This is my first CER club ride since March and was looking forward to seeing other club members at Delamere station café. I met up with John W at the Mickle Trafford end of the greenway for a leisurely ride to the café. Passing a couple of club members along the route, we arrive at the station and there is a good group of moderate riders as well as Clive who advised us that today he is not with the Brisk group due "too much beer since his holidays". So it was John and I riding for the Briskers today and we set off along the very rough road surface to Hatchmere.
We head towards Hartford and Lach Dennis and continue heading for Goostrey and Holmes Chapel. We have ridden these lanes many times and were on form with legs spinning, passing Goostrey and the intended Mod’s lunch stop, before arriving at our intended lunch stop Holmes Chapel. Its only 12:00 so John pops into Aldi for a couple of Chicken sandwiches and we decide to ride off-piste abandoning my proposed route home*.
A few more lanes and we are at Breton Green passing the Bears Head where in the 1970 I was lucky enough to be in the same pub as Sir Matt Busby and got his signature. Just wish I had saved it! Our route takes us along Davenport Lane which we usually pass en-route towards the Mow Cop direction. It would have pleased Clive as it was both narrow and extremely muddy, oh dear – dirty bike. Heading towards Alsager it’s a detour via Smallwood, Malkins Bank and Winterly and then towards Crewe via Maw Green
Since departure from Holmes Chapel, we are making the route up as we go along and its towards the train station and Gresty Lane and passing MornFlake Oats (home of porridge oats) we’ve opted for. Through Nantwich and we decide not to stop, but would decide on a Tilly break if the café not too busy.
The usual route taken out from Nantwich and we are at Bunbury for 14:00 and Tilley’s and it’s also raining so decide to stop for a hot cup of tea and cake. The café does not feel the same – has it changed ownership during lockdown? When we exit the café, it has stopped raining.
We arrive Chester and I bid John farewell until next ride and head home with 82 miles covered. Not enough for Wilkie as he heads into Chester and joins the Dee cycle way as far as the Blue Bridge then joining the Greenway back to his home completing a 100-mile ride and 4000+ feet of ascent.
John and I have ridden together for most of this year and enjoyed our rides. Good to be part of the club and to see the other riders who were out today and hope they arrived back drier than we did.
NB: *Route therefore not completely as described in the text above!