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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 21 June 2024

20th June 2024: Audlem Marina (mod+)

There was a good turnout of CER members at Rose Farm café. It was especially good to see Steve Haywood, who had cycled from home to join us for coffee. He’s making slow but steady progress and hopes to join us again for coffee the next time that we’re on this side of Chester.

I’d planned a mod+ ride down to Audlem Marina (or Overwater Marina, Touring Park and Glamping, to give it its official but lengthy title). My companions for the day would be Steve Hu, Shane, Neil and (once he’d scoffed his scone, jam and cream breakfast), Alan.

Turning left out of the car park, we ran down the now smooth hill before turning right into Wood Lane, which, as Neil was soon to complain, is anything but smooth. Crossing the A51 at Clotton, we were soon whizzing down Corkscrew Lane, heading for Huxley and Brassey Green before dropping downhill to cross the Shropshire Union canal by the Shady pub. (Does anyone know why they dropped ‘Oak’ from the pub name?)

There then followed the long drag up past Beeston Castle and the pleasant lane through to Bunbury Heath, where we crossed the A49. Riding past Tilly’s Neil suggested that the business is up for sale, but Dave H and the mods stopped there on their way back today and no mention was made of this.

Pressing on, we crossed the A54 at Brindley and swept on through Larden Green and Chorley, heading for Wrenbury. On the way there, we came across ‘Road Closed’ signs but were allowed through by the bored-looking watchman provided that we got off an walked the bikes through. This turned out to be unnecessary as they were just patching potholes using a fancy machine which finished off the repair using chippings which would soon be worn away.

Passing through Wrenbury and Sound, we soon arrived at Audlem Marina and headed to the Bridge 80 Café for a spot of lunch. This was soon ordered and bacon and egg barms, scrambled eggs on toast and other delicious offerings arrived, including a full breakfast for Alan, who must have been starving, having not eaten for….two hours! The food was good and it was delightful to sit in the sunshine watching the barges pass by on the canal.

Lunch over, we headed north along Cool Lane, past the (not so) Secret Nuclear Bunker at Hack Green, heading for Nantwich. Skirting the town via the lakeside park and housing estate we emerged on the north side of the town and picked up Welshman’s Lane to cross the A51 and run past Rease Heath college. Crossing the Shropshire Union canal (again) at Venetian Marina we continued north to Cholmondeston, where Neil and Shane peeled off to head home. The three musketeers pressed on to Eaton and up the steep incline to the summit at Tarporly Road. Taking the little lane towards the A49 by-pass, we realised that we had not taken the traditional group photo, so, with apologies to Neil and Shane, we stopped for a selfie.

Photo by AO

Having nipped across the A49 to reach Utkinton Road, it was now a short stretch back to Rose Farm. Alan and I headed there for a well-deserved ice cream, but Steve Hu was on a promise in Denbigh, so he headed to Waverton, where he’d left his car.

44 miles covered at a typical mod+ pace of 14mph. Today, it really felt like summer had finally arrived…..on the longest day of the year. Thanks to Alan, Shane, Neil and Steve for their company and encouragement on a day when I was testing to see how my now permanent (?) AF might affect my cycling.

See route map and/or gpx file download


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