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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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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


Thursday 26 May 2022

26th May 2022: Loppington (mod)

As usual, there was a good turn out at Cleopatra’s, eleven CER members being present. Brisk riders Ivan and John W were on their own, as Clive had gone down with Covid (hope you feel better soon, Clive). Steve Ha was going to do his own thing, as he needed to be home early today. That left Dave H, Mike G, George, Andy B, Steve Hu, Alan, Roy and me with a decision about our destination.

I had a route in mind to The Burlton Inn at Burlton, but Dave H was not keen as he thought their lunch offer might be limited. Instead, he suggested the Dicken Arms at Loppington where he was confident we’d get good food and, anyway, it was on the way to Burlton.

So, it was agreed that we’d go there, but I would need help with navigation, as I was not confident that my OutdoorActive app would not drain my phone battery completely if I tried to have the display on as we rode along. Fortunately, Mike G offered to help out, so we set off to the south-east via Crewe-by-Farndon and Tilston.  A minor deviation from my planned route saw us arrive in Threapwood and Tallarn Green in a more direct manner that originally planned, but with guidance from Mike G we soon arrived at Fenn’s Bank back ‘on piste’.

A stop to phone the pub got us an assurance that they’d cope with eight cyclists, so we pressed on with confidence through Whixall and arrived in Loppington just before 1pm with 25 miles covered.

Photo by Mike G

Food and drinks were ordered and paid for at the bar prior to service. Whilst their a la carte menu was a bit pricey, they had a £10 lunch menu with a wide selection to choose from. As usual fish and chip was popular, but Steves Hu and T both had their lamb tagine which was very tasty. Discussion covered a wide range of topics including the proposed windfall tax, house building and the NHS.

Suitably refreshed we went back to the car park and our bikes. Two ladies arrived on bikes, having cycled all of four miles to the pub and we left them consuming gin and tonics to aid their recovery! Our route back took us via Brownheath to English Frankton, which got us back on to my original route home from Burlton. From there, we headed north to Lyneal and Welshampton, stopping occasionally to check that we were taking the correct route.

By now, the brightness that we’d enjoyed before lunch had been replaced with darker skies and the threat of rain. Pressing on through Penley, we crossed the A525 at Holly Bush and took a direct route to Worthenbury, where we ‘enjoyed’ about ten minutes of light drizzle, but never got really wet.

We were soon at Shocklach and here Roy, Steve Hu and Alan started to raise the pace. They were joined by Mike G, Andy B and me in the now traditional race back to Farndon. This was enlivened by the presence behind us of a huge tractor. On occasions it had to slow down to allow traffic coming the other way to squeeze by. Andy had let it past him but then found that he had to come to a complete halt behind it for that reason….just at the bottom of a hill.

Arriving at the crossing of the A534, Andy B and I waited for Dave H and George whilst Roy, Steve Hu, Mike G and Alan pressed on to Holt. When we arrived back at Cleopoatra’s, Stev Hu and Mike G had gone on home, whilst Roy and Alan had stopped for a coffee. We did likewise before heading to the car park and home.

In all, we covered 49 miles on a day when the wind was not as strong as we’d feared and we’d stayed dry. My thanks to Mike G for his extensive help with navigation and to the rest of the gang for their company on a good day in the Shropshire lanes.

See route map and/or gpx file download



Friday 20 May 2022

19th May 2022 : Dunham Massey (brisk)

John W and I rode out today from Chester via Christleton and Waverton en route to Utkinton. Due to an incident on the M56, the lanes were busy with diverting cars and vans joining us!! Arriving at Rose Farm were several riders, so a good turnout of the moderate group expected. Tea and tea cake consumed only the two of us to ride today as Clive and Ray on holiday.

Leaving the café, we head down the hill and round Jims's corner taking care as this junction has serious potholes to navigate safely. Our route is out to Cotebrook and Little Budworth and out to Whitegate. We pass our distinguished club secretary Dave along with Steve getting bikes ready to catch up with the moderate group. I assume they were caught up with the M56 disruption.

