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 25 March 2016

24th March 2016: Goostrey (mod)

A total of nine CER members assembled at Rose Farm under a grey sky and light rain. Dave M had cycled out for coffee and Bryan W was going to do his own ride.  That left Clive, Paul, Mike McC, Steve T, George, Ray and myself. No one had planned a route so with Clive, I worked out a ride to the Red Lion at Goostrey. 
Leaving under light rain we turned left out of Rose Farm and made for Cotebrook. We’d only made it as far as the church, when we heard that Ray had a puncture. The advance party waited and heard the church bell striking the hour – eleven rather muffled chimes…followed by eleven somewhat louder chimes, discussion of which passed the time.  We waited some more and Bryan overtook us on his own ride. Ray was having difficulties - he was suffering from using a Conti tube for the repair: because the valve screws in, when he unscrewed his pump, the valve also unscrewed and the tyre deflated – a warning here to users of Conti tubes. Finally, inventively fixed with improvised pliers, Ray joined us and we continued.
The route led into Winsford from the south and then through the centre of Middlewich. Next we struck out northeast, glad to be back on the lanes. In Goostrey we paused outside the Crown but continued to the Red Lion. We were the only customers and it looked as though we would have to search for the staff. However, food arrived and at £4 for pie and chips it was cheap. On reflection though we wished we’d gone to the Crown. A few of us had been to the Red Lion before but couldn’t remember it until we’d established ourselves there.  This led to a discussion about the benefits of having a list of our favoured lunchtime stops to help in planning future rides.

Photograph by Clive Albany

Heading off after lunch we were grateful that the morning’s rain had been light and that it had now stopped. The route took us through Lach Dennis and Davenham, and down the rough track under the railway and over the Vale Royal Cut, the surface of which had been upgraded. Heading back through Little Budworth, we decided to call in to the café at Oulton Park circuit, which we thought was a first visit for CER. It was a novelty and of interest, though I wouldn’t rate the cake as high as our usual standards.
A short ride through Cotebrook, brought us back into Utkinton with a little over 40 miles on the clock, and a much better ride than the weather forecasters had predicted.

Friday 18 March 2016

17th March 2016: Bunbury

After a hard brisk ride on Tuesday around Much Wenlock (65 miles and 5000ft climb), I was looking for an easy ramble over the Halkyns today. There were seven of us at Hawarden (Mike McC, Dave H, George, Ken, Steve T, Ray and myself); and the suggestion came for a ride to Bunbury! I was up for this as it would be “flat”. Dave H leads us off down the Chester Road hill passing a just-landed Beluga at British Aerospace, and out via Dodleston to Pulford. A quick enquiry as to the rest of the route elicits a “I dunno” response, so Ken and I rustle up a route via Holt. Out up Marford Hill, we slide off left passing the Anti-Frackers Camp and into Holt. We are soon cycling well up Wetreins Lane to Tilston. Ignoring the obvious turn to Duckington, we push on taking the delightful Grange Lane to emerge, crossing the A41, into Duckington. Tilley’s is the preferred lunch stop as we circle Larkton Hill on the ever-climbing Goldford Lane to Bickerton. Passing the “Poacher” pub we swing left for Peckforton and the final lane to Spurstow. We’ve kept together pretty well on the 28 mile outward journey and are now ready for hot provisions.
There are bikes outside at Tilley's and we find Dave M and Andy inside just finishing their lunch. We all tuck in as the food comes very promptly. Ken and I plan the return route that leads us out through Tattenhall and Coddington back via Holt passing again the Anti-Frackers on Borras Road. Mike peels off for Chester as we motor on through Gresford village and down and up the steep-side Alyn Valley to Llay. Having had enough of main roads, we take Dark Lane on our way to Shordley. It’s now a straight-line run to Bilberry Wood along Mountain Road and back into Hawarden. The weather was bright but cold, as we finish the 56 miles of “on the fly” navigation. Ken heads for Rossett as Ray and I head back to Chester with 70+ miles under the tyres.
See route map and/or gpx file download.

