Sunday, 22 June 2014

Kath's Kurry Ride

Many ideas and discussions take place whilst riding, and also in the social nights we hold.  One point of order was raised by Kath in early 2013, as we passed several take away and restaurants during the winter circuit (unofficial evening rides Oct - March) that they smelled so good, and we just kept riding past.

Last year a few got together and went on the first curry ride to Helsby; this year it was more official.

3pm saw a group meeting up at the piper - I believe they had a little drink under the guise of waiting for me (I was caught up shopping in town) before they set off, and they also admit to calling in to Old Ma's on their way.

Kath writes: As Stuart had made such an effort last year dressing up for dinner, I thought I'd get into the spirit of things for the 2014 Kurry Ride so having doned a neon-green 80's tu tu skirt and 'Bet Lynch' style jewellry, a contingent of  three cyclists from Kinnerton departed for a 3pm meet at The Piper.


From there three became eight heading off along Hare Lane to Christleton, Waverton and Saighton before skirting Tattenhall for liquid refreshments at Old Ma's. 
Old Ma's

On we went through Newton and along Crimes Lane, and with Beeston to our right we descended Dean Bank to the A49. On to Eaton and Cotebrook, and whilst approaching Delamere I spoke to 'Buzby' (new name for Richard Bird to prevent confusion with our other Richard) who had enquired as to how we were progressing so I informed him that we were "about 3 miles away and wont be long now" heaven knows why I mistook a sign for Kelsall as one for Helsby! 

Continuing on through Delamere to Hatchmere and Alvanley we turned into Back Lane, The Rock, and Robin Hood Lane (great names!) before descending Crescent Drive to our destination.  Two more curry-goers met us there, one was Buzby who had been wondering what took us so long to travel three miles!  [we were!!! - but we had a beer while we waited - Sue]

Some of Kath's lovely photos - 
Approaching Beeston

Stuart dressed for dinner

Does anyone know why
Bob is doing high kicks???

I was quite late and therefore had to cycle directly there - with a small deviation up Dunham Hill and round the back of Helsby (then all the way back along the main road) - I stretched it to about 9 miles and arrived at the same time as Richard, who had driven due to being unable to ride following (car) accident three weeks ago.

Soon enough the others arrived, and we settled into the table.  The staff looked after us really well, and much curry, ride and naan's were consumed - until we all sat back with big round bellies (it is a good job lycra is quite stretchy!) commenting on how stuffed we were and would not now be eating for a week!

We posed outside in the still warm and sunny evening (OK, maybe not quite as warm now at about 9pm-ish) for photos, whilst Nick tried on Kath's skirt - he had been dying to since they met up this afternoon) and then set off back towards Chester.

After about 5 miles we called in to the Shrewsbury arms, for a little lubrication, just to break up the journey.  

Then we continued into the setting sun on the longest day of the year - the rest continued to the Piper for a final nightcap - I went home so no idea what time they eventually rolled home, probably singing!

Monday, 16 June 2014

The Glan Yr Afon Inn at Dolphin

Kath writes - I've put a few words together about yesterdays ride, sadly only two photos though, both at Hawarden farm shop, the rest of the time I was far too busy trying to make it up a hill!

Leaving Kinnerton I joined the group at the Corner Cafe in Shotton where the cooked breakfasts looked very tempting. Restraining myself but with a decent cuppa and toasted tea-cake, five of us continued on a lovely and warm morning into Flint.

From here we headed up in the direction of Pentre Halkyn to Dolphin along some very pretty lanes whereupon our route took us over a rather muddy track (recent rain had transformed this from a previously cycleable path) which saw us cleaning the mud off our brake pads, allowing us to continue up some challenging gradients!  Barely a car had been seen when 23 miles and 1913 feet of ascent later we arrived at the Glan Yr Afon Inn, a welcome sight.

The hospitality at the Inn was excellent with fayre that was just the ticket for the downhill home.  Well no, not just downhill. Much of the incredible views, stunning countryside and steeply descending thrilling lanes of today's ride, along with some steeply ascending hills, were still to come.

