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 31 May 2019

30th May 2019: Gwaenysgor (mod)

There were eight of us gathered at Hawarden. Spiros was as friendly as ever, and told us of meeting Harry the Bike and his wife in York! Some had battled against a strong wind in order to arrive in time. Jim was off to Malpas, and John was preparing for a mega ride, so he was doing a little loop of his own, probably taking in Merthyr Tydfil! It was going to be one group, comprising the two Steves, Clive, Ken, Andy and myself. Steve Haywood was good enough to lead. Heavy showers were likely, and it was certain to be really windy on the tops, so our destination was open to adjustment en route.

On reaching Northop we spurned the challenging climb left, and headed past the horticulture college before climbing up the escarpment and reaching Halkyn Helygain. Through Whitford we turned left for further Welsh steep hill pain in order to reach the pretty village of Llanasa. This area is very attractive, and the weather was quite warm and brightening up.

The service and food were of the usual reliable high standard set by the Eagle and Child at Gwaenysgor. After lunch we went up the road to take in the panoramic views high above Prestatyn. As a child, I remember having happy family holidays at Prestatyn Holiday Camp, which was very Hi-de-Hi! Until fairly recent times the old air control tower was prominent from this vantage point (the camp had been an R.A.F. base originally). I remember putting a threepenny piece in the turnstile in order to climb the steps to the top of the tower. Even in those days I enjoyed riding around the camp on a four wheeled social bike with a bench seat for three. My dad was usually the fall guy to help with the pedalling.

Photos by Steve T

Back to the present, we didn't fancy the 33% descent ahead, so turned around to make for Trelawynd at the far side of Gop Hill. Our return took us over the A55, and alongside the field which is often flooded with the yellow of blooming daffodils. Our route continued through Babell, but after  crossing the B5121 we turned south, dropped down to Rhes-y-Cae and had a hard, longish climb up to Rhosesmor (at least that is where I think we where!) We continued above Northop, across to Alltami, through Buckley  and finished with a fast run down the wooded curves of the A550 to the Hawarden car park. A very hilly day, but in finer weather than we  had expected. Thanks to everyone for their patience with my relative lack of pace. I am now three days into a diet!
See route map and/or gpx file download


Friday 24 May 2019

23rd May 2019: Alderley Edge (mod)

The sunshine brought out quite a few members to Delamere Station.  Dave H, Steve T, Andy, Neil, George and myself were all intending to ride. Ken and Dave M had just ridden out for coffee. No brisk group today, and there hasn’t been a brisk ride since the start of the month – where are they all?

Dave H had inspired today’s destination by talking about The Wizard at Alderley Edge on previous rides: its full name is The Wizard of Edge.  So it was that we set off via Acton Bridge and Great Budworth before heading NE to skirt High Legh and aim for Bucklow Hill.  There followed a moment of navigational uncertainty when the plotted route didn’t match the roads around the new A556 and we appeared on the GPS to be riding through fields. We skirted around Tatton Park and then, around Mobberley, we lost a pair of riders!  The “follow my leader protocol” had broken down with Dave and George missing a left turn. We noticed their absence and after a wait, guessed where they must have gone. We retraced out ‘steps’ and chased after them. Re-united, we approach the start of the long hill up to The Wizard which we tackled in our own different ways. All assembled outside the pub except for Dave.  Steve T went to investigate and eventually, both appeared, Dave having suffered a jammed chain.

I think this might be our first club visit to The Wizard, and we were all very pleased with it. Although the sandwich menu was within our usual price range, many chose main menu items costing £13-£14.  Regardless the food was plentiful and of very good quality. Many people were out in today’s sunshine, including many cyclists, although the pub itself was relatively quiet.
Photos by Steve T
 Refreshed and replete, we started our return which followed our outward route for the first few miles. We descended the hill with care given a very bad surface hidden by shadows from the trees. At the base, Neil remembered he had left his Garmin back in the pub.  He re-ascended, while the rest of us sat in the sun and Steve took more photos.

Re-united we took the lanes south of Knutsford, through Ollerton, Lower Peover and Lach Dennis. Our usual route onward was closed, which we disregarded and had a very quiet ride without any other traffic, but also without any sign of roadworks. When we reached the cross roads with the A530, there were 3-way traffic lights.  We could only assume that our lane had been closed to avoid the need for 4-way traffic lights.

