SCCC Peover Heath Ride – The December version

The Peover Heath ride has usually provided the opening longer ride for the year. This year, however, it brought the curtain down on the 2017 longer rides, which this year have stretched into December.

The temperatures have been falling rapidly recently, however, this Sunday provided a little chink of slightly warmer weather. This possible last opportunity to enjoy reasonable cycling weather brought out twenty Stockport Community Cycling Club members to the start at Davenport Green.

I was leading the ride and attempting to take the photos as well! Sarah was absent, running the Stockport 10 miler instead.

We set off through Bramhall and Cheadle Hulme.

Then crossed over the A34.

We cycled through Handforth towards Wilmslow

At Wilmslow, we had a brief rest in The Carrs, where we were able to enjoy the early winter scenery.

Leaving Wilmslow, we then made our way through Mobberley.

And then on to Knutsford.

We dropped down into Knutsford Park.

From here we made our way through Plumley.

After crossing over the M6 we entered the area of the Peovers – and there are a few of them. The first one we cycled through was Lower Peover (also known as Peover Inferior).

Among the Peovers there is also Peover Superior (or Over Peover) and, of course, Peover Heath, where we stopped for lunch.

This is a ride that has provided a few headaches for lunch over the years, and this one was no exception. The landlady at Park Gate Inn had been a little reticent when I had phoned to book. They would take us, but they were busy she said. ‘How many?’ ‘Between 12 and 15’. What time? Approx 12.30 – 1pm I replied. With that agreed I had put the phone down, only for her to ring back a few minutes later asking if it would be ok to offer a limited meal of sandwich and chips. Yes, I said.

Then, when I had phoned earlier to say there would be twenty of us and we would arrive around 1pm, the landlady had seemed a little panicked, ‘You said fifteen’ (true) ‘and for 12.30’ (false).

When we arrived, she had placed us in the back room, which was warm and cosy, and a real fire was on, but not enough seats.  However, the drinks, the platters of beef (and for some of us, cheese) baps, and the baskets of homemade chips that were brought out were truly fantastic. Finally, for the sandwich and chips, we were charged just £5 – a bargain. Everyone thought it was an excellent lunch stop (which presents quite a dilemma if I ever repeat this ride).


Stomachs full, we set off back towards Marthall.

We then turned towards Alderley Edge where we made our way through the back streets.

The route then brought us back through Wilmslow.

Finally we picked up the the outward route when returned through Bramhall.

In spite of some of the hassles, this proved an excellent forty mile ride on a fine winter day.

You  can view the Peover Heath route below:

Around Poynton Again – The 2017 Ride

Today the Stockport Community Cycling Club ride took us around Poynton again. This is a route we have cycled a couple of times previously (read the 2015 report here). The day also brought the first biting winter weather for the club rides. The weather forecast wasn’t inspiring, and if Sarah wasn’t due to lead the ride we might have thought about giving it a miss. That said, in the end, we were glad we made the effort.

With the temperature barely above freezing, we arrived at Woodsmoor station for the start. Amazingly, considering the forecast and the temperature, there was another good turnout.

We began by making our way across Mirrlees Fields. As soon as we got going the temperature dropped and the rain began.

We weaved our way through the streets of Hazel Grove.

We cycled through Torkington Park.

And then climbed up Old Torkington Road.

Here, we joined the Middlewood Way.

We followed the Middlewood Way for a few miles until we reached Nelson’s Pit in Higher Poynton.

Next, we turned off and cycled down The Coppice.

We weaved our way through Poynton.

Before dropping onto Park Lane for a coffee break. Sarah indicated that there were a number of coffee shops to choose from, and we would make back in the middle of the village in an hour. As it turned out, most of the club members followed us to Cafe 31. The owner was clearly a bit overwhelmed. Nonetheless, they seemed to cope fine. Admirably, they also had gluten-free bread available, so Sarah was able to enjoy one of their sandwiches.

While we were in the cafe, the weather turned to hail, Thankfully, the hail had receded by the time we left. It was still cold though!

After crossing over London Road, we made our way towards Lower Park Road.

If Sarah and I had ever had any doubt about the value of our choice to use our mountain bikes today, these next sections confirmed it to have been a wise one.

We briefly joined Chester Road, where we crossed over the new bypass that is being built.

Next, we headed towards Bramhall.

Finally, we returned to Woodsmoor.

We had cycled 15 challenging miles by the time we arrived back at the start. We were muddy, wet and cold. Nonetheless, I think we had all enjoyed the cycle ride. After all, we had been cycling, what’s not to like?!

You can view our Around Poynton again cycle ride route below:

The Old Coach Road to Matterdale End

In 2018, our group cycle tour will be Ravenglass to Ravenscar. This will be a route we put together ourselves. There are sections of the route that we have cycled previously, and one such includes part of the C2C which Sarah and I completed a few years back. We had also used this section of the route on our Wainwright Coast-to-Coast, and clearly, Andy S hadn’t enjoyed the section that took us alongside the A66 too much. Instead, he proposed the alternative C2C route that follows the Old Coach Road to Matterdale End.

Having looked at the route on the map, I decided it needed recceing. So, we found ourselves at Threlkeld at the beginning of a recce ride.

We left the village and set off in the direction of Keswick.

We followed NCN Route 71 and crossed over the A66.

After a few miles we turned off and followed the alternative Route 71 which took us towards the Old Coach Road.

This took us over St John’s Beck.

And on to the Old Coach Road.

It very quickly became clear that this was not going to be the alternative route for our tour next year as we walked most of the first section.

The views, however, were fabulous.

