RAF Cosford (Audax, DIY, 100km)

Not Validated Due To Covid 19

This would make a great training route as it is for the most part flat with long straight sections separated by small villages and towns.

Arriving home at 3pm, the sun was out and there was a gentle breeze, so I opted for a quick spin on the bike. I had initially thought about doing my 20-mile route around the home but by the time I reached the top of the hill, I decided that I fancy a longer stretch the legs. I headed for Stone with no real route in mind accept to head towards Eccleshall. On my way through Cold Norton, I remembered that I plotted a 70-mile ride to RAF Cosford which turned off at Bridgnorth and followed the road down to Codsall before turning for RAF Cosford and then a 90 degree back to Bridgnorth and home.

As I was thinking about which route to do, I had my second monsoon downpour, since I was already wet from the first one I just stood under the tree and waited for the rain to die down. The section from Bridgnorth to Church Eaton was flat but the gentle breeze turned into a robust wind that was being funneled down the road by the hedgerows on either side. The first milestone was St Editha’s Church at Church Eaton which stood at the tip of a triangle, the church was quite quaint for a small village. Overall, the roads in this section are in reasonably good repair but there can be a lot of farmer debris on the road.

From Church Eaton the next section took me to Codsall like the previous section this is mainly flat roads with good roads surfaces, but the wind was making it hard work. I had a quick stop at Saint Mary the Virgin and Saint Chad in Brewood where the locals watched me take photos! From was the long gentle climb up Port Lane which took me into Codsall. I did not stop as I knew I was only a few miles from RAF Cosford. As I cycled along the high street (Albrighton) I came across Saint Mary Magdalene church, so I pulled over for a photo which annoyed the OAP driving at 20mph and who I overtook a few miles back.

Arriving at RAF Cosford museum, the gates were open, but the sign was clear… CLOSED. So, I stopped just inside the gate and took a few photos of the Hawker Hunter F6 XG225, had an energy gel and texted the wife to let her know that I would be late for tea!

The route back is more of the same, except that there are a few short but steep climbs and the long ascent up to Bishop’s Wood. After these climbs, the roads are mainly flat with good tarmac, but there are a few sections which are used by farm equipment or where the water pools and deposits sand and stones. The journey back did not offer as many photo opportunities and I was glad when I arrived a Bridge North as it was 14-miles from home. I was also feeling tired as I had not stopped for a coffee break. Stone town was very quiet, and I had the road to myself all the way through town. I stopped on the outskirts of Stone to text the wife that I was about to start the 5-mile climb home so that she could put the kettle on!

RAF Shawbury (Audax, DIY, 100km)

Not Validated Due To Covid 19

This is a great route, which would make a good training ride as it avoids most of the main roads and it is easy riding, for the most part.

A 9pm start after the heat of the day had dissipated and the Campbell Clan were all settled for the night. After my 100km ride last week (Around Stoke) I reminded myself to take my time at the start so I set back and enjoyed the quiet roads. It was Stone (six miles) town before I saw my first car, which was very unsettling as I was expecting a few near misses and beeps of the horn! The road to Eccleshall was also quiet but I was distracted with the amazing sunset but I never occurred to me too and take a photo, sorry.

Eccleshall was also deserted but I stopped to take a photo of the church (Holy Trinity C of E Church) in the form of a break. I know the next section very well, as I take the road to Stoke on Tern every time I head towards Cheshire City and the Plains. I also stopped Saint Swithun’s church in Cheswardine as the church was illuminated and I could experiment with the night mode on the phone camera.

The section of Cheswardine to Stoke on Tern is generally downhill and offers vista’s of the Werkin during the day. I quickly hit the main road (A53) and pushed on to the turning Hopton which initially was okay but become a pothole infested and lose surface, which is not my thing. Having looked at the map after the ride I think I will change the route to take the right turning in the village of Stoke on Tern which will take me to Peplow and the A53 and through to the Stanton upon Hine Heath and the route.

I did stop at Moreton Corbet Castle in a rather silly attempt at taking a photo but it was so dark I could bearly see the building and the camera keep saying ‘hold still: 205mins.’ Cycling past the RAF Shawbury I could just make out the outline of what looked like a Seaking helicopter but I was very dark. I did consider stopping and asking the guard if I could enter and take a photo but I considering the time of night and the Covid19 threat I don’t think this would go down to well so I pushed on.

