It was "Ladies Day" at Rose Farm café with three new female riders (Jan, Jennifer and Alison) riding out with Liz D and the rest of us (George, Paul, Andy, Trevor and myself) for a run down to Norton in Hales. The weather was going to be showery and not very warm as we set off via Tarporley bound for Bunbury. We then go via Cappers Lane to Faddiley and turning westwards, head down via Chorley for Wrenbury. The Bhurtpore pub is passed by in Aston as we head further south. After last week's fiasco with a non-opening pub, I had rung ahead before we left and "booked" ten places at the Hinds Head in Norton in Hales. All sorted then!
South of Aston, we head for Wilkesley down beautiful Royal Green lane past Combermere, Dogkennel and Bawhill woods. A swift right and right again in Adderley takes us into Norton in Hales. We find the pub after 29 miles and enthusiastically enter only to be told that, despite booking two hours ago, there's only one chef on, and they can't accommodate us. The troops took it well as I suggested we head for the Bridge pub in Audlem. Despite turning up mob-handed the Bridge's "Two for a Tenner" order is quickly placed; and good it was with Hobgoblin bitter to wash it down.
We have now sunk 34 of the 55 miles, so the run back to Tilley's via Sound, Ravensmoor and Haughton, is not too arduous. At Tilley's, Jan, Paul and Alison head back home as someone mentions they are going out for a run at 18:00! We remaining six meander back to Rose Farm via Tilstone Fearnall. Almost 55 miles, and the weather was not as bad as forecasted. Well done to the new ladies, especially Jennifer who enjoyed 37 percent "extra free" miles over the 40 miles expected. My round trip was 83 miles, the furthest so far this year.