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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 October 2018

18th October 2018: Whitchurch (mod)

Awaiting ride report

18th October 2018 : Shawbury (brisk)

With today's fine weather forecast, there was a big turnout at Cleopatra's café and Steve T was in the saddle and Ray joining the Brisk ride. The proposed brisk route was to Shawbury via Moreton Corbett, which is regarded as Clive’s stately restoration project. We’ve been visiting it for a few years now and there hasn’t been much progress to date.

We set of from Holt passing over the new resurfaced bridge over the Dee and out to Tilston where we were joining up with Nick who probably had a relaxing morning. The Brisk riders today were John M, John W, Ray, Ivan and Ken who was joining us for a shorter ride as he had commitments in the afternoon. As duly organised we met Nick, and we continued through Tilston to Cuddington Heath.

The weather was a little fresh, but at 11:00ish it was removal of layers and full finger gloves. Riding in the sunshine and through good dry lanes, we are heading towards Wem and join the B5063 which takes us to Moreton Corbett where a photo call is required. It is then a ride into Shawbury and a lunch stop at the Fox and Hounds. My first time here but the food selection was good and reasonably priced.

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More ancient relics!




















After lunch, it was cycling on the A53 for 4 miles before taking the lane heading towards a little village of Lee Brockurst. Approaching Wem again, we skirted around the town and heading towards Prees Green and Prees passing over the rail route between Crewe and Shrewsbury. 

Through Tilstock and passing over the A41, we are heading into Whitchurch. As we approach the Sainsbury's supermarket, we are stopped by police cars blocking our route. Advised no access on this road due to a suspect UXB, or something the moderates had left as their destination was Whitchurch!!

We turned around and rode through the town and re-joined the road at the main roundabout passed the supermarket. It was down to Grindley Brook and onto the Malpas road and eventually Tilston crossroad at the Carden Arms inn.

Nick left us to return his solo ride home while the remaining group continued on the usual route to take us back to Holt. As were between Stretton and Crewe-by-Farndon, we catch up with the intermediate CER group headed by Clive. So as to get first choice of cake, we continue onwards and arrive at Cleopatra's not that much earlier than the second group.

Our ride today was 65 miles and covered some good lanes in fantastic autumn sunshine. Our total distance returning to Chester was 85 miles. We were joined by Clive riding with us on our return home. Another good day out on the bike. 


ID

Monday, 15 October 2018

11th October 2018: (mod)

Awaiting ride report

4th October 2018: Holt (mod)


Jim and I had decided early in the week to give the moderate ride a miss but to ride up to the Gallery Coffee Shop in Hawarden and then cycle home. This is exactly what we did but events conspired to turn it in to the moderate ride.

I arrived at Jim’s to find that Dave H had arrived with the same intention and was delighted to find that Steve T was with him, attempting his first CER ride since his accident. We were joined soon afterwards by Mike and the five of us set off for Hawarden. We followed the Greenway as far as Blacon then dropped down Western Avenue to Sealand Road and then into Ferry Lane. We followed this to the aptly named Ferry Lane Bridge where we crossed the River Dee. We turned right towards Queensferry and followed the twisting road past the back of the Airbus factory at Broughton. After turning right at the roundabout we turned left into Rake Lane and started the inevitable ascent up to Hawarden and what would normally have been the starting point for our ride.

There were a number of other Easy Riders present but most were heading off on the brisk ride and the only addition to our group was Dave P. So six of us set off down the Wrexham Road before turning left onto the small road that would take us up the back of Bilberry Wood to the footbridge across the A55. After crossing the A55 we turned right then left into Old Hope Road and continued into Lower Mountain Road by-passing the village of Pen-y-Mynydd. Then a left and right into Sandy Lane.
From there we turned into Shordley Road. I would have turned down Cobblers Lane here and headed for Rossett but Jim suggested carrying straight on along Dark Lane. We did so and crossed the Llay road into Gegin Lane and left at the end onto Gresford Road. At the bottom of the hill we crossed the dual carriageway and turned left into Springfield Road, emerging at the bottom of Marford Hill. As we climbed the hill I was behind Jim and noticed that his rear tyre was looking a bit flat. He stopped to investigate and discovered that he had picked up a thorn somewhere along the way. The rest of us had a short break while he changed his inner tube and then we carried on up the hill and turned left into Hoseley Road. At Borras we turned left again onto Holt road. As we approached Holt the topic of conversation turned to a suitable venue for lunch and the consensus was that we would stop at Cleopatra’s.

Cleopatra’s is normally one of our starting venues but this time we were able to sample their lunch menu. Despite now being October we were still able to sit outside for our lunch although I suspect this will probably have been the last time we will be able to do that before winter sets in.

After lunch we crossed back over the River Dee into England. The Farndon Bridge has been closed for several months for repairs and resurfacing (well, it is nearly 700 years old) but fortunately was still open for pedestrians and cyclists. At Churton Steve decided that he’d had enough for his first ride out and we opted for the most direct route back. Dave P left us and headed off to get some extra miles in around Tattenhall. The rest of us headed back to our starting point via Aldford, Saighton and Christleton. Only 38 miles completed but a milestone for Steve as he continues his recovery. Well done.

See route map and/or gpx file download


TC

Saturday, 13 October 2018

11th October 2018 : Mow Cop (brisk)

Todays ride was starting from Utkinton – Rose Farm Café and the Brisk riders were, Ken, Nick John W and myself. A proposal of Timbersbrook and Mow Cop was suggested. The weather forecast for today was windy and rain from 14:00'ish, but I’ll make the reference now that we had a fantastic wind-assist for a lot of the route both out and return, and no rain except a little drizzle on passing Waverton although a much overcast sky.

