This week, Wedneday 15 August, the ride was a bit of a mystery tour as we headed north, before ending up at Cressing Temple Barns, south of the A120. New riders welcomed this week were Heather and Dave – who are experienced cyclists, and have been thinking about joining us for a regular ride for about a year, since they both retired. (Hurrah! More retirees! Life is so good when you have time to do what you want!)
We pedalled off north through the housing estate and up Bocking Church Street. We crossed the A131 and headed further north to Plaistow Green, then changed direction, going south along the east side of Stisted. We were pedalling through fields of stubble, although Paul Norris commented that the fields of wheat still standing were unharvestable. On closer inspection, I noticed the ears of wheat were covered in black mould, presumably caused by recent rain, which the local farmers were unable to harvest in time.
We crossed the A120 and headed to Cressing Temple Barns. Here we discovered the two other groups had arrived before us and were tucking into scones and jam. We were warned that if you ate outside, the wasps were aggressive …. And they were right! The ready supply of jam had trained the wasps that this was an easy food source, so most people eating sought refuge inside the café to enjoy their snack in peace.
Today’s conversation that sticks in my mind was with Paul. He’s moving to a bungalow soon, and asked my opinion on the pros and cons, given I’ve lived in a bungalow for nearly 20 years. The only adverse thing I could think of, was that you lose your strength walking up stairs, because you are not practising it every day. This is one reason why I ride my bike! Stay strong! The advantages are many – you don’t lose half the capacity of your home if you can’t manage stairs; you can clean your own windows/gutters so don’t need a window cleaner/handyman; you don’t have a hall/stairs (and usually fewer rooms) to decorate, so much household maintenance is easier. Paul wondered about home security – we’ve never had problems with securing windows. Random information for the day, is that Braintree – CM7 – is one of the lowest crime areas in the country, so Jim and I have never worried about crime because of living in a single storey property.
Today’s safety thought for the day is notifying other riders of potholes. I was riding with Peter S, when there was an ENORMOUS pothole at the roadside. It is good practice to point and shout POTHOLE to alert other riders. This particular pothole was large enough to unseat any rider hitting it – and I really don’t like falling off my bike!
We departed Cressing Temple Barns and headed to White Notley, down past the station, turned right uphill. We turned left and rode the track past Dagnets Farm coming out at the top of the A131. We followed the cycle track through Great Notley back to Queenborough Lane and into the centre of Braintree.
Well led by Steve. Many thanks to all lead and tail riders.