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Retired, work part-time or shifts, enjoy being out in the countryside? Then cycle the lanes and byways of Cheshire and surrounding areas with Chester Easy Riders: you won't get left behind.
Chester Easy Riders is an independent cycling club affiliated to Cycling UK. We cycle every Thursday throughout the year with moderate and brisk day rides of 40 to 80 miles.

For more information see the About Us tab.

Friday, 25 May 2018

24th May 2018 : Sun Bank via Worlds End (brisk)

Riding out to Holt this morning felt a little chilly after the recent warm days. On riding past the Grovensor Arms at Aldford, Colin was sitting on the wall but indicated he was ok. I’d just passed a rider in full wet weather gear and assumed he was waiting for a companion! At Cleopatra’s, a couple of riders were already enjoying tea and brunch breakfast. Soon there were plenty of riders out and the Brisk group today would be – John M, Clive, Colin and me. Fortunately, Colin’s rider to Holt was John M and not the all-weather cyclist!!

Today's route was the Sun Trevor pub via Worlds End and Minera. We set off at 10:30 out along the Borras road. Our ride through Wrexham was to keep to the B5100, which was a reasonable traffic free road except for navigation round the busy roundabout at Sainsburys and B&Q, before crossing over the A483 heading to Coedpoeth. The lanes are now dry and colourful, and we are enjoying being out and not thinking of bike cleaning. It’s not long and we are on the uphill stretch to Minera which is an 8% gradient. As usual of past week’s, temporary road work lights stop us in full pedal flow and we take rest to allow traffic to pass. Off again and to the start of the track over Worlds End. 

Are we nearly at the top!
It has been a few years since I’ve ridden this way and on the last occasion, to remind you how long it was, Bryan peeled off to do his own ride back to Chester and Mike Morley was with us. We head uphill and it is now 15% gradient before going over the brow and heading down to the ford.

Happy at the top of Worlds End  - just before the puncture!
 As we descend Colin hits a sharp stone and pssssss goes his rear tyre. It becomes a group effort in changing the tube due to fancy wheel flanges and poor pump efficiency. Tube replaced and sorted, it is now downwards again and, if you haven’t been here recently, the road has been resurfaced and better today than many main roads. There was a good flow of water passing over the ford but legs up and we’re through.

Our beloved leader with Dinas Bran in the distance

Panorama panorama
Now riding along the Panorama walk, we take the right turn to drop us down to our lunch stop which is the Sun Trevor. Clive and I arrive at the inn and we await the rear flank. Soon there's a phone call and John also has punctured and his pump is not working. I return uphill and pass the only hairpin where John and Colin are walking down to meet me. We inflate the rear tube only to find the front also is deflated. Pumped up temporarily we progress down to the inn and lunch.

Today's food service seems slow, but we enjoy the atmosphere and general chat of the route. Eventually we are ready to go and change Johns front innertube. Fortunately, a camper arrives in the car park and asks us if we need a track pump! John is now fully inflated and we cross over to the Llangollen canal for an enjoyable stroll/ ride to Pontcysyllte.

From here it is the usual return via Cefn-Mawr and Ruabon. A ride through the Erddig NT grounds is a must and thence to Cross Lanes where we ride the final leg home to Holt. It has been an enjoyable ride and full of talking issues centred around solo riding and tube inflation processes.Not the usual mileage today at 40 miles  but a ride full of scenic beauty and 2900ft of climb . Three punctures says it all really but, due to the competence of the group and team work ,everything is accomplished - eventually!

See route map and/or gpx file download

ID

Photos by John M

Thursday, 24 May 2018

24th May 2018: Coton (mod)


Another fine day attracted a good turnout for both brisk and mod groups; Dave and Liz P were also out, but doing their own route (see below for more info). The mods were Keith, Dave H, David M, Andy B, George and myself, and our destination was the Dog and Bull at Coton (or as Google calls it the “Bull and Dog”).

Our route out involved a big swing eastwards, passing by Tilston, Cholmondley and Marbury, weaving along a variety of quiet little lanes.  We approached Whitchurch from the east on a “closed road”, squeezing past concrete blocks and wire fencing to enter the town.  Then straight through to Alkington and Hollinwood, to arrive at the pub just before 1pm, with 26 miles completed.

The Dog and Bull is a favourite and we were supplied with good substantial food and drink. We discussed audax and end to end rides.  We then debated why CER is not a full member of Chester and North Wales CTC, despite general approval of the new C&NW CTC shirt, which yours truly happened to be modelling.

Photo by Steve H

The return route was through Whixall and Whitewell, then avoiding Sarn Bank to enter Worthenbury and the usually competitively fast return through Shocklach.  David M broke away somewhere along the way to head direct for home.  The remaining five ended the ride at Lewis’ in Farndon enjoying coffee and cakes, where we discovered that the old Dee Bridge connecting Holt and Farndon was going to be closed to vehicles from mid-July for about 14 weeks, and closed to bikes and pedestrians also for part of the time – take note for future rides!  

Our total distance was 47 miles: a great moderate day out, with little wind, warm sunny spells, good food and good company.

(Note from Dave P: He and Liz rode out to the Plassey: a gentle ride of 24 miles.  They will be doing similar rides for the next few meets while they build up their fitness, and anyone who wishes to join them is welcome.)


SH

Saturday, 19 May 2018

17th May 2018 : Chelford (brisk)

The brisk riders today were, John M, John W, Nick, myself and new SGCC member Colin  as a guest rider. The day is a continuation of sun and little wind making it perfect for riding.

Leaving the café, we headed towards Cotebrook passing Little Budworth via Park Lane and on to Whitegate. As usual there seem to be plenty of road closed signs, but as cyclists we are able to pass.
Arriving into Winsford and the Flashes, riding down hill towards the sharp bend there is another blocked road; zig zagging through the concrete blocks we cross over the wooden bridge spanning the river Weaver and join NCR 5 and the bumpy track up to Davenham. Passing through the town we have another two roads closed before Lach Dennis!! 

Continuing along some very quiet lanes, we are on the outskirts of Knutsford and I had tried to route us through without being on the main road. Unfortunately, as we were joining the A5033 into the town, Nick was unable to follow and the hares had taken a right hand turning and pulled up to wait for the tortoise, you’ve never seen one go so fast. In time trial mode, he was zooming past us head down and into Knutsford.  John W had to go at 27 mph to catch and pass him to advise we had turned off. Regrouping, we rode through the very bumpy potholed streets of Knutsford before re-joining the traffic lights on Toft Road (A50). Joining the B5085 the road to Mobberley is enjoyed and on towards Alderley Edge.

