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 24 January 2016

21st January 2016: Marston (mod)

A cold coming we had of it, gathering at Manley Mere and complaining of the temperature. But at least it was dry, though with heavy rain forecast from 14:00. At first there were nine of us, though Dave M had only driven out for a coffee. John was after a 100km ride to meet his target, so he set off on his own. That left 7: myself, Chris, Mike McC, Steve T, Liz & Dave Pipe and Sue, a prospective member.  
I suggested the Salt Barge Inn at Marston, which met with general approval, but we’d gone less than a mile when Liz & Dave decided to do their own thing, perhaps put off by the prospect of a wet return. So then there were 5. We set out up the hills over New Pale, and at the top Sue peeled off to complete her own loop. And then there were 4. We sped down through Kingsley and Acton Bridge, where we crossed the Weaver, then through Little Leigh, Comberbach and Great Budworth. Swinging south through Pickmere, we arrived at the Salt Barge with 21 miles covered in reasonable conditions.
We were given a warm welcome and were enjoying the Tatton Ale while deciding what to eat.  Food was arriving at the next table – a massive burger and a whale sized cod and chips. Intimidated by the size of the portions, we each decided to go for the “smaller meals for smaller appetites”, only to realise when our own food arrived that that is exactly what our neighbours had been eating.  Very well fed, we left the pub just in time for the rain to start and the temperature to lift.
Our return led us through a splashy Marbury Park, and onward past the Anderton Boat Lift through conditions did not encourage us to stop. Through Winnington on streaming roads and onwards towards Weaverham, where Steve T left us to head home. So then there were 3. Then on to Sandiway, Cuddington and Norley, through Delamere Forest and into Ashton. Here I headed off to Kelsall. Then there were 2: Mike & Chris heading off to find the end of the Greenway and so to their homes.  
Overall a good morning’s ride, a fine lunch and rather wet in the afternoon, not bad for January.  The route out from and back to Manley Mere was just under 40 miles, so not a bad distance either for the time of year.

Saturday 16 January 2016

14th January 2016: Alyn Waters

I arrived at Alyn Waters Cafe to see only one bike in the stand! Sunshine, snowy hills, beautiful day, can't be so!
Yes, there was Tom, sitting alone, drinking tea, in a splendid pink top, waiting patiently for the deluge of riders to enter. Alas, only me!
Soon we set off and Tom the Pink knew a good lane across Mold Road, which took us up and through floods, as the snow was melting in the dazzling sunshine, to Windy Hill and Ffrith. A motorist stopped to say we couldn't get past the next flood but changing our shoes for flippers we swam on undeterred. Onward to Llanfyndd, and taking turns to choose the way, we did a left and headed out towards Rhydtalog. More snow on the lane meant cycling on the tracks and following the wolf tracks we found ourselves on a main road near the Liver crossroads.

Photograph by Mike McCormick

Tom the Pink set off at a good pace towards Llandegla, into an icy wind, with me hanging on his back wheel. Frozen snow on the road kept us alert and we dropped down into Llandegla, turned left for Wrexham and back to Bwlchgwyn, stopping to take in the panoramic view, before a fast descent to Coedpoeth, Southsea and back to the Alyn Waters Cafe for chicken casserole!
A good hilly 22 mile morning ride and Tom the Pink rode home.

Sunday 10 January 2016

7th January 2016: Overton (brisk)

It wasn’t suppose to rain but of course it did. I met John riding back along Guy Lane towards Waverton as I proceeded towards Martins Lane and Greenrooms and then onwards to the Ice Cream Farm. John wheels round and we bowl along to sample the new cyclists corner at the café. There were loads out today so, as I didn’t fancy yet another visit to the “Bhurtpore” in Aston, John, Tom and myself set off westwards on the fly towards Gobowen. Out via Tattenhall the first flooded road of the day at the top of Rocky Lane requires “discretion over valour". A helpful driver of a very large lorry advises us to turn around as it was way up over his wheels. The photo is an impression of what it may have been like to cycle through it - and “No” it’s not me on the bike!

