Following another complete bum weather forecast (we were all supposed to drown in a deluge today – There was not a single raindrop. ‘Man Up’ Carol Kirkwood!! Thomaz Shaffffernacker hang your head in shame!) I elected to use the ‘go for a stroll’ method to decide my ride strategy. Although side roads were chronic, with Chris Hanson-Jones’ words ringing in my ears from January 15th #rememberJanuary15 (He called me a Silly Softie) I elected to drive to Runcorn and play it by ear.
Well ‘Fire Station Lights‘ was ‘well dodgy‘ but a small group assembled and rolled gingerly towards the Whitehouse pee pee stop meeting place. I elected to go for the main roads option via Walton, Stretton, Mere and Knutsford adding 5-6 miles but ensuring we all ended up at Macc intact. The sun shone, the roads were quiet and all were happy.
We decided to literally twiddle up the Cat taking in the stunning views and chatting, something we sometimes don’t have the luxury of later in the year when the eye balls are out. We opted for Tegg’s Nose Caff. Note to ride leaders – This caff is not ideal for club rides. We were very lucky to get a table and service was prompt, however, it’s tiny and the menu is limited. The toilet arrangements were cause for hilarity due to a misunderstanding from Stuart Lloyd and young Dan ( I will not expand on this as it’s a family page! ).
We rolled off for an immediate ascent of the Cat. Well it was sunny when we left but 4 miles and 15 minutes later we climbed through the mist with slush and snow at the end of the road. After a quick conflab we opted to bail on the descent to the Goyt Valley as there was a lot of snow around, so descended past Walker Barn and descended to Rainow (a really beautiful place) and followed the very undulating, roller coaster like road to the top of Blaze Hill. Inexplicably my stomach was not feeling good, luckily you ride bent double coz if not I would have been (not the caff’s fault.. felt dodgy before my food.)
By now the thaw had set in and the descent of Blaze Hill was safe and we rode on through Bolly, Prestbury, past the Wizard, down Artist’s Lane and on the traditional Wizard return. Twas now that Stuart Lloyd and Gaz Minnis decided to knock seven bells out of each other in a series of little sprints, all good fun, great to see them suffer.
We arrived back in Runcorn 85 miles in the legs after a really enjoyable ride.
Rides of the day – Steven Jeffers (by far exceeding his recent ride distances) and Gaz Minnis (accomplished climbing of the Cat).
Thanks for your company, lads, I really enjoyed it.
Watch this space for Winter Warmer #3, the one with The Hill With No Name… #brutal