Dave Matthew's had an interesting proposal for a route back, so we went with it. We set off at a quarter to two, after slowish service and some extra coffees. Would we make it back in the light? Dave's route back was a belter! We set of at a good pace down the main road in a southerly direction, and then headed off right on a rural route to Davenham via Lower Peover and Lach Dennis. Beer, extra coffees and some enlarged prostates required an early toilet stop. We also had to negotiate a closed road, but the workmen were helpful as we edged through on the pedestrian route. We passed some lovely old properties as we threaded through Davenham. We then went through the woods after Hartford Bridge on a leafy route alongside The Weaver. We came up through the golf course at Vale Royal on the Abbey site, and through a luxury toy town housing development close to Whitegate. We then headed for the beautiful Mill Pond, just past Oulton Park. From Cotebrook to Utkinton was hard uphill work, but we were soon ramming down Willington Road, as Dave M. took his leave near his house at Oscroft. It was becoming dusk, but modern bike lights are reassuringly bright and we were close to home now. Through the sandstone cutting at the back of Barrow, and back to Manley just on official lighting-up time, around 4pm. Over 53 miles clocked up: pretty good for a winter ride!
See route map and/or gpx file download.