With the clocks going back an hour for the start of British wintertime we all got an hour extra in bed so at 9am (10am old time) all 7 of us gathered at Stretton for what promised to be a very windy day. Metcheck had winds of 19-23mph for the morning easing off slightly for the afternoon.
No real ride leader for the day but Andy and Dave had some suggestions for the route so it was west into and through Frodsham then over (snigger snigger) Alvanley with it's hill that made a few of us sweat a little before heading through Mouldsworth with a cafe stop at the Elvis transport cafe nr Tarvin complete with a singing reindeer mounted on the wall surrounded by hundreds of Elvis photo's.
After the tea n cake we continued the loop ending up at Willington corner tantalisingly close to Chapel Ln but good common sense prevailed and we did a right missing Chapel lane out and curving round to Delamere Forest, right at Hatchmere through Norley across the A49 before hitting the narrow country lanes once more and on back to Stretton.
The rain held off, the temperature was mild and you kind of got used to a wind that didn't really abate for the duration of the ride. A good run that wasn't too hilly - but certainly not flat. Alvanley hill which was the first hill to make me get off and walk last year not long after I started riding was the only real challenge of the day, but a nice steady slow climb had me up easy enough even though it did get the old ticker working hard.
41.3 miles, 2hrs37min, Av Speed 15.8, 1588ft climbing.