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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.

For more information see the About Us tab.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

17th May 2018 : Chelford (brisk)

The brisk riders today were, John M, John W, Nick, myself and new SGCC member Colin  as a guest rider. The day is a continuation of sun and little wind making it perfect for riding.

Leaving the café, we headed towards Cotebrook passing Little Budworth via Park Lane and on to Whitegate. As usual there seem to be plenty of road closed signs, but as cyclists we are able to pass.
Arriving into Winsford and the Flashes, riding down hill towards the sharp bend there is another blocked road; zig zagging through the concrete blocks we cross over the wooden bridge spanning the river Weaver and join NCR 5 and the bumpy track up to Davenham. Passing through the town we have another two roads closed before Lach Dennis!! 

Continuing along some very quiet lanes, we are on the outskirts of Knutsford and I had tried to route us through without being on the main road. Unfortunately, as we were joining the A5033 into the town, Nick was unable to follow and the hares had taken a right hand turning and pulled up to wait for the tortoise, you’ve never seen one go so fast. In time trial mode, he was zooming past us head down and into Knutsford.  John W had to go at 27 mph to catch and pass him to advise we had turned off. Regrouping, we rode through the very bumpy potholed streets of Knutsford before re-joining the traffic lights on Toft Road (A50). Joining the B5085 the road to Mobberley is enjoyed and on towards Alderley Edge.

As we near this town there is an increase of vehicles which are mainly Chelsea Tractors. There was a little concern of "are we heading up the Wizzard". No, we take a right turn before town and ride the A535 which was fortunately a good road and we were happy going a few miles at 20+ mph to Chelford and the Egerton Arms inn. Not the first time we have visited this inn. There was a reasonable selection on the menu but for a lunch snack perhaps on the expensive side.After our lunch is consumed we get ready to set off, what a pleasure when re-emerging outside it is warmer than inside!!

Our route takes us via Goostrey and Middlewich and on to Winsford via Clive Green Lane. As we arrive in Winsford, we take the lane heading towards the Weaver river and join the cycleway and avoid most of the roads around the town. As we head up Weaver St, most of us will remember the handy cycle shop half way up the hill, now a Chinese takeaway. No more emergency stops here. 

Winsford's Weaver Park
Going via Townfield Drive, we join the little lane that leads to the A54. Nick in the lead, we are soon accelerating along the A54 before turning into Rushton lane and skirt around the walls of Oulton Park. We had decided a tea stop at Tarporley would be welcome, so it is through Eaton before arriving at the Old Fire station Café. John W continues on to Chester whilst the remaining group enjoy drinks and cakes in this excellent café.

Colin leaves us here to cycle home to Mouldsworth and Nick back to Rose Farm to collect his car. John M and I ride out via Brassey Green and Waverton and back into Chester. A good ride on a sunny day, with good companions. Hope Colin joins us again. Good to have John W out to as he is a must to have on the front to pull us along. A round trip of nearly 60 miles plus the ride out and back so another 80 miles recorded 16mph.


ID

Photo John W

Friday, 18 May 2018

17th May 2018: Market Drayton (mod long)


A spell of excellent weather brought out a goodly number of Easy Riders to Rose Farm, which allowed Mike to collect their subs – yes it’s that time of year. Apart from my group, I’m not sure who went with which leaders, but we ended up with three groups.  The ‘moderate long’ group comprised me, Clive and Mike, and our objective was the Red Lion at Market Drayton; a destination we usually only attempt from the Ice Cream Farm.

We travelled out via Cotebrook and Wettenhall into Nantwich, where we passed through Brookfield Park, crossing and re-crossing the River Weaver on dry paths until we emerged on the road to Hack Green and Audlem. We rode through the busy little town and regained the lanes heading for Norton in Hales and then onto Market Drayton.

The Red Lion offered its usual excellent welcome and good value food and Joules beer, this time providing a royal wedding beer which Mike sampled. Staying with this theme, Clive gave us a potted history of the Adnams Brewery in Southwold.
Photo by Mike G

Our return was through Longslow and around Shavington Park, before passing through Aston, where Dave H and his companions were seen still enjoying their lunch at the Bhurtpore. Then it was onto Ravensmoor and Bunbury where we refreshed at Tilly’s and said goodbye to Clive who headed straight home. Mike and I continued on a short section of the A49, before passing through Tiverton and entering Tarporley from the south west. From there it was up the hill and back into Utkinton. In all 58 miles completed on a relatively flat route which allowed a fairly fast time for us mods.


