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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, 24 June 2022

23rd June 2022: Peover Heath (mod)

Delamere Station was the starting point for today’s ride and quite a few Easy Riders turned up in the warm sunshine. Although a few mod riders were absent, we formed a small, but shrinking party. Peter was out just for a coffee; Andy B was out for the first mile or so as he had to be back to prepare for a trip to France; and David M was out until we passed a friend’s house where he popped in to say hello.  This left myself, George, Alan and Dave P on his own without Liz.

Our destination was The Dog at Peover Heath, one of our regulars. Given the good weather of the last few days, I decided to ride out to Acton Bridge along the path beside the Weaver Navigation. I remember one previous ride when this route was blocked by three horses with their backs to us, and it took us sometime to persuade them to move.  No barriers today, just a tranquil picturesque scene which demanded a couple of photos.


Photos by AO

Passing the Leigh Arms, Willow Green Lane was full of vehicles and the place was swarming with teenagers carrying large backpacks – obviously the start of a DoE expedition. Weaving through, we passed onwards towards Comberbach, and continued northwards avoiding Great Budworth. Signs for the Cheshire Show were plentiful as we swung round to Pickmere and Higher Wincham, and after crossing the A556 arrived in Lower Peover. Despite the common name we were still seven miles from Peover Heath, as we turned left through Ollerton and then swung back to Marthall.  We approach the posh environs of Over Peover and turned into The Dog at Peover Heath. 

Always a popular destination, today many were sitting outside enjoying the sunshine. We chose to sit within, similarly busy, and were shown to our table. Our waiter took our drink and food orders without writing them down, and delivered them correctly to each of us – an impressive memory.  Weetwood beer was popular and most of us ordered from the light bites menu – all fairly substantial items for less than £10!  Good value is becoming something of a rarity with today’s rising inflation.  We wondered how so many other customers of working age could be present at midday – they were unlikely to be railwaymen currently on strike. We spent some time discussing Switzerland where one of Dave P’s daughters has been teaching for many years, a wealthy country doing quite well for itself and with many foreign workers from the EU and elsewhere.

Soon it was time to go. Previously when I’ve ridden back from The Dog, the route had been south into Goostrey, west through the village and then back north and on to Lach Dennis – that is the long way round a rectangle. There is a bridleway that cuts out this loop and given the dry weather, today was the day to try it. This starts a couple of kilometres north of Goostrey near the Blackden Lane/Red Lane junction.  Alan pioneered the way forward, steering a narrow winding path between high nettles and other vegetation. Overcoming exposed roots and dips in the track we emerged after about a kilometre onto a stony drive, which eventually gave way to tarmac, and before long we were at Boots Green and back on our usual route home. This is worth riding as a novelty and it cut about 2.5 miles off our journey, but it would not be viable on road bikes in anything other than the conditions today.

Our route took us onwards through Lach Dennis, Davenham and Hartford. Then it was the dodgy crossing of the A49 south of Weaverham, the steep climb up Dog Lane into Norley, and then back to Hatchmere where the group split.  Our return had been equally warm but the skies had clouded over. Total mileage was 47, on an excellent day’s cycling.

See route map and/or gpx file download

SH


Thursday, 23 June 2022

23rd June 2022 : Warburton (brisk)

After a week of wall-to-wall sunshine today is no different. John W and I set off from Chester for a warm ride to Delamere while Clive opted to drive out to Kelsall for the start of the ride. 

I had circulated a ride for today, a 57 mile circular tour taking in two crossing bridges over the Manchester Ship Canal. Clive requested a reverse of the route which offered a longer ride before lunch and shorter ride after.

There were several riders out today and the Brisk riders were as stated with the addition of Ray who wasn’t sure if he could go the whole route as he was expecting another delivery! Ken was out for a coffee only and had cycled from home to Delamere then down to Bangor-on-Dee putting in a good ride of 68 miles. Well done Ken.

The four of us set of from the café along the worst stretch of tarmac in Cheshire to Hatchmere crossroad taking the route out towards Norley and Hartford. At Winnington, we lost John as somehow the gpx route on reversing and tinkering by Clive gave John and Ray a wrong routing and so we lost John briefly. Regrouping and a complete group again at the lights crossing the Weaver, we head up hill towards Anderton where the road is still blocked to cars due to land slip so now pleasant not having traffic trying to pass us. Continuing along the usual roads to Comberbach and Gt Budworth then we head out to Hoo Green. 