As we near this town there is an increase of vehicles which are mainly Chelsea Tractors. There was a little concern of "are we heading up the Wizzard". No, we take a right turn before town and ride the A535 which was fortunately a good road and we were happy going a few miles at 20+ mph to Chelford and the Egerton Arms inn. Not the first time we have visited this inn. There was a reasonable selection on the menu but for a lunch snack perhaps on the expensive side.After our lunch is consumed we get ready to set off, what a pleasure when re-emerging outside it is warmer than inside!!

Our route takes us via Goostrey and Middlewich and on to Winsford via Clive Green Lane. As we arrive in Winsford, we take the lane heading towards the Weaver river and join the cycleway and avoid most of the roads around the town. As we head up Weaver St, most of us will remember the handy cycle shop half way up the hill, now a Chinese takeaway. No more emergency stops here. 

Winsford's Weaver Park
Going via Townfield Drive, we join the little lane that leads to the A54. Nick in the lead, we are soon accelerating along the A54 before turning into Rushton lane and skirt around the walls of Oulton Park. We had decided a tea stop at Tarporley would be welcome, so it is through Eaton before arriving at the Old Fire station Café. John W continues on to Chester whilst the remaining group enjoy drinks and cakes in this excellent café.

Colin leaves us here to cycle home to Mouldsworth and Nick back to Rose Farm to collect his car. John M and I ride out via Brassey Green and Waverton and back into Chester. A good ride on a sunny day, with good companions. Hope Colin joins us again. Good to have John W out to as he is a must to have on the front to pull us along. A round trip of nearly 60 miles plus the ride out and back so another 80 miles recorded 16mph.


ID

Photo John W

Friday, 18 May 2018

17th May 2018: Market Drayton (mod long)


A spell of excellent weather brought out a goodly number of Easy Riders to Rose Farm, which allowed Mike to collect their subs – yes it’s that time of year. Apart from my group, I’m not sure who went with which leaders, but we ended up with three groups.  The ‘moderate long’ group comprised me, Clive and Mike, and our objective was the Red Lion at Market Drayton; a destination we usually only attempt from the Ice Cream Farm.

We travelled out via Cotebrook and Wettenhall into Nantwich, where we passed through Brookfield Park, crossing and re-crossing the River Weaver on dry paths until we emerged on the road to Hack Green and Audlem. We rode through the busy little town and regained the lanes heading for Norton in Hales and then onto Market Drayton.

The Red Lion offered its usual excellent welcome and good value food and Joules beer, this time providing a royal wedding beer which Mike sampled. Staying with this theme, Clive gave us a potted history of the Adnams Brewery in Southwold.
Photo by Mike G

Our return was through Longslow and around Shavington Park, before passing through Aston, where Dave H and his companions were seen still enjoying their lunch at the Bhurtpore. Then it was onto Ravensmoor and Bunbury where we refreshed at Tilly’s and said goodbye to Clive who headed straight home. Mike and I continued on a short section of the A49, before passing through Tiverton and entering Tarporley from the south west. From there it was up the hill and back into Utkinton. In all 58 miles completed on a relatively flat route which allowed a fairly fast time for us mods.


SH



Tuesday, 15 May 2018

10th May 2018: Tattenhall (mod)


Bryan, Trevor, Dave Pipe, George, John Beavis, Andy Barber, Clive and myself decided to head east from Hawarden. This avoided big hills, and better facilitated Trevor and Clive's need to return home handily for caravanning and ballooning. Mike was riding to Gobowen to see Steve. The Sportsman at Tattenhall was our destination. Ride leadership was shared, on the basis of who best knew the route at any particular time. Trevor did most of the directing based on his outward Christmas Lunch ride from December. Bilberry Wood is a bit of a killer up to the A55. John was caught in the wrong gear, and berated us for not warning him, oiling his chain, checking his tyre pressures, and telling him that he may need to take tissues. The route to Rossett is an easy-riding peach. Lovely views, a rolling ride in the spring sunshine, pressureless pace, freshly coloured countryside perfection, as we drifted down by Golly. Clive peeled off before Holt for his second attempt to make a Stratford birthday balloon trip. I hope the weather was kinder this time.

We all fitted around a round table in the library of The Sportsman, and enjoyed big portions. Apart from John, who shakes his head in disbelief at how cyclists can stuff themselves with food, and often beer, and then carry on riding. I had intended this to be a moderate-lite ride, very leisurely, not demanding in any way, not far enough for the stitching on your shorts to start to dig into your skin a little. It was going to be a lazy man's cruise. George had other ideas, however! Not unreasonably, even some moderate riders like to get a few more miles in, when the sun is on their backs and the days are longer. Hence, we headed further east for Beeston Castle, down to the Shropshire Union Canal, and up to Brassey Green. We discarded the straight option to Waverton via Hargrave, and headed for Burton via Hoofield on a favourite circuit of George's. It was around here that my bike had a major malfunction. The front changer and chain jammed. Some rough surgery with my pliers amputated the mangled cage of the changer, while Dave Pipe did an expert job on the chain, which he completed with his spare connecting link. I was able to continue the journey on the middle chain ring with no real problem. I will buy you a drink, Dave! We passed west of Christleton village centre, crossing the A51 to a welcome coffee and cake at Meadow Lea. Those returning to Wales were led by the Welsh Sherpas, Andy and George, to Hawarden Bridge on the Greenway, and then up through Shotton into open country on a narrow lane. Our climbing ended at the B5125 just west of Ewloe. From here it was just one dangerous roundabout and less than ten minutes to the cars. Fine weather and company once again on a Thursday. John sent me an e-mail and a Camila Cabello clip, which I can't download, but he recommends her singing! He also says that he enjoyed the ride, and informs me that we covered 50.3miles at a relaxed 11.4 miles per hour.
                                                                                                                                  
DH

Friday, 11 May 2018

10th May 2018 : Corwen (brisk)

Today the meeting place was the Gallery Tea Rooms at Hawarden. Knowing that my regular brisk riders were not riding today, I had a route prepared, but was edging on accompanying the moderate riders. Arriving at the café, there were soon plenty of riders out to enjoy the sunshine including Ray. After Dave H advised their ride would be to Tattenhall, I decided to ride my route to Corwen was my option and Ray would accompany me but had to return to Chester for appointment later in the afternoon. 

We set of just the two of us and were soon heading down the A550 to go via the Old Warren route to Dobbshill. Crossing the A55 and the unfriendly cycle gate, we head along Hope Rd to Kinnerton Rd.
After 10 miles to Treuddyn,  I realised I hadn’t ridden any miles!! The Garmin had not been activated since the café. Ray and I rode on to Nercwys where Ray decided to leave and head back towards Chester.