It was worth recceing this route just for these views alone.

Nonetheless, we still had a hill to climb … or perhaps to swim …

And then there were  the locals …

Sections of the route had been washed away.

At one point we needed to cross a ford. Andy S took a look at this and decided it would be madness to chance it.

For the sensible route was to use the bridge nearby.

Then again, everyone has a mad moment …

The Old Coach Road was about five miles in length and it finished at Matterdale End. Here, we read the sign advising us not to proceed. We had seen why!

Back on tarmac, we now headed for Greystoke.

We were held up at one point in a rather unusual traffic jam …

It might not have been great weather, but the hay bales were smiling at us.

We had hoped to have lunch at Sarah’s favourite Greystoke Cycling Cafe – but it was closed for the season. Thankfully, the nearby The Boot & Shoe proved a fine alternative.

The weather had been steadily deteriorating, and while we had been at the pub it had started to rain.

The pub owner had indicated our proposed route featured a climb out of Greystoke.

Our afternoon route saw us through Berrier and up Eycott Hill.

The journey down the hill was a struggle, with the cold rain freezing the face.

Thankfully, when we reached the outskirts of Mungrisdale the rain dissipated and we entered a micro-climate of relative warmth. We had cycled through Mungrisdale on our SCCC Club Weekend ride last year.

At Mungrisdale, we once again picked up NCN Route 71.

Finally, we returned to Threlkeld.

I am not sure how many mile we had actually. My Garmin Edge recorded 26 miles, my Garmin watch 28 miles, and Sarah and Andy S recorded distances closer to 30 miles. Whatever the distance, this had been a challenging route, with mixed weather, but nonetheless some fantastic scenery. We had all enjoyed the cycle ride.

You can view our Old Coach Road to Matterdale End route below:

Another Tour de Stockport

Saturday was the SCCC Tour de Stockport ride, which is a ride that we last did in 2015 (see that post here). We met upon Lowlands Road near Woodsmoor Station. There was a good turn out with quite a few new riders.

We set off along part of the Fred Perry way making our way towards Stockport Georgians Playing Fields. We hadn’t got very far before one of the riders realised that they had dropped something and went back to find it. I went back to find them and make sure they knew the way but I wasn’t able to find them! I then went on to join the main group.

We cycled through Bramhall Park.

We then cycled through the back lanes, passing Cheadle Hulme School, making our way towards Bruntwood Park.

We entered Bruntwood Park via the Bruntwood Lane entrance.

This is the way, into this tree!
Maybe we should stick to the path …

Leaving Bruntwood Park, we cycled past the Village Hotel and Life Leisure Cheadle then through onto Brookfield Road.

Our route took us through the outskirts of Edgeley.

We then dropped down to the Pyramid.

Crossing over the M60, following the cycle paths and making our way towards the A6.

Having crossed over the A6, we headed to Heaton Norris Park.

Heaton Norris Park

We cycled on towards the River Goyt.

 

Passing under the M60 again before making our way into the centre of Stockport.

We made our way to the Tandem Coffee House on Lower Hillgate in Stockport.

 

The Tandem Coffee house is a great cafe, which is cyclist friendly and does great cake. We are always really well looked after when we visit, even if we did take over the place!

Next we cycled over the new(ish) bridge over St Marys Way.

Making our way to Woodbank Park.

Having cycled through Woodbank Park, we headed on to Woodlands Park.

Next we headed for what used to be Offerton High School, which is now Castle Hill High School.

We then made our way through Offerton towards Sainsburys at Hazel Grove.

Having reached Hazel Grove, we crossed over the A6 and made our way onto Bramhall Moor Lane.

We then followed the Fred Perry Way back to Lowlands Road where we had set out from initially.

Our route was about 17 miles in total. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed it. You can see our route below:

Neston – A Cycle Ride to Burton Marsh

On Sunday, Sarah and I travelled over to Chester Zoo to meet some of our fellow Stockport Community Cycling Club members. We weren’t going to the zoo, however, instead, we met at the Park & Ride next to it ready for our Neston cycle ride.

Mick – And we are off!

I was due to be the back-leader, but since there weren’t many leaders Sarah took over these duties (since she had been struggling with a virus), and I took on the duties of the corner-person.

Today’s ride leader – Jim

It was a cool and damp morning when we left the Park & Ride and cycled past the zoo.

We picked up NCN Route 56 which weaved its way through Upton.

The route took us through Lime Wood Fields.

Next, we continued along NCN Route 5 which took us through the University of Chester.

And then Blacon.

We followed this path for a few miles.

Crossing over the Welsh Road (the A494).

Next, we cycled through Deeside Industrial Park on the edge of Connah’s Quay.

It had been a fairly wet day so far. Some were enjoying themselves more than others …

From here we entered Burton Marsh.

Along this path we were cycling along the England-Wales border.

We were able to look over to mainland Wales.

Our lunch break was at Net’s Cafe. This is a great place on the Wirral peninsula that is popular with cyclists. And most importantly for Sarah, provide gluten-free options.

The sky’s were dark as we left .

We followed NCN Route 568 as we headed for Neston.

At Neston we turned on to the High Street.

Leaving the town centre we picked up Chester Road and headed towards Willaston.

By now the sun was beginning to shine.

Crossing back over the Welsh Road.

We made our way towards Capenhurst.

This took us through Mollington.

And then through Backford.

A final climb brought us back to Chester Zoo.

While the weather hadn’t been great at the start, as you usually find, if you persevere, things improve. And once again we had enjoyed another excellent club ride covering nearly 28 miles.

You can view our SCCC Neston route below: