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.

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Friday 31 May 2024

30th May 2024: Loppington (Mod+)

The weather first thing was awful and, given the strong north-westerly forecast for the day, it wasn’t surprising that only five members appeared at the Castle Bistro in Chirk. I’d planned a mod+ ride down to The Dickin Arms at Loppington; by coincidence Dave H had also planned to go there, but at a more leisurely pace. The mod+ group would comprise myself, Alan and Steve Hu, whereas Dave would be chaperoned by Keith, now returned from sojourns in Spain and Las Vegas.

It was dry but cool as the three musketeers sallied forth from Chirk, taking an outward route which took us towards the A5 roundabout, but turning right at The Poacher to pass through Chirk Bank before reaching Weston Rhyn. From there the conventional route was followed towards Oswestry, but along the way, we had to negotiate passage past a ‘Road Closed’ sign near Upper Hengoed. It was quite easy to wake up the guys who were ‘guarding’ the road from inside their truck and they let us through without any problem.

Weaving our way through Oswestry town, we were soon on Weston Lane, which popped us out near the Mile Oak industrial estate, where we crossed the A483. We were now on Maesbury Road with the wind behind us, so we flew through Maesbury and Maesbury Marsh trying to catch up with Steve 'Filippo Ganna' Hughes who had clearly recovered from his issues of last week.

The lanes through Wykey and Western Lullingfields were dry, smooth  and mostly traffic free. The occasional steep climb reminded us that this part of Shropshire is not The Cheshire Plain. Emerging onto the B-road at Marton, we followed it through Burlton, arriving at The Dickin Arms about 12.30.

Just as we were securing our bikes outside, Dave H and Keith arrived having taken a shorter route (or maybe the X43 bus?). All five of us were ushered to a table inside and food and drinks were soon ordered. As usual, the food (lamb tagines, steaks and beefburger) were excellent, although they did take a while to appear as the pub was busy.

Pausing outside St Michael and All Angels church for a photo, we set off back. By now the sun had come out and it was pleasantly warm as we made our way through English Frankton and Tetchill, although we now had the strong north-westerly in our faces as we went along, which made progress slower than our pace before lunch.

Crossing the A495 just outside Ellesmere, we made our way through the beautiful Shropshire countryside towards St. Martins and thence to the busy roundabout at the A5. On reaching The Poacher pub we diverted to pick up the tow path along the Llangollen Canal to avoid the steep climb into Chirk, arriving there at about 3.20. Steve and Alan headed off home while I waited at the café for Dave and Keith.

42 miles covered on a day which started with little promise, but delivered an excellent ride and great company.


See route map and/or gpx file download

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