Anyone who stuck their head out of the window this morning to check the weather would have been forgiven for leaving their cycling gear in the wardrobe. However the forecast led me to believe that it was going to be a good day and by the time I was down to Meadow Lea the heavy rain had already given way to drizzle. Thirteen other members had also checked the forecast so the café was already busy when I arrived. Three of us had rides in mind but a few people expressed surprise when I suggested a trip to the Wheatsheaf Inn at No Man's Heath. We had been there in January when the landlord had told us that the pub was closing in February. However on a recent ride down to Grindley Brook, Dave P and I had noticed that it was open.
Ken decided to do his own thing and Jim wasn’t riding, so twelve of us (Dave P & Liz on the tandem, David M, Dave H, Keith, George, Andy B & Andy W, Clive, Bob, Steve H and I) emerged from the café to find that, as promised, the rain had passed and the sun was trying to push its way through the clouds. We set off through Guilden Sutton and out along Wicker Lane. We crossed the A51 and headed down to Waverton where we turned left to take the Martins Lane route towards Tattenhall. After passing through Tattenhall we started to go up round the back of the Bolesworth Estate and it was here that the whole group thing started to unravel. Dave P, still recovering from his operation earlier in the year was struggling up the hill and the group soon got strung out. Dave H and Keith volunteered to stay with the tandem and offer encouragement, George and I ended up together in the middle with the other six somewhere up ahead. I wasn’t too worried as everyone knew where we were going and so we crossed the A534 to Brown Knoll. Here we joined the Old Coach Road and followed it all the way to our lunch stop, crossing the A41 just 200 yards from the Wheatsheaf Inn.
The first six had already ordered food when George and I arrived and it wasn’t long before the other four arrived. We were all back together again. It transpired that the pub had in fact closed in February but had reopened in May run now as a community pub, an arrangement that has saved many country pubs from closure.
We split up again after lunch with Dave & Keith opting to keep the tandem company again and David M heading straight home. The plan for the rest of us was to cycle up into Malpas then on towards Tilston. Dave H had suggested a detour which would avoid the hill up into Malpas and the inevitable littering of parked cars through the village. So halfway up the hill we took Dave’s Detour and turned right to pass through Ebnal before regaining the Tilston road at Kidnal. Why had we never done this before?
We continued on our return journey passing though Tilston and crossing back over the A534 at Barton. At Coddington we turned left towards Churton then back through Aldford, Bruera and Saighton to Waverton. From here we retraced our morning's route back to Meadow Lea having covered 40 miles.
See route map and/or gpx file download
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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