Retired, work part-time or shifts, enjoy being out in the countryside? Then cycle the lanes and byways of Cheshire and surrounding areas with Chester Easy Riders: you won't get left behind.
Chester Easy Riders is an independent cycling club affiliated to Cycling UK. We cycle every Thursday throughout the year with moderate and brisk day rides of 40 to 80 miles.

For more information see the About Us tab.

Friday 31 March 2023

30th March 2023: Aston (mod)

It was raining as Dave and I pulled into Rose Farm car park, but the forecast suggested that it should dry up a bit as the day went on. Jim, Trevor and Dave M were in the café as we walked in and we were soon followed by Andy B, who, as usual, had cycled in from Mold. But there were no ‘fast lads’ to be seen. Perhaps they were starting from elsewhere? As the time moved towards 10.30, Roy came in with Di, a friend of his from Frodsham Wheelers. She’s been trying to get him out on his bike for ages (he’s been working a lot) and, by coincidence he’d decided to come out with the Easy Riders today and suggest that she join us.

Jim and Trevor were doing their own thing and I’d planned a 40-mile ride down to The Swan at Marbury, but when I suggested it, a few noses were turned up as the last time we’d been there, the view was that the food hadn’t been so good.  An alternative in roughly the same direction was…you’ve guessed it….The Bhurtpore at Aston!

By the time we (Daves H & M, Andy, Roy, Di and me) left, the rain had stopped, so we set off down Utkinton Lane to Cotebrook, round Oulton Park and on to Wettenhall, Cholmondeston and Reaseheath College. On the way, there had been a couple of rain showers, enough to cause jackets to be put on. Skirting through the suburbs of Nantwich, we were soon through Ravensmoor and down the very rough road past Wrenbury railway station, arriving at The Bhurtpore just on 12.00.

Lunch was a soon served and various curries, sandwiches and other tasty comestibles consumed. During lunch, Di told us about breaking her shoulder (for a second time) when she came off her bike last October. She even showed us where a piece of ‘meccano’ had put a lump on her shoulder after she’d been using Roy’s heavy-duty jack hammer to take down a wall in her new home!

Photo by Steve T

Re-tracing our steps to Wrenbury after lunch, we were waiting in the sunshine for the two Daves at the canal by The Dusty Miller. When they arrived it turned out that, after riding a mile or so from the pub, Dave had realized that he’d left his gloves there. Some things never change! After riding 200 yards back towards The Bhurtpore, he changed his mind about going back and decided to collect the gloves the next time he’s there.

Heading north west from Wrenbury, we soon reached the point where Andy peeled off heading for Cholomondeley and Holt on his way back to Mold. We carried on to Chorley and Larden Green, where we took Hearns Lane towards Gradeley Green and Faddiley. 

But, before we got there, Roy got into a deep rut on the right-hand side of the lane and, in getting himself out of it, cut right across in front of Dave H and they collided, bringing both to the ground. Dave M, Di and I were unaware of this as we had been a few hundred yards in front of them and were waiting at the turning up to Faddiley. When I went back to investigate, they were picking themselves up with some assistance from a couple of farmers who had been working in the field nearby. Both had cuts and abrasions and Roy had taken a blow to his chest, but after a few minutes, they were able to carry on, fortunate not to have sustained more serious injury.

Dave M then took over navigation and led us through Brindley to Bunbury and Beeston which we skirted around, taking the lane down to The Shady Oak and up to Brassey Green, where Dave M left us to head back to Oscroft. With the exception of heavy traffic through Tarporley, the last few miles were uneventful. It was disappointing to see the The Old Fire Station café in Tarporley has closed, as it had proved a great late afternoon watering hole of many occasions over the years.

Back at Rose Farm, Roy was now feeling the after effects of the collision and Dave was rueing his lack of gloves, as he cut a finger when he went down. There’s never a good outcome when you come off your bike.

39 miles covered on a day of mixed weather and fortunes. Thanks to Dave M for assistance with navigation and to everyone else for their company.

See route map and/or gpx file download


Thursday 23 March 2023

23rd March 2023: Great Barrow (mod)

Despite the wind and promise of rain nothing diminished the turnout at the Gallery Cafe. It was quite a poignant visit since this was the last time members of the club would meet the long established owner, Spiro’s widow. Apparently the cafe will change hands shortly and we should soon meet the new owners. 

The group today consisted of Alan (Leader) Dave H, Steve Ha, Every Ready Ray, Clive and Steve Hu. Ken had ridden over and was returning home to pack his bucket and spade in anticipation of his Portugal holiday. Dave M has also ridden over and set off to do his own ride. 

The discussion of rides had centred on two routes , a Welsh route to Afon Wen or a lower level route to Great Barrow to the excellent Bluebell Cafe. The drenching that many riders had experienced just getting to the cafe influenced the decision to go low and avoid the rain. 

A brief plunge down Gladstone Avenue with a certain rider even overtaking a car led us down to the Dee Blue bridge. Then we met the headwind that would haunt us many times during the day. A quick diversion through the “triangle” found us face to face with a group of people planting trees in the area covered by Alan and his Sustrans chapter. The team were replacing fruit trees that had previously been stolen from the triangle despite being planted for the community. 

