There were only two at the start in Chelmsford, Dave S and John B (leader). Dave R and I joined them at the Fig Tree in Maldon for elevenses. A crowd from Essex Roads, which passed me on Mundon Road shared the room with us and were very noisy.
The visibility had improved by the time John took us off to Witham coming in from the north over the huge railway bridge. The Battisford Court (Wetherspoons) was relatively quiet and presented no problem finding a table. Dave S bought the drinks; what a nice man! We were then joined by Phil and caught up with his news.
Only Dave R was interested in a tea stop so took himself off to Terling. The rest of us made our way south splitting near Woodham Walter, three to Chelmsford area and me back to Wickford. Ride length 47 miles and ending with all lights flashing.
On leaving Wickford at 9 o’clock going straight to elevenses I spotted three SEG members already at their meeting point. Having arrived at Terling and no sign of the Chelmsford Group I went to explore a road called The Dismals. I don’t know the origin of the name but the lane was pleasant enough and leads up to the cricket ground passing a swimming pool, children’s playground and a nursery on the way.
Part way through my coffee at Owls Hill Tea Room four riders from Chelmsford turned up. On leaving the tea room Dave R led us through the village and then stopped to show us Lord Rayleigh’s pump. This once provided the water supply to Terling Place, the residence of Lord Rayleigh, and consisted of an undershot waterwheel in the River Ter, which drove a three cylinder pump. Further round on our culture tour we viewed Terling Place across the fields. Dave explained the estate once had a large herd about 600 cows. Most of the farms on the estate are now arable. Dave also mentioned two of the Baron Rayleighs were well known physicists and made a number of discoveries.
After a pleasant ride in winter sunshine we arrived at the Fox and Hounds at Cock Clarks at about 12:30 to find SEG members already seated. We grabbed the remaining seats in the room before the Havering Group arrived. Adrian and John D had ridden there solo and Brian and Janette came by car making the total of nine Chelmsford members.
Most riders were interested in getting home in daylight except for a few from SEG who were still enjoying the beer! On our way home John B and I came up behind the Havering Group. They were doing a steady relaxed pace and we followed them through East Hanningfield until a couple pulled over for a toilet stop.
With Mel having kept this blog going for a few weeks (thanks Mel!) it’s about time I did my bit again.
Wow – what a wonderful day it was today with clear blue sky all day and only a light easterly wind. Maybe the slight early frost put a few people off which is a shame as we had no problems with slippery surfaces at all. Consequently only 4 of us started from the City Hall.
The trip to elevenses at Bretts in White Roding is a bit short for the first leg, so I put in some loops south and north of the A414 before taking our normal route via Birds Green and Abbess Roding.
About a mile before we got there I stopped briefly to fiddle with my GPS which had turned itself off. I didn’t need it for navigation but it was recording the route so I wanted it on again. However it was a bad move as Dave S looked round to see what I was doing and promptly fell off after an altercation with the verge. He was fine but his front mudguard had become detached and took a bit of re-fixing.
At Bretts we were seriously outnumbered by about 50 riders from the Crest CC. Fortunately we had arrived slightly ahead of them and our service was not affected.
The ride to lunch at Monk Street took us close to Hatfield Broadoak then via Takely, Molehill Green and Broxted. We kept up a reasonable pace despite my relatively poor performance on the hills which are significant around Broxted.
Lunch at the Farmhouse Inn was a cosy affair as our numbers had now swollen to 6 with Dave R and John D having joined us. It was very busy and we were lucky to get a table in a nook opposite the bar.
Having finished by about 1.20 we decided to head off to Chelmsford. Unfortunately by doing so we missed John B who unbeknown to us arrived to join us at 1.30.
The ride back was via Lindsell and Felsted with Dave R and John B peeling off at appropriate points to head for home.
I arrived home around 3.15 with 56 miles on my computer.
Here is a link to my Strava record: