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.

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Friday, 5 October 2012

4th October 2012: Whitchurch

While riding out to Hildegard’s this morning I was suddenly struck by the thought that the ride I had downloaded for today was based on starting from the Ice Cream Farm rather than Holt.  A quick check on arrival proved this to be correct.  Oh well, you can’t win them all and someone is bound to have something else prepared!  With ten of us present you would think so.  Mike M, Trevor, Clive, Dave H, David M, Ray, Andy, Dave & Liz P plus me and no one had a route.  I volunteered my route from the Ice Cream Farm to Coton suitably modified to take us from Hildegard’s, but Mike thought the Dog and Bull had closed.  Clive then confirmed that my alternative of the Waggoners at Platt Lane had burnt down in 2010.  Well it should have been rebuilt by now then.  With that optimistic thought in mind seven of us were ready to depart leaving Andy, Ray and David M with varying excuses for not riding.
The weather was perfect, a beautiful early autumn day, with just a nip in the air and the sun overhead.  What could go wrong? A delayed start while Clive repaired a rear wheel puncture.  Once away everything was fine.  An easy start took us down to Shocklach with little traffic in evidence then onto the back lanes to Chorlton Lane to join the original route down to Dymock’s Mill.  The idyllic scene at the bottom provided a photo opportunity before the climb up the rough track provided the first surprise of the day with the two oldest club members being the only ones to make it. 

Photographs by Bryan Wade

From here it was southeast through Drury Lane and down to Fenn’s Bank before a left turn over the canal brought us to a burnt out Waggoners: no joy here then.  Our next option was to try Tilstock just up the road where ten minutes or so later we discovered the Horseshoes was temporarily closed with new landlords in the process of moving in.  Next stop Whitchurch!
It’s only a short ride north to Whitchurch and with the superb weather to cheer us we enjoyed the lanes as we made our way through Alkington to the centre of Whitchurch where we found the White Bear open and welcoming.  Excellent food plus Doombar and the Rev James ales made for a great lunchtime venue.

The afternoon started with a post-lunch climb up Wirswall hill where we stopped outside Wicksted Hall to take in the views over Marbury.  Then it was north to Bickley followed by a devious route to Duckington, Tilston and finally Holt but not before another rear wheel puncture this time on the tandem.  Arriving back at Hildegard’s at about 16:15 gave us plenty of time for coffee and cake before the final leg home.
Another great day out with friends covering some 42 miles in almost perfect cycling weather with those heading back to Chester clocking 60 plus miles.

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