Photograph thanks to Science in Sport

So back down the lane and out along Frog Lane and the A41 to Handley we go. Through Coddington, we motor to Tilston and out via the back lanes towards Chorlton on our way to Threapwood. I decide to go via Cloy towards Overton as the wind is getting stronger and the legs are getting weaker. The chosen lane at Hollybush is also flooded and we turn back to take the alternative Cloy Lane towards Lightwood Green. Along here disaster strikes as there is a distinct percussive sound and John shouts to me to stop. I’m expecting a sidewall blow-out but the tyre is still inflated; however, there is a broken spoke dangling from the rim. The wheel is very bent out of shape and the only way to get it moving was to remove the back brake calliper completely, so as to enable the rear mudguards to be lifted up as high as possible and then secured by a cable tie. 
The lunch venue is now assured to be the White Horse in Overton, which we thankfully make without further mishaps. We are the only punters and grateful for a warm pub and food. I telephone my AA road rescue driver (my wife) to please stand by for a pickup if anything else fails. We leave taking the most direct route back avoiding as many inclines as possible. So off down to Bangor, out around the Wrexham Industrial Estate, and round the east side of Marford Hill at Borras Head eventually finds us on the Wrexham Road towards Chester. Tom peels off at Dodleston and, being the gent that he is, John escorts me all the way to my door. It was 25 gingerly cycled miles home from the pub. It just shows how resilient wheels can be if you remember to minimise pressure on the rear cassette, and, the fact that you may only have one brake!

PS: I had a text from Macca who told me that it was 25C by the Mersey River - the one in Tasmania that is!

Saturday 9 January 2016

7th January 2016: Aston (mod)

A large turnout of 18 riders met at the Ice Cream Farm for the first ride of the New Year. David M was out for coffee leaving three brisk riders and a moderate group of Steve H, George, Liz D, Martin, Chris, Mike McC, Charlie, Jane, Dave H, John M (on his first ride with us) Steve T, Bryan, Trevor and Jim to choose a ride to an old favourite, the Bhurtpore Arms at Aston, just south of Nantwich. 
We set off hoping to avoid the last of the remaining showers, but our hopes were in vain and we splashed along for most of the morning. The route took us through Beeston, Bunbury, and south to cross the A534 at Brindley. The showers were for the most part short-lived but the heavy rain overnight had produced some little tests for us in the shape of very large, and presumably deep, puddles. We carefully skirted round most of these, which was more than we could say for a number of motorists who gleefully plunged in at full speed producing a bow wave that James Bond would have been proud of.
From Brindley we went north alongside the Llangollen canal to Ravensmoor and then turned back southwards for Sound and our lunch stop at Aston.

Photograph by Bryan Wade

As usual the staff were very welcoming and not at all surprised to have a party of 14 turn up un-announced for lunch. Food was served promptly and the ale drinkers had plenty of choice.  
By early afternoon the showers had dried up, as per the forecast, but we were faced with quite a stiff westerly breeze. This hampered our progress on the first leg of the return through Wrenbury and past Cholmondeley Castle. 
The climb up to Harthill didn’t seem too bad and we were soon free-wheeling back down towards afternoon tea and cakes. As we had only had one real hill to climb Steve H suggested a slight diversion through Burwardsley. (In fairness the usual lane to Newton was full of deep muddy water and we did have a dry ride). At this point Liz punctured, and part of the group stayed behind to ensure a satisfactory resolution to the problem. The other half went on ahead so that there wouldn’t be a large queue waiting for the ‘puncturees’. How thoughtful! 
Overall a relatively short ride of 32 miles or about 55 for those from Chester, but a very encouraging turnout and fairly reasonable weather for the first week in January.   

Sunday 3 January 2016

1st January 2016: New Year’s Day ride to Churton

As a result of seeing in the New Year and partying until late I didn’t get back to Chester until past 10:00 this morning.  Without sufficient time to ride to Christleton to join the Chester CTC for their ride out to Churton I determined to ride directly to Churton.  David Mathews had already telephoned to warn that the lanes around Oscroft were icy so I decided to stick to the main roads.  The ride out was crisp, dry and uneventful making a pleasant change to the mild wet weather that has so far characterised this winter.  The forecast was also good although with some rain likely in the late afternoon.  
I arrive at Churton just after 12:00 noon to find the garden of the White Horse overflowing with bikes and the back bars choca with cyclists.  Today is about meeting up with cycling friends from the various CTC groups and affiliates in the Chester and North Wales area.  Amongst the CER members present I noted David M, Andy, Dave P, Ray and John (with apologies to those not mentioned).  Overall 50 cyclists were present, although not all in cycle mode.  Having shaken hands and exchanged New Year greetings with a high proportion of these it was time for the hotpot lunch (meat or veggie) as arranged by David M.  Unfortunately with only 30 riders expected, but 50 actually turning out, it was inevitable that some would miss out: and so it was.  Never mind, it didn’t seem to dampen their spirits.
After lunch Mike Cross did the presentations, including a special certificate for Harry Watson in recognition of all the Watson’s Wanderers rides he has led.  It being noted that he has ceased to lead any further rides, although there was speculation that Harry might not have been informed of that detail!
Outside the sky was clouding over and a light drizzle just starting.  It seemed that the forecast rain had arrived early.  A quick ride back, retracing the morning’s route, meant I arrived home more or less dry, before the heavy rain started, to complete a great start the New Year.

