A good turnout at the Rose Farm café, and three alternative routes provided plenty of choice. Bryan, Petar, Dave H, Steve T, Steve H and Darren, on his second outing, chose a 50+ miler that circled yet avoided Crewe.
We set out to cross the A49 at Cotebrook and follow the quick route through Wettenhall to Nantwich. From here we took the road through Wybunbury, and then largely kept to village roads and lanes, through Hough and Weston, and then through Gravel Wood. This should have been a warning because by the time we got to Haslington we came across a recently resurfaced road with mountains of gravel in the gutters.
Photograph by Steve Haywood
We persevered and eventually came to our intended stop, the Hydes’ Cheshire Cheese Inn at Wheelock. This was a new discovery and we were pleased to hear they were serving food – in fact good CER-value food, with steak pie, chips, peas and gravy at only £4.75. We sat in the garden and discussed how best to penalise Luis Suarez for biting - a muzzle or full extraction being suggested.
On our way again, turning east at Ettiley Heath, where Darren left us. From here we touched the edge of Leighton before crossing the A530 at Bradford Green where we had lunched at the Coach & Horses only a few weeks before. Through Church Minshull, and we crossed our outward journey at Wettenhall. Then, with a few spits of rain beginning, we made for afternoon refreshments at Tilly’s in Bunbury.
Finally back by Beeston Castle, Huxley and Clotton to the final climb up the hill back into Utkinton. In total around 53 miles in generally dry pleasant conditions over new ground for many.