Friday, 26 December 2014

Boxing Day post turkey spin

 Meeting at a rather unsociable hour of 8:30, it is time for the annual ritual of a short cycle ride after Christmas, to blow away the sluggishness following probable over indulgence the day before.

No-one else turned up at the Piper, but Stu caught us up on the greenway, as I was trying to take photos of the trains all lined up and going no-where from Chester Station.  But it was still too dark to take a photo!

It is there and back, but a good chance to catch up and share stories as ever.  We stopped at the other end for a selfie, but had to take a detour as the path is still closed by Shotton Bridge.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Christmas Lunch at The Yew Tree, Bunbury

 A merry gathering for the December ride and Christmas lunch.

Meeting at Christleton pond, it gives us a chance to recall Christmas rides from the past, and usually the weather we have enjoyed and endured

We set off through the lanes, fairly standard route, Dave leading the way but me following with a bit if a gap - saying that we crossed the Plough crossroads as Dave's group arrived from a different direction!

All quite flat until we climbed up to the Candle Factory Workshops.
In the cafe at the Candle Factory

 We certainly enjoyed the most lovely weather for December, with blue skies and sunshine.  It was Nigel and Christine's first ride out since moving to the area, and were delighted with what we have on our back doorstep.

From the Candle Factory we dropped down a tiny tiny lane to Harthill, then round Rawhead and after a brief interlude on the A534 back onto the lanes and round Bulkeley hill.  
Omry, Sharon, Dave

Lisa and Sue

Dave and Boob

Martin pondering his next ale

Alex and Nigel

Some of us enjoyed venison as an alternative, although we could choose from Beef, Turkey, Hake and Veggie too.

I don't think this guy had anything to do with the venison!
Stu and Kath

 We then headed back towards Beeston and Huxley before calling in for our annual visit to Walk Mill - Caroline sets her advent calendar by our arrival!
Arriving at Walk Mill

enjoying coffee and cake at the end of the day.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

The Wheatsheaf at No Mans Heath

8 riders met at Chester Town Hall, on a gloomy but dry and not windy November morning, amidst the hammering and drilling of the elves assembling the Christmas Market stands.  The is one thing about meeting in the city centre, you feel in touch with what is going on!

Bob led us out of town via the Old Dee Bridge, and out to Eccleston, Straight Mile and up to Marford hill.  The golden leaves still lingering on some of the trees gave a slight glow to the lanes,  and took the edge of the grey skies.

Autumn colours on Wrexham Road

After a little meander around Hoseley, we headed to Holt.  Finding Hildegards full to bursting with cyclists we instead went to Bellis's, where there is plenty of room.

unlocking at Bellis's

Returning through Holt we dropped to cross the river on another old sandstone bridge, classic Cheshire Dee bridges! and climbed up through Farndon.  I can still see the swollen river as it was in February when I cross here, or the time it was frozen with thick ice and a small channel flowed through.

Passing Tilston church

From Farndon, we headed to Stretton Mill - no photo as it is at the bottom of a hill- and through the Carden Park gold course - because it is both sides of the road.  We came into Tilston, and passed the church, emerging by the Bull at Shocklach.

We came past this beautiful old manor house, with the most exquisite chimneys, a quick check of the map showed it as Lower Carden Hall, a 15th century grade 1 listed building.

I think I stopped paying attention because next we are heading into Malpas past the church, before a right-left at the Cross heading downhill to No Mans Heath.

note the road sign on the wall to No Mans Heath -
below the impossibly large speakers!

We have been here before, a few years ago, but the selection of food and prices was marvellous.  Some of us found a friend and chose 2 for £10 meals, and some had small portion two course for £3.50 - amazing prices and very nice food - and friendly to boot!

Arriving at The Wheatsheaf
No photos after lunch, as it was quite dark.  We followed some lovely lanes, almost bordering with Shropshire here, and made it to the Teddy Bear tea rooms in time for a coffee and a cake.

Lights on now, as the watery sunset could be seen - pale peach and pink lines in the now darker grey sky.  Much discussion about what lights are best - not just to be seen but to actually see where you are going/ where the potholes are / where the side of the road is.

50 very pleasant miles, back to Hoole for 5:40.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Remember, Remember

 Every Wednesday evening through the summer there are summer evening rides; but a small band of dedicated (and slightly mad) cyclists continue through the winter months with what is fondly referred to as 'The Circuit'.

However, last year (2013), returning from a Tuesday Day ride I came across a fab firework display on the 5th November, at The Plough in Christleton.  I suggested to the circuit riders that we could vary the route for one night, and enjoy the spectacle.

We met and headed straight out to Christleton; the display was due to start at 7:30 I think, but was late.  There were a million and one cars, but we were able to cycle past them to the main gate, park up and then lurk behind the tape.




To mark the occasion I bought along some sparklers from Aldi, so we could all join in too!

Then we headed to the Ring O Bells to warm up!  A very short night but good fun!

Monday, 20 October 2014

The Holly Bush at Cefn Y Bedd

At the start, Little Roodee Car Park.  

Lesley writes "I only stayed with the others to just past the coffee stop (at Jemoleys, Penyffordd I think) as I had to get back for something in the afternoon. We headed down the river path, across to Saltney Ferry, Bretton, probably near Kinnerton (where Kath, etc, joined us) and a fair old climb to Pennyffordd.  
I just wish I’d been able to stay for the climb up Hope Mountain – honest!"

These must be the climb up Hope Mountain....whichever way you go there are arrows!

I understand it was very very windy up on top of Hope Mountain!

Kath sheltering

Dave looking for his bike

Gill nearly being blown over!

Is this Bellis's in Holt?

Ian, leader of the day

Caption needed.............!
Many thanks to Ian for leading and to Ray for the photos.