A rather misty start, but soon the sun was breaking through and five of us set off in good spirits from City Hall heading for our elevenses at Marks Tey. We do it so often that I’m getting a bit tired of the obvious route through Boreham, Wickham Bishops and Tiptree, so I took a route via Channels, Terling and Witham where we tried out the impressive new pedestrian/cycle bridge over the mainline railway at the North end of Witham. The extended ramps are very cyclable and this is an excellent new facility.
We then tried an off-road link at Coleman’s Farm Little Braxted to reach the road from Rivenhall towards Tiptree. Unfortunately there is a short section which is quite rutted and a bit slippery so you could say my ‘name was mud’ but the others were very kind to me, withholding what I suspect were their true feelings on the matter!
The rest of the ride via Kelvedon, Messing and Copford was fairly uneventful although the unremitting NE wind made it quite hard work and we didn’t arrive at Marks Tey until 11.30am.
The car park at the Diner was full of classic american cars which provided some interest for those who like that sort of thing.
We were pleased to find Dave R there, only a few days after his ‘op’. He seems to be recovering well and was in good spirits. Eric and Heather had cycled there on their own, maybe having had a premonition that I might be going off-road!
Seven of us then went on towards our lunch destination at the excellent Swan pub in Little Totham, although three peeled off to return home before we got there. I’m getting a bit slower on hills these days and the others went ahead a few miles before we reached Little Totham. They did not know my route however so we ended up getting separated. Our caring group secretary was waiting for me on the ‘unplanned route’ but I was already at the pub! Thank goodness for mobile phones.
John B met us at the Swan and we all cycled back to Chelmsford via a tea stop at Bunsey Downs having covered about 56 miles.
Here is a link to my Strava record: https://www.strava.com/activities/516114554