo by SH|