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.

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Sunday, 6 May 2012

3rd May 2012: Holmes Chapel (brisk)

There were a lot of us at Rose Farm and since Dave M had planned a shorter moderate ride, the rest of us (Ivan, Ray, Tony, Dave P, Brian Mac, Andy, Martin, and I) set off bound for Swetenham.  Out the back of Tarporley and on to Ruston and Oulton Park we ride until we access the Whitegates Way to sunny Winsford.  We exit on to part of NCN 5 bound via my eponymously named hamlet, to access the canal towpath into Middlewich.  Here a local reports “thorns on the towpath” so, as Ray and I have had recent punctures, we abandon the towpath and quickly re-route around the town thanks to the auto re-route function on Martin’s Edge 800.  As we cross the M6 the clouds appear and the sun disappears.  The forecast is for rain.  At Brereton Green we ignore the NCN 71 signs, since we have been bitten before on this very rough farm track, and so skirt around it to access Ivan’s ancestral home (he wishes) and through the lovely Dane valley to pop up via The Quinta into Swetenham proper. 
Hockenhall Platts

Photograph by Ivan Davenport
The plan was to lunch at the Swetenham Arms but after looking at the prices on-line, I have decided to continue to the George & Dragon in Holmes Chapel.  Here we enjoy waiter service and a very leisurely Pensioners Special lunch as we gradually roast in the conservatory dining area.  Martin’s had enough and heads for home solo.  Taking the back rough lane north via Hollins Farm, the rest of us track towards Cranage and via Lach Dennis to Davenham.  Here I employ the Dave M route via Vale Royal golf course and through Whitegates, Cotebrook and back to Utkinton.  Here we briefly meet Dave H in his car going home, and as Brian climbs the hill back to his van, we fancy a coffee at Okells.  We finish off the route back to Chester via Hockenhall bridges with around 80 miles on the odometer.  Well it didn’t rain and the 50 miles round route turned out to be well worth the effort of cycling it.

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