The route took us on quiet lanes alongside the busy Welsh road. A sharp right took us along a gated road towards Lee by Backford and onto Chorlton. A quick dash across the A41 returned us to quiet lanes towards Picton and then Bridge Trafford. A downpour provided the necessary speed to tackle the short climbs before Little Barrow and our lunch stop at the Bluebell Cafe. 

During a splendid lunch of Eggs Benedict or Welsh Rarebit the weather took a turn for the worse with some heavy showers. 

Replete with pots of tea and lovely food we rode for a short period before Clive peeled off, within 50 metres the heavens opened again. The expression Jacket On—Jacket Off has never been so apt.  Steve Ha routed us through the metropolis that is Oscroft before bidding us farewell to return to Kelsall and hopefully some dry clothes!

With the sun now shining we rode through Waverton and the into Chester City Centre. We had just cycled passed the weir when we had to shelter under the city walls to avoid another deluge. Some new friends and a dog were made in this interregnum between the showers. Once the rain had abated we continued around the Roodee racecourse and onto the river path where we were exposed to the full force of the headwind once again. Ray spurred on by many watts of electricity disappeared into the distance as we boldly plugged away into the headwind. 

Photo by Steve Hu

A quick photo opportunity (apologies to Clive and Steve Ha for my late planning) and we set off towards Airbus. A nasty RTA on the right reminded us the dangers of speed. At this point Alan left Ray Dave H and Steve Hu to complete the final push to Hawarden. 

A nice ride planned by Alan in mixed weather just shy of 40 miles with great company. 

See route map and/or gpx file download


Tuesday 21 March 2023

16th March 2023: Lymm (mod)

 As I went to turn into Meadow Lea, I realised that I should be at Delamere Station Cafe. On arriving at Delamere I knew that I must be late, because Dave and Liz were unloading the tandem. Trevor had returned from his travels and accompanied Jim, who was still waiting for his new Ribble  e-bike. Steve Tan had been asked about his holiday, which he had enjoyed despite a number of problems, which started with leaving two coats and his wallet on the coach from the airport! Ken and Clive were representing the Fast Lads, and Dave Matthews was visiting, but not riding. There was only time for a quick swig of coffee, before we set off for the Golden Fleece at Lymm. The moderate participants for the day were Alan, Andy Barber, Ever Ready Ray, Steve T, Dave and Liz and myself. My plan was for a  little lane scenic meander, with a shorter, fast return, particularly desirable if we hit heavy rain.

Our route out was via Norley Hall, Crowton and Acton Bridge. After passing Cogshall Hall we took  a very off-piste detour to the pretty duck-ponded at Higher Whitley, before heading for Bate Heath, and turning more directly toward Lymm via High Legh. After crossing over the M56 we took the rural back route to the centre of Lymm passing some very attractive properties before we crossed the main road and dived down to our lunch venue. The ride out had been dry and mainly wind assisted, with about twenty-four miles covered.

A young woman was already unlocking the beer garden on the canal in order for us to safely park our bikes.  The staff were very pleasant and the food was very good as we tucked in on our adjacent reserved tables. I was sitting with Dave and Liz, and it was just like old times. Dave and Liz did their traditional mix and match course orders, and Dave and myself finished up with apple and blackcurrant pie with custard and ice cream for pudding. Our choice was a pensioner's special which was great value at about 5s 6d for two courses.

Lymm Cross - photo by RB

The route back was via Swineyard Lane and the old Royal Navy world war two airfield. We also passed the private house that has a small hangar housing two vintage bi-plane trainers and a Willys Jeep, if I remember correctly. The owner flies the planes from the adjacent field. I was grateful for some draughting provided by the electrically assisted tandem at times. It had started to rain, so we kept to the straight route through Antrobus and Frandley to Little Leigh. 

The Lord of the Manor - photo by AO

The drizzle was not too bad, and we were nearly home, when Andy thought Alan, who had stopped in a field for a comfort break a little earlier, was behind us. Andy, to his credit, went back downhill to look for him, but then Steve and myself waited, and phoned Andy without reply. It turned out that Alan was ahead! A bit of a chaotic end then.  I blame the ride leader! 

Dave Pipe was correct in saying that we need to stay closer together. We should also have our mobiles turned on in case an unintendedly adrift rider has had an accident or becomes ill. Anyway, as we are not culturally old-fashioned CTC riders, there was nobody to admonish us and make us feel bad. We just need to self-correct for the future.

Andy finished up in the cafe at Delamere with coffee and cake before cycling back to Mold. Everyone seemed happy with the ride. The distance of forty-two miles was about right, including for the tandem, and overall the weather was much better than expected. As ever we all enjoyed the company.