Our destination today is the Vine pub at Dunham Massey, At Winnington passing over the overbridge over the river Weaver, the road is blocked to vehicles so we can enjoy a gentle pump-up Soot Hill without the revving of engines waiting behind. At the top of the hill, we ride on Hough Lane taking us out to Antrobus and Appleton Thorn. The downhill descent to Grappenhall is slowed as this road is blocked due to re-tarmacking the surface but we were allowed through passing over the grass verge. Into Grappenhall and riding the cobbles, we arrive at the very decorated town of Lymm. The jubilee flags looking splendid in the sunshine. There are still Koi fish in the Dam to look at making this town very picturesque and worth a visit. However, we pass through after a photo call and continue to our lunch destination the Vine. 

The pub has only just re-opened after lockdown and there were not many empty seats indoors. Several cyclists were enjoying the sun in the garden, but John and I select a little snug behind the bar to enjoy our lunch. Our departure from lunch takes us through Bowden and its moon surface roads and manic car drivers to Ashley and past Tatton Park. The route is relatively flat and with the light wind and sunshine the ride has only been spoilt by road surface.

We pass through Davenham and head along London Rd to Winsford. We pass through Winsford and take the route back to Tarporley via Darnall and Eaton.

If riders wanted a circular ride to and from Rose farm at the crossroad in Tarporley taking the right turn and heading through the town will take you back but we continue along Birch Heath Rd to Brassey Green Huxley and back to Chester.

I can recommend this route for a reasonable ride through our Cheshire countryside lanes but in places a full suspension bike would be a benefit but consider these are not the only cankers on our roads everywhere.

A round trip of 64 miles to and from Rose Farm but John and I cycled out so clocked up 84 and 92 miles respectively. 

Thanks to John for another good ride and company.

See route map and/or gpx file download


Photos ID

19th May 2022: Manley Mere (mod 2)

A lovely looking day ahead with approximately 9 CER riders massing at Rose Farm, less than usual, but this was due to several still being stuck in traffic due to the M56 being closed, which in turn caused havoc on the surrounding roads it seems.

2 routes offered by Steve H and I, but mine was a shorter climbing ride, so only a couple interested in that one, even though relatively easy. So, I set off with Alan & Steve in tow, heading for Manley Mere, on the lovely and apparently man made Mere (according to Alan). Steve H was taking the rest of the Mods East. Ivan & John were the fast group today.

We set off left in the same direction as the other Mod group, but continued to Tarporley, in order to hang a left toward Eaton. My planned route would take us up the east side of the Sandstone ridge via Oulton Park race track and through Little Budworth country park, before heading through the more mundane stretch up through Sandiway, but not before we bump into Jim, coming out of a little lane we were heading into. He had decided to do his own thing today.

I must say that the Whitegate Way (previous blog route) is a much better way of getting through the area of Sandiway and a few bumpy lanes leading to it. Our route today did in fact take us past the exit of said Whitegate Way, which nobody would have noticed but for Steve delighting in pointing out and reminding our little group of how I missed the turning last time out- Lol. It was not long after this that Alan had to stop to tighten up his handlebars and put a wind proof on, as the poor lad was feeling chilly. Both me and Steve suggested he got on the front and warmed up the pace- Lol.

No sooner had we got going again when we entered the lovely Gallowsclough Lane, which is a real favourite of mine. This also meant the route got more interesting from there on, with a few lovely lanes to climb, in order to get over the Sandstone ridge again. This in turn enabled a few cracking views over the Cheshire flats. It was one of those views that allowed me to point out where Alan lived (far off in the distance of Flint, with Liverpool just coming into view, to our right - Alan often doesn’t know where he is, so I thought I had better point out where he lived- Lol). Now cruising along the top of the ridge, we soon turn right down toward Manley Mere and the somewhat bumpy lane that leads to the entrance.

