I’d arranged to meet up with Tim for a longer ride today, I’ve been planning a ride up to the Cat n Fiddle in the Pennines between Macclesfield and Buxton for a while now so suggested we do this. The original plan was to ride from Market Drayton, making it a 90 mile ride but I could do with getting back earlier so suggested we start from Wybunbury, making it a 69 mile ride instead. Perfect!
We met up at the allotted time and off we set. The initial part of the route took us up through Sandbach and Holmes Chapel, like on my Jodrell Bank route, but I opted to vary the route a bit and use new lanes for a change, which worked out really well. Might use that route again soon!
After Holmes Chapel, we settled on the Macclesfield road, which then starts to gradually climb all the way into town. The plan was to have a coffee and cake in Macclesfield before taking the iconic Cat n Fiddle climb so we wandered off route looking for a coffee shop.
I stpotted The Rustic Coffee Company, which looked really nice so we parked the bikes round the back and went in. What a fab find. A really nice place with a great selection of food and cakes and really friendly staff too. The coffee and cake were absolutely spot on.
Suitably fortified we set off to tackle the main climb of the day. This turned out to be a really gentle 3-5% climb so not hard at all. It just went on like this for 7 miles but was easy enough. The higher we got the windier it got so when we finally arrived at the top it was literally blowing a gale! There are no trees or hedges to shelter from the wind when riding up here.
We stopped by the Cat n Fiddle itself while Tim fixed a loose cleat on his shoes and then set off for the descent down into Congleton. This turned out to be a very hairy part of the ride as the gales combined with passing lorries was literally trying to whip your wheels out from under you! Was so glad when we reached lower ground and the winds subsided a little bit.
We missed a turning coming down the hill so ended up a little further north of Congleton than we were hoping for, so had to stop to consult maps to see how to get back on track. Easy enough to sort out though :).
We arrived at Congleton Garden Centre for lunch at about 14:45 and 15 minutes late for the end of their hot food service. Drat! Luckily I had a backup plan in Astbury Garden Centre about a mile further on down the lane and this proved to be perfect as they had a nice selection of hot food and some very nice cheesecake!
After lunch, it was an easy ride past Rode Heath into Alsager and then onwards via Betley back to the cars.
A really nice ride with a wide variety of terrain. Loved it!
Route: click here