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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Monday 28 November 2022

24th November 2022: Lee (mod)

 Travelling from Runcorn Steve and I found the A55 completely backed up, and just about manoeuvred our way out, and head toward Cheshire Oaks. Fortunately, our running calculations on the quickest diversion route to put us back on track for Chirk worked out perfectly. On arriving at Castle Bistro we met an impressive turnout of the Fast Lads. It was very pleasant having a chat with them and Dave Matthews, who needed to ride back to Oscroft to feed his goats (or did I get this wrong!). Anyway, Dave had made a big effort to be at Chirk, and paid me for his Christmas Lunch, and this is appreciated. The guys showed us pictures of Nick on a winter training holiday somewhere warm and exotic. Unfortunately, unlike Nick, we had a very fierce wet front to deal with today, instead of decisions about whether we needed factor 50 or less. Andy had arrived from Mold, so there were just Steve Tan, Andy and myself riding as moderates. Steve Hughes, Steve Haywood and Alan had considerately given me advanced notice that they would not be riding. After a very wet, flooded return ride from Loppington last April, I had decided to do a short south east loop, and have lunch back at Castle Bistro in an attempt to miss the forecast heavy rain due to arrive, hopefully, around 1p.m. Unfortunately, I should have looked at Carol's moving weather map properly, or listened to Andy, and I would have realised that the rain was likely to pass quite quickly. Plan A should probably have been: pick a lunch stop for about 12.30, and dine while the rain passed. I sensed that was the plan for the Fast Lads, but don't you usually get showers behind a heavy band of rain, and have even more chance of flooded roads, particularly on the small lanes the moderates frequent? Anyway, we started out towards the dodgey A5 roundabout, when Ray Baird, unexpectedly, caught up in his vehicle with his bike on the back!  He had also been held up by the A55 incident on his long drive from far west Wirral. He quickly parked and sorted himself out in order to join us on the ride,

 We took a familiar, quiet route out, past Ebnal Hall to Hindford. We then headed for Old Marton, and past the attractive old railway house at Crickett, nestling down on our right. We curved down to the B5068 where I lost us ten minutes by heading back toward Dudleston Heath instead of into Ellesmere. The ride to Ellesmere took us past Beech House used by Thomas Telford when building the Llangollen Canal. The lanes had been enjoyable and the weather dry so far, but we had ploughed through a few floods already. We passed the college and started back at Lee. Our return was via Tetchill, Onston, New Marton and St.Martins. Passing the Hardwick estate I managed to get stuck in deep water, and had to walk out, rather than ride. It would have made a good photo! At this stage we had forty minutes riding to go, and the storm had arrived. Back at the cafe we were so wet that we left large puddles where we had sat. I told a waitress that our seats were wet before I left, and she was fine about it. Lunch was very good, the cafe was warm, and we were able to have a chat and a laugh.  I would, however, like to apologise to my comrades for selecting the strategy that resulted in their extreme wetness. It does make me think why we had Chirk as a summer only destination originally.  The drive home was all sunshine and clear blue sky.        

See route map and/or gpx file download               


Thursday 24 November 2022

24th November 2022 : Shrewsbury (brisk)

John W and I took the train to Chirk to meet Clive and Ken at the appointed coffee start of Castle Bistro Tearooms. Already seated and drinking, the Brisk group today outnumbered the mod riders = 3. Weather was going to be heavy rain showers around lunchtime with tropical sunshine for the remainder!!! 

We departed at the regular time of 10:30 heading down Chirk Bank then up the grind to Weston Rhyn and taking the Old Chirk Road to cross the A5 and on  to Gobowen where we were held up by the crossing gates to allow two trains to pass. Out to Whittington and to Queens Head, we are heading southerly and it’s a good headwind we are riding into. Skirting Oswestry and going through a new housing estate we find ourselves in a cul-de-sac. I blame the Garmin as too slow to catch up but I may have missed our turning. Passing the Queens Head pub, we continue Wykey then head towards Baschurch. 

We now have 8 miles of straight roads and lanes to take us into Shrewsbury via Coton Hill. Approx. 20 minutes out, we stop to don our rain jackets and arrive at Wetherspoons Montgomery’s Tower just as the rain starts to get heavy. We had abandoned the planned ride around by the riverside park to dash directly to the pub. Quickly seated and lunch ordered, we enjoy the ambiance of Christmas décor in the establishment warm and cosy whilst it's duly raining hard outside. 

