England is beautiful when the sun shines

June 1, 2014  |  Training Rides

2 weeks today and we will be riding in Italy. Scary thoughts then that today was the first time I’ve been on a bike for 4 weeks. After a weekend away, the Manchester 10k, and a weekend of sickness, a 50 miler in the Cheshire hills was a daunting but necessary return to the saddle.

We have Chris Byrne to thank for a beautiful route round the cat and fiddle after he posted a Strava link the other week to his favourite ride. We all agreed that we could see why. Gorgeous houses on the roads out through Bramhall and Poynton, fields of buttercups, lambs bouncing, and plenty of blue sky.

Today was the perfect day for cycling; finally warm & no more than a light breeze. No surprise that the hills were crawling with Lycra.
I’ve always found cycling to be a social sport. It’s lovely to be able to chat to new people on an uphill slog – they all think we’re bonkers though on our touring bikes with panniers, especially Mark who tried out his front panniers for the first time today, which he bought to try and balance the weight following an earlier purchase of a pannier robust enough to safeguard his SLR.

Unfortunately the legs weren’t as enthused about the ride as the head so we had to stop frequently, consume many Haribo (ok, that’s is normal cycling behaviour) and take the climbs at a frustrating pace.

Lunch was at the cat and fiddle; teaming with bikers, cyclists and walkers. Sandwiches and a pint – of chips, plus a game of dominoes, set us up for the ride home, along with the first ice cream stop we’ve managed on a ride (summer is here, if only for the weekend, and even if the ice cream was only from Asda).

I won’t comment on how long the 50 miles has taken, it was all about recovery and being back in the saddle. Jelly legs to finish but it’s done, and still nice enough to have tea and cake in the garden to relax.


By Becci Johnson

Chief blogger and haribo coordinator.


  1. Gillian Fitzmaurice

    Hope the jelly legs have set in preparation for Italy Ian. All the best to everyone.

  2. I find myself singing “That’s Amore” in the style of Dean Martin, for some strange reason.