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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.

For more information see the About Us tab.

Friday, 13 July 2018

12th July 2018: Coton (mod)


A good number of Easy Riders gathered at Cleopatra’s in Holt. The moderates were out in force: David M, Clive, Neil, Dave H, Dave P, Mike G, Andy B, George, Trevor and myself. The start of the day questioned whether the long hot dry spell was over: there was a very light drizzle on my ride to Holt, and Andy told us it had rained steadily in Mold the previous night. However we set off in dry and improving conditions with the Dog and Bull in Coton as our destination.

We crossed the bridge into Farndon, noting that it is due to be closed to traffic for 14 weeks from 16th July, and for some days in that period also to cyclists and pedestrians.  Then we headed to Stretton (where David M left us), Tilston and the Cholmondley Estate, before turning south through Bickley and Marbury, and then joining cycle route 45.  Here the more observant riders admired the Mercian Way statue. We entered Whitchurch on Black Park Road, which is closed to vehicles until 02/19 a sign said, possibly due to badgers undermining the carriageway, though we could squeeze through the barrier fencing.  From Whitchurch we took the road to Alkington, then through Hollingwood to arrive at our destination just before 1 o’clock, with 26 miles completed.
Photos by Mike G

We sat outside seeking shade from the sun at a number of wobbly tables, but the food and drink were fine as usual: we had last been here in May. Clive left early to make his own way back for an afternoon appointment, while the rest of us gathered for a photo.

Our return led us north and westwards to Tallarn Green where a scarecrow festival was obviously underway. We dropped down to Sarn Bridge and turned left to avoid the bank, and made our way on a lovely quiet lane into Worthenbury.  Then it was the usual route back, with half the party pushing on ahead in the traditional(?) race to the finish, this being at Lewis’ café.  We sat on the terrace, enjoying coffee, cakes and the afternoon sunshine, when Ivan stopped on his way home after completing the brisk riders’ route.

Our total distance was 48 miles, covering many lovely gentle lanes in improving weather.  The rain did eventually come, but later that night.


SH


12th July 2018 : Burlton (brisk)

A change from the recent weather meant it was overcast and wet as I made my way to Cleopatra’s where around a dozen CER’s were gathered. There were two routes on offer, Steve planning to visit Coton and mine to the Burlton Inn at Burlton. Everyone with the exception Ivan opted for the moderate option so at 10:30 prompt we set off leaving Steve to round up his group. 

Travelling across the Dee bridge and down towards Shocklach was fine until a lapse in concentration meant I had led us towards the homebound leg of the route instead of the outbound leg! This was soon remedied by turning left at ‘The Bull’ heading to Tilston where, as we passed the church, we saw Nick Holmes. He was  out for a run ,at least we think it was Nick he waved, we waved, it looked like Nick and it was in his locale.

Heading out of  Tilston  towards the A41, we briefly  joined  the moderate group who were probably a bit confused as to how they had managed to get ahead of us. Leaving their route, we  went through Larkton Hill, No Mans Heath and Malpas, and here we crossed the A525 at Iscoyd Park. Onwards through Fenns Bank and Whixall, we picked up a lovely smooth road, thanks to new tarmac, that took us all the way into Loppington before passing to the west of Sleap airfield and finally our lunch stop ‘The Burlton Inn’.

This pub was a first for us both and has a nicely decorated interior. There were  only a handful of customers and our food and drink order was quickly served. My main meal of Steak pie, chips and vegetables, was a large tasty portion and was consumed whilst chatting about family life and forthcoming holidays. Once fed and watered we headed back to Holt  by following a mainly straight northerly route linking Lyneal, Welshampton and Threapwood.

Ivan took over the lead  in Theapwood and set a fierce pace (obviously wanting to burn off the bangors and mash) through to Crewe by Farndon. Here we turned and took an alternative route via a back road into Farndon arriving back at  Cleopatra’s for coffee and cake at about 3:30.