Raining hard outside: Hydrating inside

Completing our lunch coincides with the rain stopping, so we again get our gear on and ride out via Shelton along the Holyhead Road. Arriving at Montford Bridge, we encounter the first serious flooded road but we are able to surf our way through. The rainfall whilst we were indoors must have been heavy as there are several more lanes that we had to navigate our way through. 

Passing through Ruyton XI Towns we ride through familiar haunts of Knockin and Newbridge. Fortunately, we are riding with lights and at 15:00 the sky is dark from Morda to Oswestry. Here it is dark enough to enjoy the Christmas lights and had we not been riding through the rain and having to continually wipe the drops from our glasses then we might have enjoyed them even more. We continue to Weston Rhyn exiting on to the Ceriog valley road and return into Chirk. 

John and I head back to the station with 10 minutes to spare, and Clive and Ken head to the car park to retrieve their cars. We’ve not had a long ride today. The route was 53 miles and just the usual climbs of most rides. 

The rain wasn’t too bad as we all have good weatherproof clothing and completed our ride relatively dry and warm. A good day out and excellent lunch with good friends on a club ride.

See route map and/or gpx file download


Photo JW

Tuesday 22 November 2022

17th November 2022 : Tattenhall

No ride this week - just three riders and a lot of rain!

Thursday 10 November 2022

10th November 2022: Barton (mod)

Here we go again. Today’s starting venue was Meadow Lea (ML) on a day when the weather men were forecasting near record temps for this time of year. Another unusual fact today was that the total number at ML (15) was less than the total seen at our lunch destination, which will become evident later on - Lol. There was little conversation as to a destination and route, as I was asked to lead a route to a specific location, once we convinced DH to put his paper Garmin away- Lol. The sight of DH’s pile of disheveled maps, had Mike G feeling sorry for him, once we had finished laughing that is. I seem to remember Mike hoping to find some spare copies for DH (apparently Mike has a vast collection- each to his own- Lol)

The 3 fast boys had already left, although that wasn’t the last we saw of them. DM set off on his own, as he had a lawn that desperately needed mowing however, that wasn’t the last we would see of him either- Lol. So, the 12 of us Mods set off, via Mickle Trafford, ultimately heading for the Cock ‘O’ Barton (COB - one of the best pubs in Cheshire, in my opinion). However, after only a few hundred mtrs, we had to stop, in order to reboot my Garmin again! I can hear DH saying under his breath “never needed to reboot my map”- Lol.

Anyway, back on track and now in our stride, we turn off the A56 heading south for Great Barrow. I was trying hard to avoid any mucky/possibly flooded lanes this week -Lol. This meant a somewhat tricked up and now signature meander, for me at least, but with my trade mark tail wind finish, all the way back. Now past the Bluebell Cafe and crossing the A51 (my first deviation- Lol). I had intended to ride through Tarvin, but I forgot to look at the Garmin - Plonker! And that’s why we saw DM again, just dismounting at his house, in Oscroft, having gone his own way. This minor deviation added another mile to the route, which meant that Steve Hu would be asking “how far away is lunch?” A little earlier than usual (always him- Lol)

Regrouping again, just after Okell’s, before passing over the river Gowy, we turn right and head uphill past Walk Mill cafe and turn left toward Huxley. Our route now becomes more of a zig zag across the county, which meant there weren’t too many, full on, head winds- Lol. Now in Huxley, heading toward Beeston, we pass the absolutely fab, Huxley Inn, possibly the best pub restaurant in the county, for both style and food. Apparently it took the owner 8+ years to clear and build on the site, which I believe was an old pub, the Farmer’s Arms, although I have heard other stories as well. One thing for sure, he spent a fortune on it (lovely venue, worth a special dinner night) Consequently, it is not cheap (again I can picture DH groaning in the background- Lol)

On towards Grassy Green and my favourite little stretch, past the Shady Oak pub, over that gorgeous little hump back bridge and uphill to Beeston Castle (just love it and a perfect bit of tarmac as well). We regroup under the rock face of Beeston Castle and then head toward Tattenhall past a magnificent dahlia garden on the right, still in full bloom, this late in the year. We again regroup at the end of the road, after a 3 mile stretch from Beeston, with a diagonal headwind. Normally I would have led the group around Tattenhall, but I sensed that lunch was becoming more of an interest than the lovely scenery around here, so we pass right through Tattenhall and up the short drag to the A41 crossing.

