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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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Thursday 2 May 2024

2nd May 2024 : Bradfield Green (brisk)

At last - a warm, dry, sunny day with light winds. When was the last time we had one of these - I can’t actually remember!

At Rose Farm cafe there were a few riders already there as I arrived after the 14 mile ride out. As I arrived, I noticed Dave M looking at a Tiguan which had been “assaulted” by a large motor-home when it’s driver had attempted to squeeze passed the Tiguan to park near the car washing station. It looked to be an expensive day for the motor home driver, especially as he hadn’t realised what damage he had inflicted on the Tiguan and even more on his newish motor home.   

More riders arrived so there were four of us up for my 47 miler brisk ride to Sandbach. Well that was the original route which I had now reversed so that Nick and Shane could  drop off later in the day back towards Tilston. This meant that a Sandbach lunch stop was too early so I had espied Minshull’s Garden Centre cafe at Bradwell Green as the now preferred option. If this was heaving, then the nearby "Coach and Horses" would be a back stop.

So Alan, Nick and Shane were the trio following the route today. Steve H had just returned from his NY holiday and picked up something nasty in NY or on the plane back. Ken was busy elsewhere, and Ivan was in South Wales, whilst Ray S was just out and back for a gentle ride whilst nursing an injury. So we set off conventionally down the newly-laid tarmac on the hill outside Rose Farm and onwards to Oulton Park motor circuit where we turn left to ride through Little Budworth Country Park. Clay Lane brings us to the largely dry Whitegate Way which we ride turning off on a recently re-gravelled Grange Lane into the centre of Winsford.   

Winsford has to be borne unfortunately, as we move through to Clive Green with Coalpit Lane bringing us into the top of Middlewich. Once again acres of housing and speed bumps, plus nearly being mown down by a speeding mini-motor bike, is needed to get us into open countryside via Cledford Lane. A right at the T -junction takes us down a quiet and long Bradwall Lane to Hollings Green and thence into the market square of Sandbach itself. We look longingly at the George Inn, where we have had many a quick Spoons lunch, but we haven’t cycled far enough for lunch yet, so pass it by and out to Malkins Bank via Hassall Road.

We stop briefly at the canal basin at Malkins Bank where an ancient relative of ID once lived in the row of white-painted canal-side cottages. It’s warm and sunny and our resident photographer obliges us with a couple of snaps.

Today's peloton

At Malkins Bank

Onwards now we are through Hassall passing Wheelock Heath by emerging at Winterley and its shimmering pool. Skirting around the East to the North West of Crewe, we try to take the usually quiet Moss Lane - but No! - a definite “Road Closed" sign is evident and especially closed to cyclists and pedestrians. So a quick re-route soon finds us skirting the ever-expanding Leighton Hospital to Bradwell Green and Minshull's Garden Centre after 32 warm miles.

I expected the cafe to busy and had tried to call and book a table, but no bookings are now taken and no one answered the phone! As the car-park is packed, I go in to negotiate a table for four and fortunately we are quickly accommodated by helpful staff. We ordered up and the welcome repast soon arrives. It all looked good and was reasonably priced.

The good news about having had lunch here is that it is only 15 miles back to base! So riding well-known lanes, we head back for Alpraham via Church Minshull and Cholmondeston where Shane and Nick branch off bound for Tilston and Stretton. Alan and I head now for Eaton. Alan remarks that the air temp is now 25C according to his Garmin - and I am prepared to believe him today. We both go back to Rose Farm at about 1500 where we take a coffee in the sunshine and note that the mod group must have got back evener earlier as Dave H's car is not evident in the car park.

So I ride back to Chester and Alan drives home to sunny Wales. It's 47 miles around for Alan, mid-60's for Shane and Nick and mid 70's mileage for me. I was somewhat tired when I reached home - our speed was modest at 15.7mph but I was unaccustomed to the heat! It was an enjoyable ride as we all kept together in a tight group making for an easier ride all round. 

See route map and/or gpx file download


Photos AO

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