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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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Thursday, 23 January 2020

23rd January 2020: Ellesmere (mod)

Another dull grey murky Thursday in January and yet still a large number of Easy Riders turned up at Cleopatra’s – one of the biggest turnouts I can remember and all but one was cycling.  We split into brisk riders, moderate riders and the tandem, and coincidentally we all decided to lunch at the Red Lion in Ellesmere. With this destination in mind I found a route from our archive and nine moderates set out: Neil, the two Andys, Peter, Bob, Daves H and M, Keith and myself.

We rode out along the minor lanes to the west of the River Dee and found plenty of evidence that these had recently been fully under water. We headed for the old cobblestone bridge into Bangor-on-Dee, although some enthusiastic members had to be called back from shooting past on the A-road. At some point the clouds cleared and we enjoyed sunshine, with little wind and mild temperatures, it felt like Spring. We headed towards Dudleston Heath, crossing the A539 between Overton and Penley, and then into Ellesmere.

We had arrived first and quickly placed our orders. A little later the brisk riders and the tandem arrived together. Service was quick and friendly and soon we were on our way.

Photo by SH

Our return route headed south by the marina and then by White Mere and Cole Mere, to pass through Welshampton. Heading northwards, we lost Keith and Peter, and after some backtracking and confusion, decided we had no alternative but to continue on our route.  After some attempts they broke radio silence and we found they were OK and making their own way back to Holt. A reminder that we should each try and keep sight of the rider behind us, and also to keep our phones on and have the list of contact numbers.

The return route, north of Welshampton, was also notable for having both the worst and longest section of bad surface I’d ever ridden over. The pervasive mud made the experience one to try and forget. Heading generally northwards we made for Worthenbury and then the usual route back through Fardon.  Surprisingly we met up with Keith and Peter as we waited at the lights to cross the Dee Bridge.

Back in Holt several of us popped into Cleopatra’s for coffee.  Despite the potholes and the mud, we agreed it had been a good 40 mile outing.


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