We seem to have had quite a few very cold and frosty starts recently and today was no exception as we gathered in the Station Café at Delamere. Nonetheless it was a good turnout of both brisk and moderate riders, plus David M in civvies having made his way from the frost hollow that is Oscroft. While we supped our coffee, I spoke to Clive about the navigation apps we use for rides. Some of you will be aware that Viewranger is our preference but that this is being migrated to OutdoorActive and switched off at the end of February. This would leave us with a much inferior solution, and it seems from Clive’s investigations that our best solution in future will be the plotaroute app to plan our rides and the PocketEarthPro app to follow the routes and record them.
The mods comprised myself, Mike, George, Andy B, Dave H and Keith making a welcome return to one of our rides. Our destination was to be The Crown at Goostrey. In view of the cold, I repeated much of the outward route we took from Delamere when we last met there: following the larger roads that were less likely to be icy. We headed for Kingsley passing a part frozen Delamere and Hatchmere. From Kingsley we picked up the road to Acton Bridge, then on to Weaverham and into Northwich. Instead of riding through the centre we took the service road beside the River Weaver at the back of the new commercial developments in the town. This led us to the big roundabout from where we took the road to Higher Wincham. Then we followed our familiar crossing of the A556 by Smoker Brook and on to Lower Peover. Here we decided to try the lanes and came across a mix of big potholes, mud and some ice. It was a relief to reach Townfield Land and soon after that Goostrey itself.
The Crown was suffering from a shortage of staff, as many hostelries are at present, and could only offer a restricted menu. Light bites were off so we made our selection from a handful of main courses. Nonetheless the food was good with fish and chips being very popular. Having warmed up, it was time to leave.
Our return was on familiar roads through Lach Dennis, Davenham and on to Hartford. It remained cold, so it was warming to climb up Norley Bank and on to Hatchmere. Here we split, with some heading back to Delamere station, others to their cars and a couple cycling back to their homes.
Another good ride in dry conditions with lots of sunshine, though later in the day almost blinding us. A total of 41 enjoyable miles travelled, and nice to see the days starting to get longer.