It was good to see John Wilkie and Dave Matthews, though John was doing his own circular ride, and Dave was busy organizing a cycling event, which was particularly demanding in these Covid times.
The moderate group consisted of Andy Barber, Alan, Roy, Clive, Mike Dodd and myself. I suggested The Dog in posh Peover Heath, and rang to book lunch. Our way out was by way of Norley Hall, Ainsworth and The Cliff to Acton Bridge. I knew that a couple of the lads had not covered some of these nooky lanes before, and it made for a quiet, scenic start. We entered Comberbach from Senna Lane having detoured around the discreet and impressive Cogshall Hall. From picturesque Great Budworth we passed through Pickmere where there was once a fairground on the side of the mere. We rode up the Roman Road route of the A556 in the direction of Plumley, sensibly sticking to the pavement. When we reached the A50, I decided to cut a northerly loop out to Ollerton and Marthall, so we arrived in good time after passing Barclays Radbroke Hall and cruising through the desirable location around Over Peover. You don't see too many polo clubs riding out from Runcorn! Lunch and service at The Dog at Peover Heath were up to the usual high standard, although the prices would seem a little high if you normally ate out in Mold or Flint, or came from Barnsley.
Clive expertly led our return, initially down the attractive narrow lanes to Goostrey. From here we made good progress to Lach Dennis, and were soon on the way into pretty Davenham. On climbing out of Hartford, Andy realised that he had lost the special long nut securing his rear brake. He did not fancy using cable ties to secure it, preferring to find a bike shop. The guys located G&B Cycles, using their mobiles, and it wasn't too far back. Andy is independently minded, so it was a waste of time trying to change his mind. Alan suggested that he could take Andy and his bike at least to Flint if he rang him when he got back to his car at Delamere. I said, “Good luck with that one!” as I remember him declining a lift from Chirk in very poor conditions and fading light, and he probably would have his phone switched off anyway. Thankfully, it all turned out fine: the bike shop had the correct bolt, fixed it right away, and refused any payment. Andy had his wife, Julie, write a glowing review for G&B Cycles who are based on the A599 main road into Northwich from Greenbank station. They have lots of great reviews. Clive completed the ride via Delamere Park, and passing Gary Barlow's former residence before taking Gallowsclough Lane into Norley and then on to Hatchmere. We covered 44 very enjoyable miles in warm and dry conditions. Andy managed more than 103 miles, had the gigantic Airbus Beluga pass close to his stubborn head, and got home about 7 pm.