Saturday 11 February 2012

February gloom

It really was a dismal cold and dreary February morning, although much of the ice from the previous week was not apparent, and of course Chester so rarely has snow that that was not a consideration either!  But certainly not as nice weather as last month!
A colouful start to a gloomy day
I lost count of potential attendees, but it felt like it would be small turnout, which it was with 8 of us making it to the start.  Vicky lost a battle with her bike carrier, another lady decided it was really too cold after all, Welna was on training in Birmingham, Jo was I think on Olympic volunteer training and another lady has just become a fabulous granny so had gone to coo over the small one.  Very busy!

After a quick pic we set off up the road, and into the lanes.  Liz left us before we got to the zoo, and just before I had a close encounter with a squirrel!  daft thing ran out nearly into my wheel, before scarpering back from whence it came.  Much to the amusement of the ladies!

We certainly brightened up the day!
We whizzed down Butter hill, and took the small back lane to Croughton, which did have patches of ice across the lane, all thankfully safely negotiated.  The trick with ice is to hold your nerve and glide straight over it - any deviation or braking is probably the worst thing you can do.

Ellesmere Canal with Stanlow in the distance
Then we picked up the canal, and followed the bumpy rutted towpath all the way to the boat museum.  It is a wonderfully easy route to do, and quite pleasant.  Usually there is a swan nesting, and a heron frequents this stretch, and can often be seen on summer evening rides.

untieing the bikes for the ride home
At the museum cafe, as we were chatting, supping and munching, another large group of 13 cyclists came in.  I did recognise one, they were a semi organised Sustrans led group from South Liverpool, heading to Kingsway cafe.

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We let them go, then we took an interesting route through the industrial estate, alongside the motorway, before picking up the road that runs along the Oil refinery.  I know how to show the ladies a good time!  But then, you see, we turned right, off the main road and away from all the chimneys and towers of Shell, and into Thornton Le Moors, with its very Cheshire sandstone church,and into the lanes once again.

18 miles.

When I got back to the cafe I met up with the Liverpool cyclists again, so I joined them for a coffee - always like to make new friends!

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