Photos by AO

Steve had not been to MM before. I believe he was reasonably impressed. I still don’t think he needed to chain all 3 bikes together, when we sat only 10 feet away from the bikes. He could moor the Queen Mary with hawser cable he carries- Lol (apparently he’s a touch protective of his bike and rumour has it, he carries all his worldly possessions in that waist pouch of his- Lol). We coincidently went for the same Falafel wraps, which I reckon was a deconstructed falafel- Lol, as there were whole chickpeas and not the usual falafel balls inside the wrap, which clearly added to the overall flavour. We all thought they were delish! With a mango chutney on the side. Very quick service left little time for conversation, which didn’t stop Steve of course (by no means am I suggesting he can talk- Lol!). 

After briefly telling Steve that MM used to be a ride venue for CER, some years back and well before I joined the club, we fill up our water bottles from the stand pipe and set off down some of my favourite bits. We were now heading toward Ashton and a rendezvous with a new lane that I have only ridden once before. Grange Road, is in fact, a little farm lane but good tarmac and no potholes, although it has a fair bit of debris/gravel. That said, it is lovely easy 1 mile climb and bypasses the usual main B-road past Mouldsworth (wouldn’t go down it in winter though- Lol).

At this stage somebody mentioned that we weren’t that far from Rose Farm, to which I answered, “we are taking the flatter long route”, which meant we would bypass the 17% blip within the long-ish climb of Yeld Lane, but not before I detour to the bottom of said Lane, Lol. This was in order to show the guy’s where ‘Kelsall Bike Repair’ had moved to. For those who are not aware by the way. I was chatting to the owner and he already has plans to expand upstairs, leaving down stairs to become a much bigger and proper cafe. At the moment they only do coffee & cake, although good, however, a lot better than the old premises, with tables inside. He had a couple of good looking carbon bike bargains when I was there last week (rim brakes of course, but got me thinking, as I really fancied the Trek- Lol) 

This place has the potential to become a real geekie bikers cafe, not unlike the recently closed Eureka cafe, at Two Mills (Wirral). It’s so well positioned now and also right on top of the 1 mile gravel track into the back of Delamere Forest cafe, which I pointed out to Alan, as it is the only short cut alternative route to Delamere Station cafe and easily rideable on road tyres. I suggested it would save a lot of miles for the likes of Alan, Steve and Andy from Mold (not that Andy would want a short cut and I’m not so sure Alan or Steve would ride to Delamere from home either- so bit of a mute point- Lol.)

Anyway, back on route to Kelsall and the likeable easy climb up through the centre to Quarry Lane, which literally took us on a near circular loop around Yeld Lane. We descend Quarry Lane and on past the bottom of Chapel Hill, which I said earlier we would descend, but I got carried away when turning down Quarry Lane Lol. So an unplanned minor detour led us on to Oscroft and around the back of Okells Garden Centre, which neither Steve or Alan had heard of before (best garden centre / cafe / gift shop etc in the land, but expensive). Anyway, only another 2 miles to the bottom of Wood Lane and I leave my companions for the day, to find their own way up the last mile or so to Rose Farm.

It was at this point that I told Alan not to trust Steve’s directions in getting to Rose Farm. He apparently got lost, 2 weeks before, despite me putting him on the road to Delamere Station, with only 3 miles to go- Lol!!!!!!!!!! I didn’t say I put him on the correct road to Delamere Station -Lol!!! (I did apologise).

10 miles home for me and I get there with 99.2k on the clock. No ‘Grand Fondo’ for me, can you believe-Lol. Steve and Alan should have completed 40 miles or maybe 45, if I put them on the wrong road- Lol. Great day again and good company, all jokes aside.

Neil T

19th May 2022: Scholar Green (mod 1)

When the Easy Riders met at Rose Farm Café, the main topic of our conversation was traffic. The M56 had been closed which had clogged up all surrounding roads, and hence many members had great difficulty getting to our start point on time. We subsequently found out that the police had closed the motorway in the early hours because of a person standing on a motorway bridge intent on doing away with themselves. Dave H & Steve T were particularly affected and weren’t able to get to Rose Farm, so we arranged to meet them at the Station Café on the Whitegate Way. 

