After last week's ride to the FOB, this week was going to be hard to follow. With the weather being so great I thought the annual ride to Mow Cop would be good.
Arriving at the ICF with John W, we were soon joined by the group but mainly moderate riders. Ken was out so the two of us set of on a warm and sunny morning. We ride via Beeston, Bunbury and the usual lanes to Nantwich. We get held up at the level crossing and enjoy the quick rest in the sunshine. The barriers raise and the ride is on again heading out towards Wybunbury then Weston and Radway Green. Alsager main road has three sets of traffic lights along a half mile stretch – pot hole filling!! At least road was not closed. At the lights at Church Lawton, we join the A34 for a short distance before the right-hand turn to Mow Cop, signposted as two miles. From here it begins the gentle rise and arriving into the village we decide to head along to the drag up to the summit. Immediately joining Station Lane, the gradient goes to 14% and increasing. We hit the 24% steep bit and it’s a push to keep going at 2mph!
The T junction looms the top and we head up to the tower. Taking in the views of Cheshire and Staffordshire from this vantage point is spectacular. The tower was built as a summer house during 1754 by the local lord of the manor, more money than sense or cheap labour. It is 355 feet high and gives fantastic views. The best part of getting up here is the easy ride down again and hopefully lunch. We spin down the hill and again get stopped at the rail crossing for the busy Manchester- Stafford line. We wait for two trains on this occasion but again we can proceed and head towards lunch at the Blue Bell at Smallwood.
We can enjoy lunch as the continuing route home is flat and "downhill". Getting back on the saddle again we continue Hassel Green and then ride on the A533 road into Sandbach. The route then takes us through the lanes to Bradwall and towards Middlewich. On through Warmingham it is then Occlestone Green and Wardle. We are stopping for afternoon tea and cake at Tilly's, and arriving at the café, we enjoy the slabs and a refreshing drink of tea and milk shake (mine)
Back at the ICF, we part ways and Ken heads of to Rossett and I back to Chester.Although only the two of us today it was a good day out. The route was 64 miles as a round trip and with the ride out and back it was 83.2 and Ken’s and extra 5-10 miles further. Riding at an average 16.3mph in great sunshine and good company.