There were a dozen+ riders at the new start venue today. All the Briskers had ridden out, whereas others had come by car and one by train! So with a large Brisk group of seven, consisting of Andy B, Ray, John M, Paul R, Steve T, Tom and myself, we set off bound for The Crown pub in Goostrey. It had rained a little on the way out to Delamere and as we set off via Norley, the roads were distinctly wetter. Within 2 miles we had “lost” Andy. After 15 mins of re-tracing our route by three of the group, we decided to press on as no phone message had been received from him. So we plough on through Bryn and Whitegate to “enjoy” Winsford on our way to circumnavigate and “enjoy” Middlewich.
Out on Highway 71, we are now free of the industrial towns and riding towards to Brereton. Here we avoid the local section of the 71 as it is very rough farm track and arrive at the drive of the Davenport’s ancestral home. Ivan wasn’t in today, otherwise we would have complained about the depth of pea gravel on the approach making cycling difficult. The Dane River Valley is picturesque as we ascend out of the valley passing through Swettenham. I decide to take the forded lane and, as the river is running quite high today, we take the pedestrian bypass on safety grounds. It’s a short blast to Goostrey and The Crown pub. There are a lot of white vans on the carpark, and I fear that it is closed for renovation, but the lights are on, and there is a cheery welcome from within. So we take over the conservatory being glad of the rest and the warmth.
The repast arrives pretty promptly and all agree it is of good quality as is the service overall. As we are tucking in, an apparition in yellow arrives on a bike. It's Andy B! Apparently way back in Norley, where he was the back rider, he had stopped briefly to check his bike and then couldn’t see which of the three roads we had taken. He’d already lunched at Jodrell Bank, which is a short ride away. Soon it was time to ride the remaining 25 miles of this 53 miler which takes us on a non-obvious return. I was definitely missing John W today, as he is often very generous in taking the pole position to provide some respite from the freshening NE wind.
So we take an upmarket estate agent’s cruise through the villages of Goostrey, Peover, Plumley, Wincham and Pickmere to take the Great Budworth cyclist’s northern bypass. Through Comberbach, we're on track for the Anderton boat lift and the chemical wasteland known as Winnington. Here there are a myriad of new houses being built with panoramic views of the chemical works. Passing by the rear of Hartford Golf Club, we are now in Weaverham and soon crossing the outwards ride in Sandiway. A couple of more hilly slogs finds us back in Norley where we “lost” Andy. Steve T peels off back to Delamere Station as the rest of us wearily ride the 15 miles back to Chester.
So a 53 miles circular ride through some of the high and low spots of Cheshire countryside but, by the time we’re all back in Chester' it is 80+ miles today and the bike needs a wash again.
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.
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