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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.

Thursday, 15 August 2019

15th August 2019 : Pickmere (brisk)

It didn't rain and the afternoon was quite sunny but it was very windy and gusty. I turned up a little late for the last meet start at the Ice Cream Farm  - NB : It's Alison's Cafe in Tattenhall next time!

Neil was sitting there like Billy No Mates with a coffee wondering if anyone was going to show up today. I said I would be there, but he was starting to doubt that until I actually showed up. No one else turned up, so we two set off via Tarporley bound for Pickmere.

The route was unexceptional passing thorough Eaton, Rushton and Little Budworth on our way to Whitegate. Traffic was very light - unlike the strong NW wind. This was great if it was behind you as I can attest as I averaged 18mph on the route out to ICF over 16 miles.

In Whitegate, I take the forest footpath transfer to access Vale Royal Golf club to introduce Neil to the Dave Mathew's "Golf Club - Weaver"  transfer route. We hang right to cross the Weaver over the massive locks and ride along the pleasant footpath with bike unfriendly gates. Up the hill by the Blue Bridge, we are soon in and out of Davenham bound for Lach Dennis.

A left up Common Lane takes into the by-roads of Plumley and we are soon at The Smoker pub on the busy A556. I'd thought about having lunch here but opted to go on to Pickmere to the Red Lion (part of the same group of pubs as The Smoker). So we arrive around 1215 having left Wincham behind.

Service was very prompt and the fare reasonably priced and wholesome. Neil chatted about his 25 yrs experience of working in Saudi Arabia training the Saudi Air Force pilots and technicians. I reflected on the long weekend I spent in Riyadh and Jeddah in the 1990's and how I was addressed there as Mr Al-Bany ( obviously I'm now of Arabian extraction!)

We are soon back on the bike and heading mainly into the wind as we slide through Great Budworth on our way to Little Leigh and the big hill up to Acton Bridge. At Crowton, we take Norley Lane for the inexorable climb up into Norley and use the Dave Heath transfer via Town Farm Lane to journey on to Flaxmere and Delamere Forest.

There is "just one more climb" up and into Kelsall where Neil carries on via Willington to complete the 49 miles route on his way home. I slide off bound for Oscroft and permutate the best way to avoid the head-on wind back to Chester.

So thanks to Neil for his company today, and 70+ miles for both of us probably.

See route map and/or gpx file download

CA

Saturday, 10 August 2019

8th August 2019: Parkgate (leisure)

The four leisure riders, Trevor, Graeme, John B and myself chose a day at the seaside in preference to the moderates' choice of the flesh pots of Whitchurch, and accordingly set off in the opposite direction towards Hoole bank.

Swinging round to the east we skirted the zoo, over the canal and up to Backford. The route then followed the Sustrans track alongside the railway, still with all those gates, and on to Capenhurst. Rather than joining the Wirral way here we continued on to Willaston, past the old windmill and up to Thornton Hough. We then cut back west towards the coast to Parkgate and our lunch stop, The Boathouse, which we used for our Xmas dinner a few years ago.

Lunch was very pleasant sitting on the terrace overlooking the Dee and the Welsh hills in the sunshine, but there was a stickiness in the atmosphere preceding the forecast evening's storms.

However, the afternoon continued to be warm as we took to the Wirral Way briefly before cutting through the residential areas of Neston towards the Greenway. Coming in the opposite direction we passed a guy on one of those Boardman bikes - in fact it was Boardman. Clearly with no time to chat he sped off towards his mansion while we negotiated the industrial estate and gained the Greenway. No route finding now as we were blown eastward by a pleasant tailwind back to Meadow Lea. With time for a coffee and cake we watched in horror as the last two pieces of chocolate cake were snaffled up by two rather large ladies in front of us. Then to make matters worse a wasp took a bath in Graeme’s flat white which would certainly have added a little piquancy to the taste had he not noticed and removed it.

Overall a pleasant ride of 36 miles - I suppose we should have gone for a quick burn round Great Barrow to bring it up to 40 but we were greatly disinclined at that stage.

