Saturday was the SCCC cycle ride to Astley. Andy and I cycled to the start but stopped off at Longford Park for the Stretford Parkrun, which I ran and Andy watched.
The cycle ride to Astley started from the car park near the Robbin Hood pub in Stretford. There was quite a good turn out.
We set off into Trafford Park, passing Kellogg’s, making our way onto the Bridgewater canal, using the Bridgewater Way.
We followed the Bridgewater Canal for quite a while, briefly leaving it and then picking it up again, as we followed the Bridgewater Way.
We passed through Worsley.
As we reached The Moorings pub we came off the canal and made our way towards the Leigh Guided Busway.
The Guided Busway was quite interesting. It was the first time that I have been along it.
We left the Guided Busway at Tyldesley to make our way to Astley. We went to the Damhouse Tea Room for lunch.
Just as we were finishing locking up our bikes to go into the cafe for lunch, who should turn up but Graham (fashionably late as he often is)!
After some great refreshments we set off again, passing the entrance to the Astley Green Colliery Museum. We didn’t stop off there but we have done numerous time in the past – well worth a visit if you have never been!
Our ride then took us across Chat Moss towards Irlam.
Having crossed the Manchester Ship Canal, we headed through Flixton then onto DavyHulme and Urmston.
Having passed through Moss Park, we made our way back to the starting point. It was a great ride. You can see our route below:
Leaving Alderley Edge, we then took the back lanes to Birtles.
We didn’t stop for very long at Redesmere as it was decidedly chilly! We then pressed on towards Jodrell Bank, where we would be having lunch.
After lunch we set off towards Peover Heath then on through Marthall.
One point Emma had to get out of the way of a fast moving car (I didn’t see this) and I believe that she ended up in a ditch. The upshot was that she then had a problem with her brakes, which needed some running repairs. There were lots of willing helping hands to sort her bike out for her though.
The main group continued on whilst Emma’s bike was being repaired. I took over as the back leader until we were all back together again. They soon caught us up though!
We took the track around Lindow Manor Farm and then made our way into Wilmslow.
Once we reached Wilmslow Leisure Centre, the main group continued and three of us took a more leisurely pace back to Davenport Green. Not because the main group was going fast but because Lesley was finding things hard. Andy Sykes took over as the back leader for the main group.
I lead the second group (of the three of us), Andy continued as the back leader. Lesley was able to continue at a steady pace and we followed the same route back as the main group, which was basically back to Davenport the same way that we had come out.
When we arrived back at Davenport Green, Graham was waiting for us and said that we weren’t very far behind the main group. It was certainly much colder in the afternoon but we had all had a great day out.
You can view our route for the Redesmere ride below:
Sarah and I took the opportunity of a free day to visit Bodnant Garden. Originally we had been due to run in the Southport Mad Dog 10k but we had both withdrawn from this due to recent illnesses. Nonetheless, we decided to keep this day free for, with my Open University days reaching the final stages, this might prove to be one of the few opportunities we have in the next few months to get out.
So, it was a cool and fresh Sunday when we arrived in Tal-y-Cafn above the River Conwy. First stop – Pavilion Tea Rooms for coffee and cake!
Bodnant Garden was established in 1874 by politician Henry Pochin. Eventually being passed down to the 1st Lord of Aberconwy. And the latest lord is the current garden manager.
It might seem that in January there isn’t much to see but our visit showed this not to be the case, their were plenty of delights and surprises. Beginning with the snowdrops …
We passed through the Winter Garden, which of course was in full bloom at this time of year.
There were a myriad of Irises.
Our first glimpse of daffodils brought a hint of spring.
We headed over to the terraces.
The views out over Snowdonia were fantastic.
The Pin Mill is a feature that was brought in brick by brick from another location in 1937, and along with the terraces displays strong Italian influences.
Next we headed down to the Old Mill, passing the waterfalls on the way.
Next we followed the stream.
At the end was the skating pond.
I thought I should try my own version of skating …
On the return we passed the waterfall bridge.
And an interesting building called ‘The Poem’.
Finally, as we passed through the dell we went past a number of ‘Champion Trees’ for which Bodnant Garden is internationally known.
As we returned to the start, Sarah started ‘flagging’. She has after all been struggling to overcome an illness recently. So it was time to call it a day.
We had thoroughly enjoyed our time at Bodnant Garden, and we are looking forward to visiting the gardens again in the next season. This is a place worth visiting many times.
Delamere 2017 was the latest version of the popular Stockport Community Cycling Club spring ride (see here for the 2015 edition). I was pencilled in to lead the ride and Sarah back-lead it. Unfortunately I have been struggling with a hip injury for the last few months, and with that in mind Sarah and I decided to switch roles. And then Sarah picked up a chesty cough … and the weather forecast didn’t look too good.
So, it was a cold morning when eight of us met at Frodsham. Neil was cycling from home and due to join us, but phoned to say he was late and the roads where he was were rather icy. They seemed fine in Frodsham. Should we cycle or not? We decided to give it a go and turn around if the going got tough.
Sarah led us out along Chester Road and out of Frodsham (without Neil).
Soon we were turning off and up the first hill of the day as we headed for Alvanley. Thankfully as we left the main road the conditions were fine.
At the top it quickly became clear that leading was going to be a struggle for Sarah. Thankfully Andy S was with us and happy to take over, meaning Sarah and I could spend the rest of the ride hanging on at the back!
We turned on to Manley Road.
Turning off the main road we skirted the edge of Manley and then continued on in the direction of Great Barrow.
Eventually the route turned in the direction of Kelsall. We took a brief break on the roadside and took another group photo – still without Neil.
And just when we were about to set off – there he was …