Glorious sunshine in late October and a gentle, pleasant ride to Congleton, mostly but not all on quiet lanes. There are many ways to get to Congleton from Alsager, so I chose this route because it gets over the canal and railway line and stays on the far side away from the traffic.
An odd spot for a church, surely, far from any houses or village centre? Why build it where everyone would have a long walk to get there? When you look at the satellite view the reason becomes clear.
At the top right you can see the church. On the left you can see Rode Hall. The church appears to be as close as possible to Rode Hall without actually being inside the grounds. What was going on here? Was the Church so close to the landed gentry that the siting of a new building was decided for the convenience of the squire? Today’s news was that St Paul’s Cathedral is to evict the protesters occupying some of its land. After all the cathedral is a theatre for prestigious worship. I’m no fan of Jesus, but I would have liked to see him getting stuck in there with his flail.
Sorry. Bike ride. Focus. Through Scholar Green and up Cinderhill Lane. Soon you cross the canal at a lovely spot:
A little further you reach Acker’s Crossing, where there used to be a level crossing. Now there is a little subway under the railway. Whether this was because of some tragedy, or simply an upgrade to the line, I don’t know.
From here the very little used Yew Tree Lane continues towards Congleton, passing tantalising turnings like this one signposted to Mow Cop and just asking to be explored another day:
A bit further on one encounters this theatre for prestigious drinking, one of many along the route.
Staying East of the railway you get to Mossley and follow Canal Rd down into Congleton. On the return journey (see the map) there is a stretch of busy road on the A534. Most of this can be avoided by taking Back Lane, Chelford Rd, and Sandy Lane.
This bike ride is nearly eighteen miles long. The views are pleasant rather than spectacular, and there is a little more climb than you would expect. Today it was still surprisingly green: very soon now the autumn colours will be at their best.