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It is rumoured that 60 years ago a baby was born that would change the face of cycling in Braintree. To date no one knows who that person is, but strangely enough on a wet and miserable morning, Mick's bike sprouted a balloon.

Mick did look a bit surprised and we did wonder if maybe we had got his age wrong and he was expecting one with a 7 on it!

After the required badge pinning ceremony and happy birthday rendition, 26 of us set off to the Blue Egg in the rain. (Disappointing given the forecast was rain at 1pm not 10am.)

We all headed towards Panfield and stopped at the Bakers Arms to split in to 2 groups. I took the longer route heading off towards Jaspers Green, Shalford and on to Great Bardfield. After 11 wet miles we arrived with the other group already installed in the Blue Egg sipping on hot cups of coffee.

Another surprise for Mick was that Julia had arrived with a large cake and he had to suffer the group's singing of happy birthday once again. There were no candles as apparently the sheer number presented a fire risk and the smoke would have set off the alarms. A quick speech from Mick to say thank you for the cards and vouchers - I bet he buys some more maps to find new bridle ways for us to cycle down.

After a delicious piece of birthday cake (thanks Julia) we headed off to Great Saling in the rain and then on to Rayne and home. The last bit down the Flitch was very soggy and despite being out in the rain for three hours, it was the last 5 mins on the Flitch that got me wetter and muddier than ever. Overall 21 miles.

Wishing Mick a very happy birthday and thanks to everyone who organised the special treats for this new sexagenarian.


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Braintree Easy Riders is an affiliated community cycling group supported by Braintree District Council and Essex County Council
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