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 30 January 2009

29th January 2009: Lock Gate Café, Beeston

Photographs by Ray Hardman
Manley Mere Windsurfing Centre

A 15mph SE wind and a sunny afternoon was the forecast. Well, the wind turned up and so did Jim: we would have to see about the afternoon. Tea, tea-cakes and tittle tattle were followed by a decision to brave the wind and a lumpy out-route by heading for the Lock Gate café at Beeston. The climb to Mouldsworth soon had us warming to the task and then cooling down as we descended to the left turn into Delamere Lane. The road through the forest gave shelter, which was maintained through Hatchmere and Norley only to be lost along the exposed Bag Lane prior to our turn left for Onston and Acton Bridge. The day remained dull but there were signs of the sun attempting to break through in the west. With the wind now in our faces and tackling the hills at Gorstage, Whitegate and Little Budworth we could at least be grateful for the overnight rains over the last few days which had washed the roads free of mud and thorns. Oulton Park was quiet once again - don't these motor enthusiasts like cold weather? With the wind strengthening we pushed on through Rushton to check out Kings Lane for the remarkable cleanliness it has been achieving of late and then we took Oxheys Lane for Tilston Fearnall where we turned right for a short stretch of the A51 to the Red Fox before a left took us down the hill to the Lock Gate and sustenance.
After a long break for warmth and recovery we headed back up the hill and left for Huxley with the wind on our backs and superfluous strength in our legs. The sun hadn't won its battle, the wind was cooler and there were no hills to warm up on. But life was easy, Waverton was breezed through, Guilden Sutton beckoned Jim to the armchair whilst I made a warm-up dash for home with 49 miles recorded and a few minor lumps along the way. Verdict: bracing.

Friday 23 January 2009

22nd January 2009: Llandeglas

Photographs by Ray Hardman

A stiffish headwind challenged me all the way to the tea rooms. Two earlier arrivals shaded their eyes from my screaming yellow cycle top as I ordered my tea and tea-cakes (£1:80 total - Whew!). Then, following a chat, a prompt start was made to head for Pontblyddyn, along the side of the Alyn. On turning left there was a sign showing 8 miles to Llandegla but not warning that 6 of them were uphill. The murky winter day was being pushed aside by glimpses of sunlight trying to give an appreciation of what spring can be like. Up (and up and up) through the trees alongside the stream gushing its way down to the Alyn and all in the absence of wildlife - just the sheep looking contented as the sun's fingers slipped further into their winter fleeces. No new lambs yet but in another month they will have a lot to do. A brief respite of a couple of hundred yards at Rhydtalog saw a little downhill but only to have to now select the middle ring for a harder lump up to the Llandeglas. A little unexpected rain had the waterproofs out and back on the bike with it completely dry again; but they could stay on for the helter skelter down the steps. The Clwyds came into view, lit up with the sun and enjoyed as the downhill took us to Pant. Here a lady walking three dogs advised it to be safe to pass through but I found it difficult with a dog licking my front tyre - it was coming clean. And then it was left onto the A525 to pass the Trout Farm and resist calling in to sample Stephanie's bacon sandwiches and home baking, but to carry on along the old road to Bwlchgwyn to make sure I reached the highest point of the highest village in Wales. Heading down to the steps for nearly three miles to Cefn y Bedd and the warmer climbs forming the edge of the Cheshire plain, the plain itself was now bathed in sunshine. With lunch beckoning there was a little urgency in dispatching Llay and Marford on the way to Vernon's at Holt. Refreshed, it was on through Farndon and into the wildlife at last. A buzzard skimmed over the hedge to check out if there was any life left in my legs, thought better of it and veered away to chase something else. Rooks were up in the taller trees, glitters of starlings in the fields and blue tits along the hedgerows. I carried on through Tattenhall to round the castle (weakly coloured in today's light) at Beeston and head back home, picking a route to avoid the lessening wind. Total round trip was 72 miles. Elevation -you bet. Verdict: glorious.

Friday 16 January 2009

15th January 2009: Cholmondeley Arms

Photographs by Glennys Hammond

When I arrived for elevenses, the Ice Cream Farm was in the midst of building works designed to eventually substantially extend the café area with a special section for cyclists. Melanie had agreed to open specially for us but which was the best way to gain access? Then Melanie and Glennys appeared with a friendly wave at what was previously the door to the kitchen. Once inside Melanie enthusiastically explained her plans and sought advice on cycle racks and the like. Then Dave, Liz and Ray arrived and we sat down to tea and tea cakes.
Inevitably it was another late start to the ride but we headed off to Cholmondeley under grey skies by way of Beeston, Bunbury, Brindley and Larden Green. The Cholmondeley Arms was welcoming as usual and their Winter Warmer £7.50 offers were hard to resist but we settled for sandwiches and baguettes instead. An hour later we left the pub with police in the car park and a helicopter overhead! We crossed the A49 and made our way past Cholmondeley Castle towards Bickerton Hill rising ahead and then turned left to skirt Bickerton and Larkton Hills before climbing up to Broxton Old Hall, across to Brown Knowl and then back to Chester past Bolesworth and the Ice Cream Farm.
Distance from Chester and back 47 miles.

Friday 9 January 2009

8th January 2009: Pant-yr-Ochain

The Little Roodee Café Chester was the designated elevenses meeting place today. As this was the first time we had met there, it came as something of a relief to find three members already waiting when I arrived after a two minute ride from home. Over tea and coffee we engaged in an interesting discussion of iPhone problems, blogs, the Chester & North Wales CTC website and the proposed rail assisted ride planned for June. After a full hour of debate those out for the days ride left heading south towards Wrexham via Eccleston, Rossett and Gresford with the intention of sticking, as far as possible, to the gritted roads. At Gresford we took the Old Wrexham Road to Pant-yr-Ochain where with little hesitation, given the late start, we stopped for lunch at the impressive country house pub of Pant-yr-Ochain. Good beer, excellent service and food to match made it a good choice. We were even invited to bring our bikes round to the back where they would be safe.
Photograph by Ray Hardman

On leaving the pub we continued to the footbridge and then made our way along the eastern edge of Wrexham past the entrance to the Industrial Estate to eventually emerge at Cross Lanes. With plenty of time in hand we joined the main road to Bangor on Dee before turning for home via Shocklach and Aldford. No afternoon tea stop today, but the uplifting quality of the light from the sinking sun behind us against a cloudless sky made the home leg particularly enjoyable nonetheless.
Distance from Chester and back 36 miles.

Friday 2 January 2009

1st January 2009: Carden Arms Tilston, Chester CTC New Year’s Day meet.

Photographs by Glennys Hammond

Having been out earlier in the week I had already decided that extra layers of clothing would be needed today; and so it proved to be with temperatures staying below freezing. Eight riders braved the cold to turn up at Christleton Pond; a combination of a depleted Chester Section and Chester Easy Riders. Despite reduced numbers the group enjoyed a relaxed start to the New Year along frosty lanes passing the Ice Cream Farm before skirting Harthill by way of Bolesworth and Brown Knowl. From here it was downhill to Duckington and the turn-off to Tilston. A good number of cyclists had already gathered when we arrived, although judging by their attire a significant proportion had come by car this year. Although total numbers were down from last year Harry counted just over 40 present: not a bad turnout for such an unpromising start to the year. After a leisurely lunch and chat with those present it was time for a more direct route back via Lower Carden and Tattenhall with a tea stop in Waverton courtesy of John and Eunice.
Distance from Chester and back 37 miles.