I had a quick stop at Shawbury to take a photo of St Mary’s Church which was illuminated and had a food bank in the main doorway so I avoided this area. I took two minutes to sit on the wall have a snack before starting my home run. So far it has been a lovely night except for three reason a) the dynamo light does not illuminate the road signs as I approach junctions due to the horizontal cut off, b) when I and charging the Wahoo Bolt from the D2 the light instantly goes into standby mode when I came to a stop making it hard to see the junction on the other side of the road when there are no streetlights and c) the wind had picked up. So I put my windproof on, switch the D2 off and adjusted the front light but this resulted in a poor light distribution on the road.

The journey back was on new roads as I have normally taken the B5062 which takes you Newport which I bypass and drop out by Chetwynd Park. These country lanes were generally in could repair and for the most part gentle ramps so I will differently opt to use this route again. I settled into the pace and rhythm and Standford Bridge (A41 crossing) quickly arrived. I wish I could say the same for the next ten miles which takes you to Eccleshall. It felt like the A41 was a crossing from the Goodside to the Darkside and after the initial three or four miles I become disheartened and the short climb up to High Offley did not help. The descent to Eccleshall from High Offley was another pothole-ridden road with loose gravel but it did take me directly to Eccleshall.

I opted to take five minutes at Eccleshall to take on some food and water. I chose to sit on the roadside curb rather than the park benches as the local news feed said that Eccleshall was very busy during the day. The only car which came pass was the local police patrol car which I notice as it crossed the roundabout a few hundred yards away. I had a little stretch and restarted my journey and the final ten miles uphill to home.

As I was leaving the Eccleshall village the police car passed me and the office give me a smile and a wave through the window. The climb out of Eccleshall towards Stone was much easier than I remembered but I have started to notice that my legs are getting tired from constantly pushing against the wind which felt like 20mph rather than the 8mph indicated in the weather forecast. I made steady progress all the way to Stone where I was a little surprised by not seeing any moving cars. I slowed down a little to allow my legs to recover a little as I know there was a three-mile climb which is not very steep (avg 3%) but just keeps giving all the way. But I knew once I was at the top, it was a two-mile ramp to the finish line and home. So I just settled into my rhythm and podded my way home.

Around Stoke (Audax, DIY, 100km, 1.75AAA)

Not Validated Due To Covid 19

Testing the route, which needs some minor changes between Haslington and Betley. I had forgotten how much I enjoy riding overnight.

The leg from Hilderstone Road (Meir Hay) to Cheadle and Foghall is generally boarding and of little interest. However, there are few churches and cenotaphs which you may want to view as you pass by. The climb from Foghall to Ipstones is more of a kick in the head followed by a ramp that has a small kick in at the end. I often stop at the corner shop on the left turn or you could opt for a quick pint in the pub. A few hundred yards up the road is St Leonard church (Ipstones) which also marks the right turn for Cheddleton. This section to Cheddleton is on narrow roads and there is a lot of loose gravel (in the dark this can catch you out so be careful).

I had forgotten how steep the road is from the Churnet canal (Churnet Valley Railway, which has a cafe) to the main road which passes through Cheddleton (A520). From here it is a quick leg on the A520 before pulling off into the housing estate but be warned this is a very busy (and dangerous) road. The road leading from the housing estate becomes very narrow with blind corners but this is generally a nice road. You very quickly arrive at Deep Hayes Country Park just in time for a very long and steep hill that climbs up to the A53 Leek road, which you crossover and continue to Rudyard lake. This section is very pleasant as the roads are open and you have views of the surrounding countryside.

The climb from Rudyard lake to Biddulph Moor is another long climb with a kick at the start and end. However, the descent of the top to Biddulph town is fast and exciting. I believe that Biddulph Grange Gardens has a tea room. I opted to stop on the main road to take a photo of St. Lawrence’s Church which was illuminated by orange lights.

It is a quick sprint along the main road before turning at the Biddulph Arms Hotel make sure you take the correct road, you want the first one which ramps downwards (Mow Lane). This road climbs all the way to the top and the to Mow Cop village. The climb has three sections a) through the trees to the b) ramp (there are some great views along the ramp to keep you going) from the ramp c) up the ridge road to the village. The ridge road has a few layby’s to take photos from and I recommend the first layby as you join the road. You will be going so fast when you descend back down that you will not want to stop.