Three rides left Rose Farm: one brisk and two mods.  I was leading one of the mod rides to Mow Cop and the Rising Sun at Scholar Green.  Although we had often ridden to this destination, I couldn’t remember us ever riding up to the folly itself atop the gritstone outcrop, so this was to be our aim. The group consisted of myself, Trevor, Andy B, Peter, Jim, and Steve T and Dave H who we would pick up on the way. 

Just as we were about to leave, the gate from Rose Farm was shut, and we waited while their donkeys were led through from one side to the other. They seemed to have been receiving the attentions of a farrier, and I discovered that sometimes donkeys do wear shoes. Jim was only joining us for the initial miles, but it was good to ride out and chat with him. We were reminiscing and saying that CER had hardly ever had any real problems on our rides – perhaps this was an omen of what was to come. We rode out through Cotebrook and past Oulton Park to meet the Whitegate Way at Marton Green. In the station café we found Dave and Steve, who had just ordered coffee and food, expecting us to arrive much later. Is it an Easy Rider tradition that a ride can’t start until every member has refreshed themselves in the café? 

Soon we moved on along the Whitegate Way, which deposited us just outside Winsford.  Then it was through the town and on to Middlewich, emerging now onto quieter rural lanes. At some point I called the pub to book us in for lunch.  They asked us to arrive at 1:15pm which meant we would have to ride up to Mow Cop after we had eaten. Passing through Brereton Green and Spen Green, we arrived roughly on time, and ordered our food. We’ve stopped here a number of times over the years and always enjoyed it.  This time the food and welcome were equally good, although the landlord told us he was retiring, so we will not be sure what to expect when we visit again.

My plan was to cycle up to the Mow Cop folly on the least steep route. Somewhat leadenly after our meal, we began the long slow winding climb up to Mount Pleasant and then Mow Cop Road, before turning left to pass the chapel and finally arrive at the National Trust car park. Not surprisingly, our party got well spread out coming up the hill, and a bit of rounding up was needed to get everyone to the right place. Mow Cop is the southernmost outcrop of hard sandstone grit in Cheshire, rising 355m above sea level. At its highest point stands a mock tower that was built as a summer house in 1754 by Randle Wilbraham, the local Lord of the Manor.  

It was a beautiful day and the views from the top were extensive, if a little hazy in the far distance.  We picked out Liverpool Cathedral and Moel Famau to the west, and the White Peak to the east.

Photos by Steve T

Our return took us through Alsager to Wheelock Heath, and it was here that a shout came from Dave H that his freewheel was broken.  The pedals turned, the chain moved and the cassette spun, but his rear wheel remained static. As we gathered to inspect the damage, a lady in the house opposite said we could use her drive to attempt a repair.  Dave had an idea to use cable ties to fix his cassette to the spokes of his wheel and drive it forwards that way.  This was received with some scepticism, but he persevered while others of us helped our host get her lawn mower running again. Bike bodge completed, Dave took to the tarmac for a dozen yards, before admitting defeat. Our plan now had to be to abandon Dave and continue our ride. Steve T could then get back to Whitegate Station café and return in the Berlingo to rescue Dave. 

So, we continued, north-westwards over an appalling surface as we passed under a railway line, and then entered the outskirts of Crewe from the north.  By now time had advanced and we were well into the rush hour.  We passed by Leighton Hospital, and took the road to Church Minshull. Here Steve T left us to head through Winsford and return to pick up Dave’s car.  The rest of us made for Wettenhall and Eaton, to cross the Tarporley by-pass near the Portal Golf Course, and then head back to our start. Andy, Trevor and Peter took the road to Duddon and on to their homes, while I returned to Rose Farm, where I noted two things: first, we had completed 58 miles, secondly, that despite it being 6:30pm, the gate to Rose Farm was still open. Previously this had always been locked between 5:30 and 6:00.  Maybe this was a one off, or maybe as more enterprises are now operating from the site, they leave it open for longer – useful to know if you intend parking there.

