This was supposed to be Barbara,s run to the Candle Factory but things change. I’d set out from Resthill trying to set a good time, I’ve programmed a course into the Garmin with turns etc to the Cafe. The Cafe had a food icon bleep at you when you reach it.
It started off OK with me doing fine, passing three guys on mountain bikes at Brimstage. From there it went downhill. There was a strong headwind for the best part of the route, it was that bad that where I was doing 27 mph last week , I was struggling to do 11 mph. Chris owned up to doing 10 mph in places.
If anyone cares to look at the map you can see I’ve done a bit more than ride to the Cafe and back. I’ll explain later a lot happened that may or may not make it into the post.
For the second week in a row the weather was bad when we set off, this week it was raining harder and longer. The route out to the Candle Factory had us going along the railway line through all the gates. Shortly after this Barbara asked about going to the Ice Cream Farm instead. This seemed like a wise move as we were already soaked. A little further on it was ammended to the Blue Moon Cafe. I’ve never been to the Blue Moon or the Candle Factory so it was all new to me. Now at Backford we dropped down onto the canal, I was first but took the wrong turn at the junction and went under the road. At least it was dry. A shout had me doing a U turn. I was heading off to Waverton instead of Chester.
As we head towards Chester along the towpath there are two swans in the canal and a canalboat chugging towards us. As we go past each other there is an owl and another bird of prey on a rail on the boat. I’d swear it’s the same chap we’d seen at Delamere visitor centre last week. Looks like he leads a good lifestyle. We progress along the path until we reach the canal basin at Chester, here we have to dismount to cross the bridge. It’s not a bit like last summer when I took the picture of Charlie, Bob and Kev. Once out of the basin we head down the hill towards the race course. The weather is still bleak as we take the path around the perimitter. Past the Crown Court and across the road at Bridge street we see canoeists doing whatever they do at the weir. The thought crosses my mind which of the two groups is maddest, us for venturing out in the conditions or them.
Once we are past the footbridge over the Dee we are at The Blue Moon Cafe. Never been here before but I see it cropping up regulary in the runs lists. Now we are all dripping wet, which raises a laughwith one of the customers as we go in. After a bit of musical chairs we are all seated in the warm room. We needed it.
It was a tuna and sweetcorn jacket potato for me with a pot of tea.
I’ve uploaded a thumbnail of it to see how it comes out on the page.
It wasn’t bad came on an interesting themed plate, if your on a budget you’d have to watch yourself as it’s not the cheapest of cafes. I had to step ouside to wring my gloves out as the fabled waterproofing wasn’t much cop as water had seeped in at the cuff. The rain hasn’t let up but eased off a bit. It’s not a bad climb up to the centre of Chester past the bottom of the park with the minature railway. Along the canal and across the bridge to a mini roundabout. Bob has a run in with white van driver. We allways seem to have at least one when we get into built up areas. It was out towards Upton and the Zoo. Down the hill at Backford and taking the same route to the Eureka as we did last week. Regrouping by The Wirral 100 pub it was back to Capenhurst where I felt like having a go up the rise to the railway station. That was about it, Chris and Janet peel off at Capenhurst for the missing link and I end up in the Eureka on my own. It’s still early so I ponderer about riding back home.
There are two young cycling families in the cafe with toddlers. Now I’m sat with my back to Chris Boardmans jerseys on my own. One of the kids is getting beans on toast for lunch but next minute the high chair is turned away from their table towards me. This boy with blonde curly hair is tucking into his beans on toast and not dropping any of it on his plastic bib. The kid is as happy as Larry. As I’m leaving Anne and Linda come across to the lad and he stops eating. It was a bit surreal.
The traffic light grand prix at Two Mills had me across the lights in no time still thinking about what to do with the rest of the day. As Craxton Wood came up the decision was made, Puddington, Burton Marsh, Parkgate and I’ll take another decision there.
It’s left a Burton to the marsh and then climb up to the bus turn around at Ness Gardens. No stop this week, I’ve already eaten twice and had a few cups of tea. Down Church Lane brings you out onto the road to Parkgate avoiding Neston Cross. The rain has eased off and the cloves are starting to get a bit dryer. I took some pictures at Parkgate the place was deserted for a Sunday, turns out pretty much everywhere was.
From Pasrkgate it was up to the Chester High Road along it to Gayton and then up through Heswall. Just to check on the progress of the Marks and Spencer store they are building. Straight up Thurstaton Road and onto the cycle path by the side of it. It wasn’t too bad a bit gritty but the Trek rolled well on it and it might bee a faster surface than the road but doesn’t look it. The bottom of Thurstaton cutting still had me doing over 30 mphand the roundabout came up in no time. Through Caldy Village and Banks Road to the next stop at the beach at West Kirby.
Everywhere is very quiet. I’ve already made my mind up to cycle around the coast. At Hoylake it’s down the front and and along to the sea defences. The place is deserted, it’s time to come off the path at Leasowe lighthouse, the Toy doesn’t like the sand at Mockbeggar wharf. Going down Leasowe Road I decide to have a break and go into Lidyl where the Twenty Row Inn used to be.
This proved to be an event in itself. The Toy was chained to the trolley railing, and I clip clop inside with the Look Keo cleats making me sound like Fred Astaire which I’m not. A pack of eight muesli bars for 99p look okay so I’m off to the till with them. This is where I pick the wrong queue. If I was morbidly obese with a BMI of 41.9 the chap infront must be approaching 50. He has a trolley full of crap apart from a tray of diet cokes! pays 80p for 8 plastic bags and has a fat dog by the look of things. I’ve got a box of 99p muesli bars with a pound coin in my hand. Queue ettiquette isn’t part of this guys vocabulary. Now I watch him prat around trying to pack stuff into the 10p a bag bags. He has half his paracetamol and Ibruproffen taken off him because he had exceeded the suicide guidlines.They weren’t for him apparently.
As if things wern’t bad enough the prat proceeds to pay in cash. Shouldn’t be a problem you say. Problem it was, because he was paying about £6.71 in small change plus the notes he had on him. Has all the signs of a Taxi driver, manages to get into the biggest 4X4 from Toyota and I still beat him out of the carpark. Unless he sorts himself out I can’t see him lasting another 5 years. You are like your dog so I don’t hold much sway for that either. I wouldn’t presume to offer this chap advice but he does need to get a grip.
It’s then off down the road to Harrison drive and the coastal path. It’s a bit bleak but the rain has held off and everwhere is deserted again. New Brighton shows some signs of life but only the sort that doesn’t want to walk an extra yard if they don’t have too. The usual log jams with drivers wanting a parking space but the leaving driver having trouble getting out. The front at Seacombe was deserted so it was another stop for a picture at the town hall.
At the replacement for Borough Road College I see the worlds smallest tramride getting put away with the driver having to lock the gates behind him. Dropping down the hill past the Tunnel entrance a green Ford Mondeo pass with a yob hanging out the rear window spitting at me. He gets the finger in return and his card has been marked for a future meeting.
The gloves feel fine now although they are still wet. The construction of them seems to wick moisture away from the skin and once past the Porelle membrane it doesn’t get back in. It’s a pity the membrane doesn’t go all the way up the cuff so water couldn’t get in the first place. Back to the ride, which is nearing the end it was up Dacre Hill onto Broadway and along Mount Road with the Edge getting stopped where it started, Resthill.
62 miles, average speed 12.5 mph, 3700 calories, Average heartrate 122 BPM Max 163, 2240 ft of climbing. It turned out to be an interesting day.