Saturday, 11 July 2015

Tractors and Tranquility

No cafe open for us again this morning, they are short of volunteers and my daughter (#2) was working.  My eldest was also working - but as I am organising the ladies, groups, signing in I get a phone call - forgotten her pass to get in to Chester Racecourse, can I help?   Argh no!

I left her to it - after contemplating taking my group home then across Chester to the racecourse, all the wrong way to Bunbury!  She got in.  Phew!

Soooo, 22 or so of us met up, signed in and grouped into smaller riding parties, setting off after the mandatory photo.  Some new faces which is always nice!
small climb near Utkinton, love the sandstone
cuttings we have in Cheshire

a particularly flowery gateway

My group followed me out through Waverton to cross the A51 at Duddon, and then out towards Tarporley, with a little hill.  We timed it well at Tarporley, as the village carnival was on later but did not hold us up - nice to have the flags out, and we passed the fete field before turning right down a lane I am not sure if I have been down before but it was really lovely, small and quiet.

Unfortunately it did bring us out on the A51 again (unavoidable), so after a quick reassurance that it was only to the next right, we set off in smaller groups single file before regrouping on the next small lane.

This takes a delightful drop down to the Bunbury locks, where a picture of tranquility included a canal boat, onlookers and probably ducks - we were on a downhill with following uphill so no chance to soak up the peace or take a photo.  Sometimes the essence of what you are passing, the emotions and ambiance, can be experienced.  This adds to the day - anticipation in Tarporley, then the quiet and slow pace of the canalside.

I digress.

new friends
We landed in Bunbury, although couldn't remember which way to go for the cafe!  We found it, and settled in with group #1 (Alex with faster further).  

Tilly's at Bunbury

On leaving, we again set off in two groups; I had planned to go out and cross the A49 but found myself at The Yew Tree; no matter we headed right towards Peckforton which afforded us lovely views of Beeston as we followed the lane.


I was looking out for our Elephant & Castle, but missed it.  Next time!

We stopped briefly for a pic at Beeston Gates, as it always looks good!

You pass your camera to someone else, and they manage to chop top of the castle gates off.
Super run back, downhill from Beeston, down to the very humpty back bridge by the Shady Oak, where a chain jumped off - so we waited at the end of the lane for Rosie and Sharon to catch up.  We will always wait!

view as you drop down by Beeston -
looking acress to Tarporley

waiting to re-group -
Peckforton hills in the background

catching up

Rick posing with tractor!
 We often come across tractors in the lanes.  We had stopped in the morning for one - they do not have a choice about using country lanes, but would also find it hard to pass a group of cyclists.  This tractor photo was purely for photo chance, and to help explain the blog title!!!!!

Final run into Chester along the canal - Swans by now have re-located from Christleton Pond and lurk along the canal - it is fine if adults and babies are on the same side but if they are either side of the towpath, feathers may fly!

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Longer ride to a new cafe to us, that is.  Fire Station at Malpas, no chocolates (not to be confused with Tarporley Fire Station and chocolate shop!).

Usual gathering at Kingsway, although the cafe is shut through Saturdays this summer due to no staff, my daughter was able to open up for us.

We sent the faster group off first with Alex, and the slower group with Linda.  This led too many for one group, so Gill led the second half but keeping us in sight so as not to get lost.

looks like a grey day...

...but some shadows here!

Out along the Canal,and Caldy Valley nature park, along to Saighton (new road layout still not finished by Rake and Pikel)


Past the Carden Arms at Tilston.
New Years Day meet up location.

we took a fairly direct route to Maplas, after Tilston there are sandstone cut lanes, Overton Scar and the circular contour following climb up to Malpas.  We were quite warm by this point, as the weather was warm and dry if not very sunny.


On arrival at the cafe - called Oakwood - we met the faster group who had taken the outside table, so we took over inside.  Four tables later, we were waited on and had a variety of lunches (that bit further and it is really lunchtime by now).

