Saturday, 10 March 2012

Spring is in the air!

With a weather forecast since Wednesday of increasing warmth, it was not a promising start when I took the dog out first thing in a fine mist.  But that soon lifted, and by the time I was ready (early for once - even had time to almost wash my bike!) the sun was starting to succeed with peeking out from behind the thinning clouds.

Pipers Ash

And so it came to pass that many ladies gathered at the cafe - our biggest group yet of 19!  Too many to manage in one group, Welna and Moira kindly agreed to take the second half; following on with a few minutes gap.  Probably did not need to wait, as one of their group had a puncture within 5 minutes! (we were coming around Christleton Pond at that time).


We crossed the A41 to do a pointless but lovely lane round to Rowton Hall Hotel, crossing back to come into Waverton.  Then we had a fairly direct route out towards Huxley, and left to Duddon via Hoofield.  We passed the 50p shop as there were too many of us!

Horseshoe tower near Hoofield

Okells Garden centre and cafe very kindly cordoned off half the cafe for us, with exactly 19 seats (which we had to defend several times as hopeful customers wandered in!)  cake, beans and tea all round (not necessarily in that order!), and much chatting and socialising was to be had!

I tried to get a group photo but although most people were present, there were a few that got away - note to self - I really do have to get the photo at the start at the cafe!!!!!!

We mostly all came back together, as I picked a very quiet back lane (much to the surprise of the lady in the range rover!) and off road down the Roman pack horse bridges, which also helped to keep the head wind off us!  We started to part company after the Plough, and headed for the canal at Christleton, which saved negotiating the A51 with the 16 cyclists that I still had!

Should be 16 - someone is hiding?

One lady then had a puncture with less than a mile to go - so I waved the rest off home while a few of us helped her out.  Technically two puctures for the day, but they did not really hold us up - and some are getting very good at changing tubes now!  That is the benefit of riding in a group - help is at hand when it comes to flat tyres.  If nothing else, to chat and take photos!

19 riders and 19 miles!

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