Below Beeston Castle, photo Mike G

Bit of a nasty crossing however, today was easy and we were soon gliding down Dog Lane, which was the better option as opposed to Holywell Lane. Dog Lane can be very mucky, particularly around the farm (affectionately known as ‘gold fish farm’, by Paula and I) This is due to the gold fish in the cow trough of course- Lol, which we always check on, every time we walk past. The farm house here was built in 1601 and a Tudor gem (1601 is a common historical date around these parts it seems).

I think it was about this time when ‘Tail End Charlie’ asked me again, “how far was it to lunch”- Lol. “3 miles”, was my response- Lol. As usual Andy was roughly aware of our location and knew that 3 miles was perhaps a bit of a fib, the moment I announced we were going to ride through the centre of Carden Park yet we were only half a mile from COB. I thought CP would be a pleasant change and completely new for some. It was a first for me as well, despite it being my golf club (tricky to carry the clubs on a bike- Lol). Even if you are not a golfer Carden Park is worth a visit, not just for the scenery and the new mega Spa, but for the ‘Art Garden’ (in front of the hotel) which I pointed out, as we cruised up past the Spa. The owner, Steve Morgan, of Redrow construction, has spent more than £250,000 on some of the pieces in the garden and there must be at least 30.

Anyway, now through Carden Park, heading down Stretton Mill Lane, we are soon at the junction that delivered us to the COB. However, before I could inform everybody that we only had a half mile to go, Steve Hu piped up “how far was it to lunch”, for the third time I think- Lol. Apparently he was about to bite his arm off, if we didn’t get there soon (it was only 1pm and he had breakfast- Lol.). We arrived and there was no problem catering for 12, as I hadn’t booked, taking a risk because there was always the backup option of Manor Wood cafe, only 500 mtrs down the hill, which is a good cafe on the lake. Bikes all locked up, we eventually enter the pub, only to find Steve Ha sat down already, with a pint in hand- Lol. I didn’t know he had slipped off the front (crafty bugger-Lol)

Despite it being unusually quiet, our food took ages, although that was more to do with how long it took to take our orders (we surmised it was due to being mid week and therefore limited staff, as I pointed out it is busy in the evening and never any issues). Despite the slow service everybody seemed well happy with the food and at a fair price. It wasn’t just the Mod group at the COB, as the fast group dropped in to say hello and Fiona & Elwyn met us there as well (which surprised me, until I remembered she can track me on 360) - handy app to have in a cycling group, if you are not aware, not as good as ‘ What Three Words’ , for precise location, but useful on a day Iike today. Anyway the slow service didn’t seem to bother anybody, going by the noise we were all making however, it did lead to Andy making tracks before the rest of us were ready.

Photo by Neil T

We left the pub with only a short 15 miles (does that mean it was a shorter 15 miles than a normal 15 miles? - Lol) and with a tail wind all the way back. We head down Wetreins Lane and across the main drag to Wrexham, which leads us past Farndon (for some of us- Lol). We suddenly realised that Steve T, Ray & Trev weren’t with us as we by-pass Farndon. I simply thought they had decided to follow Fiona & Elwyn, wrongly assuming they lived on the other side of the River Dee. No sooner had we realised when we got to the junction leading us up to Churlton and Aldford beyond. As we hit the junction, who should ride past but the 3 amigos -Lol. Now we were 7 again and cruising along with a nice tailwind. 2 miles later we were crossing the Dee bridge at Aldford, which got badly damaged in the 2020? Floods.

At this point I expected to lose Mr & Mrs Pipe, thinking the tandem would go straight up into Chester and home. However, we were still 7 heading for Bruera, where I decided to leave the group.

I had intended to drop off at Waverton, but I wasn’t feeling that good to be honest, after 10 days off the bike and a stomach bug. This left Steve Ha / DH to lead the group back to ML (thanks guys). I got home with 55 miles on the clock, feeling a little tired in the legs, but more importantly a clean bike- Lol. However, I can’t help feeling my tired legs might have been due to the extra weight I was carrying. Steve Hu’s charity donation of £5, just before we set off, was £ coins can you believe. I reckon he was off loading weight on to me- charity donation my foot- Lol Lol. I promised a clean dry ride and I think I achieved that. I hope everybody enjoyed the COB and that it becomes a CER pub venue in future.