I rode on back to Kelsall reflecting on an excellent day’s cycling in great weather marred unfortunately by Dave’s mechanical problems.

PS. Steve T successfully rescued Dave, who it turns out hadn’t had such a bad time after all. He had made his way to the Forester’s Arms and found it to be a traditional friendly community pub with plenty of people to chat with.

See route map and/or gpx file download.


Thursday 12 May 2022

12th May 2022: Gwaenysgor (mod 1)

We gathered at Hawarden for our first ride from here since hearing the sad news of Spiros’ passing - it was a thoughtful moment. Alison seemed to have called all hands to the pump to keep the place going and we had our usual good and friendly service.

It was likely to be a fine day, and although a westerly wind was blowing, this was only forecast to strengthen later on, prompting a plan to cycle out west to Gwaenysgor, and get blown back east. Although the Eagle and Child is a popular destination, no-one seems to have found how to pronounce the name of the village, making it hard to explain to people where were going. It was a good turnout of eight moderates: myself, Dave H, Steve T, Alan, Keith, Andy B, Trevor and Clive, back from his holidays in Cornwall. John W also briefly looked in and then went on his way.

I had a route out which we followed with Alan’s input, whereas Alan had a route back which he followed with Clive’s input. We headed out to cross the big roundabout at Ewloe, and then took Green Lane/Magazine Lane to drop down by Northop Hall, continuing into Northop, before climbing up Middle Mill Road to gain altitude and arrive in Halkyn. Thence on to Babell and Pen-y-cefn, heading almost onto the A55, before running parallel to it, past a field which I remember sometimes being filled with daffodils, but today was too late in the season. It seems that Andy is a connoisseur of A55 crossing points having investigated most of them, but he approved of this one as being one of the least dodgy. We headed north to Trelawnyd, with Gop Hill high ahead of us, to which Andy drew our attention.  This is the second-largest neolithic mound in Britain after Silbury Hill, in Wiltshire, and prehistoric remains have been found in the caves beneath it. From Trelawnyd it was a short ride west along the A road, before heading north again and reaching our destination.

In the Eagle and Child we were directed to an Arthurian round table, underneath a remarkable wooden motorbike hanging on the wall. 

Photo by SH

We settled with our drinks and made our choices from the menu – whilst we could have had Eagle Burgers or an Eagle Brunch, there seemed to be no child-related food choices! While waiting, Alan received a video call from Steve Hu, who while absent somewhere in NW Scotland was obviously missing his Thursday with Easy Riders. As usual we had good service food and drinks before we left for what now seems to be an obligatory ride up the hill for the spectacular viewpoint above the 33% gradient descent and overlooking Prestatyn and the windmills in the Irish Sea.

Photo by AO

For our return Alan took us to Llanasa, Berthengam and Trelogan, before descending to Mostyn – along several lanes which were delightful and new to many of us. Here we joined the North Wales coastal routes avoiding the main road where we could to Bagillt and Flint. Here our cohesive group fragmented: Alan and Clive heading towards their homes, Trevor and I detouring for coffee and cakes at Temptations Café before heading to the Greenway, and the remainder heading back towards Northop Hall and Hawarden. The route totalled 46 very enjoyable miles in good weather and company.

See route map and/or gpx file download


Sunday 8 May 2022

5th May 2022: Bunbury (mod 2)

Ride Vuelta de Oulton Park 

The earlier rain in the week had clearly not deterred the CER crew which had an excellent turnout at Delamere Station Carpark.

As I arrived the fast lads were off on a 100+ miler. The mod group were getting ready for a ride and Neil was discussing his ride to Tilley’s. 

I joined Neil and Ray who was convalescing after a cold on a second mod ride. 