Passing the Swan with Two Nicks at Dunham Massey, we spent time chatting to a couple of cyclists who were also out enjoying the sunshine. Here we had a good introduction to an electric Specialized carbon bike capable of 100 + miles and at fast speeds (20mph), covetous of at a reasonable £5000+. After leaving them to continue with our ride, on the approach to another enjoyable hostelry, The Vine, the cyclist pair pass us with grace and ease. I chased after them until the junction with the Rope and Anchor inn and they were cruising at 25mph. The guy on the electric was very proud of his bike and his cycling ability and he was 82 years young. His usual average ride was normally in excess of 20mph!

Taking the opposite route to these fast cyclists, we head towards Carrington then along a good lane of flat road surface running passed the MUFC training ground. Clive quipped it would have to be a good surface for the select cars that would traverse this road. No players in sight and no autograph hunters chasing us, so we continue towards Irlam where we navigate the old locks via a pedestrian bridge currently undergoing some TLC.


Reflected glory at MUFC Training Complex


Manchester Ship Canal


Riding the Weaver path

We now have a 4 mile dash along the Cadishead Way, a busy dual carriage way, to our lunch stop at Hollins Green, and The Black Swan. On examination of the menu, it was pricier than the Swan at Marbury so a suggestion of visiting the Saracens Head on the outskirts of Lymn was proffered and off we went. Crossing the canal again via the toll road bridge at Warburton, it was still displaying the cost to travel over the bridge at the princely sum of 12p. We soon arrive at our new lunch stop and are rewarded with CER prices for lunch averaging £6-7 but the beer was pricey at £5.00 a pint, Only one taker for this expense (no prizes for guessing who).

Back on our route, we pass through Lymn and the cobbled streets of Grappenhall before the long drag up to the roundabout for Appleton. After the downhill plunge from High Legh to Acton Bridge, we take the off-piste route to Dutton Locks and Pickmere Locks. It is then a gradual uphill ride all the way back to Hatchmere where Clive returns to Kelsall and the remaining three head on through Delamere via Ashton Lane and back to Chester.

A good day out with some new attractions and lanes and no incidents, just enjoying the reasonably quiet lanes even though a national rail strike in progress but it was pretty warm (26C).

A circular route covering 57 miles and no serious hills to ascend.Thanks to my companion’s for another good day out on a bike. A total of 80 miles to 88 miles earned by us riding to and from Delamere cafe from Chester.

See route map and/or gpx file download

ID

Photos JW and ID

Friday, 17 June 2022

16th June 2022: Chirk to Harmer Hill

 It promised to be a fine and very warm day as we gathered at The Castle Bistro. Only four ‘mods’ today, Steves T and Hu, Alan and Andy B. The plan was to go to The Bridgewater Arms at Harmer Hill, a ride we did almost exactly one year ago, but, as we’ll see, the best laid plans…

We left Chirk via Castle Road, crossing the Ceriog River at Pontfaen, then climbing the steep hill into Weston Rhyn. Threading our way through Oswestry, we were soon on the road to Maesbury and Maesbury Marsh, crossing the A483 at Mile Oak. Heading for Eardiston, I missed the turning and as a result, we ended up at the side of the A5, at an extremely dangerous point. After a consultation with a local farmer we returned back along  the lane to the correct turning and soon found ourselves at Weirbrook, were we crossed the A5 to a gap in the hedge and the road out towards Wykey. The lanes between here and Baschurch are delightful, being quiet (except for a huge crop spray tractor coming down the lane) and smooth, although there are some steepish sections  along here to test your fitness.

By now it was seriously warm and we were eagerly looking forward to some food and drink. Passing through Bomere Heath we reached the A528 where I offered the group a ride straight down the A road to the pub or a slightly longer route along Shotton Lane. The answer was unequivocal – straight to the pub!

At The Bridgewater Arms, Steve Hu went inside to get menus, but he returned with a long face saying they were not doing food today. What to do? As the intended route was to take us through Loppington, we opted to ride the 6 or so extra miles to The Dicken Arms, our lunch stop of only three weeks ago.