See route map and/or gpx file download

JD

Friday, 9 August 2019

8th August 2019: Alkington, Whitchurch (mod)


Well where do I begin? Sorry if I have missed anyone out or upset anyone, but this is my first post. 

Ten mods set out, yes that’s right, 10 heading to Whitchurch via lots of little hamlets of Cheshire and Shropshire.  Well I was just meandering along in my own little bubble, like everyone else, even our leader Andy W, so when we went off course it was our fault for talking to him and he told a white lie saying we are missing Harthill and other little pimples, but guess what, we went via Harthill and any other pimples on route.  Anyway we got our lunch stop at the garden centre lake at Alkington, I didn’t pay attention as to where we were, takes me back to my school days ha ha teachers!!  We went here in sunny June, the time Clive went for a paddle with his bike through a very large puddle and Brian W would not go through it and Clive wouldn’t come back (electric bike). 

Photos by Mike G
The garden centre did us proud as it was very busy with people sunning themselves this time.  Well we got 3 benches easily outside for us to sit.  Later Andy B did say the reason was they were directly in the sun and had no parasols, not like everybody else's, bless us! This is where I knew some of the crew need carers to fetch cutlery, water, etc.  As I said the girls did us proud here, food came quickly, they got cutlery and water for some, obviously they have parents of the same ilk.  We then set off for home when our leader asked if we would like tea and cake at Hanmer lake, soft question really!  This is where I realise some of the older generation shouldn’t drive, those of us there know what I mean - old lady etc parking in the middle of a junction due to us being in her parking spot then detouring to swerve at us and shouting - she loves us I think!!!!!




Well we got going back to Meadow Lea and our separate ways, I know some peeled off for home earlier. Anyway it was a fantastic day, again good mileage 60 plus, then everyone had extra to home, So cheers to Andy W for superb route, Andy B from Mold, George, Dave M, Dave P, Neil, Mike G, Fiona O'Keefe plus her partner who’s name I can’t remember, sorry, it sounded Welsh.  I think North Wales police had an easy day, due to all our Welsh members meeting at the cafe first off.

KB

Saturday, 3 August 2019

1st August 2019: Burlton (mod)

An absolute host of CER members turned up for the moderate ride, comprising of Clive, Jim, Graeme, Andy B, Fiona, Neil, Dave H, Trevor, Steve T, Keith and George. And we were joined by two guest riders, Jerry and Peter who I hope were made to feel welcome. Peter came equipped with an e-bike, so it seems this mode of cycling is gaining pace – literally!

After some discussion, it was agreed that we would follow a route to The Burlton Inn at Burlton, originally devised by Dave H and last ridden in August 2017, which I had uploaded onto my phone ‘just in case’. So it was with a degree of trepidation that I lead this phalanx of riders out of Holt to Tilston via Crewe-by-Farndon. From there we rode to Threapwood by way of Chorlton Lane, stopping occasionally to a) check the route and b) to make sure we hadn’t lost anyone. We had a longer stop at Tallarn Green so that Clive could put the route to Burlton onto his phone to make sure that, if the group got split up, then someone else would have the route. From Tallarn Green we cycled south-west to Drury Lane and across to Whitewell, an unusual, but quiet and scenic route. About 12 o’clock, Clive rang the pub to make sure that they could handle our large party, which they said they could, so it seemed that all would be well.

Pressing on through Fenns Bank, we came to Dobson’s Bridge. As Clive and Neil came round the corner and down the hill towards the bridge, there were two horses in the road coming up the other way. One of the horses was startled by their sudden appearance and reared up, almost unseating its rider. The rest of us went past as gently as we could to avoid upsetting the horse (and rider) any further. This was now prime Shropshire easy riding, wafting along in midsummer on well-surfaced roads running through lush green countryside. We were soon through Loppington and arrived at Burtlon just after 1 pm.

Reading Dave’s report of the ride in 2017, he said ‘The staff at The Burlton Inn were friendly. The eating environment is attractive, and the food is consistently very good. It took a while to prepare, because we were such a large group, but this pub is certainly one of our favourites.’ And it all held true on this visit, so it was nearer 2.30 by the time we’d posed for the group photo and got on our bikes again.

