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.

Thursday 29 June 2023

29th June 2023 : Llandegla (Mod+)

The start point for today was the Gallery Cafe in Hawarden, and this would be the first time I had been here since the change of ownership. Access was still allowed via the kitchen and the internal cafe configuration had been changed around a little. With a warm welcome from the staff, it was essentially the same as when Spiros was there.

Only a small group of CER members today though – Dave M, Trevor, and Andy W – who were all out for the ride over and back – with Alan and Steve Hu (in civvies). So just two of us then for a ride. Ken had contacted me to say that he was hoping to be out if the builder arrived and left promptly that morning. I messaged Ken to say that Alan had a ride to the community cafe in Llandegla village; then Ken advised he would would be able to make his way there as well.

So Alan led me out via the usual way to Northop and thence to Sychdyn where we take the drop down via Blackbrook Lane. A left and a right finds us at the bottom of the innocuously looking Gwernaffield Road where there is a 2.5 mile long uphill section. Turning left into Cadole Road, we eventually end up close to Loggerheads. 

A pleasant cycle along this smooth main road takes us left towards Llanarmon yn Lal. Alan’s route would have taken a back road into it, but I persuaded him to take the main road to enter via the old castle. This castle, nestling on a tree covered rocky outcrop, is called “Tomen y Faerdre”  See link here.

Entering Llanarmon via The Raven pub and fine church, who should we espy but Ken, who had arrived a few minutes earlier – immaculate timing. We set off from outside the community shop for the four mile haul up towards Llandegla village. The Llandegla community shop and cafe is a real find (we have been there several times before) and as it is barely 1230, the cafe is not busy so the good food comes quickly.

Taken by a helpful local
Leaving before 1300, we retrace our route back through Llanarmon then turning right and “all up hill now” (according to Ken) bound for Ffrith. The steep down section to Llanfynydd was very pleasant but not so the climb out into Cymau. Alan was dropping off somewhere around here as we three drop down into Hope. So as we don’t need to get back to Hawarden, Ken and I head for Kinnerton with the fast run down into the Higher Kinnerton. Ken turns off right towards Rossett and I continue to Saltney Ferry.

So thanks to Alan for recycling an old route which took us on very quiet roads. It was about 38 miles all round and 3000ft of climb so enough really today. It wasn’t as warm as I had expected but thankfully no rain today.

See route map and/or gpx file download


Friday 23 June 2023

22nd June 2023: Tour de Runcorn - Ferrybridge (mod 2)

A good number of CER members gathered at Delamere Station Café on a warm if humid summers day. Steve Haywood, back from bagging Munros had a ride planned to The Dog at Over Peover, but I had been waiting for a dry period to coincide with the start from Delamere to be able to offer a ‘Tour de Runcorn’. This is because part of the route goes along the Trans Pennine Trail, which can be muddy when the weather has been wet. Steve Hu and Alan were keen to join me, as this isn’t part of their usual stomping ground. Clive agreed to join as the plan was for the ride to be at a ‘mod+’ rate, which put Dave H off. 

So, the four of us set off towards Hatchmere bound for Norley, Acton Bridge and Dones Green, where we crossed the A49. This took us up Marsh Lane to join Higher Lane and then Morphany Lane. Here, we stopped briefly to look around the site of the old vicarage where Charles Ludwig Dodgson, alias Lewis Carroll, was born when his father was the vicar of Daresbury. 


Photo by Steve Hu

From here, we went on through the village of Daresbury, crossing the A56 to pass through the Daresbury Science Park, which is now very extensive. It was originally a nuclear science lab where a 35 MeV Van de Graff generator was built in the early 1970s.

Taking the back lanes through Moore, we eventually hit the A56 just outside Warrington, crossing the River Mersey there. From here, we wiggled through a number of lanes and tracks, emerging next to the St Helens canal and the Trans Pennine Trail. A short run down the cinder track found us at The Ferry Tavern at the side of the muddy River Mersey (it was nearly low tide).

