Lewis Carroll Centre 8thNovember 2017See photos here.

Wednesday morning bought with it the first real frost of the year with puddles frozen over and windscreens to scrape. So, a later start than normal was needed to give the roads chance to thaw. This didn’t, however, help much with the air temperature so it was time to don the thermals and winter wear – but not heated grips, never heated grips! That meant arriving at the start point with numb fingers – oh well, as the saying goes, we all have to suffer for our art. Despite this distinct wintery feel, five Cheshire Cats turned out and, actually, once the sun had risen higher in the clear sky it turned out to be fabulous riding conditions.

A week ago, we lost British Summer Time so, with an hour less to play with, we embarked on a shorter than normal ride. Where to on this mystery tour - well just up the road to Daresbury to visit the birth place of the man whose writing gave us the name of our section, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson creator of the Alice in Wonderland adventures. All Saints Church, Daresbury has attached to it the Lewis Carroll Centre which is dedicated to the author and mathematician. There is also a memorial stained-glass window depicting characters from Alice in Wonderland. There was no sign of a Cheshire Cat on there but I don’t think we’re going to change our name to ‘Mad Hatters’ any time soon.

Our route took us from the Leigh Arms at Acton Bridge to Lymm via Comberbach, Great Budworth (avoiding the badgers) and High Legh. From Lymm we crossed back to Daresbury through Grappenhall and Appleton. We came across a couple of road closures that sent us off the planned route. The first was at Great Budworth where the diversion sign must rank as one of the most bizarre explanations for a road closure. Apparently, the carriageway had collapsed due to badger activity and will remain closed for the foreseeable future!

We eventually arrived at the Lewis Carroll centre only to find that it was in use for guitar examinations and we were unable to visit the dedicated displays illustrating his achievements. Oh well, we’ll just have to come again. 

After a delicious pub lunch, it was back home via the direct route and another successful Last of the Summer Wine Adventure under our belts.


D&K Motorcycles and Mow Cop Castle 1stNovember 2017 - See photos here.

Well who would have thought it – Wednesday morning brought with it a mild, slightly cloudy morning that eventually turned into a bright warm sunny afternoon. Seven Cheshire Cats gathered in the precinct car park in Holmes Chapel for a 10am start. Bearing in mind that the clocks had been put back that weekend a simple, shortish route had been planned in order to avoid the murk of the late afternoon. 

We set of on a straight forward canter down the A50 to Church Lawton, a route we have used on several occasions – Baton Run, Pete Mills Run etc. Across to the A34 at Talke and on down to D&K Motorcycles in Newcastle-under-Lyme. This stretch of the Journey was uneventful and involved an overdose of dual carriageway -  not our usual type of roads! This deviation from the norm, however, was worth it. We spent 45minutes browsing round the staggering number of bikes available, from complete barn find wrecks all the way from the USA to brand new offerings of the Japanese variety. After a coffee/tea (plus bacon and oatcake for Bob), a quick browse round the museum section and a vital visit to the little boys room we set off on stage two of the day. 

This was to be a snaking run across the top of the potteries and up to Mow Cop Castle. It didn’t quite work in the way it was planned - we all made it to the castle but by varying routes after we were separated by busy traffic, despite a valiant attempt by your chairman to gather the flock back together. Arriving at Mow Cop the sun came out and stayed with us for the rest of the afternoon. Group photos in the bag (thanks to two random walkers in the car park) we decided to re-jig the planned route due to the delays at D&K and en-route. We took a scenic ride across the top of the Mow Cop ridge and then down into Gillow Heath, along the main road and stopping for lunch at The Castle Inn just outside Congleton.

Finally a sauntering route in the late sunshine (that murk never arrived) through Timbersbrooke, Bosley, North Rode and on to Swettenham Goostrey and home. 

Next week Stephens skiving off to South Africa but hopefully we can make it seven runs out of seven – anybody got any ideas?


The Pondarosa 26th October 2017  See photos here.

After a little more persuasion at club night  we had an increased turn out of eight riders for our next adventure on a wide mix of bikes of all ages. Despite Bob M not making it to the start (magneto problems on his Velo), between us we led out the ride, starting from our regular departure point of Oakmere Service station and heading down the A49 towards Tarporley. We cut across the back roads through Eaton Tiverton, Beeston and Burwardsley to arrive at Malpas where we took some refreshment at the Old Fire Station café on the high street. Drinks consumed we set of on the next section of the ride - well once we had found Theo’s ‘lost’ keys.

From this point Stephen took the lead and we continued through Wrothenbury, Bangor on Dee, Overton and across into Llangollen. From there we climbed the Hourseshoe Pass and arrived for lunch at the Ponderosa Café. The weather was decidedly Welsh grey on the top so not much in the way of views today.