My route now takes me via Eryrys and Llanarmon-yn-lal (Raven Inn). The lanes are absolutely fab to ride along after the past winter months and both Ray and I had enjoyed some good climbs. The best was via the Shelf and into Carrog. My ride from here into Corwen was just fantastic and passing over the Dee river into Corwen town; very picturesque.


 The "Shelf"                                              Corwen                                               Hope


After lunch at The Crown, I was soon on the bike heading back towards Hawarden and Chester. Attached is the route and this is one that I will ride again. There are some 17% climbs on my return but with a tail wind I was able to navigate – just!!

A great day, largely solo riding, but an enjoyable one. Glad I made the decision to do some hard riding as Thursdays and different café starts is why we have a riding club. A ride of 80+miles Chester and back, but 59 miles all round from Hawarden, with 5,988 ft of ascent plus the bit not included between Hawarden and Nercwys.

Thanks to Ray for joining me, and I look forwards to riding this another day. 


ID

Photos by ID

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

3rd May 2018: Delamere Station to Aston (mod)

[NOTE: 10th ANNIVERSERY RIDE. The 26th April blog entry has now been updated with John M's video and a photo of Bryan's gift]

A good sized group of brisk and moderate riders met at a sunny Station Café in Delamere to be joined by David M for a pre-grandparenting coffee.

The destination for the moderates was the Bhurtpore Arms in Aston and the group of Bryan, Dave H, George, Andy B, Mike G, Trevor, Clive and Jim set off along the rather busy B5152. After 3.65 rather hectic miles we were relieved to reach the relative calm of Cotebrook and the outskirts of Oulton Park.

As we reached Wettenhall, Clive departed in a search for more unadopted lanes to entertain us with on future rides. The rest pressed on past Reaseheath College and to the west of Nantwich. On reaching Ravensmoor we resisted the temptation to take the crud encrusted shortcut and carried on along the longer but rideable lane to our destination. The food was excellent, and the beer drinkers happy with the choice of refreshment. The temperature dropped as we hit the road again, but we did at least have a tailwind as we rode northwards towards Bunbury. After a short coffee stop, Jim and Trevor took the road to Beeston and Tattenhall, while the rest crossed the busy A51 to pick up the outward route at Oulton.

A very pleasant, days riding of about 42 miles or 50 for those finishing at Guilden Sutton

Photo by Mike G



Sunday, 6 May 2018

3rd May 2018 : Dunham Massey (brisk)

Looking out before setting off on my ride to Delamere, the weather looked promising but as the forecast was sub 15 degreees I opted for longs. However, on arrival at the Station cafe several pairs of winter bleached legs were on show….brrr. This club has some hard members!

It was encouraging to sit outside in the pleasant sunshine and the three briskers soon settled on Ivan’s circuitous route to Dunham Massey. Turning left out of the car park, Nick was already saying his legs were heavy and his mood was not improved by being cut up by a speeding car. He managed to stay upright and soon we were cruising along though Norley and Cuddington, Weaverham and Winnington. We had a cultural stop to admire the engineering wonder that is Anderton Boat Lift and reflected on the faded glory of the former salt works. As an aside Nick questioned the sustainability of so many new housing developments on former industrial sites and pondered how all these new residents were employed. Surely they all can’t be in the new sweat shops otherwise known as call centres!

Anyway, us free souls had no such labours to worry about as the following breeze helped us roll past Marbury Country Park, Comberbatch and Antrobus. We then were heading for our next cutural visit. This time through the grounds of Arley Hall. None of the tracks seem to take us close to the big house but we went past several other very attractive timber frame dwellings and a pretty lake before encountering a “private track” sign. This was duly ignored on the basis that it probably applied to motorists!. Very shortly afterwards we were back on public roads and over the M6. This seemed to serve as a firing gun for Ivan, who true to form, scenting beer lead a speedy 6 mile sprint to Dunham Massey and the Vine Inn. 

The pub has an inviting exterior and pleasant gardens. Inside it is simply but very comfortably furnished with 1950s flowery wallpaper. It reminded us Cestrians of the Albion public house minus the truculent landlord. Despite Ivan’s joke that lycra was amongst the banned attire, we were allowed to join what seemed a happy band of mainly local drinkers and diners. The cause of their content was soon discovered when we learned that it was a mere £2 for a pint of Sam Smiths best. We also went for pies from the local butcher, with mash, veg and gravy which were very good indeed. Now fully laden we resisted the temptation of more cheap beer and decided it was time for the return leg knowing that our outward friend the wind was about to change sides. 

We headed south east through posh Bowden and Hale which has some of the most imposing houses in Cheshire and some of the most pot-holed roads! The breeze was felt most keenly on the straight 4 mile run between Ashley and Over Tabley passing alongside Tatton Park. Taking shortish turns on the front we managed to keep up a good pace. Soon enough we passed through Comberbatch for the second time and on to Little Leigh and Acton Bridge. I was thinking this is going well we’ll soon be in Norley but had forgotten that it gets a bit hilly in these parts.  Ivan reckoned we took the easiest option but the big roller coaster up to Norley took its toll late in the day.  Not to worry as the pain was easily forgotten as we were soon enjoying cake and coffee back at Delamere Station.

The weather had one last surprise as we set off for home the sky darkened and spots of rain began to fall. Nick was fortunate to have his car nearby but Ivan and I got a little wet as we rode along the forest road. It was a somewhat chilly but not too bad and certainly not enough to spoil what had been and excellent ride. The route from Delamere and back was about 55 miles and Ivan and I had done close to 80 on arrival in Chester at 16.5 mph average. And yes, we did also enjoy the culture and scenery!


JM

Friday, 27 April 2018

26th April 2018: 10th Anniversary Special Ride - Chester and the Wirral (brisk)


We all gathered and rode out together at the Roodee café Chester for today's top billing of the year as Bryan led the 10-year anniversary ride to Ness Gardens. 

After coffee and speeches, the Brisk group consisting of John M, Nick and myself rode on to Frankby and thence meeting up with the Mods at the “Old Rathbone” (formerly the “Farmers Arms”) who were keeping to the original route of ten years ago.

Our route out, via Parkgate and with clear blue skies the view across the water to Wales, was very spectacular. We kept left of the A540 skirting the mega houses on this peninsular side and negotiating Oldfield Drive which must be the only unadopted steep path/road on the Wirral. We stopped for a photo shoot at the top, one to get our breath back and also to take in the view on offer.