Lunch offerings here are limited to pies of various sorts, sausage rolls (both with or without brown or red sauce!), crisps and beer – not somewhere that’s going to be added to our list of preferred lunch stops. Nevertheless, we were reasonably fed.


Photo by AO

Continuing along the TPT, we soon arrived in Widnes at Spike Island, an artificial island between the St Helens canal and the River Mersey. From here we threaded our way through the streets of the ‘west bank’ and found our way on to the Jubilee Bridge to cross the river. The bridge is currently closed to traffic during the week as work is being carried out, but cyclist and pedestrians are allowed across. 

Reaching Runcorn, we followed Moughland Lane up past the cenotaph and round past Weston Village before joining the cycleway running through Beechwood to Wood Lane where we could join the busy A56 heading towards Frodsham. As we reached the swing bridge at Sutton Causeway, Clive offered to lead the rest of the ride back to Delamere as we had only just passed my house. Since this meant that I would not have to ride up the hill out of Frodsham, I readily agreed. The route back would take them up though Frodsham, past the outskirts of Kingsley to Hatchmere and Delamere.

About 40 miles covered on a very sunny and warm day. Thanks to Clive for taking over the last 7 miles and to Steve Hu and Alan for their company.


See route map an/or gpx file download

22nd June 2023: Peover Heath (mod 1)

A modest number of Easy Riders gathered in the sunshine outside Delamere Station Cafe. Not riding out were David M and Peter.  He’s gradually increasing the length of his rides as he recovers and had travelled over 30 miles to get to Delamere. Two rides were proposed. Steve T was offering the delights of Runcorn and set off with those keen to discover more.  I was tempted by The Dog at Peover Heath and led out Matt the Trike, Dave H and George. 

The route was a fairly familiar one - out via Acton Bridge and Comberbach, through Pickmere and Plumley, crossing the A50 and the A537, before looping back through Marthall to arrive at our destination.  Along the way, after we’d crossed the Trent and Mersey Canal, I passed a group of cyclists wearing the yellow Chester and North Wales CTC jerseys. I came to the next junction and waited for the rest to catch up.  After some time I retraced my steps and found that they had recognised Glenys and stopped for a chat. After we moved on we were grateful for the cooling breeze our movement generated on an otherwise fairly still day. Many on the villages we passed had bunting displayed as their annual fetes were coming up.

The Dog was welcoming as usual and we chose to sit outside under a large awning to keep the sun off. We chose from the lite bites menu and the food very quickly arrived - the service here is excellent. As we ate we chatted. We talked about the nicknames we had started to use for some members (Ever Ready Ray, Matt the Trike), about the missing Titanic tour submarine, and many more matters before it was time to move on.

We headed south towards Goostrey, passing the bridleway that George and I once took as a shortcut on the same route. George’s opinion was “never again”. Through Goostrey we turned north by the Trading Post, a useful cyclists stop for takeaway drinks and food. We shortly passed Glenys and her group travelling in the opposite direction. We crossed the M6 and passed through Lach Dennis when Dave suggested a stop at Riverside Organics for an ice cream - just the ticket on a hot day, and a pleasant backdrop for a photo.

Photo by Matt

From Davenham we crossed the A556 and passed through Hartford, the traffic getting heavy as school closing time was upon us. We crossed the A49 and for a change followed the length of Cuddington Lane. I’d forgotten how steep the climb here was, but we made it to the top and continued to the Forest View Inn. From Gallowsclough Lane, with some trepidation, we took the track through Delamere Forest. I was soon proved wrong in saying there would be no mud, but there wasn’t much, and we covered some rough stony ground before emerging opposite Blakemere Moss. Here George and Matt turned right to head back homewards, while Dave and I turned left to get back to the Station Cafe. 

We had covered a little short of 50 miles.  Although the sun was hot, the weather was pleasant if we kept moving, our stops excellent and the company great. A good ride to mark roughly ten years since I retired took up cycling and joined CER. 