SH



Tuesday, 15 May 2018

10th May 2018: Tattenhall (mod)


Bryan, Trevor, Dave Pipe, George, John Beavis, Andy Barber, Clive and myself decided to head east from Hawarden. This avoided big hills, and better facilitated Trevor and Clive's need to return home handily for caravanning and ballooning. Mike was riding to Gobowen to see Steve. The Sportsman at Tattenhall was our destination. Ride leadership was shared, on the basis of who best knew the route at any particular time. Trevor did most of the directing based on his outward Christmas Lunch ride from December. Bilberry Wood is a bit of a killer up to the A55. John was caught in the wrong gear, and berated us for not warning him, oiling his chain, checking his tyre pressures, and telling him that he may need to take tissues. The route to Rossett is an easy-riding peach. Lovely views, a rolling ride in the spring sunshine, pressureless pace, freshly coloured countryside perfection, as we drifted down by Golly. Clive peeled off before Holt for his second attempt to make a Stratford birthday balloon trip. I hope the weather was kinder this time.

We all fitted around a round table in the library of The Sportsman, and enjoyed big portions. Apart from John, who shakes his head in disbelief at how cyclists can stuff themselves with food, and often beer, and then carry on riding. I had intended this to be a moderate-lite ride, very leisurely, not demanding in any way, not far enough for the stitching on your shorts to start to dig into your skin a little. It was going to be a lazy man's cruise. George had other ideas, however! Not unreasonably, even some moderate riders like to get a few more miles in, when the sun is on their backs and the days are longer. Hence, we headed further east for Beeston Castle, down to the Shropshire Union Canal, and up to Brassey Green. We discarded the straight option to Waverton via Hargrave, and headed for Burton via Hoofield on a favourite circuit of George's. It was around here that my bike had a major malfunction. The front changer and chain jammed. Some rough surgery with my pliers amputated the mangled cage of the changer, while Dave Pipe did an expert job on the chain, which he completed with his spare connecting link. I was able to continue the journey on the middle chain ring with no real problem. I will buy you a drink, Dave! We passed west of Christleton village centre, crossing the A51 to a welcome coffee and cake at Meadow Lea. Those returning to Wales were led by the Welsh Sherpas, Andy and George, to Hawarden Bridge on the Greenway, and then up through Shotton into open country on a narrow lane. Our climbing ended at the B5125 just west of Ewloe. From here it was just one dangerous roundabout and less than ten minutes to the cars. Fine weather and company once again on a Thursday. John sent me an e-mail and a Camila Cabello clip, which I can't download, but he recommends her singing! He also says that he enjoyed the ride, and informs me that we covered 50.3miles at a relaxed 11.4 miles per hour.
                                                                                                                                  
DH

Friday, 11 May 2018

10th May 2018 : Corwen (brisk)

Today the meeting place was the Gallery Tea Rooms at Hawarden. Knowing that my regular brisk riders were not riding today, I had a route prepared, but was edging on accompanying the moderate riders. Arriving at the café, there were soon plenty of riders out to enjoy the sunshine including Ray. After Dave H advised their ride would be to Tattenhall, I decided to ride my route to Corwen was my option and Ray would accompany me but had to return to Chester for appointment later in the afternoon. 

We set of just the two of us and were soon heading down the A550 to go via the Old Warren route to Dobbshill. Crossing the A55 and the unfriendly cycle gate, we head along Hope Rd to Kinnerton Rd.
After 10 miles to Treuddyn,  I realised I hadn’t ridden any miles!! The Garmin had not been activated since the café. Ray and I rode on to Nercwys where Ray decided to leave and head back towards Chester.

My route now takes me via Eryrys and Llanarmon-yn-lal (Raven Inn). The lanes are absolutely fab to ride along after the past winter months and both Ray and I had enjoyed some good climbs. The best was via the Shelf and into Carrog. My ride from here into Corwen was just fantastic and passing over the Dee river into Corwen town; very picturesque.


 The "Shelf"                                              Corwen                                               Hope


After lunch at The Crown, I was soon on the bike heading back towards Hawarden and Chester. Attached is the route and this is one that I will ride again. There are some 17% climbs on my return but with a tail wind I was able to navigate – just!!

A great day, largely solo riding, but an enjoyable one. Glad I made the decision to do some hard riding as Thursdays and different café starts is why we have a riding club. A ride of 80+miles Chester and back, but 59 miles all round from Hawarden, with 5,988 ft of ascent plus the bit not included between Hawarden and Nercwys.

Thanks to Ray for joining me, and I look forwards to riding this another day. 


