Eight of us turned up for the Sunday ride – Mick and Julia, and Ian and Gwen on tandems; plus Brian, Paul, Ron and me. It was cold and bright, and a glorious day for a bike ride.
We pedalled off down London Road, and followed Route 16 briefly before turning right to pick up a short piece of Route 1 to Terling. Then we headed straight to Hatfield Peverel, passing the station, and turning left along the main road. We turned right onto the B1019, straight down to the Museum of Power for a tea break.
From a conversation with Mick and Julia, it turns out that Mick built their tandem himself. The frame was bought from SJS, and was unusual in that it had been built for a tall pilot and short stoker. Mick altered the brakes, and added the relevant parts to suit him and Julia. Jim and I have tried a tandem but it did not suit us because I am right footed and Jim is left footed, which gave problems pushing off. Julia, being tiny, does not push off. Mick takes the balance of the tandem, Julia puts both feet on the pedals ready to ride and Mick pushes off. Riding a tandem requires absolute trust in each other – and it has been said that riding a tandem accelerates the direction in which your relationship is travelling. It was wise for Jim and I to continue riding solo bikes!
We turned right out of the Museum of Power and turned left up the B1018 which took us up to Witham. We found our way through Witham, ending up on route 16 past Blunts Hall, Fairstead and Ranks Green. Then our group rode back into Braintree along London Road.
After 31 miles and 2 hours 40 minutes riding time, we had worked up a good appetite for Sunday lunch. A good time had by all.