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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 3 May 2024

2nd May 2024: Beeston (mod)

Rose Farm was the cafe of choice this week and only my second ride in 3 weeks, due to the lurgy that seems to have affected half of the population. Suffice it to say I turned up to be sociable and to ride a lone, easy meander. However DH had other intentions - Lol. My short local meander, taking in some of the best local land marks, appealed to more than DH. And so, I gained  7 followers, who managed to follow me all the way home - Lol. The 7 were  DH, Roy, Ray 1 & Ray 2, Mike G, Mike D (he’s the one with the shirt on his head in the photo- Lol. I think he was doing magic tricks, entertaining the others on his table- Lol). DM was also in the group, but he left us early, somewhere around Bunbury.

Anyway, we set off left out of Rose Farm and straight into my first meander, which was to avoid the usual nasty little climb toward Tarporley by taking Fishers Green & Ridge Hill. No sooner back on Ukington Road, we turn left up Heath Green and  my 2nd meander. This well know CER short cut not only circumvents Tarporley, which I hate, but also gets us across the A49 and quickly on to the more interesting lanes. At McDonald Portal golf club we turn left toward Eaton and a nice little descent. Barely a mile or 2 under our belts and we are already passing Drays cafe, which I point out to Roy, which became a common theme-Lol. That reminds me; I was informed, by a Bunbury resident, who I was chatting to only hours after completing the London Marathon, that Tilly’s has been sold. However, it will reopen somewhere near the Co-Op- apparently!

We are soon on one of my favourite lanes, after skirting Oulton Park, which even if you didn’t know the lanes, you would have known where you were from the noise coming from the race track ( I believe it was practice for the British Superbike event over the coming bank holiday) The scream of the super bikes was diminishing fast, due to the very light headwind, as we track slightly upwards toward Bunbury on ‘The Hall Lane’ ( what a crap name) Anyway, you get a fabulous view of the comtryside through here, as the lanes are  very exposed, with no hedgerows. After a couple of miles we are descending down into our first photo opportunity at my all time favourite canal lock ( Tilston Fearnell.) I make no excuse for leading the group here again, as it is a gem of a spot, that most of us know, not just because of the scenic canal spot, but also because of the lanes that lead in and out. After a quick team photo ( included) we are soon in Bunbury, although not via the usual route. I take the group on another meander through a lovely little lane that brings us into the back of Bunbury. Not a lane that most cycling clubs are aware off and not one for winter. Even DH was unfamiliar, prompting him to ask where we were.

We exit Bunbury via Peckforton Hill Lane, as I wanted to get another group pic at the entrance to the stunning Peckforton Castle. I did suggest climbing up to the castle, for a quick look, as most people in the group have not seen it before. However, time was against us, as I knew we had to make the cafe before the lunch time rush. The castle is really worth a look and is a stunning luxury experience, especially if you stop over night and dine at their  triple A restaurant. The castle is not in fact genuine, despite its glorious facade. It was in fact built as a home by John Tollemache, who bought the 36,000 acres and became Lord of the manner, after he was made a peer of the realm for his services to agriculture. Many of the cottages in the surrounding area were in fact built by him for his workers, apparently more than 200. Most of that land is now part of the Bolsworth estate.

Anyway, back to our ride- Lol. It was only a mile later when we stopped again for another photo (Beeston Castle this time-Lol)

We now follow the lane around Beeston mount and turn right toward the ‘Shady’ pub, on the canal bank. 300 mtrs later we turn right towards the quaint village of Tiverton and our destination, now only a mile away. After a quick 300mtr descent on the A49, we arrive at the Lock Gate cafe and grab the remaining two outside tables. If there was any doubt as to the temperature going up, my Garmin was showing 36 degrees, although it was sat in the sun- Lol. Some of our food orders were a touch on the slow side but all very good though. I’m guessing Mike’s meal was one of the slowest, which might explain why he was doing party tricks- Lol.

There was so much conversation on our table that I have forgotten most of it, although I do remember Ray getting all sentimental about his beloved 18 year old BMW, despite the rusty wings- Lol. It was difficult to drag ourselves away from the cafe, due to the sun and scenery. However, after cracking the whip, we get moving, not before we all drool over the gorgeous Aston Martin Vantage parked by our bikes.

We set off in the opposite direction to our arrival and after a few hundred mtrs turn right up Beaston hill (that’s what I call it) Bit of a kicker straight out of the gate, but short. Only a mile or so later and we are swinging up past Beaston castle again, but the other way this time and heading for the Ice cream farm at Tattenhall ( a blast from the past) That reminds me. On my arrival home, I was sat out side the front of my place and got chatting to a dog walker, who happens to live on a barge in Tattenhall Marina. Anyway she informed me that the Marina cafe is finally open again, but not everyday at the moment ( Second time in a week that I chat to a stranger and learn something about a local cafe- Lol). 1 kilometre further on and I depart my little group, at the crossroads. Home for me was just 2 miles away and so I set the guys off in the general direction of Huxley and the optional routes to Rose farm from there on. DH was confident he could find there way- Lol.

As usual a pleasant ride and one of the shortest I have lead. I got home with 40 miles on the Garmin and I imagine the rest of my merry band of men got back to Rose Farm with a similar total, depending on DH’s maps- Lol.

What a lovely day, some cracking lanes and scenery along with great company, as usual. It was nice to see Mike D, after a lengthy hiatus away from CER. He was telling me that he had lost his Mo- Jo, but he’s found it again now ( I guess it was in his garage- Lol) We were blessed with the sun and low winds today, not to mention no mechanicals or punctures, although Roy did manage to snap one of his laces, during lunch, which he had to then cobble a repair- Lol.

Till next time gents.


Photos by Neil T

1 comment:

  1. a distinctively "Neil route": lots of wending around on close by little lanes with some steep banks thrown in for a bit of spice. It was relatively short (not much over thirty miles Mike Dodd and I guesstimated), but very scenic, sociable and perfectly led. Neil's familiarity with seldom ridden little lanes created a relaxed atmosphere. The lunch venue was a great choice, and the fine weather was the cherry on the cake.