Jeff, Carl, Sam, Emily, Stuart, Dave, Paul, Graham, Neil and me turned up for duty at 9.30 this morning, a mild but damp day. The route was the old Saturday training ride but heading to Malpas. Emily suggested a brand new cafe that she was quite excited about going to, having never tried it, The Lost Barn, so we agreed to head there instead just for a change.

We headed through Weaverham and on up Norley Lane where Graham went to do his own thing. To begin with there wasn’t much of a breeze but, just as the met office promised, the wind grew more as the day went on to the extent that by the time we went past Cheshire Oaks, the breeze was decidedly stiff. 20 minutes later we met the Greenway and at this point Paul and Dave (who had slippy gear issues) headed home.

Turning on to the path by the river was exciting, the cross wind was as hard as I’ve ever known it with huge gusts. With our bikes leaning in to the tempest and referring to the grassy embankment Carl remarked, ‘at least it will be a soft landing’, just seconds later a gust took him and he did 100 yards of cyclo cross, thankfully staying upright.

Arriving at the footbridge over the river there was a short discussion as to the merits of continuing in view of the risk involved but we all agreed to head off to Holt instead of the Lost Barn (which may remain forever lost). The cross headwind over the river and to the Saltney road was pretty bonkers and at that junction Emily, Stuart and Neil turned left to Chester and home leaving just 4 of us. The winds remained really solid all the way to Holt but the 4 of us formed our own little echelon and took brief turns on the front which made things a little more bearable.

By the time we got to Holt 6 out of 8 legs were pretty wasted (Sam being the exception) and Maggie’s was a welcome sight.

Suitably refreshed we were glad that we mostly had a tailwind all the way home – it was a pretty rapid and un-eventful ride but sadly the ultra tailwind I was hoping for through the forest never materialised!

Very, very tired legs now. A great day out, thanks to everyone!