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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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Thursday, 3 June 2021

3rd June 2021 : Coppenhall (brisk)

Those of you who read Jeremy Clarkson’s car reviews in the Sunday Times will know that quite often most of his “blog” initially revolves around something else, with a quick verdict on the car being reviewed that particular week. So with this in mind, I want to review the ride that John W, John M, Ray, Ivan and myself did on June 1st.

Cast you mind back a couple of days and you will recall it was a cloudless, very sunny and hot day with a light easterly breeze i.e a perfect British summer’s day. I had been fed up of having to access the same old (rough) lanes to get out of the immediate area to horizons anew. So I hit upon the idea to start from Market Drayton to find new countryside to ride through - and we were not disappointed.

The ride was “just” seventy miles but what seventy miles. Leaving Market Drayton, we headed south down endless quiet country lanes arriving after 18 miles at  the outskirts of Muxton at the MacDonalds for a coffee. The rest of Muxton is endless estates on the edge of Telford. So heading east then north east we find more endless lanes and attractive rural villages too numerous to mention, eventually arriving in Haughton. Here we access NCR5 towards Stafford. This is 4 miles of old railway line looking green and verdant in the June sunshine. We continue on highway 5 to minimise our transfer through a very suburban Stafford, passing (and smelling) the Bostik factory.

More long lanes take us down recently patched refurbished lanes. Here the only incident of the day is that I find I have a slow leak in my tubeless front  tyre. The sealant works its wonders and soon we are searching Stone's pedestrian High Street for a lunch stop. The “Stone Baked” cafe fits the bill as we eat carbohydrate and sugar-rich repasts to top up our tanks.

The route back takes in more unfamiliar lanes until Baldwin’s Gate and Norton Hales become familiar names as we get back into Market Drayton. The Joules pub (Red Lion) beckons to finish off a throughly enjoyable day’s cycling in lanes anew.

But where am I now, oh yes, today's Brisk Ride to Coppenhall with Ivan and John W. A fast run out through Frodsham and a right at Sutton Weaver takes us to the outskirts of Weaverham via Acton Bridge. Davenham comes up, and we head straight through Middlewich via Warmingham to the Coppenhall's Co-op store.  A £3.50 meal deal does the feeding trick and we head of back through a familar route eventually riding around Beeston Castle.

The only incident of day now occurs. There is a yelp of pain from Ivan as something has caused great pain in his left knee. He can’t straighten it - what to do? Fortuitously, his son-in-law is working in Tattenhall and has a van. Ivan decides to cycle on one-leggedly to the Ice Cream Farm. Son-in-law isn’t able to come right away, so we all ride on to Tattenhall and the safety of Alison’s Country Kitchen to wait. Bizarrely, Ivan managed to cycle at 18+ mph most of the way - Yes, just one leggedly as well.

Ivan bravely cycling one-leggedly

After a welcome cake and coffee, the Rescue Van arrives to take Ivan home and John and I make our way back to Chester with 75+ miles on the clock at a fast 16.8mph average.

Today’s 61 mile ride was utilitarian compared with the Market Drayton one. So, whilst the sun shines, like Clarkson, I would recommend the alternative option of the Shropshire and Staffordshire offering over today's route. It could be extended to make a Special 100 miler. For route details see here.

Today's route is also here.


Update: Ivan reports that his knee is much better this morning and he can walk OK.

Photo :JW

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