Our return journeys offered a selection of directly back, direct with variation via Holt to North Wales; or a scenic direct back with me.

One lady left early to get back,only to suffer a puncture and be rescued by the 'direct-to-Chester' group, who helped her out.

I had a little plan to drop to No Mans Heath (on the A41), where we crossed to Larkton, but immediately left along a smashing little lane.  This brought usto cross the A41 (again) to go through Edge - I love the name,and the hall and tiny hamlet are so cute, really old thatched cottages and almost a secret location.  Then we crossed the A41 (but sssshhhh! I was hoping no-one would notice!)  and came up the back of Bolesworth castle, along another deep sandstone cutting.

This then brought us to Tattenhall, and straight back through the usual lanes.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

May the rain stay away!

Ooooh the forecast on Thursday for Saturday was rain rain all day.  By Friday (which was very, very wet) the forecast appeared to be sunny all day, but the morning to start with did not promise much other than rain!  Still, working on the premise 'Rain before 7, fine before 11'and the fact that hey, what's a bit of rain? 28 ladies dutifully gathered at Kingsway cafe (there was even a bit of sun!).

Never mind the black clouds - this is the ladies ride - we don't have rain!
And a brightly coloured crew we were too!  Three groups; slow and steady, Regular and Faster Further set off on pre-plotted routes  thanks to the magic of modern technology, Map my Ride and Facebook!

Welna and Lind led the regular group, which I joined, and we had a lovely (and even sunny in parts) ride through Hoole, along the canal to Vicars Cross, Boughton crossing by the Cherry Orchard to Stocks Lane, and Huntington to the Rake and Pikel where we took the Saighton road.

At Saighton we dropped down the hill - with one of my favourite views off to the right - Dukes Tower and Welsh hills, with added Rape field to include some colour.

At the ice cream farm a few ladies could not resist having an ice cream (even though quite a cold day!).

After coffee, snacks, and a few ice creams, we set off in our respective groups again,dropping people as we go (as they near their homes and can head back).  Past the two bridges, to Hargrave and Crocky Trail, Waverton and Christleton.  Pearl lane over the bridge and along the A41 (cycle path)

20 miles.  And no rain!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Afternoon tea and Farewell ride to Hildegard at Holt

Hildegards tea rooms at the cross in Holt has become a favourite of cyclists over the last four years.  Prior to that she ran the cafe at Waterways (near Wrexham industrial estate) and before that she was at Bellis's, when it was a small friendly cafe.  

A couple of years ago she was diagnosed with leukemia but recovered and had the all clear following treatment.  However, she is unwell again,and so is returning to her family in Munster (Germany).  I really wanted to pop down and see her again,and with her well, so an afternoon tea ride was shared on facebook for anyone to come and join me.

5 ladies met at the Piper in Hoole, and (after I popped back home for the card I had got out) we set off to Caldy Valley and Saighton, where we met Kath (from Farndon).  It was a lovely sunny afternoon as we dropped past Saighton Grange and along the lanes and back lanes to Churton.

I spied a big black and ominous cloud over Wales (you have quite a good outlook from these lanes,across the lower Dee valley), and pondered if we would make it in time before it struck - if it was indeed coming our way.  A few light spots worried me, but we carried on regardless past the Lions and into Farndon.

We met Welna and Stephen already parked outside in the sun (although they were experiencing different weather every five minutes ( jacket on, sunglasses off; sunglasses on, jacket off!).

Coffee Tea and Cake (CTC!) shared around and hugs and best wishes - and a photo with the selfie stick (I don't know why people keep laughing at me with my selfie stick!)

We parted company, and I set off with Caroline and Kath to Borras Head, and along the fab
contour underneath Gresford, with extravagant views across Cheshire to Frodsham, Beeston and more.  Caroline continued up and Kath and I diddled around the Hoseley lanes before also parting company.  

