Sunday the twenty ninth of January, six riders turned out on what was a cold and frosty start to the day. I decided to brave the cold as I had spent most of the week on the rollers so needed to hit the road for a change. We set out for Eccleshall, riding through Cheddleton which was nice for the Cheddleton based riders who had just ridden in to Leek. We passed through Meir Heath where the temperature rose to melt the ice on the road sides which was concern at times. We then rode on through the canal town of Stone and heading out to Eccleshall, passing through the wonderfully named Cold Norton which was indeed cold due to the icy wind blowing across the exposed stretches of road, wonderful thing the English language! We passed over the recently built two hundred and fifty million rail flyover and a new road which allowed the pace to increase, which was nice for the sprinters, less so for the tiny climber in the group, (me) Bare with me for mentioning the local civil engineering but being an Autistic rider, I see the world in a different way to you neuro types! We soon reached Eccleshall and found the Merckx Belgian Cafe was closed so we went to The Artisan Cafe for refreshment and a warm. One look at the prices soon had me in a sweat but after debating whether to sell the bike to fund a large coffee, I settled on a regular coffee instead. Phil Simcock decided to have a bacon roll with both Tomato ketchup and brown sauce which may have required him to re-mortgage his house to fund the meal.
After our cafe stop we set off home and decided to go through Sandon and head towards Millwhich. We were going to go through Uttoxeter but due to tired legs in the group (not enough energy in two sauces ), we passed through Tean instead and then up Hollington bank where I led the climb (for about ten seconds before being passed by Jordan and Andy). We then rode through Winnothdale and on to Kingsley where the party split in to two groups, one on the main roads and one on the back lanes to meet up on Kingsley Moor junction. We carried on to Consal and to Chedleton where we dropped off two riders before returning to Leek at 2.15pm after a sixty mile round ride. Thanks to Rich coghill for leading the ride and for continuing to eat Mr Kipplings cakes given the recent profit warning, they need the support.
Written by Club Rider Nick Avins