Phil G took us on the last leg of the day skirting Wrexham, up through Gresford and Holt for the final rest stop at the tea bar at Broxton. From there we made our own way home to conclude the latest of our excursions. Maybe we’ll get another one in before the weather takes hold? 


Mersey Gateway and Liverpool– 19thOctober 2017  See photos here.

The next run turned out Liverpool. ‘But’, I hear you say, ‘that’s not the lush green Cheshire landscape we’re used to’. Maybe not but, nonetheless, in this ‘adventure’ despite the lack of passports we set out to attempt a covert crossing of the Mersey via the newly opened Mersey Gateway bridge. Leaving the Leigh Arms at 10am led by Bob G we approached this magnificent engineering concept via Whitley and Dutton. With seemingly no border control in place we were able to slip across un-noticed – must have been a lucky break! Despite the imposing size of the structure, and the fact that its toll free for motorcycles, the crossing was a bit of an anti-climax but I suppose it is only a bridge. 


The next stage of the run took us along mainly major roads towards the centre of Liverpool, heading down Otterspool Drive – I think Bob granted us dispensation to cut through the bollards at this point, along Festival Park, through the Albert Dock area, past the Three Graces – unfortunately no time to stop and take in the architecture - and back under the river through the Kingsway tunnel (much more exciting than the bridge). Emerging in Wallasey we then found our way up to New Brighton for a coffee stop before travelling across the top of the Wirral through Leasowe, Moreton, Moels and Hoylake towards another fish and chip lunch in West Kirby.

Suitably fed and refreshed we took on the return journey. We had so far enjoyed dry but grey weather but nature had some other plans. As light rain started to fall some of us made the very sensible decision to apply the waterproof over-trousers. The heavens opened and it was, to say the least, wet, wet, wet for the remainder of the ride home. So much so that Bob has renamed us ‘The Cheshire Cats Sub-Aqua Group’.  The over-trousers did their job, shame I can’t say the same about the supposedly waterproof jacket or the water-filled boots.


Thank you to Bob G for safely guiding us on this urban orientated journey. No matter the weather, sun, wind or rain, we have all thoroughly enjoyed these mid-week runs and hope that more of you will be able to join us whilst the weather lasts. Where do you fancy taking us?



Shady Oak, Tiverton – 12thOctober 2017  See photos here. 

With the unsettled weather requiring a shift from Wednesday to Thursday our group of four set out from Oakmere and headed south. The route took us through Whitegate to Winsford and on to Bunbury.  We had hoped for refreshments at Bunbury Locks where there is a small café that apparently do a mean carrot cake. But it was not to be. After a look around the locks on the Shropshire Union Canal we relocated to Tilly’s Coffee shop in Bunbury where, despite taking up most of their small parking area with our bikes, we were made warmly welcome and treated ourselves to an indulgent late breakfast of bacon and sausage sandwiches. Taking some of the less travelled roads of south Cheshire we rode on to a lunch stop at The Shady Oak in Tiverton. Although not planned this way the ride took on a distinctly canal based theme. Our next stop was at Wrenbury where we stopped to assist a narrowboat using the lifting bridge that crosses the canal at that point. On through Swanwick Green and No-Mans-Heath to Malpas. After recently retiring this gave me the excellent opportunity to wave smugly as we passed the school which until last July provided my employment. Do you know what? There wasn’t a hint of regret. We arrived at the pub after approaching from the south to be treated to some spectacular views of the imposing side of Beeston castle. Pub lunch consumed we set of home. Another great ride in great company. Right, where next?



Parkgate – 4thOctober 2017  See photos here.


Our second foray saw four of us leaving from the Leigh Arms at Little Leigh over to Parkgate for a fish and chip lunch. On a sunny day at the beginning of October, Stephen led us via Acton Bridge, Norley, Kingsley and Helsby to the BMW dealers at Ellesmere Port where we had a mid-morning drink before perusing the overpriced offerings in the showroom. From there we headed out towards the Wirral and arrived at Parkgate via Capenhurst, Puddington Burton and Neston. There is an excellent chip shop in Parkgate with fish cooked to order. We all enjoyed our meal with an interesting discussion on the merits of electric motorcycles. The journey back took us over to the northern side of the Wirral through Raby and Eastham, returning to Ellesmere Port and home via Delamere Forest. A big thanks to Stephen for leading this run through many small and beautiful Cheshire villages and on roads new to most of us.


Mow Cop – 27thSeptember 2017  See photos here.

The first was a simple affair taking in the Staffordshire/Cheshire borders out via Swettenham, North Rode, Timbersbrook and Biddulph we visited Mow Cop from what was a rather dull and hazy view over the empire of the Cheshire Cats, more commonly known as the Cheshire Plain. After stopping to assist a fellow young motorcyclist who had decided to take the scenic route up the hedge bank (a result of too much speed and not enough road), we took coffee at a local garden centre in Congleton and then made our way home.