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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Sunday, 20 January 2013

17th January 2013: No Mans Heath

Rising early to ride required real resolve on a stone cold day.  Ivan, Ray, Bryan, myself and the recovering Clive arrived at the Little Roodee Café.  Martin turned up tanned from his skiing at Chamonix. He was resting today, his quest for fresh snow not quite stretching from the lower slopes of Monte Blanc to those of Larkton Hill. 
A route in the direction of Malpas was agreed, partly because any chilling breeze was likely to come from the south east and so assist our passage home.  Clive led, as his intimate knowledge of these lanes would be of benefit, and, being Clive, he obviously would incorporate some interesting extra meandering loops.  We headed out along the river, behind The Boathouse, past Huntington Hall toward Aldford via Saighton. Clive was supposedly not 100%, but his pace was, by my moderate standards. A lone approaching cyclist had shouted an ice warning. Reasonable caution and good gritting meant that ice wasn’t a real worry for the rest of the day.
Unfortunately, a tractor on Chapel Lane was cutting a hedge and sprayed thorns all over the road. I duly picked up a puncture and we all had a very cold 15 minutes, as I double checked my tyre and replaced my inner tube. Ivan earned a pint for being particularly helpful. We were soon turning left at pretty Churton. Peaceful little lanes took us south east through Coddington to Clutton, where we became semi-detached. Ivan did his usual eager sheepdog-on-a-bike act, and soon we were together making steady progress south to Cuddington Heath. A straight route left to Malpas was shunned for a nice, quiet detour to Oldcastle Heath and north east along Bishop Bennet Way.  Bryan wasn’t feeling like a spring chicken, and it was a little hilly and a lot cold. Ray and Ivan went ahead, partly because Ray requires a good toasting every two hours in order to survive the cold. (And Ivan needs two pints of beer every two hours to survive, period).       
We finally made the familiar Wheatsheaf after 26 miles, more than ready for food and warmth. Sausages in Yorkshire puddings were no longer on the menu, but the food was fine. The new owners were very friendly and our conversation was convivial.  Circulation was a theme: Ray prays every Thursday that winter can be turned into summer because of his perceived poor circulation, Bryan’s fingers go white in his own living room, and we discussed the theory that continually circulating train routes may reduce the need for more lines.
We were a little late heading back, and with light, cold and possible wintry weather considerations, took the fast way back via the Old Coach Road to Broxton Old Hall. We reached Tattenhall and considered a coffee, but we had already been riding through some fine, snowy precipitation and it was becoming a little murky. We crossed the A41, and at Saighton the frisky three took off, and Bryan and myself cruised into Chester via Boughton. 
A thoroughly enjoyable day, which despite the natural speed differentials was managed without a problem. Winter brings both its stark and sparkly charms to our beloved Cheshire lanes. I for one was glad that I made that early morning effort to get up and out. Many thank to Clive for leading.

1 comment:

  1. Reads like poetry
    Good guide to the day and was enjoyable and glad i too made the effort.
    See you all Thursday and hope the white stuff gone