We arrived there hot and very bothered, but food and drink was soon ordered and arrived with great alacrity. Once again their lamb tagine was popular and very tasty. This place is very deserving of ‘favoured lunch stop’ status.

Photo by AO

Our route back took us through English Frankton, Cockshutt, Lee and Tetchill. We crossed the Llangollen Canal at  Onston, we soon reached the A495, but turned off this busy road before we got to Welsh Frankton. We went across country to reach the B5068 where we turned towards Ifton heath and St. Martins. At the school we took the usual B road down to the busy roundabout on the A5 which was negotiated quickly and safely.

At The Poachers pub we turned of the road to take the canal towpath along Chirk Bank. This route has the benefit of avoiding steep hills into Chirk and also giving Steve Hu and Alan the opportunity to cycle across the Chirk Aqueduct, where the team photo was taken.

Photo SHu

We arrived back at The Castle Bistro at 3.40, having covered 52 miles at an average speed of just under 14 mph. Once again the Shropshire lanes had delivered – quiet and mostly smooth in some delightful countryside on what was probably the hottest day of the year.

Thanks to Steve Hu, Alan and Andy for their support, company and patience, as I navigated my way around the route. One to be done again, I think!

ST

See route map and/or gpx file download

Thursday, 16 June 2022

16th June 2022 : Wem (brisk)

A beautiful summer's day was in prospect as the temperature soared to 25C by mid-afternoon. This was the temperature in my car as I put my bike into it for the journey home. Ken was doing likewise at about 1530 as John W and Ivan were debating whether to wait for the train at 1600 or dash for home (which they did).

Ivan had suggested a 57 miler to Wem, so the four of us set off at a pace on a long straight run to West Felton and thence to Nesscliffe, Little and Great Ness as finally we turned North West towards Wem. We passed through Harmer Hill at 1200 and shortly were looking for Josamya's cafe in Wem. Unfortunately it was shut! – so I suggested the Maypole Court Cafe Bistro which is carefully hidden just off the High Street. (NB: OK for small numbers)

This cafe had a range of lunch time favourites and soon three came out of the kitchen but the fourth (aka Ivan's lunch) had been missed off the kitchen to-do list. The waiter said it would take a little more time, but it would now not be charged to Ivan. Ivan had another beer to pass the time. Overall the food was good, and the late delivery response was impressive.

We left bound for Press Green before turning back westwards on somewhat familiar lanes to take in Prees, Whixall and Northwood. After Lyneal, we ride passed Colmere lake where the photos were taken. It could have been France with the vineyard on one side of the road and the lake and picnic area on the other side.



After Tetchill, it was a long upward lane into St Martins before dropping down to the A5 roundabout (which was jammed with cars going towards Wrexham) before wending our way up the hill and back into Chirk by 1515.

Some wonderful, quiet and  long lanes today – some even smooth surfaced. A wonderful spin through beautiful Shropshire countryside with no incidents at all. A great route and a great day out at 57 miles at 16.5 mph average.

So it is thanks to Ivan for the route, and John for the photos and Ken for his company.

See route map and/or gpx file download

CA

Saturday, 11 June 2022

9th June 2022: Marbury (mod)

 Fifteen of us at Alison’s this week, I think, which included Dave P & Liz.

There were no brisk riders, except Ray, who was happy to go with the flow. As it turns out, my offer of ‘The Swan’ at Marbury became ‘the flow’, once I pointed out the bad weather front sweeping across from Wales, which was due to hit us by 11 and a complete change from the overnight forecast.

 

Dave H also suggested ‘The Swan’, but was happy to relinquish the lead. Clearly he was fearing his paper Garmin would not last in the rain- Lol. Not straying to far, radially, from Alison’s, seemed to be a sensible idea with the impending rain front.


And so it was that I lead out the one ride group for the day- Lol, after a short Garmin delay, which was not helped by the barracking; “Don’t get this problem from Dave’s Garmin”(cliché gents- Lol!!!!)

