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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Friday, 29 March 2019

28th March 2019 : Harmer Hill (mod)

Ken had just returned from nearly two months in Japan and New Zealand and was keen for a non-taxing route on his first ride. I offered him a flat 50 miler from Chirk to Harmer Hill and he offered me a car-assist from Rossett to Chirk thus negating a boring 30 mile ride out to Chirk from Chester.

Already at the Castle Bistro were Dave H, Steve T, George, Trevor, Andy B and Mike G. As ever, Chirk seems to be a popular starting point, so I was surprised and pleased when these six accepted my ride to Harmer Hill. We have been there a few times before, the most recent being a brisk ride last August. Today’s ride was almost like that August ride, except in reverse.

I promised a downhill start followed by a flat section, aka the canal path to Weston Rhyn. Here we took an unfamiliar diversion towards Gobowen. Passing Derwen College, we are now into the tiny lanes around Hindford for the climb up to Welsh Frankton Hill at all of 153 metres. Rushing down the lane we are soon at Tetchill and circle White Mere, then Colemere Hill, onwards to English Frankton. At Lee, I pick up a nasty thorn in the rear tyre. Ken works wonders replacing my tube and we are off again. 
Welsh Frankton hill

The rear puncture is repaired. Thanks Ken!
Once through Loppington, we skirt Sleap airfield to arrive in Myddle just two miles from Harmer Hill and the Bridgewater Arms pub. Although the pub was busy, our fare comes quite quickly. Once our thirst and hunger had been sated, we plunge down the back lane to Myddle. Here we pass by the impressive Red Sandstone bluffs which are the southerly extent of Cheshire Sandstone. I recall that we also passed through this lane on the Battlefield ride in October last year.

We are back in the lanes again onwards to West Felton. The countryside is magnificent in the spring sunshine. There is wild garlic to savour and fields of blossoming rapeseed, along with a few yellow butterflies.  Elsewhere fields have been ploughed awaiting arable crop seeding. Taking the pedestrian shortcut bridge over the A5, we 
are almost ready for the dash through Maesbury to the outskirts of Oswestry.

The approach to Oswestry from the south is boring being through industrial estates and thence into the centre of town. However by taking Weston lane, we shadow Wat’s Dyke path to arrive in the town centre. Here though we skirt Cae Glas park to miss the one way system exiting close to Morrisons and thence up suburban Llwyn Road. There is a short steep section here after which we are instantly back in the countryside  passing the Iron Age hill fort of Old Oswestry. 

At the outskirts of West Rhyn, we take an unfamiliar route back into Chirk enjoying the short steepish hill of the Glyn Ceiriog road to arrive back at the Castle Bistro after almost 50 miles. A great day out in spring sunshine, a dry day with dusty lanes and that "it's good to be alive" feeling that such a ride as this gives you.

Magnolia and daffodils in the spring sunshine

Ken and I eschew a coffee and head back to Chester whilst a few take a coffee ( and cake perhaps) in the Castle Bistro and others also take their cars.

See route map and/or gpx file download


Photos MG

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