The route took us up to Hatchmere and along School Lane to Cuddington Lane. At this point we joined the lovely Whitegate Way. The surface was superb unlike earlier in the week when Neil had reccied it, when he described it as a “dust bowl”. 

Photos by Steve Hu

The Whitegate Way meandered Lobslack Wood passing lots of sand quarries now flooded until we broke off at Clay Lane. Now we entered the picture postcard village of Little Budworth where I’m sure the Wisteria owners club must reside, judging by the displays. From here it was easy lanes to Tilston and our lunch stop at Bunbury.

Replete with Eggs Royale we sidled around Beeston Castle (a good Cafe but no toilets apparently) and crossed the Shropshire Union Canal, before heading back towards Oulton Park for the second time today. A quick spin down Oulton Mill Lane took us to Cotebrook. 

At this point our intrepid leader Neil left towards Kelsall and Ray and I drag raced along Tarporley Road to Nunsmere were we resumed more in keeping CER lanes. Following our outbound route we returned to Hatchmere. A nice 36 miles with some spirited riding by Neil and Ray ensuring I had to keep up at the back. 

Steve Hu.

See route map and/or gpx file download

Friday 6 May 2022

5th May 2022 : Alsager (brisk)

John W was sitting outside my house at 09:00 champing at the bit ready for a ride to Delamere Café.We set of some 15 minutes later on what will be a lovely sunny day. My ride today was a 72-mile circular ride from and to Delamere station café. Its 11 miles out to the café from Chester and the same on return so a minimum of 94-mile ride for us both. John had already covered 12 miles when arriving at my house this morning, so much for lighter early sun rising!! As expected, a good turnout for riders to welcome us, we passed Andy and Keith on our way and they to arrived shortly after us. 

Ready for the off at Delamere Cafe

We set off out towards Fishpool crossing the A54 stopping for a photo shoot of the canal at Tilstone.Through Bunbury and on towards Ravensmoor, we have the benefit of some tailwind. The roads around Cotebrook and Oulton Park were advertising the Club car championship this weekend so if out riding keep away from this location. Between Ravensmoor and Sound I got a big thorn in my rear tyre and it quickly went down. A new tube in and within 10 minutes we were rolling again. The benefit of using gas instead of a pump is an improvement to roadside emergency action.

Before entering Audlem, we take Swanbach Mill Lane leading us to the meandering lanes to Hankelow and Wybunbury. From the village we head out to Wrinehill along main road until we take a left for a new climb Heighley Hill. It got our attention at 17% but there was a splendid display of bluebells but too much effort in getting up the hill to stop for a photo.

Audlem's staircase of locks
A tranquil scene

We have ridden some lovely lanes and continuing to Barthomley was no exception. The White Lion was our choice today as they boast home made pies which are truly tasty. However, I plump for sausage and mash although John enjoyed the steak and Guinness pie. Pouring Guinness is a slow process and making the pie was as well as we ended up waiting a while for our meal.

From Barthomley we head to Radway Green and passing through Alsager and to Breton Green.Through Holmes Chapel riding on the main road, we turn left at Spinney motorhome corner for Shakeley Mere, Lach Dennis and Davenham. We cheekily ride on the pavement but as the school day had finished, we should have gone via the correct one-way road. At Hartford we ride through the town busy with school run mums and dads in their Chelsea tractors, but John shows them our rears as he passes the queues.

We are now heading to Norley and Hatchmere where anyone who rides our route would turn left towards Delamere but we’re going straight over onto Ashton Road through Delamere and Mouldsworth. We choose to go via Ashton instead of up hill passing the Goshawk Inn then Manley Lane and back to Mickle Trafford and Chester.

Again, we enjoyed a good route with lots of pleasant lanes mostly dry although plenty of rough and potholed surfaces. I covered 95 miles and John his second 125 miles of the week!.

Another good day out on the bike.