 

Dave M did his own thing and Mike G was on a mission, checking out a route for an Audax he is organising ( best of luck with that mate). Dave P and Liz set off on their own journey, as the threat of heavy rain seemed to give him the Heebie-Jeebies. Rumour has it, he was worried about a possible short circuit on his DIY electric drive- just kidding Dave- Lol.

 

So, the final group consisted of :

Dave H, Steve T, Alan, Peter, Keith, Elwyn, Fiona, Mike, Andy and Ray ( took a bit to remember all, but I got there in the end, without any help-Lol).

No sooner had we left Alison’s when the rain started (think we managed to cross the A41) It certainly wasn’t long after that when I heard Fiona pipe up about her wet jacket, which started a ripple through the peleton and all of a sudden it was all stop.


We settled into our wet stride, through Carden Park and on to Tilston.  Across the road at the Carden Arms, heading for ‘No Man’s Heath’. Once there,  we crossed the A41, via a dead end pathway, as I fancied a nice little hill (we had ridden long enough on the flat- Lol)

 

We meandered around Malpas and Cholmondeley, via some very nice lanes, as I was trying to get the mileage to a nice number, before our lunch stop. This was not missed by Dave H, who twigged we were going around in circles (almost - it was a horse shoe - Lol)

Not long after Cholmondeley, I think the rain finally stopped, although the roads were so wet by now, it didn’t matter much. However, it did mean that we were drip dry, if not fully dry, by the time we got to ‘The Swan’


We settle into the Swan, which was unusually quiet, for a welcome lunch that didn’t take too long to arrive. The prime conversation seemed to revolve around the food and the poor value for money, as the portions were very small, although good quality, a single slice of bread with some prawns on and a spoonful of salad, literally, for £9:50 is a bit much. I think most were regretting not having the fish finger bap, that Andy had.

 

In an effort to distract the conversation from the lacking food, I mention the documentary about Costco (on TV the night before) which concluded that the business model was very clever and great value for shoppers. Surprisingly though, they apparently make all their profit just from the membership fees, as the food is genuinely great value. Fiona & I both confirmed that fact, as regulars. Suffice it to say, there was plenty of interest in how one gains membership, in these inflationary times.

 

Anyway, lunch now over and fully dry, we set off, but only 50 metres, as Dave H insisted on showing everybody the pond, behind the church - Lol ( ok Dave, it was a very pretty & surprisingly large mere- hidden gem in fact)

This became the perfect opportunity for a team photo, thanks to Alan.

Photo AO

Finally we set off again and can you believe, yet more rain/drizzle, although it didn’t last long and soon we were taking off our wet jackets.


Our route back to Alison’s, as promised, was direct via Bickerton and Brown Knowl, in order to take the easy way around Harthill. 

Photo AO

It was at the Cholmondeley crossing when we had our first departures. Fiona, Elwyn & Ray needed to get home, so they pushed on ahead, once I had set them on the correct course as  Elwyn has trouble finding the bathroom in his own house and he was the architect who designed it- Lol.

 

It was only a few more miles when we lost Peter, who decided to turn right at Bickerton ( not sure where he was heading, as I thought he lived in Malpas?).Two miles down the road, heading up Brown Knowl, we say goodbye to Alan, who had parked in Holt. He was cutting across, behind the sandstone ridge of Peckforton, heading for Tilston. Meanwhile we carried on up, toward what I like to call ‘Harthill  by-pass’- which comes out on the other side of Harthill, leaving a nice fast descent into Tattenhall.

 

Back in Tattenhall and I still had 6 riders in the group, which I reckon was a record for me- Lol. I turn left down Frog Lane for my last mile home, leaving the rest to find Alison’s only a few hundred metres away.

 

For once my ride was a short one of only 43 miles, being as Alison’s is my local cafe.

Despite my wettest ride since last year, it was still enjoyable thanks to the temperature and the fact that there were no punctures or misadventures. The only issues I was aware of was my annoying rubbing mudguard and Fiona’s dropped chain, otherwise all good.

Thanks everybody for an enjoyable day with a few good laughs, all in good jest- Lol!!!!!!


NT







Sunday, 5 June 2022

2nd June 2022: Commonwood Fisheries (mod 2)

 Approximately 19 of us at Meadow Lea today. The cafe was unusually busy, which slowed the service somewhat, allowing us plenty of time to form into 3 groups.