Top of the "climb"

It was then on to Irby before dropping into Frankby and the 'Old Rathbone”. It was surprising that we were there first, but the remaining group arrived 10/15 minutes later minus 3 riders. Have to read their blog for further info!

After a good lunch and speeches by Bryan and Dave H, we set off on a different course home again from the main group and did a loop around Frankby up to Greasby and Woodchurch. I had a cycle route through this area but was unable to locate the route; too many houses new and old.

We crossed the busy A552 and headed up Landican Rd. The mods were also heading out this way but they were either too fast or to slow as we didn’t meet or catch sight of them. Carrying on through Pensby and Hesswell to Brimstage and then turning for Thornton Hough.It doesn’t seem to take long to get out of the one half of the built-up Wirral before entering the opposite half which becomes mainly fields thankfully. Raby Mere was next before heading down Rivacre Valley.

We had the wind behind us most of the return ride and were enjoying this particular stretch of road. We are overtaken by a car who slows to a stop on passing us before starting the climb out of the valley. As we get up to the car it set off at full gas !!!! We now have the ride through the port and this town will never win architectural awards either. Crossing over the main street we head down Cromwell Rd which is now a massive new housing estate.

We take a “Clive short cut” at the end of Thornton Rd and pass under the M53 and up to the main roundabout for Cheshire Oaks. As soon as we arrive at Stanney Mill Road the traffic is very noticeable with queuing traffic either direction. Pavement riding up to the old Cheshire Oaks Cycle shop (now closed) we circle anti-clockwise round the roundabout via the cycle way and crossing lights.

After negotiating the standing traffic, we are on Little Stanney lane heading home. Through Stoak and Wervin and into Upton where we say farewell to John. Nick and myself ride on to Brook lane where we join the greenway and branch off along the canal to Telford's Warehouse and the Roodee café.

Today’s Wirral ride was a 60-mile ride out and back which was a little further than the inaugural ride of 45 miles. With 18+ riders taking part today with two groups of riders to mark the event, it was every bit as special as that first ride 10 years ago.

Well done Bryan


ID

Photos by J Mills

Thursday, 26 April 2018

26th April 2018: 10th Anniversary Special Ride - Chester and the Wirral (UPDATED)

Ten years of Easy Riding! What a surprise when Clive enlightened us some time ago, but here we were at the newly opened Roodee café to repeat the inaugural ride to the Wirral.

A good sized group consisting of Bryan, Ivan, John M, Trevor, Nick, John B Graham and Vicky on the tandem, Andy W, Clive, Dave H, Keith, Dave P and Liz (in the car), Steve H and myself set off round the racecourse heading for Blacon. Soon we left the outskirts of Chester and after a brief burst along the A540 turned onto quieter lanes at Puddington, arriving at our coffee stop at Ness Gardens pretty well on time. Brian Mac, unable to ride after a knee operation, had arranged with the management for some reserved tables and a separate refreshment counter, which enabled us to get organised fairly quickly. We were also joined by Glenys and David M for elevenses.

I took the opportunity to formally thank Bryan for all the work he has put into getting the club off the ground and ensuring its smooth running. It is significant that we now have 5 volunteers taking on the various tasks that Bryan did on his own. Brian Mac then presented Bryan with a bicycle themed gift, organised courtesy of Ivan, and engraved with a short inscription.


Bryan informed us that he was not leaving the universe - just going to be commuting between properties. We were pleased to be updated on the progress of Steve Tan and we send him all our best wishes for a continual recovery.
Photos by Macca

Then it was time to hit the saddles again, into Neston and onto the Wirral Way. We were making good progress until we approached Caldy, when John B picked up a puncture. As we were near to our lunch stop, Clive, Dave H and Dave P stayed behind to assist while the rest carried on to The Old Rathbone at Frankby. We were joined by Brian Mac and Glenys for lunch but had nearly finished our meal when the puncturees arrived. Despite the considerable skill of all 4 members John’s wheel could not be fixed and he had to phone for transport home. Dave H, wearing his team manager’s hat, gave us all an individual aspirin sample to put in our wallets in case of any future medical emergency of the sort that a group of elderly cyclists might encounter!  Bryan then informed us that his remaining role, of club secretary, was being taken over by Dave H, who then made a short speech confirming his commitment to the ethos of the Easy Riders.  Admin sorted, we set off towards Irby and then Landican where Bryan decided to follow the scenic and at times very muddy Landican Lane as per the original ride. Fortunately we only encountered a couple of muddy sections and soon emerged on the lane at Storeton. From there it was south through Brimstage, Thornton Hough, Raby and back to Ness Gardens for afternoon tea. Here Graham and Vicky left us to return by car while we took the boardwalk and Greenway back to Chester. The group separated again outside the college with the residue continuing to the end of the Greenway.



Approx 52 miles of pleasant, steady, typically Easy Riders riding.

Here’s to the next ten years, and thanks again Bryan.

See John M's video 

See route map and/or gpx file download

JD

Friday, 20 April 2018

19th April 2018 : Barthomley (brisk)

Today’s meet was the ICF and on the first of this year’s sunny day’s I rode out with Clive from Chester. Great to be out with him again and see he is enjoying being back on the bike. There were plenty of Mod riders at the ICF but only Nick and I were out as the Brisk group.I had a route to the White Lion at Barthomley and an 83-mile round trip to and from Chester. Nick and I set off and encountered the first of many road works at the end of Newton Lane just one of many road’s blocked during today’s ride. Road pot hole filling was the jinx of the day rather than flooded roads of last week’s ride.

We rounded Beeston and on through Bunbury. Tilly’s café was packed with morning strollers but the front car park was filled with cars rather than bikes. We take the lanes leading to Ravensmoor and encounter the only muddy patch of the whole day. On arriving at the cross roads at Ravensmoor, I stop and find Nick is not behind me. A couple of minutes later he rounds the bend. So as not to muddy his pristine cycle which has seen a lot of devoted cleaning recently, he went at crawling pace so as to reduce the slurry marking his new carbon wheels and frame.

It is a lovely experience cycling in shorts and shirt only after what seems like a long winter period. From Sound, we head on to Audlem and pass through the town on the A529 then out to Hankelow. After about 1.5 miles we turn left onto Bridgemere Lane. I have ridden this before and it is a good lane passing over the A51 at Bridgemere. Following this route, we pass Checkley and into the pretty village of Betley. Taking a right turn we go along Knowlbank Road with the intention of continuing along the B5500 but a big fence tells us the road is blocked. They are doing bridge work over the M6 so if passing on the M6 after junction 16 if the look for the trio of bridge works we were intending to cross the middle bridge. After consultation with the Garmin, we retrace our route back to the previous road works and have to detour taking a right, right and right turn which brought us back on route to take us to the White Lion at Barthomley.

