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Thursday, 2 September 2021

2nd September 2021 : Audlem (brisk)

Last week, I expounded my riding algorithm and used the Speed vs Hills formula - this week I am using Distance vs Speed on the ride to Audlem.

A good turnout on a grey day at Rose Farm, with the happy return of Trevor (he’s been playing bridge on Thursday mornings - Yes, I know - Why?) and the arrival of Dave and Liz on their now battery powered tandem. Dave has installed the system himself  - much impressed by his engineering skills.

Just a trio today for a Brisk Group - Ivan and John W were the outriders today on a very brisk ride to Audlem. The route was deliberately designed for maximum velocity i.e. few hills and long lanes. So we set off directly into Tarporley via Tilstone Fearnall towards Bunbury then down the aptly named Long Lane to Burland.

Ravensmoor came and went as we hustle through Wrenbury and Aston for the long run down Sheppenhall Lane.  We round a bend in a wooded section to find the road blocked by a contractors van - no warning signs but we were fortunate to be able to stop in time. Crossing the A525 Audlem to Whitchurch road, we run down Wilkesley Lane until Heywood Lane appears on our left. 

I can’t recall ever riding this pleasant lane, with a decent surface for once, which brings us to Swanbach just south of Audlem. It is before 1200 so will the Fish and Chip shop be open - it is, but Ivan remarks that he has had his fill of F&C meals this week (on grandchildren duty) so we head for The Old Priest House cafe on the corner opposite the church.

This is a well-known and tiny cyclist’s cafe with a built-in sweet shop at the front. The cafe part is small - only three tables due to Covid screening in place - yet it is welcoming enough with a range of typical cafe fare. John and Ivan take the All-day breakfast and I take the delicious Cheese on Toast. Very good food at economical pricing - but cash only!

Off again, the way back has the same formula of long lanes as we take Coole Lane all the way back to Nantwich. A wriggle through the water park and I amend the route on the fly to eschew Welshman’s Lane for a diversion up Chester Road and then Poole Hill Road to  access Wettenhall Road. We have 6 miles of dreadful road surface to endure now. We ride round the back of Oulton Park via Ruston for the drag up to Utkinton at Cotebrook.

So only 45 miles but at 17.1 mph average - we could have edged this up a bit but for the rapidly deteriorting road surfaces found on the long lanes we used today. We almost need gravel bikes over road bikes if they deteriorate further.

We were back in Chester with 70 plus all-round mileage by 1515, where the sun finally came out. Next week I plan to use the third algorithm of Hills v Distance but luckily I shall be away in “flat’ Norfolk. So I will have to forgo the pleasure of grinding up long hills - I’ll leave that to John W!

See route map and/or gpx file download


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