See route map an/or gpx file download


Friday 16 June 2023

15th June 2023: Chirk to Loppington

 There was an excellent turnout of CER members today at Chirk. This venue can be a bit Marmite. Like today we can have a good turnout , other weeks only three or four hardy riders tackle this far flung start point.

 Todays group consisted of Dave M, Dave H, Andy B, Steve T , Steve Hu, Dave P, Alan, Matt the Trike, Clive and Neil T. Whilst we sat at the Castle Bistro there was a decision to be made as to where to ride to on this fine sunny day?

 A consensus was reached on Steve T’s ride to Loppington, which, coincidentally, we did one year ago this very week on a similar hot day.

 As we shared the route across various devices, Neil T arrived, doing an admirable impression of the “Incredible Melting Man”. He had tales to tell of a tortuous 33 miles with climbs equalling the ascent of the north face of the Eiger. LOL

 Once we rounded everyone up, Dave M decided to do his own route back and Neil drank his body weight in fresh tea. So it was, the mighty eight set off and plunged down Castle Road.

 Any speed and enthusiasm was quickly erased by the crossing of the river at Pontfaen and the subsequent 16% climb up to Weston Rhyn. All quickly assembled at the top we set off through the pleasant lanes towards Maesbury. Steve T’s route was excellent and succesfully exploited the great network of lanes we have in the Chirk area.

 The lanes continued on towards Eardiston , only stopping to comment on Steve T’s nemesis road to Shotatton.(The less said about that, the better - ST)

 At Stanwardine in the Fields we had a decision to make, as it was now 12:30; a combination of a late start and gentle bimbling had resulted in our lunch venue still being 20 miles away and a quick phone call advised us the kitchens would close in 90 mins. Armed with the options of a Tour de France Peloton for 20 miles or a short cut , we opted for the short cut.

 Paper Garmin Heath came up trumps again , despite shouting instructions such as “next left but keep bearing right!”. Clive, Steve H and Alan led the charge through Burlton into Loppington for lunch.

Lunch at The Dickin Arms

Following our Al Fresco lunch we turned right in front of Granvilles and headed towards English Frankton on Crosmere Road. Cockshut, Lee and Tetchill came and went on a glorious roller coaster of leafy lanes and fields spreading out on both sides of the road. The only sounds were the occasional buzz of Police helicopters , who seem to use this area for touch down and take off training.

 Just out of Welsh Frankton Dave H had a cunning plan to avoid the busy B road into St Martins. Steve Hu passed the baton of leadership to Dave H and for three quarters of a mile we enjoyed his sterling leadership, until a tree blocked our way, see photo. 

No way through here!

Plan A was re-enacted and the B road whisked part of the group back to Chirk, the remainder taking a short cut.

 An excellent day, thanks to Steve T for the route, 41 miles with 2000 ft of climbing, not too shabby on a day when temperatures were regularly hitting 28/29 Deg C. Matt T rode to the venue so would be on for a decent 99.37 miles.


Thursday 8 June 2023

8th June 2023: Whixall Marina (mod)

 There was another fine day in prospect as we sat supping coffee at Alison's early doors. Nick was the only fast rider, and was going to do his own brisk spin. The moderates were Dave Matthews, Steve Tan, George, Andy Barber, Ray, Dave Pipe, Alan, Neil and myself. Ray had a piece of cake with a candle on for my upcoming birthday, which was very kind of him; I saved it for when I got home, and it was lip smackingly good! Neil had a plan, but most preferred to travel further out from Chester. So it was, that Steve Tan's pick of a route, lifted from the archives, was accepted. The intended destination was Welshampton. I thought that it went a long way west and east before turning toward Welshampton. I resisted trying to impose my “less is more” philosophy, as not everybody wants to align themselves with my lack of mileage aspiration. George, in particular, was keen to use the session as training for his upcoming Bert Bailey100.