Wednesday 16 March 2016

10th March 2016: Partington (brisk)

Arriving at Manley Mere café there was a good turnout of riders enjoying the spring weather and prospects of a dry day for cycling.
The brisk group today were joined by John Mills so Tom, John M, John W, Ray and Ivan set off and at the end of the drive turned right then first left onto Nortons Lane. This avoids either short climb while getting legs moving!! to Mouldsworth.
We were heading for Partington and we went via Kingsley Crowton to Acton Bridge. We crossed over the Weaver and along the lanes to Littleleigh and Comberbach. The pace was reasonable and John M had no problems and was enjoying the continuous cycling. Through Great Budworth to Bateheath we turned onto Cann Lane to High Leigh. We were riding on the B5159 that had recently been re-surfaced and it was an excellent road surface.  There is a bridge under the Bridgewater Canal controlled by lights on this road. It goes into a single carriageway and blind to oncoming traffic - you would be foolish to disregard these lights. There was also a nice looking inn here but we continue on to our booked inn.

Photographs by Ivan Davenport

We arrived at the Saracens Head pub and enjoyed our lunch. Back outside we decide on a photo call and it is suggested to focus on the local church instead of the pub!
Continuing the ride we pass through Dunham Massey and along the cycle way to the Swan with 2 Nicks where it is thought the mods were lunching, no bikes visible though so onwards we cycle.
My route had us on Hulsehath lane, which showed as a through route but as the second photo shows it is a dead end!! Turning round and taking several left turns we arrive at the opposite end of the lane showing the national road sign of a dead end lane!! Farmers’ deal we think. We skirt Great Budworth and at Comberbach head west to Higher Whitley and Frodsham.
Stopping at Costa Coffee John W and Tom decide to continue on to Chester so Ray, John M and I have a coffee (cheaper than MM). We also decide that a ride along the A56 rather than the uphill slog back to Manley is favourite and the three of us part our ways back at Mickle Trafford Greenway with a minimum distance of 69 miles for me.
See route map and/or gpx file download.

Saturday 12 March 2016

10th March 2016: Tatton Park (mod)

Some of the moderates were elsewhere, caravanning and skiing, for instance.  Steve Tan and Dave Matthews had ridden out, but couldn't take part. Sue Hubbard had also joined us for a coffee. There were seven moderates up for my proposed ride to Tatton Park: Brian Macca, Trevor, George, Mike McC, Andy, Paul and myself. We headed for Dutton Locks via New Pale. Trevor broke a spoke with his uphill efforts, and decided the sensible decision was to return home. Dark Lane, with its pretty cottages, plunged us down into Kingsley, and we exited along Roddy Lane. 
It was very pleasant cycling alongside the twinkling Weaver.  We ground up the bank to Willow Green, over the Trent and Mersey canal, and having crossed the A533 reached Frandley by the quiet Hall Lane. The little lanes west of Arley Hall are picturesque and peaceful, and amongst my favourites. Past Pennypleck House we crossed the runway of the old Royal Navy airfield. High Leigh was passed, and the two most vocal of the troops, i.e. Macca and Andy were becoming a little restless. " Dad, when are we stopping?" "Dad I'm hungry, when are we going to eat?" " Ten past one? Your kiddin' aren't you?!" So, we put the pedal to the metal a little, registering 18m.p.h. on the electronic board as we passed the new motorway link road site before Bucklow Hill. Soon we were winding into Rostherne with its lovely mere and old church, and then on to the Tatton Park entrance. 

Photographs by Brian MacDonald

Brian kindly took a picture of us outside The Hall, and then we headed to the Stables for lunch. Bang on time. Most of us were happy with our food, but Brian was understandably underwhelmed by his costly tart. Not for the first time in his life, I bet! We left at 14:07. My aim was to be back before 16:20. The route back was two miles or so shorter, and deliberately intended to be on quicker roads. We rode south past Tatton Mere, and touched Knutsford before heading west to Tabley Hill, Great Budworth, Comberbach and Little Leigh. 
I was tired when I started this ride, and the terrain ahead was likely to be quite demanding. Hard work up to Acton Bridge, a pleasant little lane through the hamlet of Onston, and then another hard grind up Norley Bank. George and I had both suffered with mud in our mudguards, and this seemed to be slowing me on the little uphill lane by the Tiger's Head. Although too many cakes and too many years may have had something to do with my Manchester United like energy levels. More up and down on the Delamere Big Dipper. Then one last climb past The Goshawk. Mike considerately accompanied me back. Paul and Macca had been off their bikes for a while recently, but you wouldn't have known it. 52 miles at a nice pace, a good workout and very agreeable company.          