I offered a flat 40 miler to Commonwood Fisheries with the intention of lifting the pace for a change (wannabe brisk pace- Lol) This appealed to Steve Hu and Allan and after a bit of a discussion, Steve T as well.


Steve H mentioned the Bhurtpor Inn, much to the delight of Dave H, who claimed he never bribed Steve at all, despite the rumours- Lol. And of course the Brisk boy’s, which I think were 4, did their own thing to Holt.


My route started with a meander towards Cheshire Oaks at first, which prompted a shout from the cheap seats -  “the shopping ride”, which I suspect was Steve Hu or was it Allen? - Lol. Lovely quiet lanes circumventing Chester, past the very nice Rake Inn (another large Brunning & Price pub). It’s worth remembering, as it’s a good spot to wander off to while you wait for the Mrs to complete her shopping fix, as it is just across the main road, from Cheshire Oaks, in Rake Lane.

 

I think my little band of men were pleasantly surprised on how close we got to the infamous shopping centre without actually crossing or going on the main road. It wasn’t long before we slipping by Chester Zoo ( just out of sight) and passing through Saughall, heading for the old Saltney ferry crossing, which as usual showed us the true wind direction, although a light Southerly one.


I decide to go left after coming off the bridge over the river Dee, aiming to skirt the suburbs of Saltney & Lache via a nice little shortcut pathway that dropped us into Lache Lane, heading for Dodleston. 

I think it was at this point that I raised the pace a bit more, after Steve Hu suggested we were breaking Steve T in too easily- Lol. 


I took that to mean the pace was not high enough, so off I went, only to find nobody followed. It transpired that Steve Hu meant the opposite( oops- Lol).Steve T thought the pace was much closer to what the Brisk boy’s normally do, which prompted me to slow it down a bit. However, it wasn’t very long before Allan decided he wanted to lead and gave me a nice break from the now stiffer headwind    (truth be known my quads were feeling my previous days fast hilly ride- Lol).


We are now rolling through some favourite lanes, which took us through Rossett and halfway up Marford Hill, where I turn left, passing Pistol Hill, in order to take the direct and more scenic route to to Borras. As we pass Pistol Hill, I offered a diversion up said hill, which was promptly declined. 

This prompted me to regale about the time I climbed Pistol Hill 5 times, when test riding  3 models of the Whyte bike range that I did eventually buy, although not from Alf Jones, where I was actually road testing from - naughty me- Lol.

 

We now only had a mile to drop down into the Acorn Cafe and my promise of a very nice halloumi wrap and in the case of Steve Hu, the team chips as well- LolConversation was well varied, to the point that I can’t remember any of it. I must have been to engrossed in my wrap- Lol. However, I do remember the discussion about the difference between my hot chocolate and Steve T’s (we must be getting old- Lol). That said, the long and short of which is that it is one of the best hot drinks machines I have ever come across, just don’t get to close with your fingers- Lol.


So, off we trot, leaving the staff putting up bunting for the weekends festivities and both Steve’s asking, “ which way are we heading back?” We had done 26 miles to get to Acorn Cafe, so I figured a direct way back to Meadow Lea, in order to get just 40 miles in, as I had more to ride as usual. We quickly hit Holt and up through Farndon, heading left toward Aldford.  I lead us out through the small hamlet of Churton and Aldford, the latter being my favourite village. This gave me the chance to show Steve T the unusual decorative house with all the gnomes and animal figures on the lawn ( it was in fact the subject of one photo posted in the previous weeks blog) 

 

Our brief interlude, admiring the colourful architecture within the village of Aldford, now over, we set off all commenting about how long it must take to mow that lawn. However, no sooner had we finished that little chat, when we pulled up suddenly to capture todays team photo, after Alan spotted the fairly grand guilded gates of Aldford Lodge (below)


Photo by SHu

I pointed out that the amazing floods of 2020 had actually come up to the gates, right where we were standing, after the bridge walls had collapsed. I actually rode out on that day to inspect the floods at Farndon and Aldford bridges. Suffice it to say, I had to turn back at both of them, my route only ended up, a very wet, mucky, 20 miles that day- Lol. As usual I digress- Lol.


