As usual, there was a good turn out at Cleopatra’s. It was especially good to see Ken who’s making a good recovery – very good if his Strava posts are anything to go by! The mods today were Dave H, Steves Hu and T, Mike D and Alan, with Jim and Dave M accompanying us for the first few miles. Our destination was the Dog and Bull at Coton, somewhere that we haven’t been to since May 2018 when the ride had been led by Steve H, so a visit was well overdue.
The route out took us east to Tilston, Duckington and Cholmondeley before turning in a more southerly direction for Bickley and Marbury with the wind behind us. Jim and Dave M had left us when we reached Stretton Hall.
The sky was overcast, but it was still quite warm as we made our way into Whitchurch. At this point, Steve Hu left us, as he had to go home to take delivery of a new Colnago bike and to berate his builder about some ‘snagging’ issues with his new house. We threaded our way through Whitchurch and found the road out to Alkington without any difficulty. From there we followed the quiet lanes through Hollinwood to Coton, arriving at the pub soon after 1 o’clock with 27 miles completed.
Although the pub was quiet, there seemed to be only one member of staff who apologized in advance that he might take a while to get to us. In the event, the service was quick and, as we sat outside enjoying the food and drink, the clouds dispersed and we were bathed in warm sunshine.
Suitably refreshed, we made our way back through Whixhall, Whitewell, Tallarn Green and Worthenbury. The countryside was looking its best and the lanes were mostly quiet, although the silage cut was in full swing and we came across a few large tractors with even larger trailers full of grass cuttings. Happily, there were no incidents or difficulties with them.
On reaching Shocklack, Alan and Steve T had pulled ahead of the others, but the usual sprint to Farndon didn’t materialize, possibly due to the fairly stiff north westerly wind blowing down the road and the soporific effect of the warm sunshine.
We reached Cleopatra’s about 4 pm, having completed 47 miles and, surprisingly climbed 1850 feet. Thanks are due to Steve H for the route and to my companions for their company.