Thursday was advertised as a cold sunny day; and it was as I left home at -1C. Not as cold as Tuesday however, when Ray, John W and I froze our way out to Minshull's Garden Centre cafe at Bradfield Green - worthy as a lunch venue, as we had waitress service in a busy cafe. Ray was at Cleopatra’s just before me and then, Dave H, John M and Steve H arrived. I fancied a 48 miler to Queen’s Head pub at Queens Head - and this was agreed. Just as we were leaving, the Tandem Duo arrived, and we then instantly split into two rides:- one to "Whitchurch" way ( but actually Street Dinas), and a Brisk Trio to Queens Head.
I planned to use the “main” roads to Overton to minimise the use of any icy lanes until the sun had warmed the air somewhat. Around Cross Lanes however, John was suffering from the after effects of a cold, so decided to call it a day and head for home. So Ray and I slid through Bangor on Dee to Overton. Out towards Ellesmere, we take the tiny lane to Rhewl and pass through another Cross Lanes before ducking and diving to Perthy. Most of the lanes were just wet, but a few had a thin icy veneer and caution was employed.
Cresting the hill at Welsh Frankton, we were rewarded with a panoramic view of Maesbury marshlands and the hills towards Welshpool in their finest winter misty cloak. Arcing around to Babbingswood, it was a short run down the old “A5” road to the Queen’s Head pub at just after 1200. It was already busy with ladies-that-lunch and OAP groups, but Ray and I were soon served with a very nice "soup and sandwich" combo.
The route back was northwards, with the low sun out of our eyes at last, towards Tetchill and Ellesmere. After a while however, the sun was in our eyes again as I realised we were off course. So a minor course correction at Lower Hordley got back into Ellesmere via Lee .We then take my favourite route back to Holt running always northwards via Trench and Sandy Lane, and arriving back for a last coffee at Cleopatra’s for 1445.
By 1515 we are ready to leave for the drag back to Chester with 72 miles on the clock just as the sun was setting. Thanks to Ray for sticking with me today, otherwise it would have been a lonely and cold ride! Where were the rest of you then!
See route map and/or gpx file download.
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.