Saturday, 12 July 2014

Anti-Clockwise round Beeston

Having visited a cafe near Beeston Castle in Aug 2011 , this is part two!  In those 'early' days I was pleased to have 8 riders out.

There was some discourse between leaders on the Friday before the ride, as two of us had been on holiday and I was not sure if the tea van I had in mind was still open.  Nicky kindly rode out in the week preceeding and had let them know so that sealed it - they were obviously ready and waiting for us.....

I also had not been able to email out or even create an event on facebook before the ride, so would also be interested to see how many would remember.  I did post a reminder on facebook, and some did email me to ask if there was a ride.  23 riders (plus Jane found us on the lanes, and Nosheen found us at Beeston - no surprise there!)

You don't have to wear pink....but it helps!

Three groups again this month, with Kath leading the faster further, Nicky the slow and steady and I had regular with newbies.

Take care when crossing - everyone
is responsible for themselves

And don't duck out of my photos....

....or I will make you hold the gate lol!!!!
Beautiful July sunshine, very warm.  Lovely lanes as ever, although I note a lot of nettles wavering on the edges.  

Beeston is a very notable and iconic landmark to head for across the Cheshire lanes.  It affords fantastic views and is well worth a visit.  This time I headed out through Tattenhall, then doubled back round to approach from the usual easterly angle.  It always gives marvellous views of Beeston Castle as you get closer, until it disappears in the woods and you skirt around the base.  Bit of an uphill climb, but then you turn in and find the tea van.

Unfortunately, despite warning that there may be up to 30 of us, it took a rather dismal 45 minutes to get everyone's orders in and sorted.  Very nice coffee, and lovely picnic area (but you do need a nice day!).
The cafe/ tea van is on the Sandstone Trail.

Lots of outdoor picnic tables - apparently
will have parasols next week...

..and ample bike parking!

Everyone split a little, as time was ticking on.  The Rossett girls headed off with Jane towards

Clutton and Wales; a few headed to the Ice cream farm - just too temptingly near!  Nosheen and Shanti had the day so set off (who knows where!).  Kath seemed to retain her group, but I was down to four and Nicky also had four.
Returning via Huxley, Nicky carried on to the 50p shop where the toilet was a useful stop off.  

Slow 'n' steady - 25 miles (24.8 says Nicky!)
Regular ride - 27 miles
Faster Further -

Monday, 23 June 2014

Published - again!

I was approached a wee while back by a publication, looking for ladies over 50 to be interviewed for an insurance magazine.  Not being old enough myself (!), I asked the ladies, and Collette volunteered.

Posted on facebook, 3rd May:

When I responded to a request,sent to the Fab Ladies Cycling Group, for a lady in her mid-fifties to answer some questions for a magazine article, I didn't envisage having to take part in a 'photo shoot' (their terminology not mine!) at 8.00am on a Saturday morning. And no it wasn't a Calendar Girls style session ! I took Mick with me as my PR Manager - haha, but he was more interested in the equipment - pardon mrs??? 

and today an email came from Collette:

Hi Sue

Here's the magazine article. The write up isn't exactly what I said but I suppose they can practise artistic licence as journalists 

There is a link to the Fab Ladies site so they kept that part of the bargain.

I am not sure where Collette goes following our rides to enjoy a glass of wine - but there is an idea!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Fabulous Fifty

This Sunday, to mark the end of Bike Week, the annual Liverpool to Chester rides take place.  In the last year or so they have also offered a 50 mile round Cheshire.  Some of our ladies took part...

Post ride smoothie following a
very hilly Chester Challenge ride

I do declare - that is our Janet from our sister group Wirral Bicycle Belles!!!!!

Facebook chat.....

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Hope-ful Hills

We went to Hope. There were a few hills.  I have said before I am struggling to think of blog post titles!

Had a bit of a crisis in the week leading up to the 6th anniversary of the Fab Ladies.  A lack of leaders meant I may only have two groups, a fairly far cry from 3-4 years ago, when I was still glad if anyone turned up!  A last minute offer from two ladies saved the day, and with a call to CTC on the Friday afternoon, all was registered and set to go.

News had come to me of a new cafe in Hope - well, you know me (if you follow the blog) - I am a sucker for new cafes!  I plotted a route - and Kath plotted a longer one!

We gathered - people signed in - I stood on the wall and read out the rules- and we sent Kath off with her group.  We have had a lot of new faces in the last few months, and today seemed more newbies than ever.  It is all good, but it does mean that people may not be familiar with group riding rules.

Everyone at the start.  Who are all these people?!!!!!
There were 13 of us left - not quite two groups, and as Claire had not been able to upload the route we decided to do one group with a significant gap in between - enough for cars to fit in but not so far as to loose sight.

The Suspension Bridge

We wended our way down to Boughton and the river - dodging boats - and crossed on the suspension bridge.

Climbing up over A483 near Burton

On through Handbridge, round Beeston view with a view over the allotments to the river (but I don't think you can see Beeston from there) to Eccleston; then to the main road out to Rossett and then back into the lanes.


Kath had led her group along the river I think, they certainly crossed on Saltney Ferry bridge, where they seem to have stopped for a photo shoot!

Collette's photo....
...Nathalie's photo....


We took a steady ascent through Golly, where we re-grouped - had not seen the others for a little while.  We carried on up and then crossed the main Llay road, to climb a little bit round Caer Estyn (an iron age Celtic hill fort - opposite to Caergwrle Castle built by a Welsh Prince) - an then to drop fairly spectacularly into Hope by the bridge.

Many photos were taken by all at the cafe.  A very friendly and helpful cafe, with some seats outside so we could soak up even more sun.

Here are a selection of photos:

Kath led her group off first - remember the spectacular descent I described into Hope?....they were heading up that!

We went the other way, and after a very short climb we crossed the main road again and were in the lanes near Kinnerton.  Including a loooong drop to the other end of Kinnerton!

Hope main road

Short climb up Pigeon Lane
We were destined to be late back; not only did we re-group from time to time, and let the slower ones catch up and re-cooperate (not a problem - especially on such a nice day), but as we approached Balderton Crossing the lights started flashing and siren sounding.

Arriving at Chester we were faced with very busy alternatives - Chester races were on, there was a regatta on the river,the sun was shining - Handbridge became gridlocked so we 'took the bridge' - not as I intended (riding as a group to get us all over quicker) but instead single file alongside cars stuck trying to cross.  Then we had a toilet stop by the river (at the toilets I hasten to add) before battling with a few cars to get up to the Canal....peace again.

23 riders, 26 miles and 29 FF miles.