Tandem Sunday

On Sunday we went out for our first tandem club ride this year. Bad weather prevented rides in January and February, then along came Lockdown! Now that this has greatly eased it was decided we could safely meet as long as we took care.

The plan had been to stagger the start so that we were not in a big bunch, however as only 5 tandems signed up for the ride it was deemed safe enough to ride along together, reasonably spread out.

We met at Audlem, near Newcastle under Lyme. Our criteria for a meeting place is that it has to be a car park where we can stop all day, preferably free of charge, there must not be a height barrier as some members transport their tandems in a van, and there should be public toilets available as some members travel a long way to our meets. Under the current circumstances we knew that facilities were likely to be an issue as they would probably be closed and this may have been a factor to put off some of the members from joining us. We opted to transport our tandem with our motorhome, thus having our own on board facilities!

Lunch is usually a cafe stop, though in the summer some of our rides are bring-your-own picnic rides and this was the chosen option for this outing, safety being a prime concern.

Canal Lifting Bridge

Canal Lifting Bridge

The ride was a repeat of one last summer. We rode out along a variety of country lanes and over the Shropshire Union Canal. When we arrived at the spot where the road crosses the canal we found that the bridge was about to be operated and thought we were in for a long wait to let a barge through but they kindly waited for us to cross first and then we stopped anyway to watch the bridge lifted and the barge pass.

Picnic at Beeston

Picnic at Beeston

Our picnic lunch stop was at Beeston Castle, where there are table and benches set out for visitors to use. Many of us were also thankful that the visitors facilities were also open. We then continued our round trip back to Audlem, taking in another stop for an ice-cream just outside Audlem at Overwater Marina.

Tandems at Overwater Marina

Tandems at Overwater Marina

The ride was just short of 42 miles, the longest ride we have done this year. The weather was kind to us; a bit overcast at times with a chilly breeze but some long sunny spells when it was quite warm. In all a lovely day out on the tandem and good to catch up with other tandem-riding friends after a six-month break!

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