I thought it about time I led a ride after being away so long, so cribbed a route from 2011 but reversed the direction. Dave M and Trevor met us for coffee at Hildegard’s, to see off 14 riders: Steve H, Andy, George, Liz & Dave P, Dave H, Paul, Steve T, Martin, Ivan, Ray, John, Tom and me. Was this a record number for a winter ride? I chose an anti-clockwise route to lunch at Whitchurch, as 40 miles is an advisable mileage with the shorter days.
Photographs by Brian MacDonald
We rode south to Bangor then east to Malpas, where we regrouped at the medieval market cross. (photo 1) As lunch time was pressing, we took the direct B-road south into Whitchurch, where The Black Bear P H beckoned (tel: 01948 663 800). I’d advised them last night that about 7 or 8 riders should be there for lunch, but when 14 turned up, it did not seem to faze them. As usual, the food, beer and service was very good.
Afterwards, we continued our circular route back, via Wrenbury, No-Mans Heath, and Malpas. Together with Whitchurch Parish Church opposite the pub, we passed 3 or 4 huge ancient churches, dominating their surrounding settlements. This whole area must have been very prosperous at one time for funds to be found to build these magnificent buildings. A very pleasant, easy-going, incident-free 40 mile ride finished with afternoon tea at Hildegard’s.