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:

Cotebrook 2017

This Cotebrook 2017 cycle ride was the shorter version of Sarah’s rides to the Shire Horse Centre. Last year the ride was cancelled due to bad weather, but thankfully, though wet at the beginning, it was generally fine. Indeed, quite a few of us cycled to the start of the ride in Winsford.

For today’s Stockport Community Cycling Club ride, Sarah was today’s ride leader and I was the back-leader. So this was not going to be the easiest ride to take photos for this blog.

Today’s ride leader – Sarah

The first surprise of the day, saw Graham testing out the nifty fold-away bike Dave was loaning him for the day.

Our ride began with us heading out along NCN Route 5.

Leaving Winsford we picked up the Whitegate Way.

We left the Whitegate Way and followed local cycle route 71.

This took us through Little Budworth Country Park.

And towards Oulton Park Circuit. There was some racing going on at the circuit so it was busy around the area … and noisy.

We cycled on towards Cotebrook.

Our coffee stop was at the Lakeside Cafe at Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre.

As usual, the food was fine. Sarah was well-catered for thanks to the cafe having gluten-free bread available.

Interestingly, we didn’t see a shire horse.

NOT a shire horse …
And this isn’t a shire horse either!

After the break, we briefly headed back along the outward route, before turning off towards Rushton.

We turned on to NCN Route  551 and headed back towards the outskirts of Winsford.

Finally, we crossed over the High Street.

Then dropped back down to the River Weaver.

Before rejoining NCN Route 5 and returning to the start.

Cotebrook 2017 had been another enjoyable cycle ride around mid-Cheshire. We had cycled a total of 18 miles. Sarah and I cycled to the start and back, completing 72 miles in total. This was another fine step forward for Sarah as recovers from the stress fracture in her foot.

You can view our Cotebrook 2017 route below:

Flintshire 10K

Sunday was the Flintshire 10K event organised by Run Wales. After our visit on Saturday to the Blue Planet Aquarium, Andy and I drove over to  Holywell where we stayed over at the Hotel Victoria. It was a hotel but with a self catering kitchen.

Sunday morning we drove over to Mold where the Flintshire 10K started from. The Leisure Centre was where race HQ was located. We got there early as you had to collect your race numbers. First job was to find your name on the lists on the wall.

Having ‘found himself’, Andy then collected his race pack which contained his bib number and timing chip.

Although I had entered the race, I was not able run due to having a stress fracture in my right foot.

There was a delay to the race start as there was a 5K race first and they had to wait for everyone to finish before they could reset the timer for the next race.

And finally they were off!

There are a few shots here of Andy at the start …

Once they had set-off I went to queue up and buy myself a coffee.

The race consisted of two loops, so it wasn’t too long before the race leaders came back round for the second loop.

Soon the main man was also passing!

And off he went again so the second lap.

The following shots are of the final approach to the finish line, Can you spot Andy in all of the?

He almost caught the the guy in the yellow shirt on the line, just not quite.

Having finished, they then removed the chip from your shoe.

The finishers got a nice t-shirt and medal.

Andy’s official chip time was  54:03 which was an excellent time, much quicker than the Bangor 10K we had run two weeks before. I must have been slowing him down! We then took a walk into Mold and had coffee and cake at Costa there.

We had a little wander around around Mold as neither of us had been there before.

We went to The Gold Cape Wetherspoon’s pub for some lunch.

It was a great weekend overall, slightly tinged by the fact that I was not able to run with him. Your can view Andy’s run route below:

A Visit to the Blue Planet Aquarium

Saturday was a family day out. We met up at the Blue Planet Aquarium in Ellesmere Port.

We wandered around looking at the various fishes.

There were some really big ones as well as some really small ones. We were on the lookout for stingrays, as these were Emma’s favourite. We soon spotted a small one.

The ray looks like it has a smiley face as it said hello!

We found a big tank containing tortoise as well.

There were also some lovely frogs, I like frogs!

There were also other sea creatures and corals.

This huge ray enjoyed having his head tickled!

There were some very interesting creatures, some of which I had not seen before.

The jelly fish were amazing!

We got to see the sharks in the huge tank.

There is also a glass tunnel where you can walk through the big tank and see the fish swim over your head.

We got to see a huge ray swim right over head. It kept coming back again.

We also managed to find Nemo!

The Lion fish looked very impressive.

Having spent ages look around the Blue Planet Aquarium we went off to get some lunch at the Old Hall Farm pub. After a late lunch, we went our separate ways but it had been a great trip out!