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, 11 October 2013

10th October 2013: Shrewsbury

The weather was perfect; bright skies, lots of sunshine and a northerly headwind - an autumn day to relish riding down, for most riders, new country lanes - what's not to like about this ride! So a cyclist's dozen of bikes with 12 riders (Liz, Martin, Liz & Dave, Petar, Steve, Dave M, Bryan, Brian, Ray, Andy and I) congregated at the Sleap Airfield café overlooking runway 05-23. Bacon sandwiches and coffee set us up for a 47 miler calling at Shrewsbury for lunch at the Coach and Horses on Swan Hill. 

Photographs by Brian MacDonald

There were so many small villages and hamlets on this ride that I have chosen not to name them all including the blogger's eponymously named village that we cycled through, but the photo tells all. On an easterly loop out, I manage not to disappoint the group in finding a tiny lane to Stanton upon Hine Heath; it was metalled once about 25 years ago! The countryside is open and rolling with high-hedged lanes protecting us from the wind. Turning south to Ellerdine Heath, I deviate from the planned route to ensure we end up in Shrewsbury on time. We wiggle our way to Upton Magna and here, at the confluence of NCR 81 and 45, we take the 81 right into the town centre. My bike nav is playing up, but luckily Andy has been this way before so at Uffington he correctly accesses the former railway line towards the banks of the River Severn. We cycle right on along the river bank for nearly a mile exiting right by Swan Hill. 

Thanks to Clive for this one
The Coach and Horses pub was chosen on the advice of Brian's mate, who is a Shrewsbury pub aficionado. He wasn't wrong; a group table was laid up for us whilst we park our bikes behind an office block. There is a good choice of ale and food, and soon seated, the food arrives promptly. Back down Swan Hill, we continue a leisurely cycle along the river bank before walking across the bridge to begin our Shrewsbury exit route. There next follows quite a lot of thankfully quiet main road, although it is still the NCR81. At Montfort Bridge, we get back onto country roads bound for Baschurch. From here, the looping lane to Myddle sets us up for returning to Sleap café. The chocolate cake is demolished and Christmas Lunch deposits expertly extracted by Brian. A perfect ride to finish off the "summer" season.

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