Keith, Paul, John and myself were soon heading down to Cotebrook, careful of the gravel at 'Jim's corner', when turning left into Smithy Lane. We headed for Rushton on the quiet, narrow lanes below Oulton Park. Wettenhall, Venetian Marina and Reaseheath were cruised past before hitting the attractive Welsh Row. We turned off through parkland before the A534 avoiding traffic and coming out by 'The Big Lake'. A short stretch of main road, and then we turned left towards the not so secret Secret Nuclear Bunker. After a steady stretch in a southerly direction down Coole Lane we made the acute turn right at Brickwall Farm, and meandered the last few miles to our lunch stop. The fish were big, and the curry hot and filling at the friendly Bhurtpore. I can't remember if Keith had his usual cheese and onion butty, but he had no complaints.
We came back via Ravensmoor, Swanley and Brindley, and with an extra little loop from Paul, we were soon passing Tilly's and heading for Tilstone Bank. I am not in great cycling nick at the moment, mainly due to enforced slavery on a garden transformation project at home. I was grateful for the lads' patience and pacing. John's wheel was a welcome lead into the wind on our return to Tarporley. We received the familiar warm welcome at the Old Fire Station café, with offers to fill our bottles, and an invite to take our bikes through to the back. We sat in the sun, and had a laugh. It was good to get to know John as he is usually up the road with the fast riders. Paul is now a familiar friend with the relaxed group, and Keith is an addict when he can get off work. Unfortunately, I won't be riding this coming Thursday, as the missus' Wendy House is due to be installed in our garden! About 42 dry miles were covered from Rose Farm in excellent company.