Spring lanes around Hoseley

Wild garlic along Duke's Drive in Chester

Saturday, 11 April 2015

"Scenic and circuitous route"

Helen described the ride on facebook in this way.  I was away, in the Algarve (cycling) but managed to propose a few routes for the Saturday.  

That is about all I know at the moment!

A couple of photos posted by Helen...

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Spring Fever

OK, so not quite Spring in March, and it was a cold rather than a fever.....

I had been fighting with razor blades in my throat through Friday night, and on Saturday, much to my annoyance the pain persisted.  I came to the cafĂ© (after a brief warning Friday night on facebook that I was not well) to meet all and dish out sign in sheets.  We were lucky to have 5-6 leaders, three with routes not dissimilar to mine, and I was able to send them off with a wave and a photo.  Alex did the ‘talky bit’ (with me prompting) – she said she was more nervous than she is in front of a bunch of schoolchildren! (and she is a teacher!)

So, I rely on the facebook comments of the ride, and photos thereon.

Ruth says:
Saturday ride. Friendly chatter at Kingsway....
Three groups.... 
Dry but cold! Despite 4 layers and three pairs of gloves, I was still cold...the warmth of the cafe at Delamere station was very welcome! 
Safely led and guided by Welna, we were a group of ?9 to the cafe...  Cycling along I thought to myself I really need to do more rides east of Chester as I didn't know the lanes so well! Maybe this summer - but it's rapidly filling up. I thought retirement was meant to be peaceful and quiet, far from it.  
Four of us returned to the Dee Miller and home in time for Wales v Ireland!! 

Take care and maybe see you at the spring 50! That will certainly be a test and challenge for me as Saturday was my first or second ride out since Dec 25th...and no time to get much of a ride in before the day! 

from facebook....

Thanks to Alex for leading the ride to Delamere Stn Cafe . Hope you're feeling better Sue Booth 

·   Sue  Super dooper girls.
Elaine lovely ride! Thanks Alex

Collette  It was lovely to see you again Elaine & you look great! 
Alex Great ride. Thanks for the company girls. Just had hot soup at the zoo and contemplating my ride home:-(
Elaine  Thanks Collette! Are you feeling better now? X
Collette  Much better - put it down to middle age! Cuppa & a few paracetamol & I'm as right as rain. Thanks x
Alex  Home now....thank god!
Sue  Have you been out having adventures?!
Elaine  Was the ride back ok?
Alex  Just riding home, Sue, after meeting the boys at the zoo for a bite of lunch. Trying to get the miles in as doing the Sea 2 sea in a couple of weeks. Elaine, the ride home was fine....shame it was mostly uphill

Sue Alex ...?!!!!!!
Alex  what, Sue???
Sue  Your face....are you about to say something!!
Alex  Probably...that's why I kept missing the Turnings!;-)
Sue  There is a story unravelling with all these Facebook comments!!

   Sue  Christine  you look like you have a halo!
Christine  Indeed I do. Maybe it was because I only has ONE piece of cake!! Ha ha
Sue  Was it cake in a-bun-dance?
Sue (That just snuck in there! !)

Welna Thanks to my regular group today you did great! Pity no more photos. Only one of the breakaway group on our way back to Chester via Platts Lane

·Louise  Thanks Welna, it was a lovely ride.
Ruth  Great ride, great company. Thanks Welna for leading us to cake and snacks and safely home again
Sharon  Sorry you missed out Sue but you know when your body says " you can try but i'll make you feel even more worse tomorrow" Hope you feel better soon xx. To Welna a big thank you for leading and getting us to the cafe, had a lovely dinner there and then a great ride home. About 44 miles for me today the furthest i been this year xxx
Welna  'only' 37.36mi for me today - Sharon 's definitely the furthest!
Welna  Sharon I like the way your bike light blinked just when I took the photo!

Thanks to Collette, Welna and Christine for the photos.