We were not the only cyclists using this hostelry today but fortunately they were enjoying the sunshine outside. We ordered our lunch, Steak and Guinness ale pie and mash with veg: fantastic lunch with lashings of gravy was just what was needed for the remainder 40 miles back home!!! Our return journey took us south of Crewe passing the largest rail yard on the West Coast, Basford Hall Junction thence passing through Shavington, Blakelow and into Nantwich.

Nick and I had already decided where the afternoon stop would be and we were stopping at the Cotton Arms at Wrenbury. I have used this before with Clive and Dave Heath as they offer ice cream but when we arrive I couldn’t resist a cool pint of golden ale.



Too soon we were back in the saddle bound for Cholmondeley but half way along the estate road we turn left towards Larkton to ride via Tilston (Nicks abode). I leave Nick at the Carden Arms crossroads and continue lonesome back to Chester via Barton, Coddington and Alford. Exiting at Churton it is the B5130 I ride to Huntington and home. I’ll leave cleaning the bike for today as the slurry has already dried hard as XXXX so nothing spoiling.

As booked, both Nick and I have enjoyed 84 miles of lovely riding on very pleasant lanes now they’ve dried out and the flowers and fields are in bloom with plenty of chorus from birds happy to sing in the bushes and trees as the sun shines; it was a pleasure today. The circular route to ICF would have been 67 miles.


ID

19th April 2018: Hodnet (mod)


Gathering at the ICF were CER members keen to make the best of the hot and sunny forecast. Making a welcome return were Clive and Dave P, keen to demonstrate their cycling fitness, though I think Dave was showing off by riding his fixie! They joined Dave H, Keith, Andy B, George and myself in the mod group.  Nick and Ivan were planning a brisk ride. Dave H set expectations for his slow riding early on, saying that “My wife, Keith and I had a heavy night last night”. As eyebrows were raised, he clarified that they had all been to a boxercise class.

Our route was to a new destination for me: The Bear at Hodnet. We headed out through Tattenhall and Tilston, and much to Dave H’s disgust, through Malpas.  Dave has a strong dislike of Malpas, maybe something bad happened to him there once. Then it was through Higher Wych and towards Fenn Wood.  At one point some one thought our route was taking us towards Arrowy. Such was the fear in your author’s mind of the dire state of this lane, that a halt was called and the map consulted.  Relieved that we were passing well to the east of Arrowy, we continued.  The heavy flooding of recent days had largely disappeared from the lanes, though the mud left behind had dried and created clouds of dust when larger vehicles sped by.  We passed pleasantly through Coton and then Prees, before approaching Marchamley from the north – a steep uphill but nothing like as bad as the approach from the south.  Then it was a fast downhill into Hodnet, with The Bear in its centre.

The Bear is a large rambling inn with many rooms, one of which has a glass floor revealing an old well beneath.  It is said to date back 500 years and there was once a bear pit on the site. Also dating back many years, our CER members settled down to eat and drink.  Many chose the two courses for £9.50. We spoke about the move away from diesel and petrol to hybrid and electric cars.  Then we settled on a topic we could really get our teeth into, a trip down memory lane. The question was simple, who recorded “On the road again”.  The answer was harder to find. There must have been 20 or 30 wrong answers put forward, before finally someone said Canned Heat.

Photo by Steve H

It was time to leave.  We headed through Wollerton and then negotiated the busy Ternhill roundabout using the pavements. Back onto the quieter roads we passed through Longslow, where we had a photo stop, and then around Shavington Park, enjoying the afternoon sunshine, the parkland scenery and the gentle lanes. Heading north towards Aston, we paused to consider where to take a coffee break.  The Bhurtpore was a possibility, but rejected after Dave P said he would have to have a curry if we stopped there.  Instead we made for Wrenbury Village Stores, just as the primary school day was ending. We sat outside in the sun enjoying drinks and some food.  A mother with her two young sons sat nearby while they ate their ice creams. We struck up a conversation and  Keith tried to encourage the boys to leave school and join the circus.

From Wrenbury, the route took us past the Cholmondley Arms, Bickerton, over Harthill and back into Tattenhall. We had travelled 58 miles on a day when local temperatures had reached over 23 degrees. Nationally it was the warmest April day since 1949. And it had been great to welcome back Clive and Dave P to a full ride.


SH

Friday, 13 April 2018

12th April 2018: Coedway (mod)


Our start point this week was Chirk Tea Rooms, which appears to have been renamed the Castle Bistro. After last week, we had been hopeful that spring had started.  Foolish us! The brisk riders, Ivan, Nick and John M, had planned a trip to Pistyll Rhaeadr, but then received a report on conditions on the hills from Andy B (who had cycled from Mold over the Horseshoe Pass). They decided they didn’t want to spend the whole day in the clouds and chose to join me and Andy on a mod ride.  I’d been looking for a possible destination for a long ride this June and came upon a pub at Coedway, just south of the River Severn, about 9 miles west of Shrewsbury. David Matthews was out, but sensibly not riding today. 

We set off over the A483 roundabout and down through the Franktons before joining the long road to Baschurch. From here we took a series of lanes through Great Ness, Pentre and Melverley, before crossing the River Severn by a single track bridge, and following a B-road to Coedway.  It had not rained for all of the morning, but it was hard to remember when it had been dry.  The wet, sometimes flooded surfaces and lots of mud added to the damp mood.  Also it was cold, and at one point Nick had to stop to tackle his freezing hands.

So it was with some relief that we pulled into the 17th century Old Hand and Diamond Inn. A CTC welcome sign was reassuring and so was the quality of the beer and the low priced menu.  The warm fire would have been another attraction if any of the nearby seats had been vacant. We discussed the drums of war coming from the White House, and moved onto more reassuring topics such as the relative attractions of Bristol, Chester and Hull. It was a bit of a wait for the food, lots of diners had ordered before us, but when it came it was substantial and good quality.

As we were eating it started to rain heavily. Ivan suggested we stay for another pint, but reluctantly was dragged back to his bike. Our return route included a planned visit to Steve T at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital. We passed again over the narrow River Severn bridge and headed towards Maesbrook, then Maesbury and Whittington.  Here Ivan and John headed via Oswestry back to Chirk.  They were going to visit Steve later by car. The rest of us made direct for the hospital.

