There were a lot of us at Rose Farm today, so with Dave H leading out the Moderates, I lead out the Brisk Group (Ivan, Ray, Tom, Colin and myself) to the White Lion at Barthomley. John W joined us for his first CER ride today as we headed out via Cotebrook and Wettenhall bound for Church Minshull where my chain drops off (Event #1). Briefly on the A530, we turn off to skirt Warmingham before turning south to Winterley. With a winter’s sun in our faces, the run now is down small lanes. Somewhere around here Event #2 occurs in that my iPhone jumps out of its normally secure clamp (due to the appalling road surface) and bounces down the road behind me where the local 41 bus is following us! No phone to be seen on the road, so Ray rings it and it is found safely working right by his feet in the hedge. There was only a slight dent on the side of the case!
We head now for Oakhanger through more open countryside before taking the lane to Smith’s Green. At the rail crossing, Ivan predicts that the 11:53 from somewhere will be coming by soon and it will be a green train. He was correct on both accounts! Up the lane Event #3 occurs as John W christens his first ride with a front wheel puncture just 5 mins from the pub.
The White Lion was last visited by CER in Aug 2010 so a return visit was well overdue. We pack into the small bar and ogle a bar’s length of decent ales. The Steak and Ale pie was an instant hit with all of us - quite the best flavour I have tasted and plenty of it. Heated lunch time discussions surround the architectural definition of “folly” and the date of the introduction of glass (see below).
Lots of small lanes once again on the return route via Wybunbury taking us around the SW side of Nantwich and on to Radmore Green and Bunbury. Here the usual "smell of home" madness infects nearly everybody but I decide to stick to a pedestrian 20mph and let the youngsters tire themselves out. This route was essentially the same as that in Aug 2010, and it manages to miss most of the mess that is Nantwich and Crewe yet takes in some beautiful lanes and countryside and I would recommend it to anybody as a quintessential CER route of 49 miles. For us Chester-bound riders, then 75 miles was a good day’s ride with a wintery sun and no rain!
Folly ex Wiki: In architecture, a folly is a building constructed primarily for decoration, but either suggesting through its appearance some other purpose, or merely appearing to be so extravagant that it transcends the normal range of garden ornaments or the class of building to which it belongs.
Glass ex Wiki (extract): The history of glassmaking can be traced back to 3500 BCE in Mesopotamia. Anglo-Saxon glass has been found across England during archaeological excavations of both settlement and cemetery sites. Glass in the Anglo-Saxon period was used in the manufacture of a range of objects including vessels, beads, windows and was even used in jewellery. The 11th century saw the emergence in Germany of new ways of making sheet glass by blowing spheres. The spheres were swung out to form cylinders and then cut while still hot, after which the sheets were flattened. This technique was perfected in 13th century Venice.