Lone Raider – Bike Chester Sportive Long Route. Fab route mainly on quiet lanes. Really enjoyed that!

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Today was the Ride Chester Sportive. This starts from the Kings School on the south side of Chester and loops round the lovely Cheshire lanes to Tatton Park near Knutsford and then back to Chester.

I got up mega early and drove up to Chester for 7am. After registering, chatting to a few riders and having my usual pre-sportive cup of coffee, I headed off to the start line.

I was expecting a lot more riders than I saw but apparently the sportive is only in it’s second year and so had about 450 in total, which is pretty respectable.

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The route headed initially into Chester itself and right into the centre, past all he picture postcard shops and alleyways. Then we went onto this fab cycleway which obviously used to be an old railway line. These are usually gravel but this one was properly tarmaced and a joy to ride on.

Not long afterwards was the one and only real hill of the ride as we passed over the back of Helsby Hill. Nothing too taxing and it was a shortish climb. Not long afterwards we arrived at the first feed stop in Northwich.

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The feed stop was outside a show home on a new estate (one of the sponsors of the ride). A really refreshing change from the usual village hall. I was looking forward to trying to posh loos inside, but found out they had a couple of portaloos round the back for cyclists use. Talk about a come down!

The ride carried on meandering through beautiful countryside and then through Tatton Park and onto a very familiar stretch of road through Knutsford and onwards to Middlewich. This is the reverse of my route from Altrincham to home.

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After Middlewich we headed over towards Bunbury and the second feed stop.

After that it was a nice easy ride back to the finish line, going alongside the River Dee into Chester on the way.

After the ride I treated myself to a lovely pint of Cheshire Cat and a leg massage. The lovely lady who did the massage said my legs were “the best legs I’ve felt all day”!

A fab route which was almost entirely lanes and taking in lots of places I’ve not cycled before. Loved it.

Route: click here