It felt strange after being locked down since March for CER to be meeting up again. We gathered outside at the Meadow Lea café, with about 10 members assembling. In discussion with Dave H beforehand, we had planned to form small groups of no more than four members for each ride. Clive, Steve T and myself each had planned destinations. Mine was to the Pant yr Ochain at Gresford, and I was accompanied by Dave H, David M and prospective new member Eric, who had only moved up to our area during lockdown.
We set off towards Tattenhall, passing through Waverton and Hargrave. Then it was out to Carden before swinging westwards through Stretton and Wetreins Lane to reach Farndon and Holt. Into Wales, and our destination was only a few miles away. Being COVID-cautious, we had intended to sit outside on such a fine day on the pub’s terrace looking out over the lake. However even though we arrived at 1230, those outside tables were taken. After a brief consultation we headed into a largely deserted indoors, following the pub’s strict COVID protocols. No gathering at the bar today – straight to our allotted table where our orders were taken by masked staff. As usual we discussed many topics, including the Welsh Government’s guidance on our visit which Dave had researched. Were we in compliance given we came from more than two households, or were we covered by the permission for up to 30 people to engage in sporting activity?
After our lunch we set off on our shorter return journey, down the main road through Marford, Rossett and Pulford, before turning onto the road to Ecclestone. Part way David M struck off to return home via Holt. The rest of us entered Chester, crossing the Old Dee Bridge, then followed the river past the racecourse, before joining the Greenway and quickly back to our start. Back at Meadow Lea, we bumped into Glennis and enjoyed final drinks and cakes. An unambitious 40+ mile ride on generally quiet roads in dry, warm and sometimes sunny conditions marked a welcome return to CER’s programme. Let’s hope for another dry day next week.