A dank drizzly cold miserable morning came as a shock after weeks of dry sunny weather and this clearly took a toll on the turnout. Only four of us set off from the City Hall in these abject conditions and I was finding my choice of shorts and more particularly mitts rather than full gloves were somewhat misguided!
We were led by Diana via High Easter little Canfield, Bacon End and the far side of Stansted airport to a welcome elevenses stop at Stansted Mountfitchet after 26 miles. Peter Tibbett joined us there having cycled down from Cambridge and consumed a breakfast and two coffees in an hour-long wait for us to arrive. He joined us for the ride to Rickling Green for lunch by which time the drizzle had stopped but it was still very cold.
Diana kindly treated us to a round of drinks to celebrate her birthday the next day and we enjoyed our lunch break in the Cricketers Arms.
After lunch we headed for Great Dunmow for tea before the final leg back to Chelmsford where we arrived at about 5pm having covered about 62 miles.
Link to the Strava record: https://www.strava.com/activities/293018109
Just a quick post to provide the link to my Strava record and a couple of photos of some of the riders on the day.
Easter Sunday showed us what was hopefully the beginnings of Spring, with clusters of primroses and daffs lining the kerbsides of the lanes. Seven riders shunned the domestic Easter-Egg hunt in favour of a bracing ride to Thaxted taking the very pretty route through Butchers Pasture. We got there for eleven, but the only café open was “busy with bookings” (which had yet to arrive) – and a little stressed if you ask me. The Commandant didn’t care too much for cyclists, suggesting that we remove our shoes to visit the toilet, even though there was no logical reason for doing so and ushered us off a table that was booked for lunch at least an hour later. I was therefore quite amused when, just as we were leaving, the combined ranks of 2 large groups of about 15 riders apiece from Cambridge and Hertford respectively converged on the place, stomping about in their cleated shoes and causing absolute mayhem behind the counter.
I must confess that I was thinking about aborting the run to lunch, fearing the “bookings only” syndrome common to Essex pubs at Easter/Christmas/fathers/mother’s day etc. In fact I couldn’t have been more wrong. The Cock at Henham welcomed us, fitted us in and even supplied sandwiches which were of both excellent quality and price. Ex-Chelmsford Secretary Felix Ormerod joined us, riding an ancient and rare “lightweight” fixie and stayed with the group for the longish run back to High Easter for tea. Well, Easter at Easter, – it had to be done!