Saturday 5 March 2016

3rd March 2016: Elworth (brisk)

After an exciting holiday in New Zealand for nearly seven weeks the brisk group were again complete with Clive back in the saddle but a little bike rusty.  It was decided that we would have a local start from Meadow farm café at Mickle Trafford and head to Barthomley and the White Horse.
The route was via Tarvin and Oscroft passing Dave M’s house and Willington.  Passing Rose Farm and taking a left at Jim’s corner!! to Cotebrook.
The weather for today’s ride was expected to be wet but it was around 7˚C and felt warm with little wind. Clive was in front again pushing the pedals and enjoying being on his bike again and in no time we were riding along Wettenhall straight before the left turning for Minshull Vernon.  At Bradfield Green it was along Bradfield Road on the outskirts of Crewe.
We were headed for Winterley and then on to Barthomley when we decided that we would have a change to plan and have lunch at the Holly Bush Inn but on arrival - not open until 15:00 - so on to the Nags Head at Wheelock only to find this old pub now an Indian diner only open evenings thankfully.  We had a choice now of either Wetherspoons at Sandbach or the Fox Inn at Elworth and the democratic choice was the Fox.
Our distance was now 30+ miles and refreshments needed. It had also started to rain as we arrived at the pub but we did not get wet or cold.
Food and beverage served I expect many of you can guess the topic of conversation!!! – only 20 minutes on NZ but an interesting vote on where we stood on the vote for the opt in or out debate.
Leaving the Fox we headed through the lanes of Warmingham and back to Minshull Vernon. Spring is on the way with many hedgerows bursting into green leaf and the daffs and snowdrops all along the ride looking splendid.
At Alpraham John wanted to get back to Chester so left us to race along the A51 back to Chester.  Clive Tom and myself carried on to Eaton and Tarporley with a cross wind trying to blow us backwards.  At Hargrave we continue along Long Lane to Christleton and Mickle Trafford for a very enjoyable 52 mile ride for me but 60 + for the others.

3rd March 2016: Shocklach (mod)

It was a cool wet start to the day as I made my way through the Country Park to the cafe at Alyn Waters, with the forecast for a warmer, brighter, day to follow. Queuing for coffee I realised I had left my money at home - thanks for the coffee Ray.
By 10:15 our numbers had swelled to seven.  No one had a route so I offered to lead a ride, which passed my home and headed to The Old Fire Station at Malpas, which was our chosen destination for lunch.
The group consisted of Jane, Liz D, Brian Macca, Mike McC, John, Ray and myself. We headed off through the Country Park over the River Alyn, towards LLay, and up a couple of short sharp hills that warmed us up.  At the main road past the Miners Institute we turned down Chapel Lane onto Dark Lane and then into Cobblers Lane where Mike picked up a puncture.
Soon repaired we now made our way to my house where Mike fully pumped up his bike tyre and I picked up some money while Brian borrowed a spare water bottle off me as his had been left behind.
Off once again, we left on Rosemary Lane to rejoin our route. A few minutes later Jane picked up a front wheel puncture.  This was soon fixed by Mike and Brian only for another short stop a few yards later to adjust a rubbing mudguard.  We now realised that we would not be able to reach Malpas for lunch so The Bull, at Shocklach, was chosen as the new venue. By this time the weather was starting to improve with drying roads and the odd glimpse of sunshine to lift our spirits.
Crossing over the main road in Rossett we made our way down Darland Lane, to join the B5102, and after passing the Griffin pub we turned right, crossing over the River Alyn, and carried on up the lanes to Borras before sweeping downhill into Holt and crossing over the river into Farndon. From Farndon we followed the B5069 for 4 miles to our lunch destination, The Bull.

Photograph by Brian MacDonald

As we were the only customers in the pub the drinks were served quickly and the food came in good time. This pub has been recently renovated, lovely and warm, and had a choice of four real ales and offered a reasonable choice of food.
Leaving Shocklach, we cycled back via Horton to Tilston where we turned left arriving at The Cock of Barton. Here we continued straight across the junction down Beaching Hall Lane to finally arrive at the White Horse in Churton. (This now sounds like a pub-crawl but we didn't stop!) At this juncture the group split with Ray and Mike heading back to Chester and the remainder carrying  on down Sibbersfield Lane back into Farndon.
We took the direct route back from Holt through Rossett before climbing up to LLay and back through the Country Park to the cafe.
Although the morning was quite eventful, the weather picked up and good ride of 43 miles (495m of ascent) was enjoyed on quite country roads.