See route map and/or gpx file download


Photos ID

5th May 2022: High Legh (mod 1)

Another good turnout at Delamere Station Café, with 13 CER members present. Ray and Dave M were not riding as they were recovering from Covid (Ray) and going home to mow the grass (Dave). Ivan and John W were gearing up for a short (<100 miles) ride to Alsager and Neil offered to lead a shortish ride, which Steve Hu and Peter took him up on.

That left Dave H, Keith, Steve Ha, Trevor, Andy B and yours truly for a ride I had planned to The Bears Paw at High Legh, a venue we have not visited before, but where I had booked a table ‘outside’ for 12.45pm. 

We set off by the usual route to Hatchmere and Norley, whizzing down Norley Bank to Onston Lane, Acton Bridge and down the steep hill to the A49 and the bridge across the River Weaver. After the ‘down’ there’s always an ‘up’ and so we were soon puffing and panting up Willow Green Road and over the Trent and Mersey Canal.

Reaching the top of the hill in Little Leigh, we crossed the A553 and made our way along Cogshall Lane to Comberbach. A left and right put us on the road to Great Budworth where there’s another climb into the village. Leaving the village by Westage Lane, we soon joined Budworth Road, heading towards Knutsford.  At Tabley Brook, we fork left on Old Hall Lane which takes us over the M6 and then, using a bridleway, under the A556 and out onto the old Chester Road.

From here we took the rather rough and bumpy Moss Lane and then Green Lane to join Tabley Road for the run into Knutsford. Crossing the A50, we’re soon into the tranquility of Tatton Park, where the deer are resting in the shade whilst the sheep quietly graze. Leaving the park by the Rostherne entrance (exit?), we were soon in the village itself, where we turned left into New Road. 

At this point, we were about five or six miles from our lunch stop and looking good for an on-time arrival. However, the fickle finger of fate made an unwelcome appearance. As Steve Ha was changing down to tackle the climb out of the woods near Rostherne Brook, his chain came off. The ‘chain off’ cry ran forwards through the peloton most of us stopped at the junction of Cicely Mill Lane and Mereside Road, expecting Steve to appear in a matter of seconds. When this didn’t happen, Andy B and I went back to find Steve.

Getting the chain back on turned out to be a major job, requiring the combined efforts of all three of us, as the chain had jammed between the chainwheel and the bike frame. We eventually prised it out and got it back on the chainwheel. By now, we’d lost about ten minutes, so it was just before one that we arrived at the pub where Dave H and Keith had already arrived.

We were shown to a table which was outside, but under a plastic roof, which kept us very warm. The food was quite good with both sandwiches and small meals on offer. Unfortunately, they had no soda water and the gas for some of the beer pumps was out, so blackcurrant and water was the order of the day, although Steve Ha managed to get a pint of Guinness.

Photos by ST

Suitably refreshed, we headed off along Swineyard Lane and Barleycastle Lane to the B5356 and Appleton Thorn. Following this to Stretton traffic lights, we continued to Hatton, where we went left onto Pilmoss Lane and right onto Summer Lane. Rather than going straight on to Preston Brook, we hung a left up Newton Lane and then a right down Morphany Lane were we stopped briefly to visit the site of the old vicarage where Charles Dodgson, a.k.a. Lewis Carroll, was born in 1832. His father was the vicar of All Saints Church, Daresbury. Culture interval over, we pressed on along Higher Lane to join the A533 for a short stretch, before taking Aston Lane to Sutton Weaver and the dreaded A56.

