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.

Sunday 23 September 2012

20th September 2012: Anglesey

It was the Famous Five that met at the Edinburgh Wool Mill café at Llanfair PG for the round Anglesey Special Ride. Only five (Dave H, Andy, Ivan, Ray and myself) but what quality for a quality ride. The route out to South Stack RSPB café, by the famous lighthouse, would be a minor variation on that taken by Ivan and I in Jan 2011. The return would mainly be a surprise. The weather threatened rain but little comes although the stiff breeze will feature all through the 35 miles to the South Stack café. Taking cycleway 8, we run down quite lanes parallel to the Menai Straits with panoramic views of Snowdon and the Rivals. Through Newborough, the road takes you through the forest to Maltreath. Here the Maltreath Drain takes the water out of the marsh that extends right into Llangefni. The first minor variation takes us down a "No Through Road" (says the binman) along the estuary. The OS seemed to indicate we can get through and we can by taking a short cut along the foreshore to access the lane out. The next variation involves us ignoring the main road to Aberffaw by taking a tiny road across the sand dunes to access the original trip-trap bridge. It works, and we then have to use the main road to get to Rhosneigr. A very popular town this appears to be with several cafes (open but ignored) and lots of holiday homes; but we press on inland to circle RAF Valley before crossing the causeway to Holyhead Island proper at Trearddur Bay.

Photographs by Clive Albany

We follow the coast climbing over hill and down dale towards the windswept RSPB café for lunch. The choice of hot food is a bit short but it comes quickly enough as we sit enjoying the seaward view. I was remembering that just two weeks prior, I had been sailing around South Stack trying to beat the tidal stream on my way to Cemaes Bay to anchor there before it got dark. We leave and cycle the short uphill distance to see the lighthouse itself where Ivan procures a pink-clad young lady to take the snaps. Off around the mountain, we make our way along the front at Holyhead and turning almost into the seaport itself, we pick up cycleway 8 again to take past the now quiet aluminium smelter to get us across the causeway. Turning left in Valley, we eventually access the B5109 towards Llangefni and Mona's Café. This road is parallel to the old A5 and the busy A55 but there is hardly any traffic as we go down and up dale arriving at Mona's at school chucking out time. Ivan espies the "Gwesty Bull" and as the four of us take tea and cake, he takes a pint of Cardiff ale. There are traffic jams in Llangefni as we leave to ride the short distance back to the car park. I am keen to avoid the obvious way back so we take some more tiny lanes which once again give us 180° vistas of the Snowdon range and the Llyn peninsula. We ride over the A55 footbridge and with 62 miles done we are back at the car park. There were just a few spots of rain all day, the sun came out, there were majestic mountain vistas and sea panoramas, almost no cars, and wonderful countryside, and apart from the one lane out of Rhosneigr, decent road surfaces all day. What more can you ask for on a CER ride - where were you all!

Friday 14 September 2012

13th September 2012: Little Bollington (mod)

Only five out today (George, Dave H, Andy, Bryan and myself) at Manley.  Dave M came for coffee and was nursing a bad cold. Weather-wise it was bright but a little chilly, clouding over later, but brightening up at tea time. "Little Bollington" I offered; "Where" came the reply - "Next to Dunham Massey" - "Oh there! How many miles?" "50" and "OK". Off we go, out and up the ridge towards Alvanley and the fast descent to the outskirts of Frodsham. Then out through Frodsham, turning off the main road at Dave's suggestion to avoid the freeway. We access the Bridgewater Canal at Preston Brook and cycle northwards towards Warrington. We pass the Daresbury Laboratory that boasted the Synchrotron Radiation Source until it closed in 2008.

Photographs by Clive Albany

Very pleasant it all was until, tempted by a further canal path section, the inevitable rear wheel puncture happens. It happened to be mine, and managing to nip the newly-inserted inner tube, I have to borrow another from Dave H. Anyway the group needed a rest! Crossing the A49, we go up and pass Appleton Reservoir, and ignoring the "No Through Road" sign, we make our way along lanes anew and down through Stockton Lane ("Closed") and finally the cobbles in Grappenhall. Ducking about the canal, we find Waste Lane towards Lymm, passing the Lymm Dam and thence to Outringham Lane and alongside the same pub-infested canal until the "Home" pub comes into view. 