A little further on we stopped at Shipbrookhill Farm café for ice cream, cakes and drinks. We continued through Davenham, alongside the dual carriageway and into Hartford.  We looped north to get to Sandiway and Cuddington, passing the Forest View Inn and taking Gallowsclough Lane.  This takes a sharp right turn, but Dave suggested that, as it was dry, we try out the track through the forest rather than continuing. This took us over a mix of sandy and moderately steep short rises, before bringing us to the car park off Station Road, just a few hundred meters north of our start. This saved at least a couple if road miles, and I didn’t find it too bad, but others might prefer to take the more usual route.

A good ride to a new destination, with some interesting diversions in good weather.  We cycled 58 miles, except for Neil who added another 2 miles and 300 feet of climbing by his return to the pub.


Friday 17 May 2019

16th May 2019: Llanymynech (mod)

Assembled at the Castle Bistro in the middle of Chirk were six Easy Riders: Dave H, Keith, Steve T, Clive, Dave M and myself.  Then for the first time in many meets, Dave P made a welcome return to our number.  Dave M was going to cycle back home, whilst the rest of us looked at something more challenging than our recent Chirk rides.  During the winter months, the mods had avoided the hills west of Chirk because of the weather.  Today, after a few warm sunny days, we were forecast a continuation, before the weather broke for the Friday.  The plan was to head to a familiar destination, the Bradford Arms at Llanymynech, but to approach it by a circuit through the hills and return over more level ground.

We set off up the Ceiriog valley, admiring the sunny green countryside and newly born lambs.  At Llanarmon DC, we paused to re-group before hitting the hills properly. We climbed steeply, before a cautious descent on narrow pot-holed lanes scattered with plenty of gravel.  Bypassing Llanrhaeadr, we followed the Tanat valley for several miles, before heading upwards again and then dropping to the Cain/Vyrnwy valley.

We entered Llanymynech and settled into the Bradford Arms.  The walls are decorated with some RAF memorabilia, and the landlord retired from the service, I think he told us, thirteen years ago to buy this residential pub. After posing for a photo we took again to the lanes.

Photo by Steve T

We headed east towards Ruyton XI Towns, avoiding the main road by meandering through several quiet lanes and villages to its south. We then cycled north towards Hordley on more peaceful decently surfaced lanes. Next it was up through the Franktons and Hindford to meet the St Martin’s road.  Descending the short hill, we crossed the major A5/A483 roundabout and headed up to Weston Rhyn.  This was followed by a short descent into the Ceiriog valley, before a final climb back to Chirk and our starting point.

Dave H, Steve T, Dave P and myself chose to refresh with drinks and food in the café, reflecting on the ride and enjoying being outside in the patio area.  We had completed 58 miles on an interesting and varied circuit through Wales and Shropshire. We had climbed over 1,000m and Steve T tells me our average speed was 12.8mph.


Friday 10 May 2019

9th May 2019: Norton in Hales (mod)

Our start today was from the Ice Cream Farm, though the turnout was limited by a forecast of continuous, steady, persistent, interminable, endless rain. Dave M was out but not riding with us, which left Ken, Clive, Steve T, Bryan, George, Dave H and myself. Bryan was using today to try out his new very fine looking Canondale Synapse(?) e-bike.

I suggested a route towards Market Drayton.  If conditions improved, we could go all the way, if they worsened, we could stop at Audlem, and if they stayed the same, we would stop at Norton in Hales.  We headed out past Beeston Castle and through Bunbury and Haughton, before crossing the A534 at Brindley.  Here I shed the heavy burden of leadership, and Ken led us on through Ravensmoor and Sound to the outskirts of Audlem.   We’d been speeding along at a distinctly brisk pace and here we paused to consider our condition.  Ken, unsurprisingly not dressed for winter conditions was feeling the cold, and the battery assistance on Bryan’s new bike was cutting out (as the law requires it to do) whenever our speed went above 15.5mph. Believe it or not, brisk riders, these speeds were reached quite often in the absence of any real inclines and any adverse winds. I took the lead towards Norton in Hales and remedied both these problems by finding a series of long hills as we climbed towards Norton Wood Farm. Then we had a short speedy downhill to our destination.

The Hind’s Head has been visited by us several times before. We shed our damp clothes and settled down to some well-earned food and drink. As usual many topics were discussed, but we also ventured into the forbidden territory of Brexit. Be assured, no punches were thrown and no voices raised.

Soon it was time to move on. We headed past Shavington Park and northwards by the Bhurtpore. Then it was on past the Cotton Arms and the Dusty Miller, before crossing the main road by The Cholmondeley Arms. At Bickerton Ken left us, and we then climbed up to Harthill. The rain had become noticeably heavier as we approached the later stages of our ride. A fast descent followed by that annoyingly short but steep second climb brought Dave H to a halt as his chain came off. He and I caught the rest up by the entrance to Bolesworth Castle, except for Steve T who had sped ahead.  We turned right and made for the Ice Cream Farm.  No Steve T, but we didn’t have to worry as he soon arrived having taken the long way round via Tattenhall centre.  Despite the heavy rain at the end of the ride, the rest had been quite pleasant – you have to accept that cycling in the rain can be pleasant.  We had completed a round trip of 50 miles.


