As you may have guessed this is the fifth time I’ve done this ride. The major change is that I now start and finish it at the pelican crossing in Brimstage. Many because I’ve moved and you won’t be seeing a start and finish on RestHill for a while.
Nice sunny start to the ride and I’m at Benty Heath Lane for 9 o’clock. Stopped for a gel before the climb up Primrose Lane and took a picture or two on Dark Arc Lane and the Switchback which I’ll post when I can get them compressed to fit on the page.
just a word about Dark Arc, it’s steep, dark, potholed and potentially dangerous. Now the leaves are starting to fall it’s going to get worse so be warned. From the road junction at the top the surface deteriates towards the edge so you want to be in the middle of the road. Then it steepens to 1 in 8 where it goes through overhanging trees. Leave your sunglasses off or you won’t see the potholes.
You could be doing 30 mph at this point trying to maximize your speed for the inevitable climb up the other side.
At the bottom of the hill is a slight bend which is blind from the position you are in. The law of averages says your going to meet a vehicle coming the other way one day so stick to your side of the road. I meta white van once coming the other way and there is no reaction time at all. Given that you’ve kept your speed up and dropped into the right gear for the climb you should be able to use your momentum to reach the railway bridge no problem.
After that it is about 100 yards to the crossroads where we turn left with a picnic area on the right. This is taking us through Delamere Forest on a section of road known as the Switch back. It’s a rolling climb where if you attack it you end up cliombing really quickly. After an initial steepish climb you hit a section where the dips allow you to increase your speed for the next section and so on. Once youve done the final one you could be doing high 20,s into the village.
Right at the crossroads and carry on untill you hit the railway bridge and the first stop at the Station Cafe.
The Station Cafe is famed for it’s all day breakfasts. It’s not something I touch these days but I do like a bit of cake. The cakes on offer at the Cafe are super and come with cream if you want it. Victoria sponge above was good but the chocolate cakes have been “Historic” as Michael Winner says.
Heading out of the cafe it is up the road and past the Abbey Arms. Another place where you yould struggle if on a diet. 17 inch dinner plates don’t help. I was going through to Cotebrooke but the road was up again. This time there is no chance of sqeezing through so I have to retrace and go down the road and pick the route up at Oulton Park. The next section is all slightly downhill with a detour to the Ice Cream Farm for a spot of lunch. Before reaching the Ice Cream Farm the traffic is halted by a pair of swans and their young crossing the road. I’ll up load the picture when I can but they took ages.
Mind you I wouldn’t want to argue with them. Ice cream farm looks nice with all the flowers in bloom and I ended up with a turkey and cranberry sauce baguette. The next section of the ride takes you back to the Eureka Cafe where I ended up spending more than an hour and a half talking to Andy and Dave. Turned off the Cester high road at Puddington and went down to the marsh as I was putting Denhall Lane into the climb. Cake stop at Ness Gardens if you want, If the Eureka is closed you could stop here instead. Cake is good but not as good at the Station Cafe.
Turning down Church Lane just before Neston takes you behind the Church and avoids Neston cross. There are a fair few having an ice cream from the post office.
I get passed going up the hill to the Chester High Road. I suspect he had come out of the road near the bend. Still it’s near the end of the ride. Once round Gayton roundabout it’s down Brimstage Road to my finishing point at the pelican crossing.
More later …..pics and route etc.