Benign weather at last – warm, dry, little wind - and it brought out crowds of Easy Riders – a dozen mods assembled at Meadow Lea (but no brisk riders). We had Dave H, Steves Hu & T, Alan, George, Trevor, Neil, Andys B & W, David M, Peter and myself. Ahead of the meet I’d thought of trying, what I believed to be a new venue for CER – The Badger Inn at Church Minshull – though both Peter and Andy B knew it from outings with other groups and it seems the brisk group had been here a couple of times before Covid.
We set off north and westwards, passing through Manley before dropping down Dark Ark Lane (interesting name!) and then taking the ‘switchback road’ through Delamere Forest. Finding space for 12 people at lunch on a fine day before Good Friday might be a challenge, so once the time passed 11am, I phoned the pub to see if they could fit us in. After a bit of working through their bookings, they said they would be able to find space for us, so long as we arrived by 1220. This was going to be a bit of a stretch for us. Bag Lane led us to cross the A49 before turning towards Sandiway. We crossed the A556 to pick up Whitegate Road and enter Winsford. The way from here was straightforward down the B-road, so I told the faster riders to forge ahead and confirm the booking. Their timing was perfect arriving at 1220 on the dot, while the rest of us came along about 10 minutes later.
It turned out that only 9 of us were dining, as David M and Andy W had diverted onto another route, and Peter, given the prevalence of Covid, chose to sit outside drinking his beer in the warm weather. The pub impressed us with a good menu and a decent choice of beers. Most chose the lighter bites option of a bap with coleslaw and chips, and fillings including crayfish, all for £7, which was considered good value.
|Photo by SH|
Soon the time came to leave. We headed westwards to Wettenhall and then Eaton, passing the Drays coffee shop which we left for another occasion. From Eaton we took the steep hill up to Portal Golf Course, crossed the A49 and made for Utkinton. Before this, we turned towards Duddon and on the way to Waverton, five of us diverted for coffee and cakes at Walk Mill. After studying the mechanism of the mill, we sat outside and prepared for the final stretch back to Meadow Lea, though by then our group only consisted of Dave H, Steve T and myself. A very satisfying with 42 miles covered.