by Jim Duffy
A miserable over cast wet morning greeted all at the Legion. Approx. 15 riders headed off on the short ride, with a group of 11 opting for the much hyped, tough ride to Longnor led by Kris, with Kev C, Kev U, Jim D, Tony, Carol, Andy A, Titch, Pete, Max & Bruce.
We set off at good pace and soon passed the short ride with Leader Al screaming at his group to make sure they did not get mixed up in the long run! We headed through to Lach Dennis where we had to take a slight detour towards Lower Peover as the road was closed at the Threeways garage. With the spray coming off the wheels, the clever riders were sitting behind mudguards.
Carol decided to look for a public convenience in a field and ended up knee deep in water! Kev U got a puncture in the shadow of Mow Cop, then off we went to the summit!, no surprise, Kris marched up to the top with ease, swiftly followed by Kev U. and the rest of us in dribs and drabs.
Tony had his second mechanical in as many week (following his broken rear mech last week), a puncture and broken spoke this time near Congleton Garden Centre, by this time most of the bottles were running dry and with 25 miles to the Longnor, we called at the garden Centre for top ups, we did not stay long enough to upset them this time!
Off to the Cloud, we missed a turn and before we knew it we were in Bosley, Kev C left us at this point and headed home, with time pressing on and 9 hungry children asking Kris “are we nearly then yet” we rerouted to Blaze Farm. A couple of long ascents and tricky descents saw Bruce take a tumble on a bend near to the Rose and Crown Pub, he had a soft landing and was soon back on his feet, dusted himself down and in the café. Beans on Toast, pot of tea and a jam and cream scone, £5.20, absolute bargain.
After Lunch, with the sun trying to break through the clouds, Max wanted to play on the slide, the sign said he had to be accompanied by an adult, as clearly, Max isnt one!, with Carol being the closest thing to an adult present (and she shouts loudest), it was left for her to look after him. He had two goes, one traditional and one headfirst.
We decided to take a more direct route back, the group split up a bit as the café legs kicked in as we progressed along the long stretches up to the Cat and Fiddle, by this point we had completely worn Kris and Kev U out and we left them trailing at the back of the pack (I wish!!).
Kris took the bunch sprint at Siddington. Curiosity got the better of us on the way back through Lach Dennis as we ignored the road closure sign to take a nosey at was going on, we soon found the road flooded but we soldiered on.
Kev U got his second puncture of the day heading up towards Davenham, he was happy to sort it himself and we left him.
Great ride, great company, great lunch. Thanks to Kris for leading another challenging route. I finished with 5,167 ft climbing and 88.5 miles on the clock (plus another 3 when I forgot to restart my Garmin). My longest and toughest ride to date.