Saturday, 30 March 2013

Q. When is the best time to ride the lanes of Cheshire?

A: On a summer Saturday or Sunday morning, at about 6am, when the day is shaping up to be gloriously hot, and the early morning rays of sun are gently caressing your back; when the lapwings and sparrows are ducking and diving in front of you, and nature - rabbits, squirrels, voles and pheasants - disappears off the road as you ride down it, like a stage curtain revealing the actors in the first scene.

Sadly, yesterday morning had few of those things going for it - but it wasn't a bad second best time to ride around Cheshire; early on a bank holiday before the masses have hit the roads, with the sun in a cloudless sky, and at higher altitudes at least, banks of cleared snowdrifts at the side of the road making it feel like you were riding Alpe d'Huez early in the season. It was a short ride (35 miles), just as this will be a short post - I'm stuck on 111 blog entries, an unlucky number for the English as I've tweeted about in the past, and I don't fancy being on Nelson when tomorrow I'm riding the delayed Chirk 200 Audax (delayed from last weekend that is, thanks to the snow and ice that would have made last Sunday dangerous and unpleasant).

It's actually 207km from Poynton in Cheshire to Chirk in north Wales and back again. With the clocks changing tonight, it's going to feel like a cold and early start, but the forecast looks as good as you could reasonably hope for after the recent horrors. The Carradice saddlebag (suitcase) is fitted so that I can carry a change of gloves and a selection of hot cross buns, and I'm flirting with the racy new idea of isotonic sports drink coming in a dilutable gel rather than as a powder. Curry for the third night in a row tonight, and I'll be well-stoked for tomorrow.

As it's another bank holiday on Monday, may get round to recounting anything interesting that happens tomorrow. In the meantime, off to butter my buns.


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