The forecast didn’t look too hot for this ride and as the crow flies it looked on paper to be a short one. I was running a bit late as I couldn’t quite sort out what to wear as I haven’t set out much in the rain.
I’m at the top of RestHill and a car passes with a bike on the back of it. It transpires it was George. The Garmin gets started and I’m off, breakfast awaits and I’m in good form. I pass one of the Sunlight just after Brimstage, one of the CTC riders at Thornton Hough and Brian just after the turn off for the missing link. I was doing 20 to 23 mph at the time playing around with the big ring to increase my speed.
I don’t know where all the other clubs where this week but the cafe wasn’t bursting at the seams this week mainly CTC riders this week. After a quick breakfast we assemble outside and we’re off to Woodbank rollcall reads John, Andy, Jill, Brian, Barry, George, Mike and moi. (I may have left someone out)
At Sealand we take to the Route 5 Cycle path to Chester. I haven’t been on this particular part but further on the path looks very familiar.
Ellevenses were at the christian tea room at Newton, it’s just off the park/play area. We cycle past the “No Cycling” sign and park up. It’s a bit quirky but tea and a mince pie for £1 is a bargain. (No cream for all the dieters, weight watchers and calorie counters out there) The funny thing is mince pies are the topic of conversation at the followup class in the evening. Mikes got some mudguards this week that cost more than the bike. I changed bikes to the winter trainer or number 2 bike, riding at the back forces you to take these extreme measures.
Routemeister John leads us out through the Cheshire lanes, we head out to Waverton and a little later on Saighton Lane I blast off the front over the hump back rail crossing bridge. It’s one of those challenges I see in the distance and think I have to do this. It was an opportunity to burn off the mince pie. No picture from the front this week as it’s raining.Anyway its getting a bit wet now and we head towards Saighton.
At Huntington just past the Rake and Pickle we take to “The Jungle” its a cycle lane through an overgrown valley. The google route map explains it all. The whole idea of these rides is to ride on cycle friendly routes.
Once past the school we are soon approaching the lunch stop, “The Peacock” at Boughton Heath.
Jill had warned us that the service was slow and so it turned out. Three of us ordered caesar salads or something similar. Now apart from the chicken there is not much that needs cooking on a salad. Every Tom, Dick and CTC Harry seemed to be getting served before us, and all we wanted was a salad. Anyway just as we were about to find out what the delay was it arrives.
Plenty of space to park 30 cycles, pity the weather wasn’t a bit better.
Part of the reason they had trouble coping with the meals could have been the size of the group. There where 34 of us there that I counted which I thought was an exceptional turnout, considering the weather. The Chicken Caesar Salad wasn’t bad but I’ve been spoilt now by the bagguette at The Swan. I have trouble getting something healthy at the chain pubs that do meals. Something has to suffer if they can do two meals for £8 so I generally leave well alone and stick to what I know has worked for me. Which means no chips etc.
Its wet when we reassemble outside and we head towards the canal, we follow it for a while and then its back on the cycle track. This is a familiar route now, its quiet with only the road in from Hoole to cross that is busy. You can see the route on the Google map. For all those that look at the routes, I couldn’t come up with these routes just looking at a map. It takes years of The Knowledge that I just don’t have. The Garmin GPS is a shortcut to gain that knowledge.
We seem to be riding under a black cloud that follows us all the way back to the Eureka Cafe. We can see blue sky but it’s a couple of hundred yards to our left. Good weather for newts as we cross the A5117. It’s been a good day despite the rain, I’ve had some good advice off George (72) about increasing my speed, and training. He used to do Red Hill which is just a couple of hundred yards from Rest Hill. A bit of rain shouldn’t stop you going out. Or should I say the thought of a bit of rain shouldn’t stop you going out.