Sunday 5 May 2019

2nd May 2019: Wrenbury (mod)

It was a wet start to the day but with the promise of better to come but how many would turn up for the ride? Eight riders braved the early weather although I must admit that because I live close to today's starting point I left my decision till late and by the time I left home the rain had stopped. Neil and George hadn't fared as well and Neil had come off worse having been caught in heavy rain on his ride from home and was deciding whether or not to head straight back there. Two of the riders were of the brisk variety and they set to do what brisk riders do while I suggested a ride of about 50 miles with lunch at the Cotton Arms at Wrenbury.

After our morning coffee six of us (Brian Mac, Neil, George, Dave H, Steve T and myself) set off down through Guilden Sutton to the A51 and across towards Waverton. Neil had decided to join us but Brian was only coming a short distance, having not done much cycling recently. We took the Martins Lane route towards Hargrave. Halfway down Brian's phone rang and rather than hold us he decided that would be as good a place as any to turn back and the rest of us carried on. With the wind behind us we made good progress through Huxley past Beeston Castle and onto Bunbury. Too early for a stop at Tilly’s, we pressed on through Brindley and Ravensmoor where we turned south to criss-cross the Llangollen Canal for the final stretch to Wrenbury.

The Cotton Arms was our chosen hostelry. The wide choice of real ales was wasted on us as most of us opted for the traditional lime (or blackcurrent) and soda. Neil was tempted by the ciders, however, and was impressed by his choice. The sun came out while we were dining but as we prepared for the ride home it was raining again. Fortunately, it had stopped by the time we were climbing back on to our bikes but as we turned out of the car park we were head on into a cold wind. A feature that would be with us for the rest of the ride.

Our return trip took us along the lanes past Cholmondeley Castle, over Harthill and thence to Tattenhall where Neil left us to make his way home.  With the wind against us progress had been a little slower than on the way out. Beyond Tattenhall we joined our outward route and followed it back, hoping that the twisting turns of the Martins Lane route would afford us some shelter from the wind. A forlorn hope as it turned out.

We arrived back at Meadow Lea having done about 48 miles. Not the best of weather but at least we had been lucky enough to miss the worst of the rain.


Saturday 4 May 2019

2nd May 2019 : Marbury (brisk)

Both the Met Office and the BBC agreed that today would be one of mixed fortunes: dry, windy, wet, cool and warm, however neither could agree on the timing. As it turned out, the rain just came and kept us company most of the day! With this forecast it was unsurprising that the turnout at Meadow Lea was somewhat reduced with only 5 ‘moderates’ and 2 ‘brisk’ in attendance.

The brisk duo comprised of myself and John M, who brought along a sore back from gardening and a request for a quiet ride today in order to recover in time for his impending  bike trip to Spain . 

We agreed upon a 95k route to the Bickerton Poacher and rode back along the Greenway and then meandered our way through Chester before exiting the city along Lache Lane. From here we rode through Rossett and Farndon and took Cycle Route 70 through Malpas and No Mans Heath.

Crossing the A41 John commented on the sign to Marbury and enquired about The Swan, a pub he had never visited. After I recounted that Nick and I had visited The Swan in the previous summer, on a CER ride, and had a positive experience, so we  re-routed to Marbury. 

The Swan st Marbury
The Swan was reasonably busy and we found a table near to the fire so we could dry out and warm up. The helpful staff took our food and drink orders comprising of Station bitter  and  fish and chips . Our lunch chat focussed on John’s upcoming trip to Spain,holiday plans, and John’s still aching back. The lunch was followed by coffee, plus Ibruprofen for John, in an attempt to delay our departure until the rain had eased. It worked - both the Ibruprofen and beer combo for John and the rain ceasing!

The homeward journey was in a north westerly direction to Tattenhall ,via  Harthill, and straight into a freshening wind . From Tattenhall we went through Greenlooms into Christleton thus avoiding the boring windy stretch of road alongside the canal. On reaching Pearl Lane we parted company to head our separate ways as  neither of us needed to return to Meadow Lea.

The ride totalled 88km (55mls) with about 600 mtrs (2,100ft) of ascent. Just hoping it didn’t aggravate John’s back!


Photo by KP