Great day out and no rain. I apologise for the incessant squeaky disc brakes from me, which I have now fixed, just needed the calliper adjusting, using the credit card cheat- Lol (rode today and it was whisper quiet)

Is it my imagination or is my occasional diatribe getting longer- Lol. Till next time,


See route map and/or gpx file download

10th November 2022 : Wrenbury ( brisk)

Where to ride to today? Ivan was busy elsewhere, Nick was practising his breast stroke, John W was also not out like John M. Ken said he would be out and had suggested a ride that he had purloined from a previous CER ride to that infamous curry pub. We both agreed that we would give the curry a miss and go upmarket to No 18 in the Park in Wrenbury.

Richard was keen to tag along on this 52 miler as Ken lead us on a winding route out down familiar lanes towards Wrenbury. We arrive unscathed, fighting the headwind, to a very full car park. Ladies that Lunch were out in force today – but we had the last table opposite the cake counter. It took awhile to get our repast but it was worth it as the quality here is superb. 

Ken was going to drop off the original route to go back Rossett way. Richard and I didn't need to go back to Mickle Trafford, so Ken and I agreed a cunning route back that would harness the freshening winds and get Ken within striking distance of Rossett.

We set off bound for No Mans Heath and take the cut through via Ebnal to Kidnal. Soon we are in and out of Tilston and parking up at the Cock o' Barton where the Mods were enjoying their lunch. Having purloined a few chips, Richard and I are soon off back to Chester and Ken to Rossett.

I arrive home at 1500 with 60 miles ridden. Those sixty miles have just taken me over the 50,000 mile mark since I started cycling with CER back in Oct 2009. Little did I know then that 802 rides later, I would still be riding with Chester Easy Riders! On my first ride I met Dave Heath and Macca. There are many riders who joined Easy Riders before me that are still riding with Easy Riders today.

No photos today on a largely grey but strangely warm mid-November day with dry lanes and no rain.

See route map and/or gpx file download


Saturday 5 November 2022

3rd November 2022 : Ruthin (brisk)

Today’s club ride was out on the Wirral, but the brisk riders today decided that due to favourable weather conditions, we would do a hilly 3AAA audax ride used by JohnW. 

Nick, John W, Richard, and I met up at Blacon station on the Greenway, and cycled along the Greenway to Flint where we re-joined the main road taking the turning before Deeside college up to Northop.The sun was beginning to show through the clouds and a prospect of good weather was encouraging. 

Today's ride is achieving over 3000ft within 45 miles and since leaving Northop it is certainly going upwards. The Cilcain Road is a long drag all the way to Loggerheads before joining the Penbarras road up to Moel Famau. During the ascent up to the car park the weather changed and we were in a deluge of water coming down from the sky and also running as a river along the road; so wet feet !!! 

On arriving at the car park the rain ceases and the sun is out again, but the road is too wet to hammer down nevertheless JW leads the descent.  Although the roads were wet, the only poor surface road was not experienced until approaching Ruthin. It was a very poor surface and combined with bright sunshine flashing through the hedgerow made cycling conditions poor. 

However, on arriving at our lunch stop “Chatwins Bakery” all is forgotten as we tuck into hot pie and cream cake. On leaving our stop, we again climb out of the town towards a place called Llanfwrog!! A steep climb but on excellent road surface. Strava calls this area – Mwrog Street Climb and that says it all really. 

We leave the climb NEAR the summit and we’re back on off-road surface plummeting downhill. JW showing his downhill skills of speed succumbs to a puncture giving us time to relax and take a couple of pictures of our location. We are in a valley surrounded by hills and the autumn colours are stunning. However, it doesn’t take long to fix and we are on the move again. 

Quality Welsh Lanes

Quality Riders!

Our next climb is from London Bridge over the top of Coed Llangwylan. Again, we endure an uphill ride in the wet. It's strange how we fell foul of the weather then as soon as we complete a long climb, its blue sky. Thankful for small mercies! 

Rattling downhill to Nannerch, we’ve competed 6 out of 8 Strava climbs but the final two are only rolls in comparison. Rhes-y-cae and Windy Hill are nothing in comparison and stopping at the top we take in the splendour of the Wirral in full sunshine and wonder if we made the right decision. 

