Brian & Janet’s Road Bike Ride, Sunday June 30th 2013

By Brian Shelmerdine

On a bright sunny morning, seven of us, Janet, Brian, Nigel, Tom, Chris, Phil and myself, enthusiastically set off from Ye Old Number Three Pub on the Lymm Road, Little Bollington. A little late in getting going due to Janet getting a puncture on the way to the meet, we soon left the main road and began cycling through the Cheshire countryside, our first place of interest being Tatton Park. I’d been thinking that this might be our first café stop but it soon became clear that this wasn’t going to be the case, when we took the left fork, passing the Hall on the right. Too bad! Disappointed but undeterred, we maintained a steady pace, passing Tatton Mere on the left, in beautiful parkland—it felt great to be out there. Leaving the park at Knutsford, we soon arrived at Plumley and surprisingly, didn’t have difficulty in crossing the main Chester Road - into the lane to Pickmere.

It was warming up a bit now and having arrived at the junction to Parm Place (The NGS Garden) too early, we all agreed that the nearby Ice Cream Farm was the only sensible option. It was nice to get off the bike and sitting in the sunshine, we eagerly licked our ice creams, duly rotating the cornet after every lick. What a picture! Nigel explained that he had some golf business to attend to and wouldn’t be going any farther. The rest of us set off on the short ride to Peter and Jane’s garden. An entrance fee (charity) of £4.00 was paid and we strolled into this lovely Cheshire garden with it’s well tended lawns, curved borders containing many interesting, mainly herbaceous plants of discreet colours rather than flamboyant brightness. It was a peaceful setting on the edge of Great Budworth, with green, arable fields beyond.

Sandwiches were eaten, tea and cake followed and we set off on the next leg of our ride, which I thought was the way home! Not a bit of it. We were off to Delamere and it’s legendary Station Café. We were all of roughly the same cycling standard and we made good progress in the sunshine, passing through Comberbach, Little Legh, over the River Weaver and on to Crowton, Norley and Hatchmere where we took the final turn to our destination. We arrived about 15.15pm, the café was quite busy but we didn’t have long to wait for well earned refreshments. Leaving about 16.00pm, the ride home was a swift, no nonesense affair, pausing only to sample Tom’s home made flapjack—nice one Tom! We got back to Ye Olde Number Three about 17.30pm.

All agreed that it had been a fine day out, great route, great weather and great company.