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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.

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Sunday, 2 September 2012

30th August 2012: Lower Peover

With summer drawing to a close and on a sunny morning, it was not unexpected seeing 10 riders at the Ice Cream Farm.  Dave M offered to lead a ride as long as I wrote it up.  We, Mike M, Colin, Ray, Andy, George, Alan, Trevor, Clive and myself followed him east towards Oulton Park, but Clive soon turned off as he had commitments elsewhere.  We fairly quickly had splits in the group with the varied pace of different riders and soon lost Mike at a junction.  This happened to others a number of times during this day’s ride.  I would ask all members to think about dropping back at a junction if there is someone behind and then waiting so that the person behind sees the change of direction. Simple but effective: and keep your mobile switched on so that we can call you if you are detached.
A fairly uneventful ride took us through the suburbs of Northwich, past Lach Dennis to Lower Peover, where I was reminded that it was a silent “O”.  If that is correct, then why not spell it Pea – ver.  Lunch in The Crown was both pleasant & efficiently served.  Plates were cleared, which is always a good sign.
Our return route to The Ice Cream Farm was via another Ice Cream Farm, this one at Great Budworth, where tea & cake was scoffed.  See http://www.icecreamfarm.co.uk.  It was then a trek west through Cumberbatch and Kelsall to the original Ice Cream Farm.  A total round trip of nearly 60 miles.


  1. At the time of the Domesday survey Peover was spelt Pevre, although previously in Anglo Saxon times, it had been spelt Peever. The name, regardless of its spelling, means Bright Stream or Shining Water, a reference to the river now known as the Peover Eye.

    Whilst I agree with the highlighted section above I take full responsibility for getting dropped off the back as I mistakenly thought Trevor was behind me and waited for him to come up the hill to the junction on the A51. As I had mentioned I seemed to be struggling a bit anyway but the reason become clear when I got home and found that my front brake had been binding from where I had renewed the pads the day before and had not properly checked that the wheel was rolling freely!

  2. I was most impressed with the route that Dave led us on; it took us through some beautiful countryside and picturesque villages such as Great Budworth. But I was frustrated that there was no time to stop and admire any of it; the group seemed to have made it a priority to maintain as high an average speed as possible. It was obvious from the start that a high pace was going to be set, and I suspected that one or two would struggle so to begin with I stayed near the back to make sure no-one was dropped. After a while, however, I realised that I was struggling with the pace myself so I made an effort to stay further forward, especially on the hills. After that I don't think anyone else was paying too much attention about the back and as a consequence we lost Mike and Ray.
    I know that a lot of you have cycled through these places lots of times before but they were new to me. This is only my opinion but I think that the leader of the group should be ready to make short stops at places of interest to allow members to take in the surroundings and maybe discuss the history, take a photo, etc.
    I'm afraid to say that at the end of the day I felt demoralised. This is not the first time that I have suffered in this way, and the overall fitness level in the group (and consequently pace) is getting noticeably higher. Try as I may, I can't seem to get any
    more out of my old legs, so I have reluctantly decided to retire from the group, at least for now. Perhaps I'll go out and re-ride some of the routes but at my own pace!

  3. Just a couple of observations---without any conclusions---
    *Yes I should have had my mobile switched on as ride leader and shall do this in future. (Remember I only took on leading the ride at the last minute in the ice cream factory, so was not fully prepared). This would have solved the problem of losing Ray---but have we ever lost Ray on a hill before??? He got lost because the zip stuck on his jacket at a "rain" stop and we then took a couple of hidden left turns, not realising Ray was behind. Once we realised that Ray was missing, we did send a rider back to find him, but he had vanished down a different road by then.
    *We did have a nominated "sweeper" rider at the back to ensure no one got lost or dropped---clearly this did not always work
    *The pace on the flat seemed fairly normal to me--there was sufficient talking going on to indicate that pace in general was not excessive. Admittedly there was always a burst of speed by younger, lighter riders up the hills---but there always is and we always wait and regroup at the top. I have certainly ridden faster on previous Thursdays!
    *As ever, pace adjusted to fit the overall group, route and conditions of the day---accepted there are some things we can improve in future but overall this seemed to be a good ride on lots of new (to most people), interesting roads in undulating terrain with the intention that everyone should have a good day out.

  4. Come on Guys this is Chester Easy Riders. No one's pointing the finger at anyone. So we had a problem on a ride. We learn the lessons and move on. Brian Mac proposed two eminently sensible suggestions that have been discussed before:
    1. keep your mobile switched on
    2. drop back at a junction if there is someone behind and wait until they see the change of direction.

    Alan's concerns are more fundamental. As the club has grown, so too has the diversity of interests. With the numbers now coming out, it is not surprising that on any particular day some will want to go slower or faster than others. Some may be recovering, others in training for an event and some seeking a more leisurely ride that day. There's nothing wrong with that: we just need to cater for the diversity rather than expecting everyone to do the same ride at the same pace. We need everyone on board so that we can work it out together. Preferences for a fast or slower pace on the day need to be declared and where appropriate additional rides proposed. We all need to enjoy ourselves whatever pace we wish to ride at. We ride for pleasure: let's keep it that way.

    As for me I'm at the tourist end of the spectrum, hills fine (how else do you get the views), distance fine but pace: well you know the answer. See you on Thursday.

  5. To Dave and Bryan: thank you for taking the time to write the comments; I have read them with interest and I agree with all of the points that you have made.
    I'm sorry if I ranted on a bit, but I reckon it's better to let others know the way you're feeling than to just say nothing. At least it sparked a bit of discussion!