The first test for those needing to take care of their hearts, was grinding straight up Harthill! We missed a left turn, which gave us a bit of the A534 to dispatch in order to get back on course, to the east of Bickerton Hill. From here, it was all straightforward progress to Wrenbury via Cholmondeley Castle. Steve did ask whether I wanted to change the route at this stage, but I couldn't see any any obvious short cut now, apart from one that would probably have us getting lost in Whitchurch's one-way system. We had a few hairy miles on the A525, complete with road works and a horn blaring nutter car driver, despite us being in single file. It was a relief to cut off to Ash Magna and The Raven by way of back lanes. Back in the day of widespread coach journeys and 'chara' outings, The Raven Hotel at Prees Heath was a famous watering hole, and a place to make connections for onward journeys, being at the junction of the A49 and A41. At Tilstock, as we were hot and hungry, I was delighted that Whixall Marina was being considered as an attractive destination substantially nearer than the Sun Inn. It was smashing sitting out at the marina having a chat and a laugh. The nicest waitress of the year took our photograph. It would have looked better on the blog if Ray had taken the photo and the waitress had been in the picture. 

Photo by 'waitress of the year'

I led home via a direct route including Jacoyd Park, Higher Wych, the dreaded Malpas, and Tilston. We were just in time for a nice last break for coffee at the Lost Barn, At Stretton we turned down past the Mill, before Dave Pipe led us through Neil's beloved golf course at Carden Park, which did look a picture in the beautiful weather. Our last leg back was by way of Coddington and Chowley. On reaching Tattenhall we had covered nearly forty-nine sun-drenched miles.


Sunday 4 June 2023

1st June 2023: New Brighton (mod)

Ten Easy Riders turned up at Ness Botanic Gardens café, but not all would join today’s ride. Neil had already ridden 25 miles to get here and was meeting his mother-in-law for lunch at the Bluebell Café; Dave M was going home to mow his lawn with his new battery powered Makita and Duracell Jim was doing his own thing, revelling in climbing hills using battery power.

That left the Magnificent Seven (Dave H, Andy, Alan, Ever Ready Ray, George, Matt the Trike and Steve T) to set off on an anti-clockwise tour of the Wirral. We got onto the Wirral Way via the half mile railway cutting at the edge of Neston. Whilst the sun was warm, in the shade of the cutting it was quite chilly, so we were pleased when we emerged into the sunshine and stopped for a comfort break and a photo at Hadlow Road station.

Photo by AO

We left the Wirral Way just after Willaston and followed the lanes through Childer Thornton and Eastham Woods Country Park. 

Photo by ST

A little diversion suggested by Alan took us through the soap works at Port Sunlight before we wiggled left and right through housing estates and along the river side, eventually arriving at Birkenhead Priory, close by Woodside Ferry.  Weaving around the ferry station, we keep close to the water with wonderful views across the Mersey to Liverpool, where a group photo opportunity was taken, courtesy of a passer-by.

Photo by CER

We emerged by the swing bridge and onto the prom at Seacombe Ferry. It was then a pleasant run to New Brighton and our planned lunch venue, the Seaside Café. Although the café was very busy, we found a table outside without a problem and lunches were soon ordered. It’s worth noting that the café only takes cash, something that limited George’s repast and also forced Matt to head off to Mackie D’s.

The route back is familiar to all and we’re soon threading our way between walkers, dogs and children along the maritime cycle path to Meols and Hoylake, where we take the cycleway alongside the railway and then re-join the Wirral Way. Somewhere around here, Matt left us as he had to take a phone call. By now the sun is quite intense and the track is very dusty with plenty of pedestrians, dogs and children to contend with. Arriving at Neston, we had planned to ride through the town, but were advised against this by a local who told us that there was a parade taking place in the town to celebrate Neston Ladies Day. This is the highlight of the year for the Neston Female Society, which was founded in 1814 and is the only surviving female society of this type in the country. Each June, they march under their banner bearing the motto ‘Bear Ye One Another’s Burdens’.

About 39 miles covered on a warm summer’s day in excellent company. Special thanks to Alan for leading the ride after I had a ‘tech prob’ with my bike computer.

See route map and/or gpx file download