Forecast maximum temperature was 29C. I had no way of confirming that but Breeds Road was semi-liquid!
It was also Father’s Day and I didn’t get a ride in a two-seat Spitfire or a new carbon bike so I had to get my pleasures from leading the Chelmsford Group.
Five riders left Chelmsford on a route as different as I could make it to our last trip to Finchingfield. In Stisted there were crowds of people lining the route who cheered us on. I discovered they were actually waiting for classic cars to pass through. We arrived at Roundwood Café at almost bang on 11 o’clock to find four members already there.
After mainly tea and tea cakes four left for Finchingfield on a 16 mile loop. At one point the clip on my map board covered a vital junction so adjustments had to be made. For all I knew there could have been icebergs hiding on that piece of chart! For some parts of the ride I led from the back as it was more convenient and it saved wearing out my mirror. In Finchingfield I had my packed lunch in the shade in the churchyard. There I applied sun screen to some toes. I wasn’t going mad, I just had two toes chafing and sun screen was a substitute for Sudocrem. I then re-joined the other three at Bosworths. Of the three one forgot to pay and hopefully that has now been sorted so we can go there again.
The next stage was a tea stop at Rayne Booking Hall. Ravi, who lives in Braintree, headed for home leaving three of us to chat in the shade. John D then left for home leaving just Diana and me to head for Chelmsford.
It was also the day of the London to Brighton Ride but my ride of 62 miles was marginally longer. Although we did a few hills there was nothing like Ditchling Beacon.
Only five of us gathered at City Hall for this ride with numbers reduced by various other events and holidays. The weather was bright and breezy and we were pleased to welcome a new rider Ravi for his first outing with our group.
Marks Tey was our destination for elevenses which we reached via Terling Whitam Kelevedon and Messing making a first leg of 26 miles. With a bit of wind assistance we managed to get there just after 11am.
At elevenses there were a dozen members, which was very nice but a bit of a shame that more of us had not ridden there together. Six of us set off for Nayland but John B had to peel off en route to get home. At the Anchor Inn we were well served, if a bit slowly due to the number of customers there.
Preparing to leave The Anchor Inn at Nayland
The return to Chelmsford was hard going due to an increasing SW wind. We had a pleasant tea stop at Paycocks NT in Coggeshall and I arrived home with 72 miles on the clock.
Here is a link to my Strava record: https://www.strava.com/activities/1031945342
The day’s leader, John B, announced he was ill and unable to ride so Adrian took up the challenge. There had been some pre-ride email conversation about the distance between venues. It was decided the distance between elevenses and lunch was too great. The elevenses stop of Greenstead Green was retained but lunch was changed to Finchingfield.
Adrian, Martin, Ioan and me left Chelmsford in sunny but fresh conditions. On a blind bend on the road from Fuller Street to Ranks Green a car came hurtling round locking up its wheels. The driver was in complete denial he did anything wrong commenting we were in the middle of the road. It was lucky we weren’t because the car was nearly the same width as the road.
At Greenstead Green we met up with Dave, Ken, John D, Heather and Eric. From these only John joined us for the ride to lunch. There were a few stops for him to have a puff on his inhaler and to retrieve his hat!
The Red Lion is now called the Finchingfield Lion. There were no sandwiches available so three of us made our way to the Picture Pot Tearoom. Adrian and John were happy with what the pub could provide. I re-joined them later for a beer. Martin and Ioan then made off leaving the three of us to have a swift visit to the Guildhall opposite. At the turning for Bardfield Saling John continued straight on leaving Adrian and me to continue to Chelmsford with no tea stop.