As usual I am a little behind the curve with my submission, as I am down in London visiting my son. There’s always something that gets in the way of the blog ( I must try harder- Lol)
It was so hot last night (in a flat of course) that I am up very early this morning and therefore with no excuse to not get on with the blog, before the rest of London comes alive- Lol.
So, a somewhat chilly and overcast start to the day, however, the forecast was for better ( in fact, it did not improve much, except for the temperature, as we later discovered)
With less than the usual gathering at Rose Farm cafe, it didn’t take long to get organised, despite a new candidate for membership (Richard, who joined the fast boys)
I reckon there were 10 in total at the cafe meet, as Dave M was there and of course he went on his own merry way, as he does, but not before an interesting round up of events from the previous weeks Vets 100, which a few club members took part in. Ironically, the same major issue that affected the Vets 100 would later become our issue as well, unbeknown to both Allan and I ( the sum total of my group- Lol) More on that later.
I was slightly disappointed that we couldn’t join the two Steve’s on their ride to Goostrey, as it sounded like a good route, but both Alan and I had several reasons for creating two of the smallest moderate group rides that I can remember- Lol.
Anyway, we set off on my less than direct meander to ‘The Park’ cafe in Wrenbury. Little did we know that would be an unfortunate choice for the day or that the alternatives would also turn out to be a no go-Lol.
Being as Alan had parked somewhere in Deeside and I had ridden in from Milton Green, our destination would at least make it easy for me to ‘wing’ an interesting deviation from the plan, in order to get both of us home.
We skirt around Tarporley high street, by heading up the hill and past Portal golf course, in order to take a few different lanes past Eaton, heading for Bunbury. However, almost immediately, we had to make an about turn, due to a monster tractor trimming hedges, which blocked the whole lane. We were never going to get by, so we took the previous, very narrow lane that we had just passed. This was an unknown to me, but a quick scan of my Garmin revealed what I thought was a short loop around the tractor; however, the narrow right turn, only a few hundred meters further on, did not exist- Lol.
By now Alan was wondering where we were heading, when I piped up with another deviation, which unfortunately meant we would have to ride a half mile on the A51, in order for us to then head down through my favourite little hamlet of Tilston Fearnall. Once through TF, I lead us around the back of Bunbury, via Woodworth Green, which I don’t think Alan had ridden before, although he was familiar with Bunbury, remarking that there was a nice cafe around here, somewhere?- Lol. So it was, that we pass Tilly’s and turn left out of the village, at Yew Tree Inn. We were heading south via a popular route, which crosses the main road at Brindley/Faddiley.
The route then became a very nice meander through some of my favourite lanes. Alan remarked about how quiet it was, as we barely saw a car for miles. We keep the pace respectable, which was rather easy, as we had a cross tail wind for most of the route to ‘The Park’. However, I did point out to Alan that we would have a headwind for virtually all of the route beyond Wrenbury. However I had planned for that, as most of the planned lanes should provide great protection from said headwinds.
After meandering through, Chorley, Cholmondley, Bickley Moss, Norbury Common, past the Swan at Marbury and a few other little hamlets, we arrive at ‘The Park’ cafe, only to find all the outside chairs and tables all stacked away, but the door open. A brief chat with a young girl inside revealed that they were closed, due to no water in the village- what!? I was really looking forward to their gorgeous ‘Eggs Royale’ - Aaaaah!
I subsequently suggest the Dusty Miller pub, only a half mile away, on the canal.
After 200 metres we pass the Post Office, which I ironically point out to Alan, had often been a stop off point for CER rides of old, before the days of ‘The Park’ cafe, which has since filled the gap that the Post office used to bridge.
We walk into the Dusty Miller, only to be told there is no food because they also have no water (there’s a surprise). It transpired that all the surrounding villages, south of the canal had had no water since 10am and that they still didn’t know why, which Alan found unbelievable, as it was now 1pm.
After the realisation that we had no options, that weren’t more than 5 miles away, we reluctantly head back to the Post Office hence, the irony earlier- Lol. However, not before another brief frustration; the bar man came out as we mounted our bikes, yet again, to offer us ready made sandwiches from the fridge. I enquire if he had prawns, being a pescatarian ( that’s not a wild cat control officer- Lol) to which he replied, “yes”.We dismount again and lock up, just as the bar man comes out, apologetically, to say “all the sandwiches are meat”.
By now I am starting to lose it; “You're not having a good day”, said Alan, with a bit more than a chuckle in his voice- Lol.
Fortunately, the only bit of sun that day, had now come out making the Post Office a more palatable lunch spot- Lol. After a couple of cold pasties, literally in the case of Allan- Lol, we were ready for the off. We were grateful that the Post Office had a hot drinks machine, which obviously had a reasonable tank of water, because we were still able to get a very nice hot chocolate / coffee.
We set off again, having decided on a route to get Alan over to Holt, via my absolute favourite lane , up through Bickerton. As I surmised, we hardly noticed any headwinds, due to the hedgerow cover and before we knew it we were up through Bickerton, admiring the sunny view and wishing I owned one of the houses on that ridge line. Moments later we were beating it along Duckington Lane and into Tilston, where for the first time we did experience the full on headwind as we head to Stretton and Wetreins Lane, where I drop Alan off.
After a brief discussion on the best route for him, he heads off for Borras Head, in order to avoid the direct headwinds of Rossett road, which are always a bitch with a north westerly wind ( 4 mile stretch of very exposed road). I head off home, via Barton, passing Manor Wood cafe. It was only 6 miles home for me, where as Alan had another 12-ish.
I got home with 60 miles on the clock and Alan, I assume, had approximately 70.
Not a bad day in the end, with no rain, despite the threatening sky’s. More than a little frustration at times, but still a good ride with good company.