Plenty of Easy Riders congregated on Drury Lane for the last Wednesday ride before Christmas. All groups were heading to The Stores at Great Waltham – Long ride led by Tim, Medium led by Jim and Short group led by Mick.
The short group pedalled out straight down London Road, along Route 16 through Great Notley and then straight down the old 131 through Great Leighs. We took the footpath under the new A131 bypass and took a short section on the A131. I can’t say I like this part of the route, as it meant we had to cross the busy road twice in order to ride a 200 yard section. Fortunately an Eddie Stobart lorry held the traffic while we all crossed. Lorry drivers are a group of workers that I have a lot of time for – this is because if there is a problem on the road, they have the road training and knowledge to be able to control traffic by the way they position their vehicles. We then turned right off the A131 and took some lovely roads to be the first group arriving at The Stores. By the time all the Easy Rider groups arrived, The Stores was absolutely rammed. As usual I think we ate all their sausage rolls, as well as a lot of other food. Yumm!
On the way back, Peter Short and I were discussing bees. I’d just been to Abberton Reservoir visitor centre, and bought some black bee honey. Apparently black bees were thought to be extinct from the early 1900s but a couple of swarms have been found on the nature reserve in the last few years, and they now have 5 hives. Black bee honey is expensive – £6.95 for 12oz – but I’m quite happy to support the nature reserve.
Peter told me he was planning to get some new beehives. He had been a beekeeper a few years back but for some reason the hives failed. This time he plans to get an organic beehive – which has a non-traditional design. The design sounds like a tall, narrow cylinder, standing on 18” high legs. It is designed to appeal to swarming bees, so will be inhabited by native, local bees. Once the hive is installed, it has to be primed with a spray lure, that will attract swarming bees to it. Sounds a great idea. If it’s successful, I’m sure Peter will let us know.
Peter stopped us on the way back, to admire a red kite that was sitting on the top of a hedge. And on the way out, eagle-eyed Ann spotted some deer watching us from a distance.
Health & safety tip for the day is for each rider to check it is safe to ride from pavement to road, rather than just following the rider ahead of them. A couple of times today, as I was riding at the back, I could see group members just following each other, riding out in front of cars, when actually individuals should have stopped to give way to oncoming traffic.
We pedalled back via Howe Street and Littley Green, coming out at Youngs End. We made our way to The Prince Louis at Great Notley for a pre-Christmas drink. It was good company.
Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to all riders.