Before departing the café, there were a few moderate riders out today but we set off first heading towards Tarporley. We pass the Portal golf course and pass Eaton and the general route passing Darnhill to Church Minshull. We continue on the notorious A530 to Middlewich before turning off to visit all the humps on the housing estate’s before reaching the main A533. We go straight over passing the Salt works. The lanes skirting Middlewich to Breteton were splendid in the autumnal colours. Arriving at the cross roads with the Bears Head inn and, not calling in today, we continue along more quiet lanes although in need of pot-hole refurb before arriving at Brownlow Heath, then joining the A34 into Congleton. 

We ride through the town and continue on the A527. The route should have taken us out onto Biddulph Moor and Timbersbrook but too late I missed the turning. An executive decision made was to continue on into Biddulph and head up to Mow Cop The lane up this side of the cop is a steady 9% and we were soon looking out over the Cheshire landscape. Continuing upwards we approach the folly at the top and the ascent goes up to 15+%. Now we were over the climbs for the day lunch was discussed after covering 37 miles from Utkinton. It’s 12:30, so another executive decision made to continue on towards Winterley before stopping for lunch. 

We ride down Station Lane, a mere 20% descent, and, as the road was damp, a much slower speed was preferred. I stopped for a photo shoot and was following the others and half way down: "pssssss"and my front tyre deflated. Such is the state of this road that it was a pinch rather than a thorn or similar. John and Nick were in front but fortunately Ken also heard the escaping air and stopped as quickly as I did. We advised the others not to come back up and proceeded to change the tube.

We were soon onwards again and passing Scholar Green, Lawton and Winterley. We have ridden these lane’s many times over the years and our lunch stop is now Bradfield Green near Leighton Hospital. Arriving at the "Coach & Horses'" we have covered 49 miles since our coffee at Rose Farm and were soon tucking in to home-made pies complimented with fresh vegetables, mash and a good size gravy boat.
Our route from here is to Church Minshull, Wettenhall and Eaton. The intention was to stop at the Old Fire Station cafe in Tarporley  for cake, but John and I decided to continue on to Chester, while Ken and Nick rode on to Rose Farm to collect their cars.


We were passing Waverton and the weather started changing and a light drizzle was dropping on us.An eventful day with good cycling and a happy group. Thanks for making this a memorable ride, one of my favourites as it is over my old riding patch. The round trip to and from the café was 64 miles but for John and I we were approaching 80 miles.

See route map and/or gpx file download

ID

Photo JW

Friday, 5 October 2018

4th October 2018 : Kinmel Bay (brisk)

There were quite a lot of riders at The Gallery when I arrived, including the welcome return of Steve T; out for the his first ride with us since "it" happened. Great to see him so enthusiastic as well.

I'd thought I better show willing, so I had prepared two routes. There was a short 40 miler with 4000ft of climb, and a longer 50 miler with 5000ft of climb. Addressing the Brisk Group of Andy B, John W and Nick H, I was somewhat surprised when John asked for a non-hilly route because he had an upcoming challenging weekend ride! So what to do; then I remembered a route we had ridden twice before towards Rhuddlan. So this was agreed and we set off at an alarming pace the usual way to Northop.
As we crest the rise before tackling the short section of the A55, there is a marvellous panorama of the Mersey Estuary to behold stretching out as far as the eye can see. Both Liverpool cathedrals were clearly identified as were the large container port cranes. Passing the Britannia pub, we now climb higher, but eschewing Pentre Halkyn, we dive down into Holywell.


Here I decide to add some variation from the "planned" route as we turn off for Whitford. We take the NCR5 lane upwards where have to stop twice for an enormous tractor and trailer which filled this tiny lane. I point out the Coed y Garreg tower on the hilltop, which was supposed to be the site of a Roman lighthouse nearly two millennia ago. We arrive at Maen Achwynfan Cross, and we dismount to visit it. It has been here for about a 1000 years and has an interesting history ( see photos).


Three Ancient Britons and a 1000yr old Celtic Cross

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Veering left at the junction to Llanasa, we speed down a new lane (for me) to rejoin the "London Road" aka A5151, to hurtle down and through Dyserth towards Rhuddlan, where we touch 30mph on the level straight with no wind-assist at all! Kicking left into Rhuddlan, I can't resist a mini-diversion to the Edward I castle which is still standing tall after 700 years.

Rhuddlan Castle
I suggest the Morfa Table pub, which is just down the road. Andy counter-suggests the cafe by Rhyl Harbour. So Rhyl -or Kinmel Bay to be exact - is where we now head by going along the Clwyd river cycle path. The cafe is pretty busy but we get in, ordered and seated, before a mini-bus load arrive. Conversation is as varied as ever, and we discuss the excellent BBC program about the effect that plastic is having on global wildlife. It is really worth watching, so stoke up iPlayer to find "Drowning in Plastic" BBC1 Oct 1st at 2030.

We had noticed that the wind and dark clouds had been increasing during the morning, and, as we left the cafe, there was a gale force blast which nearly knocked us off our bikes. The ride now was a 20mph wind-assist all the way along the seafront, exiting at the Pontins Holiday camp. Through the golf club and static van holiday park, we arrive at the Point of Ayr. Taking the cycleways further, we circle the old colliery and hit the coast road at Ffynnongryow. It's now a long fast burn to the Chocolate Box cafe close by Flint's Sainsbury's.

After discussing wifi webcams and failing eyesight, we head off homewards towards Oakenholt, where Andy and Nick take Papermill Lane arriving back in Hawarden after 56 miles. John and I take the usual Greenway route back to Chester with nearly 70 miles ridden and still with 2500ft of ascent.

The weather had been dry and somewhat windy, and it threatened rain a few times, and the company was as convivial as ever.                                                                                                
See route map and/or gpx file download

CA

Photos CA and JW