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 good time. No pressure of speed on this ride. The pit stop was pre determined at about half distance where superb cakes and refreshment were provided by a fellow rider and family.
Back to Braintree safely saw some happy riders conclude a great effort. Drink stops in the shade, warnings abound about cars and potholes plus the odd root with regulars checks that everyone was OK.
Conversations were many and the subjects varied. I could not be more pleased with my first outing with this welcoming and friendly ride group.
It was clear that some of the riders had joined the group due to health issues and the need to do low impact exercise in a caring and supervised way which had improved medical conditions. Running has a fear because of strain on the limbs and heart and not everyone can swim sufficient to improve fitness whereas cycling, even on an old bike, can be done by most people.
Thank you for today. I will be back.
Ed - thanks Chris for taking the time to feed back on your experiences and see you next week.