At the top of the ridge road, you descend down into the main village and turn for the Woodcock Lane which will bring you to Mow Cop Castle, passing the top of Station Road (killer Mile). There is a short steep climb that takes you over the top back onto the ridge road. I recommend tucking in and enjoy the decent but be warned there are a few sharp corners, potholes and loose gravel as you descend. Turn when you see the pub (Horseshoe Inn) … you will have to break!!!

Turning at the Horseshoe Inn will take you through to Smallwood, Winterly and Haslington. This road is fast with an occasional short climb along the way, so power up the hills. Both Winterly and Haslington have roadside shops and cafes if you want to stop. Turning off the main road (Crewe Road) represents a transition as most of the roads through to Madeley are main arteries so watch yourself. You finally turn off the main road (A531) and climb (Bowsey Wood Road) upwards before dropping into Madeley (shops and cafe) and skirting the lake through the village. To be honest the up and down remains a theme and eventually you pop out on the Whitchurch to Newcastle Road (A51) which you follow all the way to Stone. However, this road is fast but a little busy at times. Be careful on the roundabout as the flow of traffic is very fast.

You turn off the A34 after the next roundabout (500 yards-ish) which takes you over the canal which you follow into the back of Stone. Cutting you through the housing estate to bypass the main town leads to the final climb up through Moddershall (Death Valley) which brings you back to the start.

Descent of the Stiperstones (DIY, Audax, 200km) From Tern Hill

A great ride… killer wind, broken cleat, floods, roads full of winter debris.

Starting at Tern Hill (24hr Petrol Station) I headed across the Cheshire Plains to Ellesmere for breakfast, bypassing my favourite café (Midway) and Beans on Toast at Press Heath as it was only a few miles into the ride. The Boathouse at Ellesmere is nice, and the staff are always friendly. But the food and drink are a little expensive for me. I had a couple of heavy downpours of rain with a strong wind during this leg which reduced my motivation. Leaving Ellesmere, I dropped on to the route and headed for Crewgreen and the first big climb. However, the headwind was killing me. On the Dan-O-Meter, I would estimate that it was gusting at 30-40mph as it was pushing me across the road at times. The Cheshire Plains are pretty much the same wherever you go, generally flat roads, hedgerows and pasture or cropland. I had a little diversion just before Melverley, as the floodwater was still high. The locals were out collecting the plastic and other rubbish which had become trapped in the hedgerow. From the waterline, it must had covered the Hawthorne hedgerow. They recommended that I take the high road as it cleared a few days ago. It is interesting that on my original route there were no flood warning signs, but on the high road, all the signs indicate floods and road closed! It must have been bad as the waterline was equally as high along this road too.

Crewgreen and the first climb was a welcome relief as the wind was redirected by the hedgerows and my legs were now climbing. This climb reminded me of the climbs in the Peak District. Don’t forget to look behind you for the vista across the Plains when you turn at the house called ‘new house’ as you will lose this vista. The descent down the other side, Wallaston, is quick but the lane is narrow with blind corners and I had to slow down/ stop a dozen times for oncoming cars. You cross the A road and start the climb up an incline/ ramp which gradually turns into a continuous climb. However, like the first climb, there are places where the gradient reduces, and you can recover. The descent down the other side is very fast and very steep with blind corners but you pop out at a village and start a gentler leg to Montgomery (B4388).

Every time I have passed through Montgomery it has been night-time, so I took the opportunity to look at the church and castle. But to be honest, I was so tired from fighting the headwind for the past 60miles that I could not be bothered to pull off the road to visit the castle. The leg to Newtown has not changed and it was a little descent on to the A road and a headwind battering me until I arrived at McDonald’s. After 7.5hrs of cycling, it felt like I had just ridden 600km.

I stopped for about 15minutes, just long enough to buy 3 cheeseburgers and a large fizzy drink. I knew the Kerry road out of Newtown was long and steep, so I had one cheeseburger and save the other two for my ride back. Partway up the climb to Kerry, I sheered the plastic lip off the front of my left cleat. This had the unfortunate result of the foot popping off the pedal when I applied pressure e.g. trying to go faster. Every time the foot slipped off the pedal the ankle took a knock… this became rather tedious and painful! It also slowed my progression down especially when I was trying to maintain speed into the short climbs. On the positive, the wind had all but gone and I was making good time on the flats.

