It was a pleasant autumn day as I rode out to the Ice Cream Farm for this week's ride. No sunshine but not too cold and not much wind either so a good day for cycling. I expected a good turnout but was surprised to find that there were only 7 of us enjoying pre-ride refreshments. The 3 brisk riders were busily planning a route down to Audlem while the other 4 of us sat and waited for one of the others to announce that he had a ride. None was forthcoming and it soon became clear that Jim and David M had other things that they needed to do and that the moderate group would consist of just Brian Macca and me. Without a map between us we decided that we would head down towards Whitchurch with only the small screen of my sat-nav to guide us.
The four of us set out together turning right along Newton Lane and heading east through Beeston and across the A49 into Bunbury. It was here that Jim and David left us and Brian and I turned south through Faddily, Chorley, Wrenbury and Aston. We could have headed for Audlem ourselves at this point but we didn’t know where the brisk group were lunching so we decided to stick to our own plan. It was just after crossing the A525 at Royal’s Green when the only noteworthy incident of the day occurred. We turned a corner just in time to see a cyclist a few hundred yards in front lose her balance and fall off, forgetting to unclip her feet in the process. We cycled up to lend a hand but by the time we reached her, her riding partner had turned back and a lady had come out of her house to help. Our assistance was not required so we headed down to Ightfield and there turned right through Ash Magna to approach Whitchurch from the east.
There are a number of good eating establishments in Whitchurch but Brian suggested the Black Bear and since it wasn’t one that I had ever been to I asked him to lead us there. Brian had been right. The food was very good and we both enjoyed our lunch choices.
|Photo by Macca|
After lunch we headed out of Whitchurch along Smallbrook Road and made our way on to the canal towpath which also happens to be the southern end of the Sandstone Trail. We followed this as far as Grindley Brook where we had a short dash along the A41 before turning off towards Malpas. Our return to the Ice Cream Farm was a more direct route going straight through Malpas to Tilston and right along familiar roads through Carden, Chowley and finally Tattenhall. At the Newton Lane crossroads I left Brian to complete the last half mile back to the start and I headed for home. We had completed a pleasant 45 miles which the rest of the moderate riders can enjoy next time I’m at the Ice Cream Farm.