What a difference a week makes two riders out last week 10 today. Sadly one rider is unlikely to ride with us again. Peter Turner is moving off to Devon but has threatened to attend the Southend Forty Plus Christmas Lunch.
A rather chilly morning until the sun got higher in the sky. Our outward journey took us through Channels where you never know how much traffic you will have to dodge crossing the A130. Remarkably there was nothing!
Coming up with an original route is difficult to do but on the Silver End to Kelvedon section several said they were unfamiliar with those parts.
At Perrywood we met up with Ken, Dave R and John D. Like other garden centres Christmas has truly arrived.
The ride to lunch was anything but direct and there were some who thought the leader had lost the plot but we arrived at the Wetherspoons in Maldon at about the right time. John D mistakenly started supping a stranger’s drink so we’ll have to keep an eye on him!
Throughout the ride Ioan was pushing one of Martin’s bikes along at speeds that it has rarely seen! Fortunately he was sensible enough not to get too far ahead and get lost.
We are nearly at the time of year when an afternoon tea stop becomes optional. Four of us put into Butts Green GC where I was shocked to find a pot of tea now costs £2.50. Granted they give you a large pot but it is quite a task to put fours cups away. The other shock was the sauna like conditions inside.
Back in Chelmsford I had done 48 miles so more like a short winter ride but it is the company of fellow riders that matters more than miles.
The early morning rain prompted my wife to ask me what I would do if I got to the start for this ride which I was down to lead and found nobody there. I said I would probably come home, thinking it would probably be still raining. Her question proved prophetic and I was on my own at the start but as I really wanted the exercise and the rain was easing I decided to follow the route I had planned anyway.
With elevenses at Blackmore it’s a bit tricky to make the first leg long enough, but by looping around a bit I arrived there with 18 miles on the clock. I’m glad I carried on because Mel arrived there at the same time to join the ride, asking where the rest of the group was which I couldn’t explain. Particularly so as the forecast proved correct and the weather was now dry and bright.
Mel and I then had a very enjoyable ride to the Fox Inn at Matching Tye with some welcome wind assistance. This hostelry is really excellent for a cyclist lunch stop with good beer and no fuss about not having a Sunday roast.
Heading for The Snug at High Easter for threeses we took in the attractive link past Matching Church then via Matching Green to White Roding in bright sunshine.
We managed to dodge a nasty black cloud which passed us to the west as we made our way back to Chelmsford in dry conditions. I had 55 miles on the clock on arriving home at 4pm after a good ride with good company. Thanks Mel – without you I might well have gone home from Blackmore.
Here is a link to my Strava record, although it was switched off from Blackmore to Stondon Massey!