First Time Rider Report

I made a decision at 9.20 am to try Braintree Easy Riders. The mountain bike out of the shed, water bottle filled and a ride to Braintree which got me to the meet place in time to see a mass of people and bikes of all shapes and sizes with riders to match. I was greeted immediately, introduced to others and made to feel most welcome. There were 2 rides one longer than the other, I chose the shorter ride as my mountain bike seemed in the minority, as did my rugged tyres. Before we set off people were happy as there were 2 other, first timers. Off we went and roads through Braintee showed the skill of the route guide. Out into the wonderful countryside of Essex, riders chatting and having a go

Garden Party in Sible

It was a boiling hot day for a bike ride, but about 26 Easy Riders turned up, including 3 new riders: Chris, Peter and Beverley. We headed out north, running parallel to Panfield Lane, though the housing estate. We made our way towards Jaspers Green, Shalford Green and Church End, and Blackmore End. Mick’s safety tip for the day was to keep drinking. It’s hot weather, and everyone needed to drink copiously whenever we stopped to reassemble at junctions. I think I won the prize for drinking the most – 3 bottlefuls – 2.25 litres in total. I spent some time riding with Beverley, one of our new riders. It turns out Beverley is Australian, from an area south of Perth. I spent a student exch

Diverse conversations on the way to The Snug, High Easter

Today’s rides were led by Mick and Adrian. We had a couple of new riders join us today. Of these, I only managed to speak to Martin, who’s looking for a sociable riding group, as he’s just about to retire (Hurrah!). I immediately picked up that he speaks a refined form of English – a Glaswegian accent – which he has not lost after working at Stansted airport for 30 years. As my Scottish husband, Jim, would say, you don’t lose a good thing! Ed - Peter was the other rider and also hoping to retire this year. There were about 20 of us departing from Drury Lane, separating into 2 groups, Mick leading and Gwen tailing. Down London Road, then via cycle paths past the newly renamed Prince Loui

Heading south to Paper Mill Lock

This was one of Mick’s slightly longer rides for the 20 of us who rode from our usual start point on Drury Lane. There was an option to start from Great Leighs for those who wanted a shorter ride. This group of 6, led by Adrian and Diane, met us near Humphreys Farm at Ranks Green. Mick’s safety Thought for the Day was about riding on the correct side of the road. Apparently there had been a near miss last weekend, by a hot, tired, rider cutting a corner at a t-junction, when an oncoming car had to do an emergency stop. Also, Diane and I had been riding single track roads, and I was aware that sometimes(!) I was paying more attention to talking than riding safely, and I needed to drop back

Braintree to Cammas Hall and Back - a figure of 8 ride

On Saturday night I was looking at the Cammas Hall fruit farm website, wondering whether the raspberries were in season after the cold, late spring. As it turns out, the raspberries are about 2 weeks late commencing their fruiting and there are limited supplies as yet. However, the fruit farm - and its tea shop - open at 9am for early fruit pickers. That decided me upon a destination for a Sunday bike ride. I put out the call for fellow riders for a 7am, early start, the following day, and Diane and Adrian responded. As it turned out, Adrian felt somewhat ill and wan, and did not ride. But at 7am, Diane and I met up and set off. We are both naturally ‘a lighter shade of pale’, so did not

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