Only one 'U turn' allowed
The weather was amazing this week, for the first time we had sun and warmth. T-shirt and shirts were definitely the order of the day. We also had 30 riders which was great with 2 new riders (welcome Mary and Jed) and Mark returning for the first time in 2017.
We set off towards Towerlands as a group and split there in to the shorter and longer ride groups. As we left Towerlands Mick expected me (leading the longer ride) to turn left, however i turned right and took the group for a short sprint up the hill in to Bocking just to warm them up. We then turned round and headed back to Towerlands again up a hill. I'm not sure everyone appreciated the warm up...maybe I should admit I went the wrong way! As we just regrouped in Towerlands 3 buses from different directions all converged (they say buses come in groups) and so we had to make a quick exit towards Panfield and on towards Shalford Green after negotiating a road closure.
We turned off down Water Hall Lane to head towards Blackmore End and a helpful driver advised that the road was closed and we should turn back. We thanked him, but thought it couldn't be that closed that we couldn't squeeze by. How wrong we were, the road was blocked by a large lorry and the only options were to either turn around and cycle back up the hill or climb up the bank and walk on the field to get round the lorry. You can see from the photo which option we chose - didn't want a second U turn. Have to say everyone worked so well together to get the bikes up quite a steep embankment and then manhandle the riders up as well.
Once safely back on our bikes we headed towards Liston Farm and across the old airfield through to Southey Green and finally to our coffee stop at Cut Maple. The other group had arrived some time ago (25mins) and were just saddling up as we arrived.
Refreshments completed we turned left out of Cut Maple towards Gosfield and then to Beazley End. From there through to Shalford Green and home to Panfield. Well done Mave on being tail end charlie and keeping an eye on us all.
All in all 26 miles on a lovely spring day. I'm sure someone will check whether I know my left or right and so now I have written L and R on my handlebars. Hope it helps but I'm not convinced😆