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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, 12 April 2019

11th April 2019 : Wheaton Aston Special Ride (brisk)

It was one of those days where you didn’t know what to wear; the forecast was good but I had to scrape ice off the car before driving to picking Nick up and heading to Market Drayton. Arriving in good time, we found  the rest of the riders  assembled in Morrison’s cafe discussing the two routes that were planned for the day. A moderate ride, led by Clive, and a brisk ride led by myself. 

At 10:30 we assembled for the grand depart, when Clive announced he had a minor problem, his i-phone had stopped working.(It later transpired Clive had inadvertently turned off the phone’s backlight !!) To minimise any delay, Steve was quickly appointed the new leader of the moderate ride. Both moderate and brisk rides followed the same route out of town past the golf course as far as Salisbury Hill which was where we parted company.

Our route bypassed the delightfully named Hungryhatton before passing through the lovely quiet lanes of Ollerton, Great Bolas, and Kynnersley prior to entering the outskirts of Telford. Here I had planned a detour taking us to the east of the urbanised area to rejoin the original route near the M54 at Tong but John’s Garmin indicated that the route through Telford and Shifnal should be straight forward  via a cycle path. 

We took the cycle path which separated us from motor traffic but the state of the cycle paths left a lot to desired with uneven surfaces which were littered with hedge cuttings. John picked up a puncture at the Limekiln roundabout where Watling Street (an ancient trackway later upgraded and paved by the Romans) enters Telford.The puncture was caused by a paper staple not hedge cuttings! The punctured tube was soon changed but then changed again,with one borrowed from Nick, as the tube John carried did not have a long enough valve body suitable for his deep rimmed carbon wheels.

Setting off again, we  turned off left back into the countryside via Woodhouse Lane, passing through a wood yard. This lane quickly deteriorated into a dusty stony farm track (Clive had warned me earlier that he had not checked the route out in detail…). Fortunately it was dry and we soon rejoined the tarmac road and continued on, crossing back over Watling Street once again before reaching our lunch destination The Hartley Arms at Wheaton Aston.

Two of the Three ( and a half) riders

Proof positive of lunch venue
The Hartley Arms sits on the outskirts of the village by the side of the Shropshire Union Canal and a full compliment of ‘moderates’ were already sitting enjoying lunch as we arrived. I teamed up with Nick for  a ‘two for one’ lunch which was very good value; our total bill for 2 mains and 2 lime and sodas came to £11.The  lunchtime chatter was limited as the ‘moderates’ were ready to leave shortly after our food arrived. This meant  Steve had a very rushed lunch as he joined the ‘moderates’ for the return trip.

Lunch over and under sunnier skies we left.Turning right out of the carpark we weaved our way through quiet lanes to the villages of Milton and Bradley, the hillier terrain now giving us a better appreciation of the surrounding area that we were cycling through.With only two more brief forays off-road we finally arrive at the village of Ashley to reach the highpoint of the ride at just over 200 metres. 

With Nick leading out John and I, the last 10km were ridden at a fast pace back to Morrisons. After a quick catch up with the ‘moderates’ in the cafe, we opted to forgo coffee  and make our way home, hoping to beat the rush hour traffic. Clive, thank you very much for putting together a superb day out. The route of 63 miles took in some lovely quiet lanes, pretty villages and a good lunch venue.

See route map and/or gpx file download


Photos : JM

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