Another fine day and countless CER members met at Alison’s in Tattenhall, with several alternative mod routes proposed. Neil had one heading westwards and Steve T and I had ones heading southwards. We split into two groups with Steve T and I amalgamating our suggestions into a ride to the Red Lion at the Joules Brewery in Market Drayton. It would be getting on for 60 miles, and we thought it time to stretch our legs a bit now that the short days of winter were behind us.
Our group comprised Roy, Keith, Trevor, Dave H and us two Steves. We headed out over Harthill and then towards Cholmondley to cross the A49 near Bickley. We then made for Wrenbury where an emergency halt was needed for Dave to buy a bottle of water as he’d left his behind. Then southwards through Aston - what a shame it wasn’t yet noon, so we couldn’t call in at the Bhurtpore. We were now clearly in farming country as we passed a sign advertising a “24 hour Vintage Tractor Ploughathon”. We passed Shavington Park and soon we were entering Market Drayton. Now, I remembered that each time we’d been to the Red Lion we’d had trouble finding it, so today I took no chances and followed what you could call the inner ring road, and we got there first time. Not as direct as straight through the centre but it worked.
There were plenty of spaces in this large pub so we settled comfortably and awaited our food. While the others appeared to have hearty meals, Trevor and I found our small fish and chips, to be rather too small. While we ate, I noticed a photo on the wall of the Newport Nova Riders cycle club, which Joules sponsors.
|Photo by Steve T|
Our return took us towards Whitchurch, passing the Old Jack Inn at Calverhall which would have been our alternative destination. We then shimmied through to side streets of Whitchurch to emerge on Cycle Route 45, and then passed through Marbury, Chorley and Bunbury. We had ridden 24 miles before lunch and the afternoon ride was going to be over 30 miles, so I thought a café stop would be in order. I’d checked the web and confirmed that on Thursdays Tilley’s closed at 5pm, so we were well within time, or so we thought, when we turned up at 4:20. Apparently, they close at 4:30, but at least we were in time to get a hot drink and sometime sweet and to consume these outside. While we were there, Tilley’s updated the Google entry to their accurate opening times.
The final leg saw us lose Keith, Trevor and Roy as they made their separate ways home, so it was only myself, Steve T and Dave who arrived back at our start with 58 miles covered. It had been a great day in warm dry weather with an easterly breeze which didn’t trouble us, and lots of lanes rediscovered south of Whitchurch.