A chilly start this morning as I set out via Manley for Delamere. Just outside Mickle Trafford, I espy Trevor and Jim fixing Trevor's puncture - they are OK, so I soldier on passing Manley Mere on the way to Delamere. This starting point is as popular as ever with about a dozen or so Easy Riders taking morning tea or coffee. A welcome visitor was Steve H who had travelled over Kelsall Hill to the station cafe by the oldest transport system available i.e. Shankys's Pony. Good to see him and he is making progress, it will be a little while yet before he is back in the saddle.
At coffee, I had cobbled together a route to Goostrey directly into the phone but realised that I would have to reverse it as it was longer on the homeward leg than the outward to lunch. So Nick, Elwyn, John W, Ray, Ken and I set off for Fishpool Lane and Cotebrook. The low bright sun made reading the road surface quite difficult, but thankfully there were no surprises as we head for Wettenhall.
We now take the long lane to Church Minshull and out on the Nantwich Road towards Middlewich. Turning off into Chapel Lane, we can now run northwards with the stiff breeze behind us into Middlewich proper. A quick right and left finds out on the road to Cranage, and we follow the lane to Twemlow Green. Jodrell Bank telescope dish looms high over the countryside as we turn into Goostrey bound for The Crown pub.
We have visited this pub quite a few times and it doesn't disappoint today either. We learn that Boris has just concluded a deal with Brussels and all wonder whatever is going to happen next. Whilst a few of us are waiting for apple pie and custard, I realise that, in reversing my hastily constructed route, we shall now have all the hills to climb on the way back. I decide that I need more practice on route plotting and hastily create a flatter route back.
The return takes us to Lach Dennis and Davenham and onwards to Hartford. After Cuddington, we take my favourite lane, Gallowsclough Lane, back into Norley. I find out later that we have passed a megalithic round barrow half way down this lane. Read about it here.
It is now a short ride back to Hatchmere where John, Ray and I head back for home via Delamere with about 75 miles under the tyres. The remaining riders go back to the cafe with only 45 miles ridden but at 16.5mph average.
So thank you to my domestiques who took the wind off the front for me a few times during the ride today. I enjoyed the ride on my new Hunt wheels with tubeless Conti Grandprix 5000 tyres - they did actually feel quicker - but will it be a lasting reality or just an illusion!
See route map and/or gpx file download