45 riders arrived on a glorious sunny day for a bike ride. Mick split us into 4 groups (one long, two medium, and one short) to accommodate our biggest ride group ever. I was tail rider for one of the medium groups, and it was just as well that this was my designated position as I seemed to be constantly hanging off the back of the group!
Today’s health & safety tip is about the benefits of a visor. In bright sun, I wear a tennis visor under my helmet. It has a white top to reflect light, and the underside is black, preventing light being reflected downwards into the eyes. My optician tells me a blue iris allows more light into the eye, which means people like me are much more sensitive to bright light than people with dark eyes. So wearing a visor in sunshine, means I spend less time frowning to protect my eyes. Being of celtic descent (red hair, blue eyes, white skin) means I’m evolved to live in a cold half-light!
We pedalled down London Road, along the cycle route to turn right at Youngs End. This was a bike ride when Mick took us along some of his much-favoured tracks – but at least this time, they were not muddy and uneven, so I was not worried about falling off. We went through Great Leighs, left at Fuller Street, up to Ranks Green and on to Black Notley. We pedalled past Bulford Mill, then toiled up the hill to Cressing.
As we pedalled along, Gifford and I noticed a strong sweet scent the air (much nicer than rapeseed in Gifford’s opinion!). There was no crop flowering in the fields adjacent so we concluded it was the prolific cow parsley in the verge.
Cressing Temple Barns dealt with our 45 riders really well. They have a new system, where they take orders, and you pay immediately, and the orders are electronically passed to the kitchen. This was fast and effective, and our 4 groups had made a good job of staggering our arrival.
We were soon exhorted by Mick to be back on our bikes, and pedalled back towards Cressing, past the station and Bulford Mill. In Black Notley, we turned left then right onto another of Mick’s favourite tracks, which brought us out at the roundabout at the A131 junction at Great Notley. Then we took the cycle route back to Braintree town centre.
24 miles, average 10.5mph.
PS – News just in – Ann Reilly has had her hip surgery and all went well. All the Easy Riders send her healing thoughts and visualise her back on her bike, fit, well and strong!