Routing through Brynford, Babell, Ysceifiog, Caerwys, Lixwm, Rhes Y Cae and Rhosesmor where the sheep (suicidal on occasion!) far outnumbered the people or cars.  Up then down, up then down, thrilling decents into a valley before climbing back up, then onwards down to Northop, Northop Hall and Ewloe Green before stopping for refreshments at the Farm shop in Hawarden (great cappuccino and carrot cake).  Here I said goodbye to my fellow cyclists having had a very enjoyable and thrilling (if a little taxing) ride through a very beautiful area of countryside.

Outside the Farm Shop...

...inside the Farm Shop


A further 24 miles and 2227 feet of ascent.  Thanks to Dave, who's chalked up yet another brilliantly mapped/led ride.  Amser da gan bawb! - Great time had by all!

P.S. This picture below was hanging on the wall of the ladies loo in the Glan Yr Afon Inn - time for photography when seated on the throne!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

All through the Night

The idea has been brewing for a few years, usually towards the end of a circuit night ride, to do an overnight ride.  I remember doing one years ago - meet at 10pm and then set off.

I plotted the full moons for 2014, but the June one, which fell nicely on a Friday night (Friday the 13th, no less!) was also the day before the Fab Ladies Ride, so I could not come.  But Bob said nothing was stopping him.

I suspect he was a little less enthusiastic towards the end of the week, but Friday came and two potential riders had enquired, so I joined Bob going to the pub.  It had rained heavily at 9pm, but had just about stopped as we rolled up to the Piper, to see Andy and Alex, all lit up and prepared to give it a go.
Alex, Andy and Bob, ready to ride

...setting off into the sunset (sort of)
Bob texted me "A marvelous ride, everything we hoped for.  By Tattenhall the showers went off.  At Tilston it was dry and at the Carden Arms we had a drink, only 11:58pm!  It was serving for the football.  The sky had cleared and we had perfect moonlight through Malpas, Whitchurch, Tilstock and on to Wem, with empty roads."

We arrived at Wem in glorious moonlight at 2:45am and found a bench to sit and have our sandwiches and drinks on. The odd car went by but I don't think the occupants belived what they saw. At 3:15 we departed for Whitchurch with pale light coming in the Eastern sky and still nothing on the roads, The dawn chorus broke the silence before we got to Whitchurch, and by then you could see to read the map! We returned via route 45 turning off at Chorley Bank and came home through Chorley, Larden Green, Brindley, Bunbury, Beeston , Huxley and Waverton accompanied by the most beautiful early morning summer skies.  Arrival at The Piper at 7:10am and 76 miles.

Alex also sent in some text...Well Sue & Co, we three cycled on, passing serveral cyclists on fairly quiet roads, not really stopping till Tilston and having a refreshment stop in the Local  Comment was passed that Sue would of enjoyed this bit  Onwards and out and as we donned our cycles the moon came out to say hi. Passed through Malpas "pass on the Hill" , Whitchurch and to Wem and break stop on a grassy verge at 2am! Here we turned tail and listened to the dawn chrous starting at 2.30am and lighten skies, Alas Dusty Miller wasn't open at 4am back in Chester and bed 7.30am.

Maybe next time there will be more photos!

Monday, 9 June 2014

Chester & North Wales 75th Anniversary Rides

As a celebration of our 'parent member group' being 75 years old, a series of rides followed by a meal were held.  Welna shares some photos of the day - spot Chester CTC riders...

Three National CTC Councillors. Wales, North West and West Midlands. Gwenda from Cardiff,
our own Welna, and David Cox from West Midlands who is also Chair of National CTC Council

Councillors Selfie! - with Janet from Two Mills/ Wirral Belles

Peter Williams gets his certificate from David and Mike (can you spot a Chester rider....!)
David Ackerley is just behind Mike,he had the idea for and organised this event.

Millenium Greenway gets CTC recognition. — withDavid CoxCatherine Green and Mike Cross.

No birthday is complete without cake - this years winning logo design.

All set for tea - can you see anyone you know?  (I can!)

No ride is ever complete without refreshment stops!!!!  Stuart, Gwenda, Tony (usually rides with Harry The Bike) and David.

