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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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Friday 24 May 2024

23rd May 2024: Whixall (mod+)

The weather had been awful over the last couple of days and it was still raining as we drove down to Alison’s. Dave H had even thought of ringing me up to cancel as it was so bad. So, it wasn’t a great surprise when only five CER members arrived at the café – Dave H, Steves T and Hu, Alan and George.

Earlier in the week, before the weather had turned bad, I’d planned a ride down to The Sun Inn at Welshampton. Today the forecast for southern Cheshire and Shropshire suggested that the rain might subside, which it had as we took to our bikes. That left the concern about muddy or flooded roads for us to consider. Dave and George decided to head for Wrenbury and 18 The Park, so that left the two Steves and Alan for the ride to Welshampton.

We set off climbing towards Harthill, but turned right to make for Brown Knowl.  Pausing to catch our breath at the entrance to Broxton Old Hall (the residence of ‘Mr Iceland’), I was already getting complaints from my compatriots about how much climbing we were doing. At least we now had the run downhill to Hampton Heath and on to No Man’s Heath. Here we crossed the A41, passing through Bickleywood to re-cross the A41 to head into Bradley Green.

By this time the sun was peeping through the clouds and, to our surprise, the roads were largely dry and clean. We made for Higher Wych and Iscoyd Park, where we came across a small section of flooded road which we navigated without difficulty.

Crossing the A525 we paused at the other side. Steve and Alan asked if we could shorten the ride as Steve wasn’t feeling 100% and Alan was having some problems with his front mech and couldn’t get his chain on the big ring. So, we decided to stop for lunch at Whixall Marina and to figure out a route back from there. Continuing past Fenn’s Bank and Welsh End we soon arrived at Whixhall Marina where we were quickly served with a good lunch at a very reasonable price. After lunch Alan was able to fix his gear issue.

Our plan was to use the ‘Take me to’ feature of Steve Hu’s Wahoo computer to find a short route back to Tattenhall. However, the route that was offered seemed to be a combination of a canal bank and a very long stretch along the A41, which none of us fancied. In the absence of an alternative and missing Dave H’s ‘paper Garmin’ to be able to find one, we decided to use another option on the Wahoo which reversed the todays route. This was successfully achieved, so we set off for Tattenhall re-tracing the route we had followed in the morning.

To our surprise there seemed to be plenty of hills to get up; you never seem to notice them as you fly down them. The ride back was fairly uneventful, although we did have to pause for a photo at Higher Wych and also to adjust my gears as I was finding problems getting back onto the big ring.

Photo by AO

We arrived back a Tattenhall about ten minutes after Dave, so the timing was near perfect. 44 miles covered on a day when the weather turned out to be far better then we’d expected. As usual, we were glad that we’d made the effort.

See route map and/or gpx file download


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