We are now cracking on a pace toward Saighton, via Bruera, with a good tailwind. Steve Hu decides to crack on up the hill, past the college, with us all on his tail. I suddenly realised why, as I spotted 2 cyclist ahead, that we were closing on. Steve clearly had his sights set- Lol.

 

Yet again I surprised Steve T, at the top, when I didn’t turn left toward Huntington, but headed through the village, pointing out the multi coloured rhino figure in the school yard, whilst admiring yet more of the Duke of Westminster’s traditional properties, all nicely painted in his red oxide livery.

This prompted Steve to mention that he hadn’t ridden through there before, which now surprised me- Lol

Barely a mile later we are crossing the A41 for Waverton. We head for the usual left turn that leads up to Vicars Cross and couldn’t help but notice it is another Rake Lane.

At this point I decide to turn back for home as Steve T confirmed he knew the way back for the last 4 miles.

 

I had 7 miles of light headwind home, which I was feeling, as mentioned before. All in all a great day, despite my slightly stiff legs.


The guy’s hopefully got back with exactly 40 miles done. Mine was 59 in the end. Thoroughly enjoyed the company and the day and look forward to next time.

 

Cheers all,

NT


See route map and/or gpx file download

Friday, 3 June 2022

2nd June 2022: Aston (mod 1)

We met at Meadow Lea, on a Thursday as usual, but this was ‘special’ because it was part of the two day Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday. The weather was set fine for cycling – warm but not hot, mild winds, no rain, sunny with clouds – hence there was a good turnout of Easy Riders. It would have anyway made sense to split into a number of rides, but even more so as many lunch venues might be busier than usual due to the holiday.   We had a group of brisk riders, and Neil and I each took a mod group. I was heading for the Bhurtpore at Aston with Andy B, Dave H, Mike, George, Dave & Liz P on the tandem.  Trevor also joined us initially and assisted with the initial navigation, but left early because he wanted to attend the first of four Jubilee celebrations he had planned.

We headed out by the Rugby Club and crossed the A51 at the improved junction, where we had an altercation with a driver who was using the wrong lane to turn off the main road. Moving on we passed through Christleton and Waverton, crossed the Shropshire Union Canal by the hump-backed bridge, and made for Huxley.  We were meeting lots of cycling groups, no doubt out because of the holiday. After Huxley we crossed the canal again by the Shady Oak and climbed up to Beeston Castle. Then it was on to Bunbury, Swanley Bridge and Ravensmoor. Soon we entered Wrenbury and were bumping over the horrendously rough surface by the railway crossing.

Our destination was soon before us and was no busier than a normal Thursday.  Some of us enjoyed the Three Tuns Platinum Jubeerlation Ale (4.2% and exceptionally tasty). Choosing between 3 different paper menus plus specials on the board caused some confusion, but soon ordering was done and we settled down to wait for our food. Dave P was telling us about a fellow cyclist who’d had a heart attack and was told the ambulance could take 3-4 hours to arrive.  Fortunately, a driver offered a lift, but this got us talking about various scandals that have affected the NHS, and the risks to whistle-blowers, both in the NHS and elsewhere. We were just getting on to Wrexham’s newly announced city status, when the food arrived. Mike and I had both chosen the small steak and kidney pie which was excellent with chunky kidney pieces and proper shortcrust pastry. Some chose curry, especially Dave P who went for the ‘very good’ hot goat curry. Leaving, we posed outside for a team photo, with Jubilee bunting decorating the pub (and every other pub we passed).

Photo by Steve Ha

We returned to Wrenbury, crossing the Llangollen canal by the lift bridge. Then it was on to Chorley and along Long Lane to Haughton. We re-entered Bunbury for refreshment at Tilly’s who had decorated their entrance with an elaborate floral tribute. 

Photo by Dave P

The rest of our ride took us past the Ice Cream Farm, on to Greemlooms, and the direct route from Waverton back to Mickle Trafford.  In total we had cycling 55 miles in excellent conditions, and good company, it was especially nice to have the tandem out with us again.

