Sunday, 12 February 2017

Snowdrops



The year is already moving towards Spring, although it remains jolly cold.  Again, Chester had a yellow warning for snow leading up the Saturday ladies ride, and although there was some on the distant hills, we had nothing - and with not even ice around, it is just a case of wrap up warm and head for the cafe!




23 ladies assembled, no new faces this month, an so after the photo we could go.




any ideas on an alternative to a long line up for the photos...?
I used the same route I had plotted in 2012, via Saighton, Waverton, Tarvin and Barrow.  But first, we have to get out of Chester.




We weaved through Hoole, using secret cut through's and snickets, to join the Canal at the end of Hoole Lane. 












 and then through Caldy Valley.
nifty removal of the bin makes the picture a bit better!

As mentioned, we headed to Saighton, and turned right.  Passing a bunch of runners, we had the debate should they be running facing the oncoming traffic, or with their backs to it as these were?


Nice steady ride after crossing the A41 through Waverton, past the Crocky Trail and Walk Mill, to cross the river Gowy.  Turning left then brings us to cross the A51, and into Tarvin.  This is an old village, with a few little gems of buildings still around.  There is a town trail, if you are interested, which tells you more about the history


"These black and white timber buildings date from the 16th century and are two of the oldest in Tarvin. They survived the fire of 30th April 1752, which destroyed most of the village buildings. Church House is of timber frame construction with wattle and daub infill and was once thatched. Inside are stone fireplaces with carved coats of arms. The building is thought to have been the vicarage until 1790."







After Tarvin, we crossed the A54 and followed the even quieter lanes around Hollowmoor Heath, and what I call 'the back' of Barrow.

I love the deep sandstone cuttings we have scattered around our lanes, sometimes topped with seasonal flowers such as bluebells or foxgloves.

Here is one not photobombed by Louise.





(Here is Louise!)



Louise was wondering how much further we had, as she was in need of a 'gate stop' to put it politely.  At this point I decided that, if we saw a suitable location, I would like to try to take a photo of a snowdrop (for the blog) and we could combine these activities (although not in the same shot!)


A little further down the lane, I found a suitable small clump of snowdrops (and Louise found a suitable gate).

A final climb up and over Dunham on the Hill, to meet the others at Cafe Fresh.




















The other groups were already settled in the cafe, which has the most marvellous wallpaper!


wonderful woodlands!

Further Faster Ladies

Tropical suprise!

Kitchen table?!



The rest of the faster ladies

The groups and ladies all left, and as I was alone, I headed back the way I had come to family in Waverton, just because I could!

17 miles for our group to the cafe, Faster group had been up to Willington and Kelsall; Linda had brought the steady group round Wervin and Picton.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

I don't care what the weatherman say...

...just open your curtains and dress accordingly!

January,and I am becoming a little apprehensive after the last couple of years when we have had a turn out of 30+.  It is great to see, but getting served at the cafe can take quite some time!  And this month, a few leaders were struck down in the day or two before the ride, although fortunately we were not left short.



We were able to split into three groups - Sonia and I had the regular normal steady paced group, and we sent the fasties with Jane and Alex, and Gill, Mary and Sharon looked after the few slower steadier members - two of our newbies for the ride!



So, gloomy start to the day but no ice and no rain.  By the time we reached the canal it was blue skies and sunshine!  We needed to call to Evans as Sonia had a Christmas Present of a pair of gloves that had already developed a hole, so we waited while she swapped them, then we carried on to the river.






















We picked up Dukes Drive, I was a little apprehensive as we have had a bit of rain recently, but it is quieter than the Eccleston road which can be a bit fast despite being a country lane.  The track was not as bad as I feared, and although it was muddy often the roads are no better!




We did a little loop round to Dodleston, and then back up the Wrexham Road to the garden centre.  That is when the fun really started!  Our other new lady realised she could not get her foot off her pedal (a screw had come out, leaving the cleat loose and so the shoe could not pivot out).  She decided to take her shoe off, to much jollity, and padded through with her bike to the cafe.

(and although I take many, many photos, I am not that mean!)

Coming back out again, she rode through as it was easier, and re-assembled herself on the bike.  And off we set.  All was well until we got to Eccleston, where we stopped to regroup.  I had wanted to try to push myself a tiny bit, after Christmas and all that, and it is a gentle slope up to the village so I just pushed it - but the ladies were not far behind so I thought oomph I am unfit, all this effort and they are still hard on my heels.  

To be met at the top with groans of how fast I was going!  (there is hope for me yet!)

Anyway - the purpose was to regroup, but Sue fell the wrong way - the side she was clipped in to.  So couldn't get her foot out.  We have all been there.  No harm done, and at least her foot came off pedal!

Final approach in along the river, such a nice way through.




EPILOGUE

I called to the bike shop after the ride, as Andy had promised to redo my handlebar tape.  Whilst chatting the guys (the shop was so empty) I relayed our tale, and said they must look after our lady if she comes in.

Later, on facebook, when  asked if she had sorted her pedal out, Sue said "Went straight to bike shop and the guy there said "are you Sue one shoe". Haha , who did he hear that from I wonder?"

I did laugh!