We enjoy a down hill flight al the way to Flint where we join the main Chester old road to take us back home. No stopping at Flint for coffee and cake today but straight on to Connah's Quay and re-joining the Greenway back to Chester. 

An excellent day with many challenges but in good company all was enjoyable. A 60+ miles out and back but if anyone is interested in a Flint circular for this ride it is under 40 miles. You will still enjoy 4380ft of ascent and less descent so not a flat ride. 

Thanks to my brave colleagues for today’s ride.  Back home to clean the bike again!!

See route map and/or gpx file download


Friday 4 November 2022

3rd November 2022: New Brighton (mod)

A keen group of seven mods presented at Ness Gardens this morning. New member Ray, Dave H, Steve T, George, Steve Hu, Steve Ha and ride coordinator Alan. Steve Ha was on a three-line whip to attend a family event later in the day so only joined us for coffees.  A notable absentee was Neil T, we were all hoping for a hat trick of ride led by Neil. Maybe it was the stern warning of muddy lanes from Steve T or Alan’s dry cleaning bills that kept him away LOL!

Both Alan and Steve T had a similar route, however Alan’s promise of a “new lane “by Bromborough Pool swung the vote. So the famous five set out towards Ness. A quick right turn found us heading towards Williston on Damhead Lane a lovely quiet lane with good road surface. Soon we were winding our way into the back of Eastham Rake, and past St Mary’s church which features a Yew tree mentioned in the Doomsday Book. It was at this point Dave Heath introduced the concept of three volumes of interesting places to visit, none of which mentioned Eastham so we were a little confused at this time. A quick photo stop at Eastham Ferry was hastily arranged before we plunged into the woodland which borders this section of the estuary. Following a brief ride through the industrial units bordering Magazine Road Alan found the entrance to the new “lane”. This old railway track /lane parallels Bromborough road and was an idyllic ride with autumn windblown leaves creating a fantastic carpet.  A point to note Neil T, no mud was present on this lovely stretch. 


'New' lane to Port Sunlight
Photos by AO

The old lane emerged right in the centre of Lord Leverhulme’s  garden village Port Sunlight. This village was founded in 1888 by William Hesketh Lever. It was created by the forward thinking industrialist to provide decent sanitary housing in a considered architectural form. To this day the village has lost none of its charm, with a group of schoolchildren getting ready to enter the art gallery and a pop up coffee stall manned by a local charity group. Ray mentioned the museum by the art gallery was worth a visit. 

The route now took a different turn as we entered Rock Ferry and rode past the wasteland where a number of shops stood just before being blown up in a large gas explosion a number of years ago. The road along Rock Park Road always reminds us of the grandeur of some of the 1900’s river facing houses that line this road. It must have been a very desirable place to live at one time.  The route took on a maritime theme as we skirted Camell Lairds to see a Fred Olson liner in to have her “keel and hull cleaned” before returning to service. There was also a military vessel in, it was good to see the shipyard so busy. A new route through Seacombe Ferry terminal advised by Ray led us onto the Seacombe Promenade and the stunning views of the Liverpool skyline. Ray pointed out the new £500 million Everton ground which will certainly bring football close to the city centre. 

Lunch was accommodated at the Seaside Cafe in New Brighton, however the “cash only “ policy caused a series of members to “copper up” for those who only carry plastic. Fortunately I always carry a few gold sovereigns in my saddle pack, so a fish special was sorted. 

Reminded of the need to carry one’s bike over the bridge at Bidston railway station prompted a re plan by Alan to take a much less onerous route. Fender Way is a brilliant small off road route which borders the motorway and has a great road surface. Just outside Irby a lovely lane turned into a bridle path (a common issue when mapping rides I find) this necessitated a replan. At this time Ray’s local knowledge came to the fore and Alan and Ray navigated us across the busy Telegraph Rd outside Heswall and dropped us through lower Heswall to Gayton. As we approached Neston, Dave, Steve T and Ray carried on to Ness Gdns, whilst Alan, George and Steve Hu carried on to Burton Marshes and then into the majesty that is N.Wales. 

A great ride led by Alan, a tad under 40 miles which is respectable for November ride on clean mud free lanes. 

See route map and/or gpx file download 

Steve Hu