As we clip-clopped down the corridors and onto the ward, we signalled our arrival. At the nursing station, the nurse already knew who we’d come to see.  Steve is in a comfortable room of his own. He’d already had a visit from David M that morning, so together we ourselves and later Ivan and John, this was very much a CER day for him.  He was in good spirits and had just reached the halfway point on his six weeks of prone bedrest, before the clinicians start slowly to elevate him.  We spent a while chatting and, as we left the hospital, Ivan and John arrived.

The rain had finally stopped as we mounted our bikes for the final leg. We crossed the A483 and made for Weston Rhyn to drop down into the Ceriog valley on a steep minor road before returning to our start. We had completed 51 miles, and despite the weather, we reckoned we’d found some really nice lanes.  Roll on spring proper, next week they say it’ll be nearly 200C.


SH

Saturday, 7 April 2018

5th April 2018 : Oswestry (brisk)

After a cool-ish start the sun was shining on arrival at Cleopatra’s and forecast was for a fine day. Thanks to Clive sending me a sortable list of CER GPX files, I had found what sounded like an idyllic ride to Oswestry. In April 2011 Clive wrote “quintessentially English summer weather and spring green countryside”. So 7 years later, almost to the day, I set off with Ivan and Nick to see if the route lived up to this fulsome description. 

Now this might be a bit lazy but I don’t think I can better Clive's previous blog:- 

So it was down familiar lanes to Shocklach and Threapwood.  Exiting to Sarn and crossing the A525 we found ourselves in the beautiful border territory close to Penley.  The sharply folded landscape hereabouts marks the border and provided the only hilly challenges of the day.  Taking the lane out of Penley, we passed The Trench, shimmy across the A528 at the Seven Sisters and The Cross and on to Elson.  The lane to Frankton passes New Crickett and Crickett itself, then onto Ridge and Perthy before exiting onto the A495 west of Welsh Frankton.  A short burn brings us into delightful Whittington with its moated castle”. 





Honouring the previous ride we too stopped at the castle for a photo. We cruised along commenting that Clive's glowing description of the countryside was fully justified. The only problem was that the beautifully undulating lanes provided numerous dips in which the recent heavy rain had gathered to form a series of deep lakes. They were a bit treacherous and but we managed to cross them all without anyone falling in. We were joined by a red kite circling overhead. We weren’t quick enough to dismount to capture a photograph, but we admired its graceful circling manoeuvres until it bored of us and headed off in search of tastier prey. Its strange to think that the red kite was once regarded as vermin and was exterminated in England, Scotland and most of Wales by the end of the 18th century. Thankfully, that situation has changed and there are more than 300 breeding pairs in Wales and over 200 breeding pairs in England according to the National Trust.

We departed from the 2011 route in to Oswestry so as to avoid the reported busy roundabout at the A5/A483 junction. Instead, we turned right before the A5 and attacked the town from the East along Middleton Road. Scenting the beer, Ivan guided us with laser like accuracy to Wetherspoons. Its probably not one of their finest establishments sited in what looked like a 1970s former main post office. However, as usual the food and drink was good value and the service speedy.

Again I can't better Clive's description “The return ride took us out behind the impressive Iron Age hill fort then past the Gobowen Orthopaedic hospital bound for Hindford and lanes to Overton.  This is really beautiful countryside around here and picture perfect” The riders in 2011 enjoyed temperatures 20+°C and whilst it was very sunny and pleasant for us it wasn’ t quite so balmy.  I think the springlike weather must have surprised Ivan’s mudguards as one of the stays came loose and repelled all efforts to fix it causing several halts for adjustment. However, eventually it was sorted and we were riding out of Overton towards Bangor on Dee. We took the direct route towards Holt via Bowling Bank and Ridleywood. Nick was in in triathlete mode and led us on a speedy 27mph, 4 mile time trial, to the A534.



We were soon enjoying our coffee the sunshine outside Cleopatra’s and reflecting on a wonderful day out in the countryside. Thankfully, unlike our last brisk ride, the only drama was a wobbly mudguard! Thanks to Clive for his route and hopefully he will be ready to ride it again with us soon. Nick headed off for Tilston and Ivan and I pointed our wheels home to Chester. The round trip from Holt to Oswestry was 49 miles we all had completed about 65 to 70 miles on reaching home.


JM

Photos from John M's phone

Friday, 6 April 2018

5th April 2018: Whittington (mod)


At last! A beautiful day’s weather was forecast. Five moderate riders gathered at Cleo's in Holt: myself, George, Jim, Dave H and John B taking his annual ride with CER (good to see you back John). I proposed a ride to Ye Olde Boote Inn at Whittington, largely because I’d passed it several times but never visited.

We struck out aiming to follow the lanes to the west of the Dee, but having seen the floodplain higher in water than I can remember, some of these were likely to be heavily flooded.  Instead we took the B-road and then the quick dash down the A525 into Bangor-on-Dee. From there it was lanes to Cloy Hall and then into Overton, where unfortunately Jim succumbed to cramp in his legs and decided to make his own way back.

We headed southwards through Rhewl, taking small lanes I’d never travelled over, some of which I wouldn’t want to take again: a very steep downhill on a surface that had almost broken up with mud and water a-plenty to cross Shell Brook and enter Wales.  The skies may have been clear blue, the sun shining and the breeze moderate, but under our wheels we often met deep mud and fully flooded carriageways. We passed through a ford that was less wet than some of the lanes. Dave and George were regretting not fitting mudguards, so was anyone caught behind them.

We cycled past Dudleston Hall, through Hindford and into Whittington to arrive at Ye Olde Boote Inn just after 1230. We placed our orders and they were speedily delivered before the crowds arrived. Conversation flowed, though what topics we covered I cannot remember, and soon it was time to go.  The consensus was positive about the pub, and I think we would each be happy to visit again.

We completed a loop back to Hindford and headed towards Dudleston Heath.  Close to Welsh Frankton I got a puncture. It was just as well it was warm and dry, because the first replacement tube failed to inflate due to a dodgy valve, and we had to repeat the procedure, aided by John being able to fit a Gatorskin with ease using only his hands.

With the odd exception, the lanes back were in better condition and we enjoyed riding though the excellent spring weather.  We crossed the A525 at Holly Bush and made for Worthenbury.  Here we diverted into the village and into the churchyard for some photos to capture the beautiful conditions.  The parish church of Worthenbury is St Deiniols.  It is said to be the best example of a Georgian Church in Wales and has a complete set of boxed pews. 

Photos by John B

From Worthenbury, we took the usual fast return to Farndon.  As were approached the old Dee Bridge we passed the brisk group heading home from Cleos.  We also paused there for a drink and some calories.  An excellent day’s cycling which covered 44 miles.


