Saturday 14 October 2023

The changing seasons

 This autumn has been alternately unseasonable warm, or cold and wet.  The annual debate about whether to put the heating on yet or not will be discussed; but if you are a jumpers on sort of person, put another log on the fire person, or sod it put the heating on now, there is no getting away from the need for waterproofs when the forecast is for heavy showers.

I was sat on my own until half past, wondering if the forecast had finally put people off, with cafe staff asking me if anyone was coming.  Oh they of little faith! (in my ladies, that is; as it is a run by volunteers from the churches I do not doubt their ultimate faith!)  Eleven expectant ladies joined me, and we managed a quick chat in the sun and set off before the black cloud could deposit any of the damp stuff.

I had no 'official photographer' this morning!

As I had not set groups off individually, we ended all heading out along the Greenway, and we sorted ourselves into two groups at the end.  We were all heading generally the same way.  By co-ordinating my group of six to ride side by side, fairly close, along the A56, and with me at the rear giving 'Paddington' stares to vehicles that came up behind, we had safe passage until we were able to join the lanes after the railway bridge.  (I do not give a mean stare, even just a glance over the shoulder is enough usually to slow cars and for them to pass a little wider.  Don't ask me how that works, but it really does).

We enjoyed glorious sunshine all the way to the cafe, although the trees have not yet come into their full autumn glory.  One lady had recently returned from a trip to Scotland, and noted the trees there were already all shared of gold and red.  Next month I am sure we will see the difference.

On arrival at the cafe, there was another dubious large black cloud, so we quickly locked up and headed inside, where I secured three tables as others queued.  The second group arrived shortly after.  

Although only the 14th October, 
the cafe was fully decorated
with Halloween paraphernalia!

Delamere has a new large cafe, so booking was not needed.  It was not too busy today, but there were plenty of staff and I think more loos than I have ever seen even in motorway services!  Makes a change from lots of cafe's we visit who only have the one toilet.  New barriers to the car park too, it is a while since I have cycled that was so I was a little unsure.

Leaving all as one group we headed along the rough track that brings us to the bottom of the Yeld, by Kelsall Cycles.  We did not head up the Yeld (with an average gradient of 4.7%), but along the bottom and then followed the gradient around to Kelsall.  By the time we got to the t-junction in Kelsall it was raining, and Mary stopped to put her rain legs on (waterproof over trousers).  We dropped down the hill but Mary unfortunately missed the last turn off to the left, but had said she would make her own way back if she missed us.

We regrouped at the end of Common Lane, but by now an insanely black cloud was rudely throwing large amounts of rain at us (including a rumble of thunder!) - so after a quick photo (of course) we huddled under a slightly dryer large tree (as the trees still do have leaves, they still offer some shelter).  This was a wise move, and enabled Rowena to also put her rain legs on.  Just as the rain started to ease, the sun slipped out and caused a rainbow I was certain we would see (I had kept looking at signs of brightening of the sky, but to no avail until now).  

We were now able to pedal on down to Oscroft and Tarvin in the sunshine, where we picked up a terribly overgrown cycle path which takes us alongside the A51.  (Report any faults of potholes you find to the Council here).