In starting this write up I looked back at Margot’s Aussie Rules blog from only two weeks ago where she wrote about her joys in exploring the English countryside in good weather. Well that was two weeks ago, the Autumn weather is now with us, so I am writing about our ride in not so good weather.
We woke up to a weather forecast predicting rain all day and cooler than average temperatures. Unlike 30 years ago, when the big hurricane force storm was not foreseen, today the forecasters were correct so we started off with dark skies and were soon cycling in cold drizzle.
The route took us out of Braintree along the new River Brain Cycle path to Freeport, through Cressing and Perry Green to Coggeshall Hamlet. At this point we were on the same route in two groups and most in the faster group had guessed the coffee break would be in Kelvedon so anticipated turning right. However this did not allow for Mick leading so we duly turned left and the longer ride taking a Mick detour via the centre of Coggeshall, Skye Green (most of us not aware that this place even existed) then going through Feering Village before finally arriving at Kelvedon Sandwich Bar. This is only the second time we had been to this café and both were in bad weather. Maybe next time we can have some sunshine on the menu.
Approx 11 miles for the shorter ride and 15 miles for the longer ride.
The shorter group riders had missed out the Coggeshall loop so when we arrived had already ordered their refreshment (including one full English breakfast!). Service seemed a bit slow but the menu range was vast and there was room for us all to sit down and enjoy the warm break away from the damp day outside.
Our return was straightforward via Silver End, Cressing and Millennium Way back into the town centre. We did have one vehicle driver who obviously did not think cyclists should be on the road and used his horn to tell us. Even though no one was doing anything wrong it just shows that as cycling ambassadors we all need to be vigilant and not do anything that could provoke these thoughtless drivers.
All 23 riders returned together and the distance was approx 9 miles so total ride lengths were approx 20 miles and 24 miles. This was at the maximum of our group distance aims but was a fairly easy ride with no steep hills and very little wind resistance. Fortunately from the weather viewpoint we only had drizzle on and off during the ride and no big downpours. We all came prepared for heavier rain so no one was soaked through and we all enjoyed the ride.