Todays meet; Rose Farm and normally I am 1st there but this week I arrive to see George already tucking into his 1st bit of cake for the day-Lol.
Despite the incredibly good weather, the gathering was smaller than usual, approximately 10 I think. Only 2 fast boys ( Clive & Nick) The rest of the Mods became my responsibility for the day, as I was the only one with a route option (2 in fact, but nobody was going to go for my hilly one- Lol)
Our esteemed leader declared he had no ideas, although I think he just wanted a day off- Lol.
My plan, mainly due to the gorgeous sunshine and more importantly, very low winds, was Audlum Marina. A cracker on a day like today ( later echoed by most, including the Doppleganger Nick- Lol)
Off we trot, all 9 of us, once we managed to get George away from licking his cake fork to death- Lol.
So, ‘the 9’: Andy ( sporting another new day glow jacket) what’s come over him, he’s looking very dapper these days-Lol. Allan, George, Dave H, Trevor, Mike, Mike G & finally the other Dave (M), who of course went his own way after only a mile or so I was told.
I forgive you Dave for abandoning without letting me know, after those fantastic tickets to the ‘Planet Earth 2’ concert. Both Paula & I thoroughly enjoyed it ( the orchestra was over 100 strong- stunning sound)
As usual, I digress, but the story is always more involved than one first thinks, however, I will endeavour to stay on track- Lol.
Our first departure from the main drag was up my favourite little short cut ( over the A49) This was to avoid riding through Tarporley, which didn’t go a miss with Andy.
However, my main reason for heading this way was to introduce the group to a very quaint cafe in Eaton, which virtually nobody seemed to be aware of (Dray’s) Lovely little place, although small, but the outside seating has a fabulous view across the vale.
We moved on and head toward Wettenhall, on a very open route with great views across the county and apart from a few pot holes, is a good route to be fair, even the stretch around the outskirts of Nantwich, following the canal, is not bad. Nantwich done and now heading for Aston, via , Ravensmoor, we meander through some lovely lanes and cross the canal yet again, which was the intent of my route. I believe we cross the canals at least 8 times on this route.
Not long before we hit Aston where we pass DH’s beloved Bhurpour Inn ( I’m sure I heard a faint cry of disbelief at the fact we weren’t stopping there-Lol)
Anyway, not far from our destination and the usual queries start coming as to how far is lunch, “couple of miles” was my response, but beware as the drive way in to the Marina is not far off a mile-Lol. However, it’s one of the nicest bits of tarmac in Cheshire.
The majority, if not all of the group had not been to Audlum Marina before so they all got a pleasant surprise, as it is a little gem. The food choice and quality is very good and then there is the view.
No sooner had we got there, when we noticed Nick sat with his mates - Lol ( already finished his lunch) He had ridden there on his own, after Clive left him almost immediately to head home. Some say Clive was never with him from the start and that he simply rode off on his own choosing not to lower himself by riding with the feeble moderate group -Lol. Not being prejudice and feeling brotherly warmth toward Nick, as he was all alone, we decide to split in to 2 tables and keep him company, despite his snub- Lol.
With the stunning weather and scenery, conversation was not short and a lot of it was to do with the food. The majority of the group going for a breakfast, including me, although veggie. However, there was strong praise for the savoury oat pancakes from at least 2 of the group ( correction, 1 of the group and the interloper-Lol)
Once all posed in front of the bikes, a friendly bystander took a team photo, which hopefully I remember to include in the blog- Lol
After an extremely enjoyable lunch we set off again for the 21 mile return journey, immediately heading for Bunbury, via Ravensmoor ( the only repeated village on our route)
We settle into a very easy pace with plenty of complimentary comments being banded around about our lunch venue. It wasn’t long before the discussions started about where to bail out for home and so it was that Andy bailed first, just outside Bunbury, as he headed for Mold and 100 miler no doubt (chapeau).Then surprisingly, I heard a shout of “we’ve lost Dave, George & Mike”. Turned out they stopped at Tilly’s ( apparently the rest of us weren’t invited-Lol)
Anyway, we press on around Beeston and across the canal again, down past the Shady Oak.
At the next junction we lose Trevor, heading for Guilden Sutton via Huxley, which left 3 of us heading up through Tarporley for Rose Farm, which was in fact a slight short cut on my route, but Mike thought we were getting close to closing time and I needed my choc cake fix, which is one of the best at Rose Farm.
So, from 9 down to 3, which is not my worst, as I returned to Cleopatra’s once with just Allan in tow-Lol. We made it for 3:15, so loads of time and there was 2 slices of cake left-Lol, as George was not with us.
According to Allan he had 44 miles total.
Time to set off for home and I decide to accompany Mike G to Waverton, after leaving Allan loading his bike into his car. Mike decided he hadn’t had enough for the day and decided to push the pace up a bit, so it didn’t take us long before part ways and I head down the canal road to Tattenhall & home. I arrived with exactly 70 miles on the clock, but I couldn’t help feeling for Mike with possibly a 100 miler still to finish & a train to catch to Conwy ( again Chapeau, rather you than me- Lol)
What a fab day out for all!!!!!
PS: not so fab later that night, when I got a chronic cramp in my hamstring that had me yelping for 10 minutes trying to shake it off.
I think the last 10 miles with Mike did for me- Lol not!