ID

Photos by ID

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

3rd May 2018: Delamere Station to Aston (mod)

[NOTE: 10th ANNIVERSERY RIDE. The 26th April blog entry has now been updated with John M's video and a photo of Bryan's gift]

A good sized group of brisk and moderate riders met at a sunny Station Café in Delamere to be joined by David M for a pre-grandparenting coffee.

The destination for the moderates was the Bhurtpore Arms in Aston and the group of Bryan, Dave H, George, Andy B, Mike G, Trevor, Clive and Jim set off along the rather busy B5152. After 3.65 rather hectic miles we were relieved to reach the relative calm of Cotebrook and the outskirts of Oulton Park.

As we reached Wettenhall, Clive departed in a search for more unadopted lanes to entertain us with on future rides. The rest pressed on past Reaseheath College and to the west of Nantwich. On reaching Ravensmoor we resisted the temptation to take the crud encrusted shortcut and carried on along the longer but rideable lane to our destination. The food was excellent, and the beer drinkers happy with the choice of refreshment. The temperature dropped as we hit the road again, but we did at least have a tailwind as we rode northwards towards Bunbury. After a short coffee stop, Jim and Trevor took the road to Beeston and Tattenhall, while the rest crossed the busy A51 to pick up the outward route at Oulton.

A very pleasant, days riding of about 42 miles or 50 for those finishing at Guilden Sutton

Photo by Mike G



Sunday, 6 May 2018

3rd May 2018 : Dunham Massey (brisk)

Looking out before setting off on my ride to Delamere, the weather looked promising but as the forecast was sub 15 degreees I opted for longs. However, on arrival at the Station cafe several pairs of winter bleached legs were on show….brrr. This club has some hard members!

It was encouraging to sit outside in the pleasant sunshine and the three briskers soon settled on Ivan’s circuitous route to Dunham Massey. Turning left out of the car park, Nick was already saying his legs were heavy and his mood was not improved by being cut up by a speeding car. He managed to stay upright and soon we were cruising along though Norley and Cuddington, Weaverham and Winnington. We had a cultural stop to admire the engineering wonder that is Anderton Boat Lift and reflected on the faded glory of the former salt works. As an aside Nick questioned the sustainability of so many new housing developments on former industrial sites and pondered how all these new residents were employed. Surely they all can’t be in the new sweat shops otherwise known as call centres!

Anyway, us free souls had no such labours to worry about as the following breeze helped us roll past Marbury Country Park, Comberbatch and Antrobus. We then were heading for our next cutural visit. This time through the grounds of Arley Hall. None of the tracks seem to take us close to the big house but we went past several other very attractive timber frame dwellings and a pretty lake before encountering a “private track” sign. This was duly ignored on the basis that it probably applied to motorists!. Very shortly afterwards we were back on public roads and over the M6. This seemed to serve as a firing gun for Ivan, who true to form, scenting beer lead a speedy 6 mile sprint to Dunham Massey and the Vine Inn. 

The pub has an inviting exterior and pleasant gardens. Inside it is simply but very comfortably furnished with 1950s flowery wallpaper. It reminded us Cestrians of the Albion public house minus the truculent landlord. Despite Ivan’s joke that lycra was amongst the banned attire, we were allowed to join what seemed a happy band of mainly local drinkers and diners. The cause of their content was soon discovered when we learned that it was a mere £2 for a pint of Sam Smiths best. We also went for pies from the local butcher, with mash, veg and gravy which were very good indeed. Now fully laden we resisted the temptation of more cheap beer and decided it was time for the return leg knowing that our outward friend the wind was about to change sides. 

We headed south east through posh Bowden and Hale which has some of the most imposing houses in Cheshire and some of the most pot-holed roads! The breeze was felt most keenly on the straight 4 mile run between Ashley and Over Tabley passing alongside Tatton Park. Taking shortish turns on the front we managed to keep up a good pace. Soon enough we passed through Comberbatch for the second time and on to Little Leigh and Acton Bridge. I was thinking this is going well we’ll soon be in Norley but had forgotten that it gets a bit hilly in these parts.  Ivan reckoned we took the easiest option but the big roller coaster up to Norley took its toll late in the day.  Not to worry as the pain was easily forgotten as we were soon enjoying cake and coffee back at Delamere Station.

The weather had one last surprise as we set off for home the sky darkened and spots of rain began to fall. Nick was fortunate to have his car nearby but Ivan and I got a little wet as we rode along the forest road. It was a somewhat chilly but not too bad and certainly not enough to spoil what had been and excellent ride. The route from Delamere and back was about 55 miles and Ivan and I had done close to 80 on arrival in Chester at 16.5 mph average. And yes, we did also enjoy the culture and scenery!


JM