The day did not look promising. The forecast was for some heavy showers or worse, and it was raining as I left home, though this stopped when I arrived at the Delamere Station Café. Keith was already there and we were shortly joined by John W, Tom, Trevor, Clive and David M, who was concerned about his heart rate. We variously made muddled attempts to take his pulse, before succeeding and confirming that he was still alive, but that he should cut his ride short today. Trevor was also just out for the café, and John W and Tom were planning their own route. Dave and Liz P then arrived in civies and it was good to hear that Dave’s recovery was progressing well, with a 30 mile ride already under his belt.
This left just me, Clive and Keith as riders. I had been looking at destinations which I hadn’t been to before with CER, and decided on Prestbury. Common opinion had it that pubs in the area would probably be too expensive and too posh – a bit of research suggested that this was true, although I did find that Ye Olde Admiral Rodney seemed reasonable. However, I chose instead to head for the Chocolate Box Café, which I’d visited before. (Maybe we should try the Admiral Rodney on another ride.)
We headed out over damp surfaces, expecting rain, crossing the Weaver at Acton Bridge and into Comberbach. I had planned to pass through Marbury Park, but the idea of wet muddy surfaces put me off, and so we took the route through Pickmere to arrive at Plumley and on through relatively familiar lanes to Ollerton. We were enjoying the unexpected dry conditions as the bulk of Alderley Edge appeared before us. As we started the climb we decided on a slow and steady approach up this long hill. We eventually emerged at the top in front of The Wizard pub. From here it was an easy downhill(ish) into Prestbury itself, after about 30 miles.
Prestbury is indeed posh (and WAG-ish), but the Chocolate Box was welcoming and served us good quality, good value food. We all agreed it was a good place to stop, and maybe should go onto our favourites list. It’s also worth noting there is a new bike shop in Prestbury, where Keith was tempted to take his machine, as it had been playing up. He however decided to soldier on for the day.
The afternoon’s route took us through the outskirts of Macclesfield and past Trevors Close Farm (no connection I assume Trevor). Then into Gawsworth, where we travelled along the memorably named Maggoty Lane, which as salubrious addresses go, reminded me of Offal Pit Lane near Kingsley. We then cycled along a series of lovely long flat lanes towards Twemlow Green, enjoying the fine weather and the virtual absence of any wind. To the east we had good views of Shining Tor and the Sutton Common BT tower.
Eventually our luck ran out as a light rain started and became persistent. I pushed on hoping we would soon cycle through it and unaware of the closing time of the café I planned to call at, just our side of Davenham. We did in time cycle through the rain, and slightly damp made it to Shipbrookhill Farm Café before 4pm (they actually close at 5pm). Caffeine and cake was taken on board sufficient to sustain each of us back to our homes.
We crossed the A556 and rode into Hartford, then taking the old main road eastwards. Here Clive left us to take the quickest route back into Chester, and Keith and I continued into Cuddington and Norley. Here Keith headed home to Frodsham, and I back to Delamere and on the Kelsall. The return route from Delamere was 66 miles, though Clive would have done closer to 100. It had turned out to be a good late summer’s day for a high mileage, in later months the weather may limit us to shorter outings.
See route map and/or gpx file download
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