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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 12 July 2024

11th July 2024: Aston (mod)

 Despite the distracting sunny countenance of Carol Kirkwood, nobody in our club was likely to miss the forecast of rain for Tattenhall. Some riders were away, others, like Kevin, a possible recruit, had concluded that cycling in the rain wasn’t much fun. There were just three of us at Alison’s willing to give it a go: Alan, Steve and myself.


Whitchurch was the agreed destination, and we set off climbing to Brown Knoll. I wanted a change from the Broxton Old Hall route, so after a bit of muddle not helped by a wilting wet map and wet specs, we slid down past Mad Allen’s Hole (really!) then headed for Cholmondeley.  At the Cholmondeley Arms we felt that a slightly reduced route to the Bhurtpore at Aston would be preferable, as we were already becoming quite wet. Actually, Steve told us later that his bargain new waterproof had at least kept his torso bone dry. At Wrenbury we diverted toward Pinsley Green, and then turned left for Aston in order to avoid extensive roadworks on the normal route to Aston. We received a warm welcome at “The Bhurty” and we enjoyed the ambience of the cosy wigwam. Evidently, the big tent is rented only until the pub’s refurbishment is completed. Our food was well up to scratch. I can’t remember if the rain ever went off, but it was not  torrential or properly cold, and we set off on an attractive back lane to Marbury before turning north west to Buckley and on to No Man’s Heath. Before Malpas we headed up to Ebnal, Kidnal and Tilston. At Tilston our route was pretty direct through Carden, Clutton and Chowley. Alan managed to capture some of the heavy flooding we encountered on camera, and we agreed it was as wet as some of our very wet winter runs. 


Were we glad to get back to the warmth and dry of our cars? Yes! Were we glad that we had made the effort to ride? A unanimous “Yes!” Having been away and not cycled for three weeks, I was particularly in need of a ride, and grateful for the company and patience of Alan and Steve. A reasonable thirty-four miles covered given the conditions.

DH

See route map and/or gpx file download

Friday 5 July 2024

4th July 2024: Cholmondeley (mod)

I think it is Plato who is quoted as saying that the first requirement of any leader is that they have no desire to lead.  This was certainly true, in my case, as I found myself leading six Easy Riders out of Meadow Lea.  We were bound for the café and farm shop outside the gates of Cholmondeley Castle.  Why? I hear you ask.  Good question.  It was, as with many things in life, as a result of a chance remark.  In this instance by Dave M while we were sitting outside Maggie’s last week.  He had remarked that he had heard good reports of this café and so I thought, why not.

My band of brothers consisted of Andy B; electric Ray; Dave M; Andy W; Neil and Steve Haywood.  It was good to see both Andy W and Steve neither of whom I have seen for some time.

We cycled through Waverton and alongside the Shropshire Union canal.  Turning through Huxley and Brassy Green.  Steve left us at Huxley so not as to aggravate a tweaked Achilles.  Down to six riders we cycled around Beeston Castle and on to Bunbury where Andy W couldn’t resist the call of Tilley’s.  Thank goodness I didn’t lose any more of my “chosen men” as the five of us headed south to cross the A534 at Brindley.  Here we turned south west through Larden Green and crossing the A49 we arrived at the café.

There were tables outside and we decided that would do nicely as the weather was dry.  However, while ordering our food we espied a trestle table with comfortable seating in a cosy alcove indoors and immediately sat ourselves down.  The staff were welcoming and friendly and the quality of the food was very good.  The crockery from a bygone age. However, a couple of caveats.  The menu was limited to sandwiches and cakes so no full meals.  Also, Neil and Andy W had mentioned that their opening times can be variable.  So best to check by ringing as their website is not always accurate.  That said for us overall we were well satisfied.  The only negative comment from Andy B who considered his sandwich on the small side countered by Dave M who informed the staff his sandwich was the best he had eaten in a long time.


Photos by Neil T

Suitably replenished we said farewell to Dave M who was taking a more direct route home as he had hoovering and dusting to do before his good lady arrived back, from a holiday in Devon, later that day.  Now down to four we continued our tour of rural Cheshire.  Climbing up past Egerton Hall we turned right at Hampton Post.  I had intended cycling through Bickerton and Harthill.  Although I was acutely aware that Andy B and Ray had been over this ground with me on last week’s ride.  Thankfully Neil came to my rescue by offering an alternative route through Brown Knowl and circling around behind Bolesworth Castle.  He then continued to lead us along a honeycomb of narrow lanes before arriving, as if by magic at the Ice Cream farm.  Once a favourite of the club but now, for various reasons, consigned to history.  I had intended re-crossing the canal and going back to Waverton through Hargrave which, would again have meant covering some ground we had traversed on the outward leg.  Again, Neil offered us a better alternative.  We cycled through Gatesheath and crossing the A41 arrived at Bruera before turning north.  Neil, his sheepdog work over for the day, had left us at the A41 to head for home.  And thus it was the last three men standing who trundled into Waverton.  Here Andy said adios leaving Ray and myself to cycle the last mile or so into Guilden Sutton.

45 miles covered at an average speed of 11.6 mph.  The same average speed as last week.  I have no idea how that happened.  My thanks to my fellow riders for their good company throughout and particularly to Neil for his route guidance, his spells of leading and the photographs.          


GW          

Thursday 4 July 2024

4th July 2024 : Church Minshull (Mod+)

What a good turnout at Meadow Lea today. A great mix of riders and members. It was good to see Steve Ha following his self-inflicted confinement in the beer tent at Kelsall Show. It was great to see he had escaped such thirsty period relatively unharmed. 

The mod+ group had three rides: Steve T proposed Church Minshull,  Neil T had a subterranean ride to the Elephant at Parkgate and last, Clive had a circular route to Honey’s in Caergwrle. On realising the Church Minshull ride would entail riding into a headwind for close to twenty miles, Neil T dropped his spinnaker and defected to the mods to embrace George’s route. 

So the merry quartet of Clive, Alan, Steve T & H set off from Meadow Lea. Leaving the estate roads of Mickle Trafford, we headed on the busy Warrington Road through Bridge Trafford before turning right onto quiet lanes to Manley. Here we joined Ashton road a popular parking area for CER’s Delamere starts. Soon Hatchmere and Norley were quickly despatched as the full effect of the tailwind could be felt. 

The small lanes through Cuddington and Sandiway gave way to the slightly more built environs of Winsford. Steve route took us right through the centre which today was remarkably traffic free. The fast - flowing Swallow Lane soon welcomed us into the village of Church Minshull and the lunch stop of The Badger pub.

Sitting outside in one of the Alpine Huts, we quickly digested our wraps and varied poached egg meals. Within metres of restarting, we felt the brunt of the headwind. However due to the route Steve had chosen which passed through Cholmondeston and Wettenhall, we seemed to be shielded by the high hedges. 

Courtesy of AO International Photos Inc
The drag through and up out of Eaton was just that, a combination of headwind and uphill that challenged even the mighty Clive. Now as we crossed Tarporley Road, we were on Neil T’s “flat ride” from last week. The plunge down to Utkinton road and the short lanes brought us to the welcome sight of Walk mill, where it was unanimously agreed we needed a coffee stop. 

Alan O kindly provided coffees for everyone; thank you for your generosity Al. Now with only five miles to go, we set off for Meadow Lea farm. Pausing only to bid farewell to Clive in Christleton who was returning to Chester. Steve T had a wind-assisted leg to Runcorn, and Steve H and Alan plodded home on the greenway dodging the wind. 

A very pleasant 42 mile route in excellent company and pleasant albeit windy conditions.


Steve Hu