The first Sunday ride of June was actually on a Saturday this year [again] because on the route we were following, the original vets 100 from Kinnerton, we seem to struggle to find any cafes open on a Sunday.
So on a chilly but bright and breezy (slight understatement) morning 12 of us set out through Doddleston, Holt, Threapwood, and Overton to Ellesmere and our morning coffee stop at “Coco” the cafe in the town sporting a CTC winged wheel above the front window.
Dave had left us just before Overton as he had to be back for an afternoon shift, yes that horrible four letter word “work” rears its ugly head again. Sue and Gill left us after breakfast [Breakfast!!!! at 11:30!] as they couldn’t ride for the full day so the remaining 9 set off again suitably fuelled up with coffee, bacon butties and cake etc... into the rather nasty headwind for our lunch stop at Crew Green.
The Fir Tree was our destination where we enjoyed sausage or fish fingers and chips in a basket, very 1970’s, outside in the sun in the beer garden behind the pub ( £3 per head, bargain ) The entertainment was provided by Dave Browne almost doing a Mary Poppins and taking off in the breeze with the large parasol on his table.
After lunch we crossed the River Severn into Melverley and stopped to have a look around St Peters church in the village, it’s an old black and white timbered building that was built in the early 1400’s although there has been a church on the site for over 1000 years, the original building having been burnt down in 1401 by Owian Glyndwr, well worth a look if you are ever in the area.
It was then back towards home via Kinnerley, Knockin (carefully avoiding the shop) West Felton, and Rednal airfield before I missed the turn for Tetchill (too busy talking) no matter we carried on for another mile or so and took the next left at Lower Hordley which took us back to Ellesmere down a very pleasant lane that we had not ridden before.
Plan A was afternoonsies in Overton but because of the leisurely breakfast stop and the headwind on the route out we were never going to make the cafe in time, Plan B was Bangor but we weren’t going to make that one either so a Plan C was called for and we stopped at The White Horse in Overton who provided tea and coffee for those that wanted it and a pint or a glass of wine for those that fancied something a bit stronger (well it would have been rude not to!!)
The last leg took us through Bangor, Worthenbury, Tilston, Farndon and Rossett back to Kinnerton where we got caught in the only rain of the day about a mile and a half before the end of the ride, the upside being the beautiful double rainbow we saw to our right looking towards Chester. The rain had stopped again by the time we got to Kinnerton so it was into the unusually busy Swan, probably because it was Saturday and the Champions League final was on TV, for a quick celebratory and well deserved pint or two.