Stoke, Chirk, Chester, Stoke (Audax, DIY, 200km)

Not Validated Due To Covid 19

A great ride but a lot of hard work when windy, nearly finished me off! The route offers lots of café stops.

It was my normal early start (230am) as I wanted to be at Chirk (24hr services @50miles) for breakfast and Chester (Net’s Café @100miles) for lunch. Taking my normal route to the Cheshire plains through Wem and Ellesmere and on to St Martin’s and the A5 petrol station (M&S foods) at Chirk. I love this route; it is quick and gets me to Wales quickly and the best bit, I had the roads to myself.

After finishing my chicken and bacon sandwich meal-deal I washed it down with a small bottle of milk. I then headed back for St Martin’s and turning north for Chester into a soul-destroying headwind which should not be here! This is a new section which offered new roads to me and it was very pleasant, even more so without the wind. I kept my head down and turned out the miles and the familiar roads around Tattenhall (Chester) started to welcome me. I had a little stop in Tattenhall for a photo of Seymour the squirrel and an energy gel has I was starting to feel the effort of fighting the wind.

I knew that the ride along the coastal path was going to be hard due to the wind but boy, it nearly broke me. I had to force myself to keep going on the promise of a lovely lunch at Net’s Café which everyone raves about. Turning off into the industrial estate was such a relief as the wind had all but faded due to the surrounding hard landscape. Instead I had to contend with egocentric SLAG (Socially Lacking Aggressive Group) riders. I nearly got hit twice by on coming SLAG riders who were treating pram’s, very young children, and the OAP’s as obstacles on a velodrome track, and I am hard to miss due to my size and coloured clothing. If this is what it means to be a group rider, I am thankful that I ride alone.

Heading back for Chester, I took the position of not giving way to oncoming egocentric SLAG riders on myside of the tarmac track. This nearly resulted in a head on collision with an egocentric SLAG rider as he was too busy talking with people in the group rather then looking where he was going. I came to an abrupt stop and waited for the crash but at the last minute he saw me and swerved causing his mate behind him to run into his back wheel. Rant over.

I was hoping that Tilly’s Café would be open in Bunbury as I know that they have reopened with restrictions. No, they are closed on Sundays! So, I waited in line (18minutes) to enter the Coop to by some snacks and water for the last 30miles home. As I approached Madeley Heath, the looming dread of climbing Keele Hill, knowing that afterwards I had a five-mile climb to the doorstep made my legs feel like they had cycle 400miles not 140miles. But I pushed as my awesome wife had cooked Chinese for tea.