Monday 16 October 2023

Let's Ride with the Canal and River Trust

One aspect about Chester that I love is our canal's and waterways.  We are lucky to have a lovely river, which is very pretty, and also an extensive arm of the Shropshire Union Canal winding from Ellesmere Port through Chester and out to the Cheshire countryside.  

I have always enjoyed cycling along our towpaths, and sharing some of the history I know.  However, the surface has suffered over recent years, making it less accessible and even unpleasant to use these routes; so when a few years ago I met and chatted with a volunteer along the canal, I signed up as a member in support. 

The canals are such an old transport network, with the Sankey Canal which was the first British canal opening in 1757; and the majority of the network was built between the 1770s and the 1830s.  We also in Cheshire have the Anderton Boat Lift and the Manchester Ship Canal.

Near the Sankey Canal, on my ride to Speke in August 2017.

Chester CTC ride to the Anderton Boat Lift in July 2007.

And only last month I was lucky enough to paddle (not pedal) across the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct (I have previously walked with my bike over, as it is a tad narrow to cycle over)

Canals have featured through all my thirty five years of cycling, so when I saw local rides advertised led by the Canal and River Trust, I wanted to support this (and, I will be honest, also try to let people know about our cycling clubs and rides - well, why not?)

I joined the first ride which was a very short jaunt along the Greenway to Meadow Lea Cafe, just a chance to get to know everyone.  We are meeting at Bren Bikes.

I was away last week, but was able to book on and come out again today.  There was a larger group today, and we set off the other way on the Greenway, picked up the canal and headed out of Chester towards Ellesmere Port and as far as Croughton.  I mentioned that the surface has been awful, but in the last two years there has been significant resurfacing, so this is now a very pleasant route.

 Setting off along the Greenway




 It was a beautiful calm day along the canalside




I can't tell you how many times I have photographed this viaduct!

We joined the road at Croughton, but as we also have fabulous quiet country roads it was a pleasant pedal now back towards Chester and Upton, where we picked up a cyclepath alongside the A41, before re-joining the Greenway and heading back to Meadow Lea for refreshments.

Rides will be held each Monday morning until early December, and you can book on here

No comments:

Post a Comment