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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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Monday 20 May 2024

16th May 2024: West Kirby (mod)

Despite a bad weather forecast for mid-afternoon there was a decent turnout at Ness. The sky had been blue and promising on the way to the venue, and the temperature was ideal for cycling. In order to save time this week, Steves Hughes and Tan were doing static warm up preparations using a MadMuscles App and café chairs.

Dave Matthews had cycled all the way from Oscroft for our meet, so not surprisingly was returning home. Trevor also was riding back but accompanied us for some miles; both, no doubt, had the threatened wet afternoon in mind. So, the slow group initially consisted of just Big Ray and myself, but Mike Gilbert changed his plans and kindly accompanied us in case of a likely attempted homicide. Mike was a valuable guy to have along, as he is the only one who had framed parchment orienteering certificates on his wall at home and could map read effectively as well as follow routes on a Garmin. Ray actually knows The Wirral well, so his subsequent bits of advice at rural junctions he no doubt felt were useful. It would have been more useful if he had led the ride and written it up! As I told him on the route, It was good to have an intelligent lieutenant at my shoulder, but Steve Hughes was with the other group.  

We gave the coastal route from Eastham to New Brighton a miss, and I thought we could have lunch in Hoylake at a venue perhaps recommended by “local boy” Ray. We set off on roughly the same route as a few weeks ago: through Burton, Oaks Farm,and around Willaston to Raby. Our intended route from Brimstage to Storeton was not possible as a big bruiser of a concrete lorry forewarned. We turned west to Heswall, and at Irby Hill skirted Royden Park and swooped through wealthy Greasby and into West Kirby. The possibility of rain had looked threatening from early doors, but it was not cold or windy and the countryside had looked attractively lush where we had managed to stick to back lanes. Mike had resisted an early stop at The Farmers Arms, but roaming around Hoylake for a lunch venue was a stretch too far if we were to avoid the worst  of the expected rain. Ray had fancied the café on the front a few weeks ago, but we gave it a miss as it was likely to be too busy in such a prime place. This time we gave it a go, and turned into the park on Banks Road, entering just before a group of old codgers even slower moving than ourselves. The service was excellent and the food was fine, but we only just made it, as the tables soon became full. As we left Mike pointed out the plants that had been ruined by seawater in heavy flooding just a few weeks ago. As widely televised, despite the fancy new sea defences Tanskey’s Bistro was flooded, and basement stock ruined. They have made an admirable new start.

It was spitting with rain from the moment we unlocked our bikes for the return ride. As we pressed on towards Neston on the Wirral Way the rain increased, as I unsuccessfully tried to avoid the mud from Ray’s back wheel. Mike set a strong pace at the front. Views across the Dee were blotted out by grey cloud down to river level. However, we were back to the Ness Garden’s Car Park in about fifty minutes and not too wet. Steve Tan, Alan and Steve Hughes arrived shortly after, as the rain stepped up to another level. Mike had already set off for Wales, and I hope Alan and Steve didn’t have too miserable a ride back.  Us “mods” had only covered thirty two miles, but as usual were glad we had made the effort.


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