Twelve hardy souls enjoyed a route led by John Radcliffe under rather grey skies: train from Ormskirk to Sandhills, the Leeds-Liverpool canal through Rimrose Valley to Litherland, Little Crosby and Formby, then back to Ormskirk. See map below.
Starting the ride at Sandhills Station, we went towards Liverpool for about 1 km, then made our way to the canal via the locks off Great Howard St. A long pleasant tow-path ride, a million miles from a busy city it seemed, brought us via Litherland up to Rimrose Valley, and then Thornton and Little Crosby.
Taking the quieter road towards Hightown, then turning off to join the Formby by-pass opposite the Weld Blundell Arms, we turned north-west towards Formby. After about 20 km, we reached a great little cafe in Stephenson Way, Formby, where we stopped for lunch just as the rain started. I must admit we dallied somewhat as the rain became heavier, but eventually we had to continue, even though the rain was set in.
At this stage, the group split off into 3 smaller groups to allow us to take more direct routes home. At least it was warm, and despite some torrential rain near the finish, it was most enjoyable.
Many thanks to John for leading a varied and interesting ride, and to the rest for their good company.