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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, 19 February 2016

11th February 2016: Hanmer (mod)

Our winter weather seems to offer us two choices-wet and warm or cold and dry. Thursday presented us with the latter, so under an almost clear blue sky a good-sized group of riders met at Cleopatra’s in Holt. The moderate group consisted of Keith, Steve T, George, Mike G, Dave H, David M, Mike B, Steve H, Liz and Dave P, John M, Charlie, Jayne, and Jim.
We exchanged the cosy warmth of the café for the weak winter sun and set off south over the by-pass and onto the lanes on the west side of the Dee. Despite the relative dry weather of the last few days, the river was pretty near its peak and we all marvelled at the vast area of flooded fields between ourselves and the river channel: it was like cycling round the Zuyder Zee! Soon we came to the usual ‘road closed’ sign, which we decided to ignore, and 500 yards later found out why - the river had annexed the road as well as the fields and we had no volunteers brave (or daft!) enough to try the huge puddle for depth. Retracing our route to the last junction, David M guided us skilfully in the direction of Bangor-on Dee.
Continuing southwards, we followed the lanes to Penley, Breadon Heath and Bettisfield. Turning sharply northwards, we crossed the A495 and arrived at the Hanmer Arms after a very pleasant 20.5 miles. Most took advantage of the very reasonable two-course menu for £5 and the beer drinkers had a pleasing choice of beers too.

Photograph by Mike Gilbert

Soon we were back in the saddle again, heading north for Eglwys Cross. By the time we had crossed the A525, we had remembered where the filthy muddy lane that is imprinted on our memories was to be found. However, this time it wasn’t too bad and we were able to continue on our way without spending time scraping mud from under our mudguards. The lane down to Threapwood was a very nice few miles, mostly downhill, and after the stiff climb out of the Wyches Valley, we set off for the direct run through Shocklach and back to Farndon, arriving back at the café in good time for coffee and cake.
A lovely dry day throughout, with occasional sun, and quiet lanes giving us very enjoyable riding. A total of 35 miles or about 60 for those riding from Chester.
JD

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