SH


Monday, 2 April 2018

29th March 2018: Aston (mod)


Was it the imminent Easter holidays or was it the threat of rain showers in the afternoon? For whatever reason only five members turned up at Rose Farm. Bryan was in his car and had dropped in for a coffee on his way to see Steve who is recovering in hospital following his accident last week. (We’re thinking of you, Steve, and wish you a speedy recovery). Jim was still in recovery mode and had cycled from home with the intention cycling back after a short ride. That left just Andy B, Ray and me intending to do a full ride. None of us had a ride in mind but I dug one out of my Garmin which would head us back in the direction of Chester in the afternoon as none of us had a car at Rose Farm. The chosen destination was the Bhurtpore at Aston. 

Jim joined us as we headed out towards Tarporley, gasped up Summerhouse Bank, and then turned left at Heath Green. After crossing the A49 we headed for 'Portal' and then down Sapling Lane to Eaton. After Eaton we turned towards Wettenhall and Jim left us to head home just before we reached it. The three of us continued on passing Reaseheath College before crossing the A51 into Welshman's Lane. We emerged on the edge of Nantwich where we turned into Welsh Row. We turned right, and headed through the park, and right again, down a link road to Baddington Lane (A530). We were soon making our way down Coole Lane.  As we turned right to head towards the (not so) Secret Nuclear Bunker we found ourselves for the first time out of the cold wind that had plagued our ride so far. It was the first of several turns which would eventually put the wind at our backs for the ride home.

We joined the main road at Broomhall Green for a short stretch before turning into the village of Aston, home of the Bhurtpore with its friendly welcome. The pub was quite busy but we ordered our food quickly and because we all ordered the same it came quickly. In no time at all we were back on our bikes for the return home.

Ray wanted to get back early and we all wanted to avoid the afternoon rain if we could so we took the direct route home. Our return journey took us via Cholmondley, Bickerton, Harthill and Tattenhall and we made good time with the wind behind us. After Tattenhall we turned right towards Hargrave where we turned right again to take us up Martins Lane. At the end of Martins Lane we would have turned right to get back to Rose Farm but since we were all heading home we turned left. We rode into Waverton then on through Christleton. Before we reached the A51 by the rugby club Andy left us to head back to Mold and shortly after Ray and I parted company. I arrived home with 43 miles on the clock, Ray did about 10 miles more and Andy considerably more. Oh, and in the end the rain didn’t arrive until teatime.

TC

Saturday, 24 March 2018

22nd March 2018: Holt (mod)

A combination of holidays and the recent Siberian weather meant that I hadn’t ridden for four weeks so the prospect of a ride up into the Welsh hills was not an inviting one. When I left home for the Gallery Coffee Shop in Hawarden I only intended to cycle up to the start then wend my way gradually back home through the Cheshire countryside. Indeed I had already arranged to meet Jim for lunch at Cleopatra’s in Holt. I arrived at the café to find Dave H and Keith surrounded by brisk riders and facing the prospect of a moderate ride featuring just the two of them. The arrival of Bryan didn’t help them either as he was out to do his own thing too. So I suggested that they could join me and they readily agreed. Bryan was also persuaded to join us with the promise of a slow-paced, mostly downhill ride.

We set off down the Wrexham Road before turning left onto the small road that would take us up the back of Bilberry Wood to the footbridge across the A55. The first section is quite steep so I stopped to wait for the others to catch up, expecting Dave & Keith to come round the corner first. But it was Bryan who appeared first. What had happened to Dave and Keith? Apparently Dave had left his hat at the café and they had gone back to get it. (Dave leaving things behind? Surely not!!!!) After crossing the A55 we turned right then left into Chester Road and continued into Lower Mountain Road by-passing the village of Pen-y-Mynydd. Then a left and right into Sandy Lane.

From there we turned into Shordley Road and dropped down Cobblers Lane, passing over A483 and the railway to emerge in Rossett. We turned onto the main road and then left into Darland Lane joining the Holt road. A long straight road (boring but unavoidable) and a left turn brought us into Holt where Jim had conspired to arrive at exactly the same time having ridden from home.

Cleopatra’s is normally one of our starting venues but today served as our lunch stop. Over lunch our conversation covered such topics as the delights (or otherwise) of cycling through Malpas and our first cars. How things have changed since the days when you could lift the bonnet and understand what was going on under there.

After lunch we crossed the River Dee into England. We turned left towards Churton then right to Coddington and left again towards Handley. Then it was up to Chowley Oak and across the A41 to Tattenhall. At Tattenhall Bryan opted to take the shortest route back to Chester, taking Dave & Keith with him. They headed off towards Bruera and Saighton and on into Chester where Bryan promised he would point Dave and Keith back in the direction of Hawarden. Living outside of Chester, Jim and I made our own direct way home via Hargrave, Waverton and Christleton. Jim had had a fairly short ride while I had managed 44 miles, the other three slightly less.

TC

22th March 2018 : Dyserth (brisk)

It is with a lot of sadness that I write this blog and a ride I would rather forget. I will however give some details to record the ride.

Today the ride starts from the Gallery Tea Rooms at Hawarden and the forecast was warm and dry. There were more riders out for coffee than taking part. Clive, Ken, Trevor, Bryan and John W were doing their own thing. Clive is up to 10K per session on a turbo trainer, and has ridden his road bike around Mollington, so well done and keep up the progress.

A ride to Dyserth and the waterfalls was proposed and three brisk riders – John M, Steve T and myself set off from the café. We rode out via Wood Lane to crossing the A494 Mold road and up Pioneer Rd. As we neared the top John shouted "flat". We stopped and replaced tube then carried on. We continued over the Halkyns via Rhes-y-cae and Lixwm.

The ride onwards to Dyserth was uneventful, and we arrived at the Waterfalls for a photo shoot.Lunch was at the New Inn and it was very busy. The landlord and lady are from Rossett so a return trip with Ken might be arranged.
.
We rode back to Chester going around the back of the town and up Alit y Graig which had 20% gradient but we achieved the ride over and on to Llanasa. It is then the usual route back via Whitford and Pantasaph and again over the Halkyns.

When proceeding down Middle Hill lane passing over the cattle grid, Steve was leading when a red landrover pulling a trailer drove passed us. In the next instance Steve had tumbled off his bike and was lying on the floor. John took charge and we were surrounded by the local community of farmers who called for an ambulance.