Saturday 2 January 2016

31st December 2015: Shotton (brisk)

There were a few riders at the cafe out for a ride heading towards Tattenhall but I was returning home so John decided to accompany me back to Chester.
The weather was mild but with a threat of rain in the afternoon as we set out from Holt towards Rossett.  Passing the roundabout and heading towards Gresford a right turn to go along Springfield Lane.  Although this is a dark tree overhanging lane the road surface was very clean!!
We continue to the end of the lane passing over the A483 towards Llay and it is the first time in three years since I have taken this route passing the infamous corner!
Continuing on Gresford Lane we encounter the first rain and as it is only 11:00 decide to go right along Gregin Lane.  John stops to apply outer jacket. We have to pass through road flood and just beat a white van through before pulling over to allow him to pass.  We continue heading towards Caergwle and then right onto Kinnerton Road. As the sun is out again we turn left onto Lower Mountain Road and towards Hawarden.
Passing the Gallery cafe we ring Tom to enquire if he is in, to stop and have a coffee but he was out. We agreed to meet in Wetherspoons Shotton for a coffee so John and I head towards Ewloe with the intention to then drop down the hill to Shotton.
Not having a sat navy this proved difficult!
We went round the big roundabout then take the Old Aston Hill turning right into a little lane which ended in a muddy walkway so did a roundabout turn and back onto Old Aston Hill and into Higher Shotton. From here our ride should have been a meander down hill and without noticing we go in a big loop and end up back in Ewloe! via Mancot. When I see the school it is bewildering how we ended up back in the village so plan B to get to Shotton, heading back into Hawarden to take the left turn down the A550 to Queensferry and the B5129 into Shotton.
We arrive in the ‘spoons before Tom and I enjoy a good pint of festive cheer and wait for Tom. He arrives and we get the tale of his Indian trip before Christmas and it is time for John and I to get back into our saddles although it is now raining buckets.
Outside we ride on the cycle way passing the Station to join the Greenway and back home.
John rides all the way back to MT with me before heading back home still in the rain.
An enjoyable New Year’s Eve ride out and 46 happy miles as we were both still smiling through the rain and looking forward to many rides during 2016.  Happy New Year to All

31st December 2015: No Mans Heath (mod)

Trevor, Jim, Dave H, Steve H, Ivan, Dave P, Mike McC, Paul and John Wilkie turned up at Cleopatra's.  The odd persuasive phone call had been made the evening before, but it was still a surprisingly good turnout for such a day. The not quite fully-baked plan was to ride a thirty something mile circuit, returning to Holt without a stop in order to beat the forecast afternoon rain. John and Ivan were off for a brisker run having just added extra bone cover to their insurance for 2016.
Trevor offered to lead us to Tattenhall, as he was leaving us early to have his legs waxed in readiness for the party he was attending in the evening. It was a pleasant run through Churton, Coddington and Chowley led at an ideal pace. We turned right just before Tattenhall, heading for Bolesworth Castle and Brown Knowl. Trevor carried on to Leaf Lifestyle and Beauty at Gatesheath. It was fairly demanding on this section, but once we had passed Larkton Hill it was a breeze to No Mans Heath. 

Photograph by Mike McCormick

We took stock outside The Wheatsheaf, one of our favourite hostelries, but the troops stayed strong, and we forged on. I had intended to head for Malpas, Bishop Bennet Way and head up to Horton Green, but I was sounding a bit vague about this and need a new map holder. Dave Pipe had a pipe to fix (honestly!), and knew the quickest way back. Jim was leaving for Middle Earth as soon as he reached home. Heavy rain was likely to reach Holt around 13:00. Steve was leaving us to head northwest to Kelsall. It seemed best to take up Dave's kind offer to lead us back, so I put my map away, and relaxed. We headed up to Crewe-by-Farndon via Ebnal, Kidnal and Tilston. Dave took the cute route to Farndon and the bells were pealing as a wedding took place at St. Chad's. Two lovely vintage cars awaited the wedding party. At Holt, Mike, Paul, Jim and myself had a decent lunch at Cleopatra's. Dave, amazingly, decided to miss lunch and try for home before the rain. Paul's lust for baked beans probably cost him a thorough soaking before Blacon. A very social, very short and dry ride. Great camaraderie in the true CER tradition.