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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 May 2017

18h May 2017: Shrewsbury (mod)

When I arrived at Chirk Tea Rooms, Dave H, Ken, George, Bob, Tom and Andy B were already there. Dave asked whether I had a route in mind. I didn’t, but looking on my satnav I could offer a short hilly ride or a longer flatter ride.  Hills were out of favour, so we ended up with a brisk route to Shrewsbury which Clive had led a couple of years earlier, although I hadn’t been on it, which was to present some navigational challenges later.

The day’s forecast was good: warm, little wind with the odd chance of a light shower. So we were immediately disappointed that the rain started as soon as we left the café, And it got a lot heavier. And it got a lot colder. Dave, George and I were fearful of repeating another May outing from Chirk a few years ago when insipient hypothermia threatened.  Thankfully, the rain passed and despite heavy clouds around us, it stayed dry until near the end of the ride. We were even able to relish a little warming sunshine.

Photo by Ken P
The route took us through Weston Rhyn and past the old hill fort into Oswestry, where the sat nav led us towards what had been reclassified as a “no entry” road since the original route.  Later we were to meet a right turn which had since been closed off. Slight modifications got us back on track to reach the Queen’s Head after an unwelcome busy mile on the A5. Some pleasant lanes followed as we passed through Ruyton XI Towns and entered Shrewsbury. With the help of directions from a postman, we made our way down to the river and followed it pleasantly before striking up into the town to find some food.

Looking back at Clive’s original ride report, I see they went to Wetherspoons. Without that knowledge we meandered through the streets trying to find a suitable venue. Eventually we were recommended to the Old Post Office pub. This turned out to be a typical Easy Riders stop, with a courtyard to lock our bikes, welcoming staff, and reasonably priced food.

Dave used his local knowledge to guide us out of town and onto the road to Montford Bridge. From here we passed through Shrawardine, and eschewing a typical Clive short cut along a rough track, we passed through Knockin and Maesbury to Whittington. Here my satnav battery dropped to a critical level, but contingency planning earlier in the pub meant that Ken had also loaded the route and so he took over route finding. Around this point George was bold enough to say that at least he wouldn’t need to wash his bike after this ride. We passed through Gobowen and the rain re-started. The route took us back into Chirk through Rhyn and Pont-y-blew, usually a pleasant alternative to the A483 roundabout. But here we met the steepest roughest and muddiest lanes of the day! The bikes were not so clean after that.

After 60 miles we were back in Chirk, where Dave and I retired to the café (which is open till 9pm), while the others made the ways home by bike or car. It had been an eventful ride with some unexpected weather, some unexpected route finding challenges, some discoveries in Shrewsbury, but as usual, good company.

See route map and/or gpx file download

SH

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