See route map and/or gpx file download

SH

Thursday, 2 June 2022

2nd June 2022 : Hawarden (Brisk)

It was a sunny and warm day and a Platinum Anniversary holiday day to boot; so like caravans on the roads, there were a lot of riders out today, and not just CER members. Good to see as Dave H was collecting subs!

It's always impressive to hear of our members' riding achievements. Nick had just returned from competing in a triathlon in Poland where he came third in his age group. Ray has just returned from climbing every col near Malaga and again in the Ardeche valley. John W completed a 400km Audax last weekend which was a practice run for the 600km one this coming weekend. Whereas I had just spent 10 days in isolation with Covid – now thankfully on the mend.

So I am amazed that these riders need all this practice to build up their stamina for the CER Brisk rides especially the 47 miler today.

Ken was only coming out for coffee as he had domestic duties in the afternoon. He had however a useful 25 mile route arching back to Holt. So with this in mind, I cheekily tacked on 22 extra miles to produce this flat 47 miler back to Meadow Lea cafe. Joining Ken and I today was Nick and Ray. Ivan was on “the day before his daughter's wedding” duties, and John W was no doubt resting up.

The route took in all the sites of Great Barrow and Oscroft (inc what looked like Dave M riding back home) before circling around to Tattenhall, and on the way waving to the Moderate Group sedately cycling in the opposite direction to us. Onwards to Clutton we had the only hill of the day around Carden Park golf course. Wetreins Lane took us to Cleopatra's where Ken was stopping for an early lunch before his domestic duties.

Our trio then took the long lane to Rossett, shimmying over the railway line, and via Burton, sliding around Higher Kinnerton heading for Hawarden Aerodrome. "Chocks Away" cafe was quite busy with families yet they were happy to find us a table inside. There was a little wait for the food, but when it came it was wholesome and good value – as ever here! The only disappointment was there were no big planes landing today.

The route back took us along the Dee and then a shimmy to get to the Greenway. Here Ray headed home and Nick headed back to Meadow Lea to his car.

So a short ride at 47 miles but at 16.5 mph average, quite a dash.

See route map and/or gpx file download 

CA

Saturday, 28 May 2022

26th May 2022 : Bangor on Dee (brisk)

John and I rode out from Chester to Holt for JW to pay his CER subs then a little ride around the area is our commitment today. On Tuesday Ken, John and I enjoyed a car assist from Chester to Battlefield to explore the Shropshire roads from Shrewsbury to Craven Arms. Our route from Battlefields took us out to Minsterley then riding over the west side of The Long Mynd. We had a couple of showers and every time we stopped to put our coats on it stopped!!! 


Arriving Craven Arms our recommended café was closed but another quickly sourced, and a good lunch enjoyed. Departing Craven Arms, we rode east towards Much Wenlock encountering an exceedingly small part of Johns LEJOG route he will be riding July.  Today no such problem with café at Holt as Cleopatras was open and busy with 9 riders already seated  


Although we are only few (Briskers) in numbers it would be unusual for any Brisk rider to not be in possession of a route for the day. Today although 9 moderates, no one had a plan. This reminds me of my early railway training where it was drummed into us 6 P,s – Proper Planning Prevents P Poor Performance. With Dave on hand and always handy for conjuring a route, today they also had Mike for assistance. 


A route was worked out and John and I departed for our ride to Bangor on Dee passing the garden centre towards the A534 main road and crossing it to head towards Cross Lanes doing a little loop out to Plassey before heading back towards Bangor on Dee. Onwards to Shocklach taking the road out to Tilston and Horton. Passing Nick's residence, we shouted good morning but not sure if he was home! We had a tail wind from Plassey roundabout and were coasting at 28mph to Bangor on Dee. 


 The tranquil River Dee

When looking at Strava segments later we were not the fastest on the day!! A 33mph rider was head of the leader board.  Through Tattenhall and towards Long Lane, the wind was now full face, and we were struggling at 12-14mph so diverted via Hargrave to Guy Lane and Waverton  


Although not a long ride today we both enjoyed the sprint around prepping John for his 400k Audax taking place on Saturday. Good luck John and hope the weather is kind to you. 


Today's round trip was for me 46 miles and John 52 miles at an average of 17.5 mph due to the wind assistance. 


See you all in three weeks.

See route map and/or gpx file download

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