I stopped at Churchstoke (Patrol station/ Café/ Coop) to have my second cheeseburger and avoid the rain shower which was passing over. Back on the bike and it was only a mile or so to the left turn and the climb over to Ford. Don’t let the incline fool you!!! Eventually, you hit the real climb which is continuous and steep. This is definitely a climbers’ climb. I did not last long as my foot popped off the pedal and I did not have the strength to get going again. I think part of this was the slipperiness of the road. The descent off the top is excellent but be aware of oncoming cars and people in the road. I opted not to stop at Ford and Dinkys Dinahs. Instead, I pushed on for the car at Tern Hill. The last leg was more Cheshire Plains riding and constant ankle banging as my foot popped off the pedal.

Around Burton Upon Trent (DIY, Audax, 100km)

A great ride, full of stone artefacts (churches and archways) and photo opportunities

Arriving home from work the sun was out and the temperature was just warm! I thought a quick 100km spin from home would be a great way to spend the afternoon, I was right! Taking the usual road to Uttoxeter, I stopped at Hilderstone to have a quick look at the church. It occurred to me that I had never taken a photograph of the church. As I headed through Uttoxeter I waved at the Bull as I went around the roundabout. This marks a change in the roads, as they are much quieter except when you pass Sudbury Hall. St Pauls at Scropton was another landmark that I pass but never stop to look at, I did this time.

The roads are fast and the going was good, although a little cold. Turning at Willington for Repton was like joining a slow-moving A’road. The Church at Repton was very impressive alongside the adjoining Abbey, although it looks like a school or offices now. A few miles up the road is Stapenhill Cemetery Archway which is also very impressive. This section of the road was much quieter except when you go through the built-up areas.

The road continues past the power station and to Walton-on-Trent where you cross the river Trent using a single lane bridge, but there is a walkway/ path on one side. A few minutes later you are in Barton-under-Needwood which has an impressive church set back from the main road. Looking at Google images I should have taken the time to cycle to the other side of the Church as it looks much more impressive. I had intended to have a cafe stop here but it was so busy with parents and students leaving school that I just kept going.

The roads become very quiet as you undulate through the countryside. I was taken back when the Church of The Holy Angels at Hoar Cross appeared from behind the trees. I can only describe it as a mini-cathedral. It would be interesting to have a look inside, but it was starting to go dark and I did not have a front light, so I pushed on.

Rather than taking the main road back to Meir Heath (the road I came out on) I opted for the small back roads which I have never used before. I would definitely use these roads again as the climbs are less server and there were very few cars.

Rather than taking the main road back to Meir Heath (the road I came out on) I opted for the small back roads which I have never used before. I would definitely use these roads again as the climbs are less steep and there were very few cars.

What a great ride, I would definitely do this route again but stopping to look at these landmarks in more detail.

Rather than taking the main road back to Meir Heath (the road I came out on) I opted for the small back roads which I have never used before. I would definitely use these roads again as the climbs are less server and there were very few cars.

What a great ride, I would definitely do this route again but stopping to look at these landmarks in more detail.

Around Stafford (Audax, DIY, 100km)

I was up and fed the girls (6am) and delivered the wife’s cup of tea, as normal. Wife: are you cycling today. Me: I’ve not spent any time with you guys over the past couple of weeks, so I am spending the day at home. Wife: why don’t you go for a quick spin and we’ll spend the afternoon together… I am already leaving the house before she had finished the sentence!!!

The road was wet, and the wind had a cold bite to it but considering it is winter it was a pleasant morning. The section from Meir Heath to Uttoxeter is a familiar road as it is my route into the Peak District. Crossing over onto Loxley Lane at the back of Uttoxeter I experienced the first of two near misses on this ride. This time it was a mountain biker in his car overtaking me on a single lane bridge, he must have been millimetres from the wall of the bridge as I was riding just off-centre towards the curb. The section from Uttoxeter to Rugeley is very much a cut-through for mountain bikers heading for Cannock Chase so I would imagine that it is a commuter cut-through during the week.

With the sun rising the illusion of warmth was beginning to set in. However, once the sun had risen it quickly vanished behind the clouds and I never saw it again, but I did see the rain. It started to drizzle as I turned to take the back road around Rugeley to Cannock Chase, in a bid to avoid the traffic and built-up areas. The climb was pleasant and listening to the bird’s song made me feel like I was out in the countryside.

The long descent to Penkridge quickly arrived and I needed the first right to visit the commonwealth war graves which I last visited when I was leading mountain bike groups around Cannock Chase back in the early 1990’s. It is interesting how somethings change every couple of years, but others never change.