Thanks for the company Ivan,  a good day out covering 57 miles.

See route map and/or gpx file download

KP

Monday, 9 July 2018

5th July 2018: Aston (mod)


Steve had been chauffeured to Rose Farm by Lynne (my wife), and it was great to have him in the mix again. Lynne was favourably impressed by the company I keep. Perhaps, I had painted too much of an 'old lags in Lycra' picture at home, when describing our Thursday interactions! In a year when their changed circumstances had meant some individuals not renewing their membership, it was great to welcome Colin and Neil as fully paid up new members.

Route-wise, the moderate riders were without a clue, so chose our favourite default destination:   The Bhurtpore. Mike, Keith, Andy, Neil, Dave Pipe and myself formed the moderate group. We took the route through Cotebrook and along the narrow lush lanes, next to the baking brick of Oulton Park boundary. At Oultonlowe Cottage we turned right and took a quiet lane favoured by Ivan and Clive. Andy wasn't keen, having remembered a rough section of tarmac from a few weeks back. As he was on his tank-tough heavyweight steed, no harm was likely. From Wettenhall we made swift progress down Welshmen's Lane, and turned off through the park just before Nantwich centre. The paths were dry and the greenery relaxing as we passed  the ox-bow lakes of the River Weaver, and joined the A530 for only yards before heading south down Coole Lane. We then had a bit of an 85% thrash with the wind in our spinnakers, before turning north-west up Back Coole Lane. We crossed the Whitchurch Road into Aston to a very hoppy aroma. The surprisingly large grain mill in this small village was the source of the heady scent. We, of course were very at home in The Bhurtpore. We sat outside under canvas, and had a good selection of ales and curries to choose from.

Photo by Mike G

The route home took a turn left down Pinsley Green Road, for a change, and so by-passed Wrenbury. At Marbury the revamped Swan looked worth trying for a future lunch break. Ray Hardman used to have a drink and snack on the south side of the church with a lovely view over the    Big Mere, which you can't even see from the road we are on. We should stop and try 'Ray's View' next time. We headed north to Chorley Bank via Norbury and Gaunton's Bank. We crossed the A534 at Brindley, passed Tilly's in Bunbury with difficulty, climbed Tilstone Bank, and headed for The Old Fire Station at Tarporley. We took our bikes through the cafe to the back, and sat at a shaded table. We had our usual friendly reception, and were supplied with jugs of water with slices of lemon. Dave Pipe and I enjoyed ice cream cornets as well as cake and coffee. It had been a hot day, but as I made the final ascent to Rose Farm, I was alone. Everyone had ridden their separate ways home, even Keith to Runcorn. About 43 relaxing miles for me, closer to 90 for Andy, and somewhere in between for the rest of the gang.       


DH                             


Friday, 6 July 2018

5th July 2018 : Dunham Massey (brisk)

Arriving at Rose Farm café it was great to see Steve T and Mrs Lynda Heath out for a coffee. Great to see you both and very glad to see Steve so buoyant, you’ll soon be back on the bike.

Today's adventure is not about the bike and speed, it’s much to sunny for heads down and bums up so a meander around sun drenched lanes, good price lunch stop and ice cream were factored for our pleasure today.

Leaving the café were, John M, Nick, Ken, Colin and myself. We headed for Cotebrook and along Oulton Mill Lane and took the first left and right to head us in the direction of Whitegate. Heading into Hartford up Cinder Hill was our first encounter with impatient female car drivers. On overtaking us on a blind right-hand bend there was a screech of rubber as she nearly went head on with approaching motorist then gave us a blast of disgruntlement on her horn!!

Through Hartford and towards Anderton, passing the boat lift dock visited in April but not today, we continue to Comberbach and passing Antrobus Golf Club. The lanes are very quiet and we are enjoying the meander and head down to Grappenhall where we are joining the Trans-Pennine cycle route 62 which we ride until Dunham Massey. The track is very hard and dry but little use by walkers but one elderly cyclist who wanted to run us down in his haste to improve his Strava segments (ha ha).