The Home is deserted, but the food comes quickly and is well received together with the Flowers IPA. The return route is "straightforward" but weaves about a lot on our way back to Manley via Hoo Green, Comberbatch, Acton Bridge, Norley and Delamere Forest. Under the M56 there is a curious plaque commemorating John Wesley's preaching at Booth Bank - he would have to speak up today given the volume of traffic passing by on the M56. Passing close to the Great Budworth Ice Cream farm proves too strong so we stop for afternoon tea and cake. In Delamere Dave H peels off to go back to Manley whilst us four continue via Ashton Heyes back to Chester. The circular route is 54 miles; with the Chester add on making it around 65+ for most of us. It was a wonderful autumn day through heritage countryside embracing the age of canals and high nuclear physics - a pity that only five of us were out to enjoy it.

Saturday 8 September 2012

6th September 2012: Sun Inn, Trevor

The Expresso Cafe, Gwersyllt is not the most popular of CER starting points.  Possibly the café itself, the distance from Chester, the hilly environs or a combination of the three.  So on a lovely late summer day only Ivan, Ray, Bryan, Colin, Martin & Lizzie and Liz & Dave P turned up at the café.  We were then joined by three Wrexham Cafe Hoppers - Bruce, David and Mike.  However the numbers were soon whittled down as Bryan was in less than good form and decided to do his own thing, the tandem arrived punctured and Dave & Liz decided to meet us at the lunch stop and the three Wrexham boys retired early on the initial climb up to Minera preferring a less hilly route.

Photograph by Ivan Davenport

The five remaining riders continued on with the winding climb through Minera towards Llandegla, past the MTB centre, briefly onto the A565 and then along the gated lane that emerges on the road halfway up to the top of the Horseshoe Pass.  We soon reached the Ponderosa Cafe and started down the steep Old Horseshoe Pass Road and the right to the bottom of Worlds End and up to the Panorama route.  This must be the most picturesque ride in our area and the road surface is now good but it is littered with rocks and debris that have been washed down from the steep slopes above.  Perhaps as a result, it is a frequent puncture site and true to form Ivan had done so by the time he had reached the Sun, Trevor.  The repair was a protracted procedure requiring 3 inner tubes taking place during lunch eaten outside in the sun with a lovely view over the Vale of Llangollen.  Dave and Liz then arrived after cycling over Worlds End - pretty impressive on the tandem.
The return was along the canal path to Acefair, Johnstown, Bersham, Wrexham and Gwersyllt. Ivan and Ray then continued back to Chester, Martin to Hawarden and Colin and Lizzie took their cars home.
A beautiful hilly ride of only 33 miles but 1,160 metres of climbing taken at a slow pace. The return journey to and from Chester adds a further 28 miles.

Sunday 2 September 2012

30th August 2012: Lower Peover

With summer drawing to a close and on a sunny morning, it was not unexpected seeing 10 riders at the Ice Cream Farm.  Dave M offered to lead a ride as long as I wrote it up.  We, Mike M, Colin, Ray, Andy, George, Alan, Trevor, Clive and myself followed him east towards Oulton Park, but Clive soon turned off as he had commitments elsewhere.  We fairly quickly had splits in the group with the varied pace of different riders and soon lost Mike at a junction.  This happened to others a number of times during this day’s ride.  I would ask all members to think about dropping back at a junction if there is someone behind and then waiting so that the person behind sees the change of direction. Simple but effective: and keep your mobile switched on so that we can call you if you are detached.
A fairly uneventful ride took us through the suburbs of Northwich, past Lach Dennis to Lower Peover, where I was reminded that it was a silent “O”.  If that is correct, then why not spell it Pea – ver.  Lunch in The Crown was both pleasant & efficiently served.  Plates were cleared, which is always a good sign.
Our return route to The Ice Cream Farm was via another Ice Cream Farm, this one at Great Budworth, where tea & cake was scoffed.  See http://www.icecreamfarm.co.uk.  It was then a trek west through Cumberbatch and Kelsall to the original Ice Cream Farm.  A total round trip of nearly 60 miles.