Sunday dawned bright and sunny. Maurice and I decided we’d go for a spin with the Easy Riders Sunday ride, but unfortunately I messed up on the meeting point! So as there were just the two of us, and I’d enjoyed Adrian’s ride so much on Friday, we decided to repeat it, but in reverse. Also there had been a few things I’d wanted to photograph on Friday, but did not want to keep stopping as it would slow the group.
We did not fancy riding Long Green on a Sunday morning with the potential for traffic going to Freeport, so we went via Black Notley and Bulford Mill. As we rode up past Cressing station, Maurice noticed that a footpath, behind the hedge on the north side of the road. This was meant to be part of the council deal with the builders for the new housing estate at the top of Bulford Lane in Cressing, to create a safe walking route to the station.
We pedalled through Silver End, Kelvedon, Inworth, and Messing. Here Maurice and I met a couple who were out touring, and stopped for a chat. They were from Southend, and on a weekend tour. On the Saturday they had ridden from Southend, round Braintree to Colchester, had a night at the North Hill Hotel (which they thoroughly recommended) and were taking a circuitous route back home. It made me reflect on happy memories of tours that Jim and I have done.
We stopped in Messing to have a closer look at the church and former almshouse /workhouse /village school /village hall/.
We saw quite a few cyclists on this piece of road between Easthorpe and Copford, and then took Turkey Cock Lane to the Barn Café. Maurice and I met Jim here, and we fell on our lunches. Yumm!
Maurice and I pedalled off north to Aldham, where we tried to find out who was the clergyman on the village sign. It turns out he was Philip Morant, historian of Essex, who was Rector from 1745 to 1770. We pedalled onto Great Tey (twice! We took a wrong turn!) and noticed an interesting bridge access design over a moat.
As Maurice and I rode towards Earls Colne airfield, we noticed an aircraft sign, indicating the direction of the flightpath for the airstrip. We also found a sign for an alpaca stud farm (yes really!) at the rear of Earls Colne airfield. It was not clearly signed, but I can’t imagine they will have many customers. What was clearly signed, was the No HGV sign for the road crossing Bourne Brook.
Obviously the clear signage does not work because lorries keep getting stranded at the dead end at Bourne Brook. This is the three point turn spot on the Nightingale Hall side of the brook, and next is the one on Don John’s side of the water.
By this time the warmth of the day was waning, so Maurice and I sped off home through Stisted to the Flitch Way … where who should we meet but Mick! Well tanned, but still jet lagged after almost 24 hours flying home from Adelaide via Perth to London.
44 miles, average 10.2mph. So Adrian’s route gave us two for the price of one! Well planned and a great bike ride!