A well earned pint (or two)

Leaving the trail, we head for the Vine Pub where we enjoy a quality pint in the luxurious garden for £2.00 a pint and BLT buns and chips to follow. Hospitality was good with the chef coming out to ensure our lunch was alright and to advise us that there were alternatives on the menu. It’s too hot to eat a meal and ride was our excuse.

We regretfully depart and go via the little track along side Dunham Masset NT Hall and over the little bridge. There was a call for refreshment stop at the "Swan with Two Nicks" but ruled off-side. Onwards then to Little Bollington and to Gt Budworth where we are stopping for ice cream. Another very popular location but plenty of staff on hand to serve. Fully refreshed we continue our ride homeward bound passing through Comberbach again and to Higher Leigh and the Weaver Bridge. 


Going off road again we saunter along side the river to the locks and have time for another photo shoot for rogue’s gallery and continue through the fields to the lane which takes us up hill towards Crowton. This is a much easier route than tackling the hill up to Acton Bridge!

The Weaver bridge 
We continue to get over Norley Hill and arrive at Hatchmere where we are spitting up. Three heading through Delamere and Nick and Ken riding back to Rose Farm. Another great day out with like minded riders for company with 75 miles covered as a round trip H-H or 55 miles to and from the cafe. Next weeks ride from Cleopatra’s – time for a summer ride to Mow Cop?


ID

Photos by John M and Ivan D

Monday, 2 July 2018

1st July 2018: Chester and N Wales CTC Vets 100

A few Easy Riders took part in the 53rd annual Bert Bailey Memorial Veterans' 100 mile ride on Sunday. You have to be over 55 but this seemed to be a loose specification. These were George, Mike G and myself. Dave P was on carpark meet-and-greet duty at Duddon village hall from before 0800 as well. In addition, there was one tandem entry, that being former CER riders Graham and Vicky Payne. There were a few Watson's Wanders riders also taking part.

Despite Dave M recommending to Laurie Mason (the organiser) that I do not lead a group, I found myself leading out Group 3 at 0830!  There were twelve of us including Graham and Vicki. The other riders were from all over and I knew none of them. My first task a week ago, had been to decipher the the route sheet which was more like a knitting pattern instruction with lots of hieroglyphics. I seemed to have got it about right as we headed for Overton village hall via Holt and Threapwood.

Stamina is needed on this ride not only for the distance but for the mountains of food at each stop. So we all tucked in to cakes after 90 mins riding in the cool morning air. Off again the route was straightforward going via Ellesmere to Queen's Head. Thence into the lovely border lands in South Shropshire.

Lunch was at the village hall in Four Crosses and we arrive just as Group 1 (who had started at 0800) were entering the hall for lunch. On the way down we had also overtaken Group 2 (who had started at 0815). Lunch was substantial, but soon my group were keen to get back on the road again. So off to back to Overton via Crewgreen and Rednal airfield and Ellesmere. Here, all the group fancied an ice-cream so went down to The Boat House by the mere. I decided to make for Overton village hall  for a longer rest. I was the first to arrive of all riders, and had remarkable restraint in not attacking the piles of sandwiches and cake before the others finally arrive.

So the final leg is back to Duddon and it's high 20C and it's hot! We decide to call the Carden Arms to see if they are open - and they were. So we all pile in for a welcome pint. Arriving back at Duddon with just a 100 miles under the tyres, we find yet again we are the first group back.

We collect our certificates and many decide they would like to go home for a shower rather than wait for the other three groups to turn up for the certificate ceremony!

Proof positive!
So, not a challenging 100 miler route-wise but as ever, the Cheshire and Shropshire countryside with a soupçon of Welsh borderlands, makes for a very pretty ride. I had an enthusiastic group behind me who kept as a group throughout the day as evidenced by the 14.8 mph average speed on what was yet another very hot and windless day.

See route map and/or gpx file download

CA