On a dry and chilly autumn morning, a good turn out of riders were already enjoying tea and coffee at Rose Farm when John and I arrived. A 60 mile circular tour was proposed and Clive had suggested reversing the route. John, Nick and Ray set about the task of reversing the route using smart phones and their garmins. Twenty minutes later with task completed, 5 brisk riders set off with 5 garmins all synced with same route. What could possibly go wrong?
Into Tarporley we ride where a motorist makes a right hand turn without indicating and nearly takes Nick with him; then 50 yards further on, a lady motorist opens her door as John is approaching:- lucky she still had the door attached as we all passed. Turning left at the garage and safely through the town we now head to Eaton.
We're riding the usual lanes towards Middlewich passing Wettenhall and Church Minshull and we skirt around Middlewich taking Cinder Lane to Brereton Green. Joining the A50, we continue through Holmes Chapel. Here John decides to ride back to Chester as he's having an off-day and his bottom bracket not sounding good, and after a 130 mile Audax at the weekend, it's not surprising. The rest of us are taking a lane called Wash Lane to pass Shakerly and Dovermere lakes. We again re-join the A50 into Knutsford for our lunch stop.
It’s Booths supermarket cafe we're visiting and we all enjoy a full English. As we were on the A50 road coming into to Knutsford, we passed a garage advertising diesel at £1.499 per litre. This started a discussion of Tory climate change objectives ranging from boilers to vacuum cleaners!!
Lunch finished, it’s back outside with hats and gloves on and a ride through the town before heading out along Ashley Road and the mega mansions of East Cheshire. The building trade are very active in this area as we pass many white vans parked up along the road. We cross the A50 near Tatton Park for the last time and head for High Legh.
Passing Comberbach, our direction is Northwich-bound arriving on the hill near the Anderton boat lift. For a change it's down the hill to the lights taking the left turn for Whittington. Ten years ago when we started riding this area it was all industrial buildings but it’s a massive housing estate area nowadays.
Towards Hartford we climb up Burrows Hill then to Whitegate and the last climb up Cinder Hill. As we approach Oulton Park on Park Road Nick stops and calls us to halt. An education highlight is to inform us of the best-kept cattle pen used in the past to hold livestock when roaming the area. It is a NT site. Clive missed the tutorial as he was in the lead and failed to heed the call but as we know he may know the facts anyway.*
Returning at the crossroad at Utkinton, we say farewell to Nick as he heads to Rose Farm to collect his car and the rest of us head back to Chester via Duddon and Waverton.
A good day out in the October sunshine on this 62 miler, and now 80 miles on our garmins to reflect our efforts.
(* There is a 10th century pinfold ( a pound for stray animals) in Capenhurst)