Secure, inexpensive parking remains a problem at this venue. Steve Tan and I found a suitable position alongside Hatch Mere. It was good to meet Graeme face to face at last. Trevor and Graeme had other commitments on the day, so the moderate riders were Bob, Keith, Steve T, Neil and myself.
We decided to try one of Ivan's favourite, cheap beer haunts: The Vine at Dunham Woodhouses. The route towards Knutsford, via Great Budworth, was familiar, but Steve had discovered a route under the new road which avoided the usual dangerous crossing of the A556 at Holehouses. At Knutford we headed north through the Deer Park at Tatton. Another route now was possible, because of the new by-pass, and we were able to swoop through the pretty village of Rostherne and head straight for Little Bollington. We were tempted by The Swan with Two Nicks, a familiar and trustworthy venue, but continued in order to try The Vine, and perhaps catch Ivan and John.
Ivan and John were a little soggy, having arrived before opening time and catching a heavy shower. Then Clive arrived, having made a fast, late run from home. It was very pleasant to be together, and the service was indeed very friendly, as promised by Ivan. I can't vouch for the cheap ale, as I didn't think it would help my recent gallstone issues!
The return route was via the Trans Pennine Trail, and a path through long grass to Lymm centre, of which Ray Hardman would not have approved. From Lymm it was my original back route via Sworton Heath, and the lacework of tiny lanes north-west of Arley Hall. Somewhere near Cogshall Hall there was the magnificent sound of a bird that Steve identified as a Song Thrush. Keith peeled off for Runcorn near Crumleyheath Farm. We headed for Acton Bridge via Little Leigh. The double slog: up from the river, and then up to Norley, this time via Cookson Green, is not an end-of-ride challenge that Bob relishes, which I can totally empathise with. Nevertheless, we had enjoyed some lovely, quiet Cheshire lanes, pretty villages, Tatton Park, and a new lunch stop. All at an easy pace for 47 miles in good company.
See route map and/or gpx file download
Retired, work part-time or shifts, enjoy being out in the countryside? Then cycle the lanes and byways of Cheshire and surrounding areas with Chester Easy Riders: you won't get left behind.
Chester Easy Riders is an independent cycling club affiliated to Cycling UK. We cycle every Thursday throughout the year with moderate and brisk day rides of 40 to 80 miles.
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