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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Monday 3 June 2024

30th May 2024: Loppington (mod)

Steve Tan, Keith, the two Welsh boyos and I turned up at Chirk in the expectation of improving weather. It turned out that the Dickin Arms at Loppington was the luscious lunch destination for both rides. Once again, the slow group consisted of just two riders, in this case Keith and me, as George had a sore knee and Big Ray was missing. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I had a short, circular ride with Keith southeast of Chirk with very wet weather known to be approaching from the south. At least on that occasion, we didn’t have far to go when the rain duly swept in, and we dried out over lunch back at Castle Bistro.

 Today was pleasant as we crossed the busy roundabout on the A5 and turned down the small, quiet lanes to Hindford and Welsh Frankton. We had expected some flooding, but despite some big dips there was very little water loitering from previous rainy days. Swooping down to Lower Frankton always feels both exhilarating and relaxing. The little cottages alongside the lush green lane look to be very desirable residences to retire to. But, where is the nearest Indian? The little bridge over the Llangollen Canal is incredibly steep, as witnessed by the gouging of car exhausts in the tarmac. After Keith’s recent adventures in America and northern Spain, he seems to enjoy being on his bike again at a steady Eddie pace which gives him some moderate preparation for next week’s Special Ride. At Lower Hordley we chose the little lane route to Cockshutt, passing Kenwick Lodge and crossing the A528 before reaching Loppington via English Frankton. We reach the pub seconds after Steve Hughes, Steve Tan and Alan. The food was “a cut above” as always, and it’s a pleasant change these days to be altogether for lunch. When I reached the till I found that Keith had paid for my lunch, which was very generous of him. We returned by way of Colemere, Spunhill and Lee. This may well have been the end of our journey as a large Audi SUV came barrelling down the narrow lane from Tetchill at an incredible pace, and we were in the firing line. The young driver seemed to be losing control, and we had no time to dismount. Despite what I presume was heavy braking, he shot past us with inches to spare, and then sped on. Having crossed the road at Welsh Frankton we followed our outbound route, before crossing the disused railway and turning right for New Marton and St.Martin’s.  Our return ride had been hilly, and although generally sheltered, we had been against the strong wind which had wafted us to lunch. Nevertheless, the sun was now hot, but we were without a Dave Pipe costume change pannier in which to stow outer layers. My sellotaped map was falling apart in the breeze when opened, and only fit for the bin when we finished. Not surprisingly, the waiting Steve Tan, basking in a chair outside the café, had just beaten the Yorkshireman record for making a cup of coffee last,( to save putting your hand in your pocket again). It would be too late for me to do Harry the dog’s afternoon walk, so we persuaded Steve to join us for a final coffee before driving home. Many thanks to Keith for being such an agreeable companion. A very relaxed day, and a welcome return to Chirk. About thirty-seven miles covered.


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