The forecast looked good, with only a slight chance of showers, so the planned beginners ride was on. At 9:45, Al and I rode to the empty car park at the legion and patiently waited, pondering what might or might not be.
We didn’t wait long before the first arrived and introduced themselves. Clearly we were onto a winner as a couple more turned up, and then a returning youngster, not only returning with his dad, but on a shiny new road bike, which I completely failed to get a shot of as I snapped the group, ready for the off.
Without further ado, we suggested our destination of Tatton Park, and with two new gents, two new ladies, our returning young man, we were away. Off through Hartford and down and then up only one of three hills of the day as we made our way out of Hartford to Davenham, where we quickly got into the country lanes for the second incline, which our new riders, especially young Sam, made easy work of as he romped along making us adults look as though we were making hard work of it!. Riding perfectly, two abreast, the peloton headed into Lach Dennis as the young lad kept his powder dry waiting patiently for the rest of today’s stage. We then turned left to head north east along Common Lane, Back Lane alongside Peover Golf Course and then Plumley, before hitting the main road to Knutsford.
Before we knew it we’d hung a left into Ladies Mile (it’s just a road in Knutsford, not a Strava challenge). Then onto the approach to Tatton Park, as expert navigator for today – Al, was thinking of cake.
Into the park, Sam made his move with an early sprint for glory, claiming the un-defined sprint of the day, chased by ‘Gorilla Greipel’, navigator Al, who was unsuccessful in his attempt to chase down the future tour rider.
The group then meandered pleasantly to our assigned rest-stop at the cafe at Tatton Park, where the confusion of the cafe did indeed confuse some as to the optimum route to cake, apart from Tatton Park veteran Bebbington, and cake-meister Al who got handily to the front of the queue. 🙂
Slightly dry Victoria Sponge, and excellent lemon drizzle cake later, our new riders were re-fuelled and seemed happy with pace of the ride out, and eager to to start pedalling for the return journey, especially racer Sam, who just wanted to stay on his dropped handlebars and have it large! Tour de France hero in the making I would say!
Our return journey re-traced the first couple of miles, before following some great lanes, albeit busier, but great for group riding practice of the shouts ‘car-up’ and ‘single out’, as we headed back through the lanes again towards Budworth, A couple of our ladies then peeled off towards hone, and the rest of the group headed back towards Northwich and most back towards Hartford (as I peeled off for home).
A great ride today in great weather and only the odd spot of rain attempted to get through the day but failed. I think we probably averaged around 25+ miles for most of our riders today.
After the success of today, big-thanks to our Club Runs-Captain Al for an expertly put together route, and club members Derek, Andy, Karen, Andy and Gina for showing our new riders that we are not all scary, and that this group riding lark is actually, dare I say it – fun!
We’ll put another ride on the calendar soon. Watch this space, and Facebook and Twitter!