In The Lanes: North of Shrewsbury To Chester. - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

April 25, 2014

In The Lanes: North of Shrewsbury To Chester.

A foggy morning at the campsite gives way to dull overcast weather on setting out, cycling on along a quiet country lane with occasional overhanging trees disrupting the square symmetry of low boxed hedgerows either side, along fields of bright yellow oilseed and broken in places by concrete aprons and tubular steel gates into farmyards. There's a cycle-route signposted; it turns right at the first crossroads, then about a mile further, at the next crossroads, turns left. Then left at the next, leading me to think I'm cycling round in a square circle.

Reaching the main A road which cuts a swath through the area, I look at the atlas. It has proven its worth. At five kilometres to the centimetre, it doesn't have every road, but has most roads, also towns and villages that I can head for, making it an invaluable guide.

From here on I follow B roads, passing through a number of villages until reaching Banger on Dee, which comprises of a street of half timber houses, a pub on the corner by the river and a church opposite where the clock on the tower shows it is already midday. There's a narrow old stone bridge over the river Dee, across from the pub, only open to cars coming into the village off the busy A road to Wrexham on the opposite side of the river.

I cycle over the bridge and find a nicely landscaped picnic area in along the riverbank, where I stop for lunch, finishing off the last of yesterday's bread and cheese. Afterwards I hurry up the A road, then off along B roads, reaching Chester by two, just as it begins to rain.

Crossing the bridge at Banger on Dee.
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I'm now chilling out in Starbucks, having been to the tourist office, where they've armed me with a booklet on what's on in the city and a city-plan with a hostel circled in Brook Street. Later, when the rain eases off, I ride along the wet cobblestone street through the Friday afternoon crowds. It is raining again when I reach the hostel door in Brook Street and ring the bell. A young man barely thirty opens up and straightaway apologies, saying they are fully booked, but suggests I try the guesthouse at the end off the street.

I'm glad then to find room at the inn when I reach the end of the street.

The rain in Chester.
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Today's ride: 89 km (55 miles)
Total: 15,125 km (9,393 miles)

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