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 21 August 2009

20th August 2009: Hidden villages of North Wales

The party of Mike, Dave H, Jim and David were joined at the Gallery tea rooms by Bryan who was not riding but had brought some maps and route ideas after our last fiasco here when we hadn’t got a map between us!
We set off under a glowering sky and with a very threatening forecast. Ewloe was found ok and after a slight attempt by Mike to take us to the beaches of Flint, we headed straight on past the Agricultural College towards Halkyn. A brief sprint along the A55 and we were heading up the hill to the village. The sky still threatened, but never quite delivered, and we found ourselves at a junction in Pentre Halkyn. We didn’t need the map as we could remember the route from last time: Big mistake!! The map is clearly more accurate than our memories, but with a combined group age of over 200 that’s hardly surprising. After a little while we found ourselves on the old main road in Holywell, and took the maps out. Fortunately the turning to our next stop, Whitford, was not too far away and we were back on route again.
Just outside the village, Mike warned us not to go straight on as this lead to a steep horrible hill, so we turned left up an alternative steep horrible hill!
With careful use of the map and signposts, we proceeded to Llanasa where the whole village had joined in the scarecrow competition: very impressive efforts too. With confidence growing we took the road for Gwaenysgor and lunch at 1.30.
Without Ray’s extensive knowledge of the price of lime and soda we paid up without comment. With a downpour just as we were leaving, Jim decided to put his coat on, and sure enough, the sun was out moments later. Out came the maps again, and we decided to take a variation of Graham’s route home and headed towards the higher parts of Dyserth and Cwm. We then picked up the B road to Llyn Helyg and crossed the A55 again despite the road being signed as a ‘no through route’.
From there we took the high road back towards Halkyn, and the exposed village of Windmill. Still no rain, but the wind nearly blew us into the fields on a number of occasions. Turning left by the Bluebell Inn above Halkyn, we set off downhill at last back towards Northop. Retracing our path from the village, we arrived back at Hawarden about 5 pm. A total of 44 miles with a bit more for Mike and David, but a good day and we never got wet.

Monday 17 August 2009

13th August 2009: Arley, Tatton and Dunham Massey

Photographs by Brian MacDonald

The wasps were after our jam on a magnificent Manley morning. Mike displayed skill and bravery with his bare-handed killing technique. A friendly young man with a North-East accent introduced himself as Steve, and said that about twenty miles was his normal trip. The debutant leader had planned to visit Arley Hall, Tatton Park and Dunham Massey. Ambition may have to be trimmed!
Jim, Brian Mac, Steve, Mike and myself trundled up to Kingsley and wafted along the Weaver by a roving route. Small, quiet lanes, many that even Ray may never have ridden, were the theme for the whole ride. A lady flashed past our noses at Comberbach, riding hell-for-leather on a mountain bike laden with shopping. We just about caught up with her, and had an interesting chat for a few miles. She once climbed in the Alps and cycled home to England. She left us near Arley to paint her house at Appleton Thorn. Some of us vaguely remembered once having the energy to go on a ride and still do major domestic tasks all in the same day.
Some walking was required on wide metalled ways in the grounds of Arley and Dunham Massey: persuasive e-mails for greater cycle access will be sent. After Tatton Park we finally stopped for sustenance at The Swan with two Nicks at Little Bollington. The ale was great from the village brewery (according to our very experienced beer-swilling expert, Mike). The food was also very tasty. According to Jim the best dish on view was the stunningly attractive landlady, but unfortunately she wasn’t on the menu.
Back on the road, we headed for the Trans-Pennine Trail. Brian MacDonald-Contador made devastating sporadic spurts ahead. This worried me initially, because he had said that he knew this area about as well as the far side of the moon. It turned out he was just positioning himself to take photographs of us for the website. Ta for that Brian.
An overgrown bridle path slid us toward the centre of Lymm. Take-out cappuccinos, sat in the sun with the ducks having fun. Would I remember the next intricate twists and turns Garminless, hopefully not gormless? (But sadly out of date, still with film to finish in my camera, and chrome and leather toe-strapped to my quill-stemmed Raleigh). I buoy myself up by thinking I’m actually coolly retro, and anyway Tupper of the Track managed to be a winner without sophisticated gear! Ticking along the traffic-free lushly lined lanes: Crouchley, Mag, Swineyard, Crowley, Pennypleck and Caldwell’s Gate passed with The Antrobus Arms as our last stop. Lime and soda with ice slakes the thirst. Forgot to note the price for the book I know Ray has in him.
The usual sting in the tail over the penultimate miles loomed and the steep zigzagging up to Newton Firs was certainly knackering. Steve was coughing, but conquered the summit; I think we’ll see him again. Thanks to the troops for their positive support on this slightly off-piste excursion. It was a beautiful day, no main roads and 62 miles clocked in relaxed, agreeable company. Can’t wait for next Thursday!

Tuesday 11 August 2009

6th August 2009: Maeshafn

The main question concerning today’s ride was “who would turn up?” Elevenses was at the Tudor House café in Caergwrle holding the promise of a ride into the welsh hills. As members arrived it became clear that this was to be a ride of the Daves. Regulars Dave H and Dave P were joined by Dave Hill (joining us for the first time) and Dave Mann (for his second time) together with Brian Mac and Mike. Dave Hill offered to lead promising an interesting and hilly ride.
Leading out over the southern shoulder of Hope Mountain the group headed for Ffrith, crossing the ford with only Dave H taking a plunge. From here it was on to Llanfynydd and up hill to a welcome stop at the Stone Zoo before continuing on to Maeshafn via Graiarhyd and Eryrys. After an excellent lunch the return journey to Caergwrle was made with a stop at the impressive Leeswood Hall gates before dropping down to Pontybodkin with the final leg over the northern shoulder of Hope Mountain. Here the group broke up as members peeled off to make their respective ways home.
Distance from Chester and back, a hilly 46 miles.