Me, Paul, Iain, Dave B and Dave L headed off towards Birkenhead at 6.30 to meet Ken and Tim . The Roads were nice and quiet, and it wasn't raining, yet!!
Dave B peeled off in Birkenhead to loop back to Arrowe Park and work, poor lad, and we headed off on our Dads day treat. We took the usual route across the Wirral and into Wales and along the Dee Path to Chester. The Rain really started to come down along the River and those that hadn't already donned their rain capes did now, which was timely as the clouds seemed to burst right overhead. The route into Chester wasn't as straightforward as planned. Because of Chester Rocks, the path round the Racecourse was closed and we had to detour a little to get back to the planned route. The rain was still falling heavily which didn't make for easy going along the river side roads, which are mainly cobbled! A couple of the lads nearly came off on the shiny stones, but luckily we all managed to stay upright. We were now 30 miles into the ride, and very wet and cold. As stated in the last post about the new club, we are not precious riders, and are not afraid to change plans along the way. As we sheltered under some trees whilst a couple of the lads took a comfort break, I suggested that we could change the destination, and loop round Chester and back to Eureka for a brew before doing some loops round the lanes. After a quick debate we decided that although we were wet and cold, we couldn't really get any wetter or colder, and we should carry on to our original destination.
The next 25 miles to Delamere were not the most pleasant. The rain kept falling and the temperature didn't raise much above 10 degrees.
Eventually we arrived at the Station Cafe and the rain finally stopped! Luckily the Cafe was warm and the Coffee and beans on toast helped to warm us from the inside out!
To treat ourselves, and to add a few more minutes to the stop most of us decided to have a slice of the legendary Bakewell tart the cafe has on offer. It could probably be the best Bakewell I have ever tasted, and is Ken's favourite!!
We all took advantage of the hand drier in the toilet to dry bits of kit, but the best quote of the day came from Dave L, who after doing a 95mile ride yesterday with Zel was understandably a little off pace today, and very cold. I don't think this is the forum for sharing the quote, but if you see any of us we will happily fill you in with the details.
Back on the road it didn't take long to warm up after a quick blast along the road known locally as the roller-coaster. I forgot to mention that the Rain had now stopped and the sun was trying to break through the cloud which was a welcome sight.
As we got to the top of the climb up Simmonds hill, we stopped to regroup, and take in the stunning views across to Wales.
It didn't take long to get through Elton and on to the Oil sites road through the Stanlow refinery. It is interesting how we can pass through so many types of environment on one ride, Country lanes, City Centre, and Industrial!
When we reached Eastham Tim dropped off to go home. I didn't mention it earlier but Tim had done 72 miles yesterday into Wales to do repeats of the Horseshoe Pass, in training for his stage of the Tour next month!! The 5 of us rode on back to Birkenhead. We stopped at Hamilton Square for Ken to get a train back to Liverpool, and then decided to add a few more miles by riding round to West Kirby. Iain dropped off at Moreton, and then finally Dave L with another 80 miles to add to his 95 from yesterday peeled off leaving Me and Paul to ride back to Greasby.
As we rode along, we chatted about how the first Palefish CC ride had gone, and how we had stayed true to our plan of riding as a group, helping each other along, and encouraging each other even in the pouring rain. We had a laugh, we ate cake and drank Coffee, and pushed ourselves a little bit too at times.
All in all a good start to the club, and now I've finished writing this I had better start planning the next ride!
Today's ride details