Arriving in Penkridge left me a little confused regarding the road layout, I could see the faint road markings, but I could not identify what I was meant to be doing…. so I just made it up! I would imagine that crossing at this junction during the working day is very dangerous. I did not stop at Penkridge as I decided to push on to the cafe at the Red Lion Farm, Hughton. I opted for somewhere warm and dry to have a cup of tea rather than standing in the rain trying to eat a sandwich outside Sainsbury’s.

The section from Penkridge to Hughton is mainly very narrow country lanes and the section between Bradley and Hughton has an extremely poor road surface. So much so that there were more potholes than tarmac. I will consider rerouting this small leg if I do this route again.

The section between Haughton and Stone was flat and uneventful and I would suspect that when it is not raining it would be nice. I immediately knew that I had hit the main road at Bridge North as the traffic was almost continuous and has I approach Stone I had a young lady trying to force me off the road as she attempted to squeeze past me on a zebra crossing, accelerating to overtake me and nearly clipping my front wheel with her rear bumper. This upset the traffic behind her as I rode the next couple miles to the main roundabout dominating the lane, stopping other cars from overtaking.

The section along the Trentham to Stafford road was pleasant but a little dangerous as I had to cycle away from the curbside of the inside lane, as the first 1.5 meters was standing water. However, the car drivers did move into the other lane when they overtook which was great.

The 1942 Battle of Midway (Audax, DIY, 100km)

Now that I had left the harbour the mission was revealed. A stealthy approach going wide and attacking from the rear was the principal attack pattern. Midway was sighted through the clouds and targets were plotted. After several attacking waves, the beans on toast was finally devoured and two cups of tea were drunk to toast my victory.

Now that my presence was revealed I tried to hide in the rain to make my escape back via a cheeky shortcut through the strait only to find that the enemy had mined it. A strategic withdraw was ordered and a route around the peninsular was taken.

I had fighter cover for a while from a couple of spitfires but they had to leave. A welcome shoreline was spotted and the usual navigation hazards were encountered to reach my mooring and safety. Final duty before disembarking is to honour the fallen.

Disclaimer: All events and people identified in this mission log are fictitious and in no way represent real-life events and people!

Four Counties and Two Countries (Audax, DIY, 200km)

I opened the front door and it was monsoon season, I gave serious thought about closing the door and climbing back into bed. I knew it was going to be one of those rides. By the time I made it to the top of the hill, about 2km, I could feel the rain running down my skin on the way to my already cold feet. I realised that I left my heart rate monitor at home, but I knew that if I went back to get it, I will call it a day. Only 2km in and I was not a happy bunny. By the time I reached Stone (5km), I was also very cold, so much for my winter kit keeping me warm and dry. At this point I would settle for wet and warm. I still had hope, as I could see a break in the clouds where the first light of the sun was breaking through, so I told myself to keep going. My new neoprene lined winter gloves were not doing very well as my fingertips were like fish fingers, we’ll what do you expect from eBay, I said to myself!

Pushing on in my misery, I realised that only a few years ago I would have enjoyed the challenge, now I am just a feeble rider, a wannabe Audaxer. As I approached Hodnet (40km) the rain started to break and the morning sun had started to get warm me; the world was a much nicer place. Although the rain had stopped, I was continually faced with flooded roads. To be honest I never really warmed up all day, but my speed did increase mid-morning just in time for another monsoon downpour. I made it to Ford (72kms) and sat eating my breakfast (fry egg sandwiches and a cup of tea) in my personalised and private puddle of water.

The next 70km to Chester were a lot more pleasant as it did not rain. However, my route planning sent me down a tarmac track, which gave way to a gravel section which turned into a wheel gripping mud section, and finally into a swamp-like path which eventually arrived at the tarmac road. I just needed to cycle on another half a kilometer and I would have avoided knee-deep mud and swamps. However, this was on me and my route planning.

It was a welcome relief to arrive at Chester and been greeted by the mandatory Hen do. I could not work out if they had been at it all night or if they had an early start, but they looked rough. I popped my head into Subway and asked if I could put my bike just inside as normal, sorry we are not allowed anymore was the reply. Ho well, I just push on to Bunbury and the cafe which was closing when I arrived but the ladies were kind enough to serve me a slice of cake and a warming cup of tea. I am always impressed with the service at Tilly’s Cafe and they were happy for a wet and muddy cyclist to sit inside to get warm.