See route map and/or gpx file download



Thursday 16 March 2023

16th March 2023 : Wrenbury (brisk)

It always feels a long way out to Delamere from home. I met Jim and Trevor on the Delamere Forest leg and pushed on to the cafe at 15 miles. Not as far as some come – but enough first thing in the morning. Ken was already in the cafe and quite soon a goodly number of riders were ensconced in the warm cafe environment.

There was just Ken and I to represent the “Fast Lads” as others were doing their own thing or away skiing. Ken had cobbled together a route as I had done and both going broadly north south to mitigate the southerly wind on the return trip. We agreed to head for Whitchurch on my route and when at Wrenbury, evaluate whether to continue on or cut to a cafe.

So south we went to Cotebrook, Eaton and onto Barbridge. Here we take the A51 for a short distance before sliding left and over the canal to eventually join the Wettenhall to Nantwich road in all its pock-marked glory. At the busy Burford Crossroads, we head south towards Ravensmoor down Ravens Lane which was in a really poor state. We take the long way round to Sound and into Wrenbury.

This was the cross-over point for my original ride, and we have decisions to make now: a) carry on down to Whitchurch or b) cut that loop out thus saving 9 miles. As the sky as looking decidedly black south of us we decide to cut out the loop. The second decision was of Shakespearian proportions : “To B or not To B?” Aficionados of these blogs will know that “B” stands for Bhurtpore Inn. We decide to check out No.18 The Park and if it is not busy, to lunch there instead. Despite the car park being quite full, the cafe has a lot of tables free – so it was decided to lunch here.

Food at No.18 The Park

You are always assured of good food here and so it was today. Ken suggested that we use the return section of his route back to Kelsall and so we set off just as the rain starts – only lightly, but still really wet roads now. We head for Bunbury down familiar lanes and out round the east of Tarporley sliding past Eaton again. 

As Ken had driven over today, he kindly offers to give me a car-assist back to the outskirts of Chester. I’m definitely up for this as the rain comes and goes – the price for this offer was the climb out of Cotebrook and up Heaths Lane to where he had parked his car.

So Ken drops me near Hoole roundabout where the last few miles to home are enjoyed in a heavy fine rain and I arrive home with 59 miles ridden whereas Ken would have managed about 45 today. So a joint effort on piloting today cycling in a relaxed mode, and the correct decision being made to stop and enjoy lunch at The Park.


Photo ex The Park website

Wednesday 15 March 2023

9th March 2023: Clotton (mod)

 I was driving to Chester on the M56 for a last minute dental appointment, and reflecting on the appalling conditions for any outdoor activity. It was wet, with sleet sweeping across the landscape and very cold. More of the same was expected all day, Nevertheless, Matt and Dave Matthews turned up at Meadow Lea, and in the intrepid spirit of Chester Easy Riders, one of them was daft enough to undertake a short ride. So it was that Matt on a recumbent trike had a semi tobogganing short ride in the area. Evidently he met Ivan walking his dog on the Greenway, and Ivan told him that he must have been mad! Thanks for the photos Matt, they almost make it look pleasant.



Photos by Matt Thurlow

See route map and/or gpx download

Friday 3 March 2023

2nd March 2023: Whitchurch (mod)

Six mod riders turned up at Alison’s in Tattenhall - David M, Andy, Ray, Dave P, Neil and myself. I had a route to Whitchurch, so we set off into a grey and cool morning. 

Our route ran through Clutton, Tilston and Threapwood.  David M was only riding partway with us, and here we left him. We continued through Tallarn Green to Whitewell and Fenn’s Bank. Here we met our only problem on the ride.  Andy’s front wheel had clipped a sharp edged stone which had torn open a slit on the tyre. We gathered round and between us found a tyre boot, and were relatively quickly on our way. Unfortunately to stop on an already cool day had chilled us and we were keen to press on to our lunch stop.

We entered Whitchurch on the Alkington Road and rode round by the church to the Black Bear, one of our regular haunts. We usually leave our bikes in the yard at the back, but today the gates were locked. We asked at the bar and they were soon opened, and we were ushered into the best table in the pub - which meant next to the open fire! The pub had changed hands since my last visit. It’s now owned by Jerry Brunning, ex of Brunning and Price, who also owns The Swan in Marbury, and more recently The Hare in Farndon. There were some small signs of the change of ownership, but the service, food and drink remained excellent.

Our lunch had warmed us up, and the weather had taken a turn for the better when we left.  The grey skies had cleared to blue and sunlight brightened the afternoon. We left Whitchurch and climbed the hill to Wirswall. We paused on the edge of the escarpment for a photo opportunity, looking down on the sunlit plain with Marbury Church, Big Mere and Quoisley Meres all before us. A downhill dash led on to Bickley Moss and Cholmondley Deer Park, although no deer were in view, there were some fine looking longhorn cattle.

Photos by RB & SH

We passed by Bickerton Church and left Neil to make his climb up to Harthill, while the rest of us rode through Brown Knowl and took the easier gradient by Bolesworth Castle.  On our way we had an enforced stop and watched a procession of dairy cattle making the way to their milking parlour. Soon we were back in Tattenhall with 37 miles completed and looking back on a good day out. 

See route map and/or gpx file download