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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, 23 December 2012

21st December 2012: Café circuit

Thursday's weather was forecasted to be "heavy rain all day"; and so it was; and this was the reason that the penultimate ride of 2012 was exceptionally moved to a forecasted "dry" Friday.  At Manley aka Café #1, the message had got through to everyone and Dave M confirmed that no one had turned up on the Thursday.  So my proposal of a Café to Café "beating the bounds** " ride was accepted, as was the lunch venue of Hildegard's café.  We six, (David M, Dave P, Ray, Andy, Martin and I) set off on time up Sugar Lane bound for Mouldsworth and the back lane into Kelsall.  The weather was dry but annoying heavy drizzle could be seen sweeping across the plain as we exited Kelsall bound for Café #2 in Utkinton.  No time to stop, so onwards to Tarporley, where waterproofs were donned, then Huxley bound for Café #3, Ice Cream Farm.  David M decides to peel off, so we five motor through Tattenhall.  On the Clutton road out, there is a sizeable flood at the top of the hill and we roll down towards the A41 testing our brakes.  Safely across, we turn right down Dog Lane, Chowley, into Aldersey Lane and thence to Coddington.  The weather improves.  Across the A534 and passed the Cock o' Barton, we turn right down Wetreins Lane bound for Farndon and Holt.  The Dee is in full flood as we arrive at Hildegard's Café #4 by 12:45.  Hildegard looks after us royally well and we tuck in to a hot meal and a free glass of red wine and extra tea/coffee.
Photographs by Clive Albany

An hour later we set off, but with Andy nursing the beginnings of a cold, and Martin deciding to get back to his car in the light, they leave us bound for Chester.  So Ray, Dave P and I roll along the straight road into a head wind bound for Borras.  Crossing the Wrexham bypass, we arrive in Bradley and take the back way into Alyn Waters Park Café #5.  In doing so we get close to the Expresso (former café #5).  Along the main road we go northwards to Caergwrle and take the lane across the river valley passing close by the now closed Tudor café (also former Café #5).  Safely on Lower Mountain Road, we slowly ascend to Bilberry Wood genuflecting towards Hawarden and Café #6.  Taking the usual return route, we decide to stay on the south side of the River Dee at Saltney Ferry and arrive at the Wrexham Roundabout via Curzon Park.  Here Ray and Dave P go straight across making their way home.  I turn left and pass by the Little Roodee Café #7.  I cut down by the river back to Mollington with 60 miles on the clock and part way towards Café #8 at Ness.  If you had gone back to Café #1, you would have cycled 58m and got there by 16:00 and in the light.  I was home and had washed the bike by 16:00!  So as the old saying goes, "CTC" really stands for "Café-to-Café".  As I write this, the Mayan End of the World forecast is happily incorrect as was the Met Office's forecast for the day! 
Best Seasonal Wishes to all CER riders, and I hope Santa brings you those cycling goodies you’ve been hinting at all year.
Note ** 
According to Wikipedia: Beating the bounds is an ancient custom still observed in some English and Welsh parishes.  Under the name of the Gangdays the custom of going a-ganging was kept before the Norman Conquest.  A group of old and young members of the community would walk the boundaries of the parish, usually led by the parish priest and church officials, to share the knowledge of where they lay, and to pray for protection and blessings for the lands.

1 comment:

  1. If only I had known that Hildegard was giving out free glasses of red wine!!!----serves me right for wimping out after the Ice Cream Factory.