The last leg back to Stoke was uneventful and pasted fairly quickly but the sun was leaving me now, I just wanted to get home for a hot bath to warm up again. I could tell I was approaching Stoke on Trent as the car drivers were much more aggressive, getting too close and pulling in front as if to make a point. Just to cap it off, it felt like the cycle lanes were being used as parking lanes so I had to keep moving out into the main flow of traffic which was very dangerous and I came close to getting hit a couple of times. So, I just rode in the main lane which made a few car drivers very unhappy!

Pistyll Rhaeadr, Bala and Vyrnwy (Audax, DIY 2.5AAA)

I have only ever seen Pistyll Rhaeadr from above during a multiday expedition across the Berwyn’s range when I was a teenager, it was about time that I saw it from the bottom! This is one of those rare occasions that I rode with another Audaxer. We also took the opportunity to undertake the two mountain roads (Llangynog Climb, Bwlch Long) to and from Bala at the same time.

It was a typical Welsh misty morning when we started from Guilsfield near Welshpool and to be honest, we never really lost this Welsh mist as every time we climbed it was into the cloud and mist. We had a pleasant ride to Pistyll Rhaeadr with a few sharp climbs along the way, but we were looking forward to the cup of tea at the tea shop. The waterfall can make for a spectacular photograph if you can hairbrush out all the other tourists trying to get a photo! The wet rocks can be slippy in your cycling shoes so take care.

Pistyll Rhaeadr

Leaving Pistyll Rhaeadr it did not take long to reach the first mountain road over to Bala (B4391) but thankfully it was a long gradual Cat2 climb with a wide and fast descent off the top. It does get a little twisty towards the bottom, but you pop out at the Bala lake and it is a fast sprint to the café on the high street. We saw four Red Kites along this section and two were very close to the road, I am assuming they were using the thermals.

Looking Back Down The B4391 Towards Llangynog

After lunch, we traced our route back to Bala lake and traversed its length before starting to climb back over the mountain road (Bwlch Long) to Vyrnwy. This road felt much steeper and it differently became steeper as you neared the top. I would say that we had amazing views but we had a few feet of visibility and misted-up glasses.

Sarah: Bwlch Long Climb About Halfway

The descent to Vyrnwy is fast and there is a lot of loss gravel and potholes so take care. As you reach Vyrnwy lake there is a wonderful stone arch bridge which you will ride over and is almost hidden in the trees. The road along the lake is fast and in places, some of the trees which line the road would me make a specular photo, but the weather was not on our side for photos.

The final push back to Guilsfield provides some of the steepest climbing of the day and apart of one vista there was not much to see, except the eagles sitting on the telegraph poles! If I do this route again, I think I would take a more flat and direct route back to Guilsfield.

Looking Towards Llanerfyl and the Coast

White Peaks, Cheshire and Stoke (Audax, DIY, 200km, 3AAA)

Inspired by my 200km (3.5AAA) Mountain Passes of Snowdonia I created a 200km (3AAA) from home. In effect, I merged several rides into one and in hindsight, I should have given this more thought! The wind and rain were kind to me as I bypassing Elkstone! The leg to Ashbourne was lovely, as the sun had risen to warm me.  I arrived too early at Ashbourne and all the shops were still closed, so I pushed on to Longnor and the Cobbles Cafe on the high street for beans on toast. On the way I saw a cow giving birth has I was climbing a hill, by the time I was close enough to take a picture the calf had been born and the farmer was on his way (only on an Audax).

I took the first turning on leaving Longnor to avoid the 20% tarmac wall at Hollinsclough but the views were not as spectacular. However, the climb was much more manageable. I Stopped at the cafe when I reached the Leek to Buxton road (A53) as I fancied a can of fizzy pop.

The leg up the A53 and over the top to the Cat and Fiddle Inn also offered fine vistas and you can see the BT tower over in the distance which is your next target!

I had forgotten why I normally turn off the A54 at Allgreave onto Rabbit Bank but was soon reminded. The roads are pothole-ridden, narrow with blind corners; several cars came a little close, even for me! I will remove this section next time. The views from Mow Cop were as spectacular as always and on a clear day, you have 365-degree vista: worth a detour if you are ever this way.

The last section to home was mostly flat but there were very few places to grab any water or food so I would divert this route into Haslington next time. I was surprised to achieve a Strava PR on Keele bank (@115miles) by knocking off nearly 3minutes. However, my wife had just messaged me telling me that she had a bag of cheesy puffs (my favourite snack) waiting for me!

I am loving cycling from home, DIY’s are great.