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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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Friday, 11 January 2013

10th January 2013: Hanmer

What a difference to last week’s balmy weather!  At 9:00 as I left home for the ride to Hildegard’s it was cold, grey and with a touch of fog.  A relieved Dave H was already there, having arrived early and then been concerned that he had gone to the wrong venue.  Hildegard made a large pot of tea and within a few minutes two of the tables were full as Ray, Ivan, Dave & Liz P and Paul also made an appearance.  With the weather outside being so cold there was some reluctance to get out and our start was a little delayed.  No worries though as we were following my route to Hanmer and I could always cut a bit out if necessary.
We were soon out in the country riding south on the back lanes between the Dee and Wrexham Industrial Estate, which if it hadn’t been for the state of the roads would have been perfect.  Unfortunately this set the tone for the rest of the day: beautiful, almost traffic free, lanes thoroughly covered in gunk and with the occasional flooded section.
Through Bangor on Dee we went, past the racecourse, and then just as Paul swept past to attack the coming hill, a left turn up Brynhovah Bank.  Continuing south through the lanes the sun made an attempt to show itself and it did seem a little warmer although Ray was still complaining about the cold.  At the southern end of Lionlane Wood Ray spotted a sign to Hanmer “not much further to lunch then”.  Sorry Ray but “we’re going further south to Bettisfield before we turn north to Hanmer”.  So ignoring the signs we continue south: after all we still had a few more chevroned hills to pull in before lunch.
After Bettisfield it was a straight run north to Hanmer and the group fragmented as riders made off for the warmth and comfort of the Hanmer Arms.  The Hanmer Arms Hotel was packed with a large funeral party but we found a space by the fire in the front bar and while Ray warmed himself we ordered food and drink from the bar.  The food was excellent as usual and the range of ale more than enough to satisfy the drinkers amongst us.  Talking to the barmaid it appears that the existing lessee has just put up the lease for sale.  Let’s hope that the new management maintains the current standards.
By 14:00 it’s time to make a move but a reluctance to leave seems to have gripped the group with half the group claiming they were just waiting inside for those already standing ready to depart outside in the cold!  To warm up we retrace our steps up to Arowry and then turn north to cross the A525 to eventually drop down to Lower Wych.  Once up the other side we take a meandering route through the lanes to Shocklach and on to Farndon.  Here Andy and Paul leave us to ride straight back to Chester while the rest of the group continue to Hildegard’s for coffee and “nice” cake (pineapple and coconut).  Suitably refreshed I leave at about 15:45 for the ride back to Chester in the gathering gloom with the fog thickening.
Yet another great day out covering some 39 miles or just over 60 miles for those riding from Chester.
See route map and/or gpx file download.

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