The run down the hill to Frodsham was a pleasure only because it was downhill, as the traffic on this road is quite heavy. Trevor and Andy B stayed on the A56 heading for home as we turned into Fluin Lane and this week’s ‘sting in the tail’ – the climb up to Overton and Lady Heyes. The last couple of miles towards Norley and then along Forest Road took us to Hatchmere and back to our starting point

Forty-eight miles covered on a dry and pleasantly warm day. Thanks to Steve Ha, Dave H, Trevor, Andy B and Keith for their company

See route map and/or gpx file download


Tuesday 3 May 2022

28th April 2022: Burlton (mod)

Ivan's nostalgic railway reflexes had him steaming from Crewe in a double-header with John Wilkie. So it was just five moderate riders who chugged up at Chirk, that's if you can call Neil a moderate, although he was prepared to take it easy. Steve Hughes was missing a bottle when he arrived, Keith left his in the car, and I was missing some teeth, and didn't really have a route. It didn't feel too much like a focused Quick Step pre-stage meeting. At least Alan, our ace cameraman, hadn't forgotten his mobile, or to change out of his slippers before leaving home.

After watching the second half of the Liverpool v. Newcastle game the night before, I had looked up a few possible pub destinations, and checked that they were open for lunch and had decent reviews. On my own, I would have sorted out a route to The Dickin  Arms at Loppington, but I didn't want this to become my Shropshire Bhurtpore, and be perceived as repeatedly taking people to my same personal preferences for lunch.

As it was, we set out for The Burlton Inn, which is still a regular stop of ours. 

The priority was for quiet lanes, with a few unusual route twists for a change. In order to largely miss the busy road to St. Martin's, we turned south-west for Hindford at the first chance, and then worked north-east to Old Marton before crossing the dismantled railway for a second time at Crickett. We passed the Hardwick Estate on our left before dog-legging across the busy A495 down to the canal and on to Tetchill.

It was decidedly cool without the sun of recent days. From Lee, close to scenic White Mere, we headed south to Lower Hordley and Bagley, eventually turned up to English Frankton via Cockshutt for an extra few miles, before directly pedalling to lunch at The Burlton Inn. Our past friendly hosts had departed, but the guy who had taken over was very welcoming and the food was good, with plenty of chips. Evidently light bites, like a choice of sandwiches, are likely to be added to the menu in the future. Some of the lunch discussion was very informative about a variety of media offerings, internet scams, and what to watch out for.

After lunch, it became obviously that it was going to stay the only sunless day of the week, and as Chirk is nearly forty miles from home for some of us, I cut the intended return route to save a bit of time. At Stanwardine in the Fields , I had intended to head for Rednal  and Welsh Frankton via the climb and dive- down around Stanwardine Park and across the River Perry. The quicker route to Welsh Frankton kept us east of the River Perry, but did use a short section of the outward- bound route from Bagley to Lower Hordley. You would recognise the large factory building near Lower Hordley, slightly sinister with its lack of signage. Steve was telling me that it was a very large abattoir owned by ABP, a huge multinational food processor, who surprisingly, perhaps, own Primark. I thought that, originally, the Weston family of past Wagon Wheel fame owned Primark, which was also true. If you are interested in how this mega business developed look up ABP, Garfield Weston, or Wittington Investments on t'internet. Over seven hundred people were working in the Lower Hordley factory in 2015. Burton's Food was sold off in 2000, and they still produce Wagon Wheels. You will not be shocked to know that the Weston's Wagon Wheel of your schooldays is now smaller and lighter. From Welsh Frankton we cut up to New Marton and St.Martin's. What Alan later called “the sting in the tail” was about to come. We descended, steeply at times, into the narrow wooded valley leading to cow shit covered Pont y blew, then followed two challenging climbs back to our parked cars. 

'The sting in the tail' 
Photo AO

Quite an effort to avoid the busy main roads around Chirk. The lads lost time waiting for me, as I missed seeing a long, discarded cable as I changed my glasses whilst riding up the first climb. My new glasses were hurting my head. I'd told them at Specsavers that I had a big head, but they thought I was joking! The cable wrapped around my chainwheels, and jammed between my front mudguard and wheel. Fortunately, no lasting damage to man or machine, just a lot of dirty disentangling. About 40 miles covered. Thanks to Steve for his route support, and thanks for the patience of everyone as I worked out directions on the hoof. I enjoyed all the quiet lanes and the company. Let's hope we have the sun back for next Thursday.


See route map and/or gpx file download