Nine go [Retro] Camping

Nick writes - Well it finally came off after a couple of months of planning and a trip out with Bob to check out the campsite. As soon as Molly, the campsite owner, said you can light a fire and there isn't too many rules Bob and I knew this was the campsite for us...........

The people who went were Martin Kath Morris Richard Gill Cannon Tim Nicky Dennison Bob and I. Sorry I nearly forgot Jet (Nicky's dog) this sounds something like an Enid Blyton novel.....
Tim getting hammered...

Nicky showing them the ropes...

Once the tents were up etc. we went for a drink and a lovely meal in Bala town, after our meal we headed back to the campsite, we lit a fire on the beach beside the lake, a couple of drinks and a laugh by a beautiful lake in front of a roaring fire on a summer evening.......WOW......

The next morning we woke up to the smell of canvas and the dawn chorus, so we rubbed our eyes and started boiling water, cooking on every retro method that Bob would allow, Kath's chilli omelettes went down a storm, Tim's home made bread sliced on the Landrover bumper went down well with the spicy sausages and bacon.

Two men in a boat

After a good breakfast we got the canoes out, when I got to the lake Tim and Nicky were already cruising along the lake in Tim's canvas and wood canoe which looked very stable and safe. Bob said "we will go out in mine " "yeah OK I said" still feeling the effects of Richards bottle of whiskey we shared the night before by the fire. We set off into the lake, I said "Bob this boat feels a bit twitchy" Bob replied "Ive been right across this lake with my son when he was younger in this canoe" straight after those comforting words we capsized! Both full clothed Bob even had his heavy duty walking boots on and his deerstalker, at least he had his life jacket on, but I didn't as there was only three life jackets, fully clothed I swam back to the shore.  [Where are those photos? - Sue]

After a hot shower we all decided what we were going to do. Tim went for a walk, Nicky went for a ride with her dog in tow literally!!!!!!!

Bob Richard Gill Martin Kath and I went for a ride around lake Vyrnwy which turned out to be one of the nicest rides I've ever been on, steep in parts but beautiful scenery, we stopped at a Hotel, had a drink with the lake as our backdrop.

One of the aforementioned hills.  Also one of the top 10 in Britain...

What a pretty picture - and
you can see the lake too!

A few more hills later we all met up in Bala town and had a chippy meal, Bobs fish was that bad it had more use as a shoe insole. we then went to the pub across the way taking it in turns to yawn, so tired and a bit cold we set off on our bikes back to the campsite, three minutes in to the journey we had a monsoon we all got soaked and braved it back in the heavy rain, thankfully Nicky's car headlights were behind us so we could see our way along the country lane....

Bob prooves he has 'sole'

The next morning spirits were high, a good hearty breakfast, everything packed away we all made our way home full of smiles and memories and a bag of wet clothes.

After all the talk and planning the retro feel really worked for me and I think i speak for the others too.

More pictures...

Monday, 2 June 2014

We Three Loggerheads at - er - Loggerheads (near Mold)

The ladies were all (or nearly all) away on their annual weekend; so Richard was left to lead the Sunday ride for June.  Notes taken from Chester CTC facebook page...

Seven meet outside Chester Town Hall

Stuart  Cracking ride for Richards first attempt at leading despite a couple of punctures ( me again, really need to get some new rim tape ) and diversions because of a muddy lane and a major road accident. After an excellent lunch at Loggerheads we ended up back at Kinnerton Hall for afternoon coffee as after the diversions the cafe in Hope was shut. Thanks Richard.

Ray  It was a great ride, just the right amount of hilly stuff for me. Thanks go to Richard for his efforts. We even stopped to see a world famous musician on the way back, but I'll leave the leader to explain....

Richard reports - Seven started from the Town Hall and went along the river and over Saltney bridge for morning coffee at Hawarden Farm Shop. Two left here and we carried on up through Hawarden, Drury and towards Soughton. Stu had two punctures which lead to repair stops in Tinkersdale and Drury. Due to recent rain the proposed route had to be amended along the main roads to the lunch stop at We Three Loggerheads. The afternoon run dropping back down towards Chester was also amended due to road closures which meant the coffee stop at Jemoleys was altered to Hope which turned out to be shut so an impromptu stop was made at chez Cannons! An eventful first lead for me, but a great day.