At the end of each year I have a look back at the years of records I have, where we have been and when, and I formulate a plan of rides for the coming year - with some new destinations if possible, and I remember to include them. Everything is on a multi tabbed spreadsheet!
As the January ride approached I realised I was going to be away (delivering a freezer to my daughter in London, and including a trip to Harry Potter World), but I knew the ladies would again be in safe hands.
An ideal thing to do when leading a group is to actually ride the route in advance, noting any hazards or risks, or issues with the route. I seldom have the opportunity to do this, relying instead on my own knowledge but also that of the ladies, who will let me/ us know if there are problems (road closures, for example).
This month the plan was to revisit Yvonne's cafe in Connah's Quay; we have been a few times and it is earthy but does the job. But a member highlighted via Facebook that this cafe shuts at 12. I was sure the group could make it before then (it is January, we are not doing long and intricate routes this time of year, too cold!); but as I am having a phased return to work I was able to make the time to ride out in advance. This was prompted by a message from Gill, inviting me out for a ride. So that is what we did!
It was a beautiful day, and we arranged to meet at Saltney Ferry. It was not really too cold, either, for early January.
We basically rode up the river, so not much to tell, and round to Yvonne's. I had located another cafe very nearby (just in case), which I knew we had visited about 5 years ago on a Sunday ride. A bit of detective work the preceding Sunday (on Chester CTC Sunday Ride) had clarified the cafe, so Gill and I visited it.
There is a tiny but very friendly and helpful cafe, and also a heritage exhibition. There was not much in the way of cakes, but I did have a marvellous bacon buttie (with the last sausage too, shame to leave it!)
We then had the chance to 'reckky' another cafe in the vicinity
- Olive Tree Tea
As I was not around for the Saturday ride, I have photos here from Collette, and some comments from the Facebook chat. Enjoy!
Gill - As always a lovely outing with Fab Ladies
Great to see
some new faces and hope to see you all out again soon
Jane - Really enjoyed today's cycle, thank you for making us very welcome xx
Collette - Jane hope to see you on another ride soon
Jane - Collette definitely will be coming again x
Helen - Lovely ride, & great to see such a good turnout.
Amanda - Really good ride and great cafe thanks everyone x
Joanne - Lovely to see a few Chester Road Runners there! looks like you had a great time! Xx
Jean - Lovely ride, thank you leaders
Mary - Thanks everyone for making it a busy, noisy ride today.
Kath - Wow heck of a group !
Helen - Kath Numbers seem to be picking up again after the pandemic, happily. (Pre-2020 I think the record was about 35-ish.) We split into groups of about 8-10 to ride, which means we’re not such a big obstacle to overtake, and also means groups can take different routes to our cafe stop, with some going a bit further than others.
Kath - Helen when is the next one ?
Sue - Kath feb, we are monthly.
Collette - Kath the planned rides are listed down the left hand side of the blog that Sue writes
Consilia - Really enjoyed my first group cycle. Thanks for the fun!