Steve was unconscious, but John new what to do and within 30 to 120 seconds he had given vital resuscitation to Steve who was able to tell us where he hurt. An ambulance did not arrive, but the Air Rescue Helicopter, dispatched from Welshpool, came to the rescue with three doctors on board. They soon had Steve wired up to monitors and a decision to take him to Stoke on Trent hospital was agreed between the HQ and the doctors.

We do not know what happened as it was all too quick. I am not blaming the car driver, although he didn’t give us much consideration on a very narrow lane. He wouldn’t have known that a rider had fallen. The road surface is as per rural road condition with loose gravel but no serious pot holes which are more prevalent on main roads. After the rescue chopper took off, John and I continued our journey to Chester.

We all wish Steve a speedy recovery and hope he is well soon.    


ID

Thursday, 15 March 2018

15th March 2018: Peover Heath (mod)

The fast lads were absent. I believe they had been to Macclesfield on Tuesday. Dave Matthews had turned up for coffee and a chat, but had workmen in, so wasn't riding. He is riding in Majorca soon with Andy; sounds a great idea. Keith had been embroiled in decorating, but had managed to tear himself away. Clive and Macca were still in recovery mode, and it was good that they had made the effort to turn up for coffee. Macca sounds as if he has “been through the wars”, but now appears well on the mend. George had returned, and Mike arrived having hot-wheeled it from Shotton. Steve H was preparing for more peak-conquering in Scotland, so wasn't riding for once.  Conversation with Steve revealed the unlikely fact that our spouses would be inside Styal Prison on successive days. Only one of them for abusing their partner.


We set off late for The Dog, which I had booked the night before. I took the back route past the attractive Norley Hall. Mike punctured at Crowton: something to do with a repaired tyre split and pumping it up too hard. Sounded like the Dave Pipe School of How to Fettle Your Old Cycle Gear Like a Yorkshireman. We headed for Acton Bridge, then north to Frandley, passing Cogshall Hall by the way of the quiet Hall Lane. I had intended to meander around the pretty, narrow lanes of Arley, but we were running late, so took the most direct route to Knutsford, via Antrobus, Bate Heath and Tabley Hill. The weather was better than had seemed likely, and reasonably warm, despite heading into an easterly breeze. Tatton Park was picturesque as ever as we headed north in the direction of Rostherne. We were now in untried territory, as we used the quiet Marsh Lane to reach Ashley and then headed south east for Knolls Green, and on to Marthall. It had been a long first leg to The Dog, thirty-three miles, and as we had been running late, it was close to two o'clock. We were well ready for a rest, a drink and a plate of decent grub! True to form, despite the pub initially being very busy, we all received a plate of very decent grub in short order. One of our quartet fell for the waitress. Can you guess which one?

Photo by Mike G

I calculated, correctly, as it turned out, that our slightly wind assisted return would be ten miles shorter, and reassuringly quicker than our outward journey. As we cruised through 'Cheshire Set' prime real estate, Keith wondered why there were no polo clubs in Runcorn. We were soon flying down Plumley Moor Road, and reached the difficult to negotiate A556. Although I had anticipated this, one way or another we finished up like ducklings trying to cross a motorway, as we tried to reach Linnard's Lane for Higher Wincham and Pickmere. Jose Mourinho is not the only leader that needs to reflect, learn and change their ways! Lessons: if you have not had chance to reconnoitre a dangerous area of your route, at least be physically in the lead so that your instant decisions for safety can be followed, rather than shouting to those in front over the noise of traffic; if it’s really bad, take the lead onto the pavement, and cross at the lights as a pedestrian. We passed the lane down to Pick Mere where we used to take the kids on the fair. It had a big cafe, a lake 'steamer', dodgems, a ghost train, and even a helter-skelter back in the day. We continued to Great Budworth down Westage Lane which was closed to traffic because it was undermined by badgers or moles. We reached Acton Bridge by way of Little Leigh; Onston and Norley Bank followed.  Keith, my fellow not so quite heavyweight, can be glad he missed these final climbs, having headed for home earlier along his favourite Marsh Lane. There was a final twist in the tail, as Mike had a second puncture at Delamere. I had a long- promised package to deliver to George (1967-1969 copies of Penthouse), so having checked that Mike was managing, and didn't require an extra inner tube, drove to where George was parked on Delamere Lane. On returning, Mike was up and running for Chester Station. 56 miles is further than I've been for some time. Agreeable company and a relaxed atmosphere made the day.

See route map and/or gpx file download

DH

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

13th March 2018 : Macclesfield (brisk)

As most of Brisk group would not be out on Thursday we decided we would have a ride out on Tuesday instead. Starting from Meadow Lea café, riders were John M, John W, Nick, Paul and myself. We enjoyed a coffee with Clive before the start, and he is making good progress and hopefully will be back in the saddle before too long.

Our ride today is to Macclesfield via Alderley Edge and we set off via the route to Manley and up Cobb Hill, then follow the Delamere "forest race" to Hatchmere. Such an undulating stretch and hard work. From the cross roads at Hatchmere, we head towards Norley and Sandiway. For CER rides this is the usual route and we are soon heading out via Lower Peover.

We were out this way recently when en-route to Knutsford but we are today continuing on to Ollerton and Lindow End. Here we are joining a little track heading to Alderley Edge and due to using the “little man on ride” with GPS app, I was confident it was a road and not a track. Thanks John M!!

We join the B5087 which is the road into Alderley Edge and it was very busy. Passing through the lovely town, we take a left and head up Wizard Hill; a good 12+ % hill. Not a race to the summit, but there were a couple in the group who thought it was, and they must have waited at the Wizard Inn and could have enjoyed a pint while waiting for me to catch them up!! From the pub, it is down hill to Macclesfield and the Wetherspoons pub where we are having lunch.

As usual it was excellent service and within 30 minutes we had enjoyed a good lunch and refreshments and ready for the return 45 miles back to Chester. We are on new lanes back from Macclesfield to Middlewich and, with the exception of the town area, roads were pretty good but there seem more potholes this Spring and more lanes blocked. We encountered three, but were able to pass through all.

At Middlewich, we decided to stop at the café “Stop Drinks at 35” which is run by Sally and Holly and was a good call. Drinks and cakes were the fuel we needed to complete the remaining 20 miles. Out via Warmingham and Church Minshull and Eaton to Huxley, we were motoring as a group. 

It is good now that dusk is getting later. We arrive back into Chester for 17:10 still in bright daylight. Paul has ridden 109 miles with John and John completing 90+ and Nick who peeled off at Huxley to return home to Tilston, will have completed 90+ miles too (a first for him and well done). A good day out with no incidents, no rain just happy pedal power.

Thanks to all the group for an enjoyable day out.


ID