Photo by CA
By now the sun was shining and it was quite warm as we made our way back to Penley through English Frankton, Lyneal, Welsh Hampton, Breadon Heath and Tarts Hill. Just before we reached Penley, the ‘advanced party’ consisting of Steve T, Fiona, Neil, Andy B and Jerry stopped at a junction to wait for the others, but after several minutes, they didn’t show up. So we concluded the return route that Clive had put into his phone using ‘Plot a route’ must have taken them on a slightly different route. So we pressed on, assuming that they were well behind us, only to find them ahead on the road at Little Green!

The rest of the route was a brisk, familiar ride north through Holly Bush, Worthenbury and Shocklach, where Graeme and Jim left us for Malpas, the former for home and the latter for cat sitting which, funnily enough, he was doing 2 years ago on this same ride!

As we got closer to home on the road from Shocklach, the faster riders (Neil, Andy B and Jerry) pulled away from the ‘advanced party’, spurred on by the fact they we had been overtaken by two ‘proper’ cyclists. Steve T and George vainly tried to keep up and Keith and Fiona following on behind them. The rest of the group rode at their own pace, so our original phalanx was now quite scattered. On reaching Farndon, Clive, Trevor, Keith and Peter all headed for home and the rest arrived back at Cleopatra’s having clocked about 54 miles.

My thanks go to Dave H and Keith for acting as ‘tail-end Charlies’ so that none of this large group got lost or left behind and especially to Clive to doing the same thing, but also for his help on the navigation front. I couldn’t have done it without you!

See route map and/or gpx file download

ST

1st August 2019 : Llangollen (brisk)

There were going to be four us of starting out on this route, but Clive saw some significant climbs in my route so went with the mods. Turned out a good choice considering I had meant a much easier climb out of Ceiriog; I had plotted the wrong road up but hadn’t noticed! I was asked about the lunch stop, (the Mill at Llangollen), but John keenly recommended the Special Welsh Rarebit at the canal-side tea room.

So myself, Ken and John set off in improving weather towards Chirk via the familiar route of Bangor on Dee and Overton. Passing the A5, we skirted Chirk by going to Weston Rhyn and along a delightful lane taking us into the scenic valley of the Ceiriog. Taking turns at the front due to a headwind we soon arrived at Pontfadog. A sharp right turn took us straight into double digit gradients, with some sections between 20 and 25%. A mile later and 800ft higher, we topped out with an impressive view of Llangollen and the limestone escarpment leading to our next climb, at World’s End.








To John’s relief, after bigging-up the proposed lunch, the rarebit in Llangollen was indeed excellent and spot-on cycling fodder. Soon, in increasingly hot sunshine, we set off up to the Panorama road. At the ford at the base of the climb, we chatted to a cyclist who said he had walked across due to the slippy algae on the concrete, so of course we rode across. I crossed first but then heard a splash behind to see Ken lying in the river with his bike on top! Naturally, when you see an accident like that, the first thing you do is get your camera. Fortunately un-injured (bruises perhaps?), Ken managed to pick himself and bike up before I was ready. I requested that he go back in and lie, with bike, in the stream, purely for accurate photo-journalism and the benefit of you good readers. I missed what he said, but I think the gist was a No!




After the rigours of the earlier climb, the climb out of Worlds’ End didn’t seem too bad, and we were soon flying across the moors above Minera with Llandegla Forrest to our left. On descending, John split off and turned left to go to Chester to pick his car up, we turned right then 2 miles later left down a very rough track to yet another ford. This was quite a deep one, so an easy decision to walk. 

We then passed down a beautifully wooded valley following the River Clywedog and Nant Mill. Abruptly emerging at the bypass, Ken navigated us through Wrexham, himself then to Gresford, me to Tilston.

An excellent days cycling with good banter aplenty, my route (Tilston to Tilston) was 58.5 miles with 3,850ft climbing, averaging 14.4mph. This route is 53 miles.


NH

Photos NH and JW