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 27 March 2009

26th March 2009: Afonwen Craft Centre

Three wet riders peeled off their waterproofs in the warmth of the Gallery Tea Shop at Hawarden before enjoying tea and teacakes. Dave arrived on his mountain bike as he couldn’t face getting his newly cleaned and polished road bike wet and muddy. The weather looked grim from inside the café so a route was chosen with plenty of options. Straight out to Ewloe, Northop Hall and Northop on the B5125 and then left up Halkyn Mountain via Gwern-y-marl with lunch at the Britannia Inn if the weather was really bad or on to the Black Lion at Babell if it looked OK. The ride out was hard but uneventful. Despite a strong wind against us, we made good progress and by the time we neared the top the sky had cleared opening up views across the Dee and Mersey estuaries.
With time in hand we decided to press on to Babell but on the exposed old coach road even descending meant pedalling to maintain progress. The welcome sight of the Black Lion Inn soon turned to concern as there were no cars in the usually busy car park. Sure enough the pub was closed: weekday evenings only it appears. With a scarcity of alternatives Brian suggested the Craft Centre Restaurant in Afonwen on the main road to the south. Within a few minutes and a fast descent we were sat round a table in the busy restaurant ordering lunch while the rain started again in earnest.
By the time we were ready to leave the rain had stopped and we sped swiftly along the main road, using the side lanes where convenient, before turning right to reach the switch back descent through the beautiful Nant Alyn. Up to Soughton, for the last significant climb of the day, then through Buckley (dropping Brian off at Little Mountain station) and back to Hawarden via Bilberry Wood where we split up to make our respective ways home.
Distance from Chester and back 48 miles with 988 metres of ascent.

Saturday 21 March 2009

19th March 2009: Knutsford

Only one day off the spring equinox and with a glorious sunny day in prospect this was going to be a day to savour. Just riding out to the Windsurfing Centre along familiar lanes was a pleasure. I arrived early and settled down outside to the usual tea and teacake. Checking Twitter I gathered that Graham had set off to join us. Glennys turned up for a chat (too much CTC work to join us for today’s ride) and within a few minutes there were six of us chatting. Today’s destination of Knutsford was decided quickly after checking the map for approximate distance. Then cutting it very fine indeed, Dave and Liz arrived on their tandem to join us.
We decided on the straightforward route through Delamere Forest, Acton Bridge, Comberbach and Great Budworth and made good progress until we crossed the Trent & Mersey Canal by Valley Farm. Bryan, our leader, stopped to remove a layer and was promptly dropped. Now which way did the group go, via Little Leigh or Ash Tree Farm? “What a comedy” says Ray when we all meet up; the leader having discovered that he is easily dispensable. Dave and Liz decided to lunch in Great Budworth while the remaining five pressed on towards Knutsford at a good pace on beautifully smooth roads lined with daffodils. Lunch was taken at the White Bear where the landlady unlocked the beer garden gates for us. The Theakstons was perfect and the sandwiches and baguettes excellent.
The return journey was made south to Lower Peover where we turned west to Plumley and Higher Wincham. Dave insisted that we cross the Weaver Navigation at Dutton Lock. The last time I had done this route the section on the south side, under the viaduct, was little more than a muddy path: now it was a proper cycle path. Then it was up Norley Bank through the Forest and back to the Windsurfing Centre just in time for tea and cake before they closed at 5pm. There really is no better way to enjoy a sunny spring day than a great ride with friends.
Distance from Chester and back 65 miles.

Friday 13 March 2009

12th March 2009: The Trout Farm

Photographs by Ray Hardman

Why is it always a stiff westerly head wind when Caergwrle is our start point? At least Graham had benefited on his ride in from Prestatyn. At the Tea Rooms Dave B, Brian and Graham were already settled in to the tea cakes as I arrived with Jim and Dave in tow: this is five more than last time from Caergwrle! It was such a beautiful sunny day that we thought the 'deglas would be too good to miss so I promised an easy pace on the six mile climb and away we went. Two miles to Pontblyddyn and then left up the climb where we settled down into an easy rhythm. The rule was that if the chatter stopped then the pace was too high and we reached the top as a group, with just one “photo opportunity” on the way. The cross wind didn't trouble us but as we turned onto the A525 at Llandegla the wind was on our backs to help us along to the Trout Farm. Here we were Stephanie's only visitors, other than the fishermen, so we settled down at the big table looking out over the lakes where the fly lines were snaking back and forth to drop their flies in anticipation of tempting this month's record catch. With the sun streaming in through the window we put so much of the world to rights that I wondered why it is that the G8 summits aren't held at the Trout Farm.
Having fully recovered and refuelled we set off for the steps down to Cefn-Y-Bedd and on through Llay to enter the Cheshire lanes approaching Burton and then turning into the wind for Kinnerton. Sandy Lane led us back towards Lower Mountain where Graham bade us farewell and we carried on to Caergwrle where we clocked 30 miles round trip. The others were dreadfully disappointed not to be able to accompany me back through Llay, Rossett, Holt, Churton, Tattenhall and Beeston before returning to Chester for a total of 85 miles - but next time eh!

Saturday 7 March 2009

5th March 2009: Whitchurch

Following last week’s leisurely ride on the Wirral the group decided on a longer and hilly ride today. After some discussion Whitchurch via Harthill and back through the Wych's was agreed. We were delighted to welcome David Ackerley who joined us for elevenses while we supped on tea and teacakes at the Ice Cream Farm. Five riders then set off at 11.15 in almost perfect conditions through the back lanes, over Hart Hill, past Cholmondeley towards Marbury, turning off to climb up to Wirswall before a fast descent into Whitchurch. A relaxed lunch was taken at the White Bear where the route back was planned.
Leaving Whitchurch behind we headed west with a short section on the busy A525 before, with much relief, turning right towards Higher Wych. The descent to the Wych Brook was followed by the somewhat slower climb up the other side before dropping back down to the brook at Lower Wych and the final climb out. From here, and with the weather changing, Ray led us back through Threapwood, Churton and Tattenhall in light rain and occasional hail. The promise of afternoon tea back at the Ice Cream Farm kept spirits high where Melanie found time to update us on the progress of the new extensions and the adjacent marina. By 16.30 it was time to start the final leg home to Chester to end an enjoyable day.
Distance from Chester and back 64 miles.