Redesmere Ride via Jodrell Bank

It was a bright but rather cool day on Sunday for the SCCC Redesmere Ride. We met up at Davenport Green.

There was some excitement among the ‘boys’ at the start as Paul turned up on his nice new bike!

Graham the ride leader for the day

We headed out into Cheshire by skirting around Bramhall village.

Along Blossoms Lane, then past the Deanwater.

We then headed out through Mottram St Andrew.

We then turned right onto Chelford Road and make our way to the National trust car park at Alderley Edge.

Andy the days back leader

We made a brief stop at the Alderley Edge National Trust car park to make use of the facilities in the car park.

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.

Redesmere

Jodrell Bank entrance
Jodrell Bank visitor Centre (and cafe)

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.

Fixing Emma’s bike

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:

Bodnant Garden in Winter

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 …

Bodnant House

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.

The Pin Mill and Lily Pond (though in February without the lilies)

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.

Bruntwood Park

It was a fine day as a large group of Stockport Community Cycling Club members met near Woodsmoor Rail Station ready for Graham’s cycle ride to Bruntwood Park. I was back leading.

Sarah with Bruce at the start of the ride

We began by cycling towards Davenport.

And then through Adswood.

On our way to Edgeley.

Passing through Sykes’s Reservoir.

For awhile we picked up NCN Route 62 – the Trans Pennine Trail.

The route follows the River Mersey.

Eventually we turned off and made our way towards Cheadle.

And on to Cheadle Hulme.

Our lunch break was at The Vinery in Bruntwood Park. It was just a coffee stop so Sarah and I enjoyed a brew and some cake.

Our ride leader Graham poses for the camera

Before setting off Jim handed out mileage medals to Geoff and Arthur. They had both been unable to attend the recent SCCC Annual Club Lunch 2017.

Leaving Bruntwood Park we next made our way through Cheadle Hulme and on towards Heald Green.

We joined Stanley Road and crossed the A34. The ongoing roadworks made this a very busy section of the route.

Eventually we turned off on to Blossoms Lane near Woodford.

Next we turned back towards Bramhall.

We followed the back lanes through Bramhall, before eventually dropping down to the roundabout outside the grounds of Bramhall Hall.

Finally we returned to Woodsmoor.

We had completed 16 miles by the time we arrived back at the start. This had been an enjoyable trip around the roads and paths of Stockport.

Delamere 2017 – From Frodsham

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.

Vic – ready for the off

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!

Group photo (without Neil)

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 …

Hi Neil! – As he finally catches up with us

And now there were nine.

We passed through Kelsall (including Neil).

And followed Longley Lane.

Before turning off and onto the track to Delamere Forest Park.

At the far end of the forest park is Delamere Station House Cafe. This was our lunch stop. It’s on the pricey side for a fairly basic cafe, but the portions are hearty and tasty.

After lunch we followed the busy Station Road for a short while, before turning off at Hatchmere and cycling through the forest along Delamere Road.

After leaving the forest we briefly turned back in the direction of Manley and then towards Manley Common.

Another group photo – with Neil

As we made our way back towards Frodsham on another section of Manley Road, the route continued to climb, eventually reaching the top near the Shepherds Houses.

There then followed a sharp drop back in to Frodsham.

This had proved to be a very enjoyable 26 mile ride. The weather, while cool ad overcast, managed to stay fine. And we were thankful.

You can view our Delamere 2017 route below.

Afterwards, Sarah and I decided on a cuppa before heading for home. Sarah had successfully managed to get round but was now pooped. My hip, while now a little sore, had held out ok too.

SCCC Annual Club Lunch 2017

Today’s Annual Club Lunch 2017 was another opportunity to reflect on the previous years Stockport Community Cycling Club‘s events and reward our members for their efforts (click to view previous years lunches – 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013). It was held once again at Hyde Bank Farm in Romiley.

The event is first and foremost a great social event and a chance to chat and catch up with other club members. It begins with the usual quiz.

Above three of the four tables (sadly the photo of the fourth didn’t turn out 🙁 ).

This was followed by lunch – cheese pie or hot pot (and for Sarah a vegetarian and gluten-free version of the hot pot). Followed by apple pie or sticky-toffee pudding.

Everyone enjoying the club lunch

Andy Sykes had put together another of SCCC Year in Review videos, and once we got the sound working on the PC this proved an enjoyable reminisce.

Then we moved on to the Club Mileage Medals. First, for members who cycled 250 miles (bronze), 500 miles (silver) and 1000 miles (gold) with the club.

Next up we moved on to the 2500 club miles completed award.

Ian and Vic reached this target this year.

And then the 5000 miles completed medal.

Sarah passed this club total this year.

And then a new award, a 10,000 miles completed award.

This was handed to Andy, the first club member to reach this mileage total.

We then moved on to the trophies. Neil was given the Most Unfortunate Rider of the Year for his cycle trip out to the start of a ride to Winsford only to find it was cancelled due to the frosty weather conditions!

Neil receiving his trophy

John R then became the first recipient of the new CERA Cycloan Unsung Hero of the Year Award. This is presented to members, who are not ride leaders or committee for unselfish deeds on club rides. John comes along to most rides and regularly fixes punctures, assists leaders with corner duties and many other little things that often go unnoticed.

John receiving his trophy

Finally the main trophy, Clubperson of the Year was presented to Sarah. She was certainly surprised to receive the award! Well done.

Sarah receiving her award

We then presented Jim with a gift certificate as a thank you for all the hard work he puts in making this a great cycling club. This year, on Jim’s behalf, we have sent a donation to Elephant Bikes to support the great work they do in Africa.

And of course there were flowers for Barbara.

This had been another great annual awards ceremony. Well done to everyone who were presented with a medal or award. It was well deserved.

And who knows, if not this year, maybe next year it will be you.