Posted for Mel Martin:
Chelmsford Ride Report Sunday 18th October 2015-
The Tour de Navestock
It was the day of the Chelmsford Marathon so our outward journey avoided the cycle way through Central Park and we picked up NCN 1 well after Writtle. We still had to contend with runners/marshals etc. until Radley Green.
The nine of us out stopped for elevenses at the café attached to Budworth Hall in Ongar. It was a bit of squeeze getting us in but a table for seven of us was prepared.
Afterwards Adrian took us down some lovely quiet lanes in the Stanford Rivers area where the only traffic seemed to be horses.
Heather and Eric left us on Shonks Mill Road as we turned up Mill Lane. The hill up this lane had Tom and Dave with their fixies out of the saddle for a long period!
We arrived at the Alma Arms at Horseman Side about 12:40. Food and drink had to be ordered separately at different tills and we were given a pager. When that went off we all got up to collect our food from the counter. The beer was more expensive than usual but the food cheaper e.g. pint of Suffolk County £3.70, BLT baguette £3.95.
The problem Adrian had now was finding a threeses stop at the appropriate time so a few loops were put in. No advice on which way we should go was offered on this stage! At Swallows Cross the group headed for Blackmore Tea Room but I headed off for tea at chez Martin. 57 miles in dry, mild weather with only light winds leaves little reason to moan.
Link to my route
We’ve had some beautiful weather this last few weeks and today was no exception. A chilly start but then hardly a cloud to be seen all day and only a light southerly wind in the afternoon. However this only attracted 5 riders to the start, although a total of 8 were involved at some point during the day.
The route to elevenses at Greenstead Green took us via Channels, Terling, Cressing and Stisted. The countryside looked at its best in the misty morning sunlight but it seems we were all a bit ‘head down’ as we completed the 22 miles to elevenses by 10.50. There was a ploughing competition going on at Greenstead Green and the second-hand tool sale attracted a lot of interest from our group.
Looking for bargain seconhand tools
The route via Colne Engaine and Daws Cross on quiet lanes to our lunch stop at the Lion Inn at Lamarsh was particularly enjoyable. A shame that this otherwise excellent pub doesn’t serve sandwiches on Sunday lunchtimes. Nevertheless the starters offered were of good quality and the beer pretty good too. John and Margaret were due to meet us there but a puncture en route had delayed their arrival. Unfortunately it was rather a quick ‘hello and goodbye’ as we were ready to leave.
We intended to have tea at Perrywoods but on passing Inworth Chruch we noticed there was a flower festival on. We stopped there and were offered excellent tea and a huge choice of cakes for a very modest contribution. The highlight though was probably a chat with a lady who was very knowledgeable about the architecture and development history of this church.
Alter flowers in Inworth Church
Then it was back to Chelmsford for an early finish with 62 miles completed.
Here is a link to my Strava record of the ride: https://www.strava.com/activities/406258261