The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness

The Easy Riders congregated as usual at Drury Lane. We welcomed 3 new riders (but I can only remember the name of Jim’s grandson, Cameron). I was riding with the middle group, led by Mick and tailed by Ann.

It was a glorious day for a bike ride. Hazy sunshine, and warm for autumn. We departed via London Road, and the cycle path alongside it, before joining the old A131. We turned off left just before Great Leighs. We headed almost due south, all the way to the bridge over the A12 at Boreham. On the way we cycled past lots of pheasant, strutting, calling and flying across the fields. We turned left on to the B1137 and cycled down and up the hill into Hatfield Peverel

We arrived at D’s Diner, which is on the east side of Hatfield Peverel, at the top of the sliproad from the A12. I like this cheap and cheerful teastop. It’s a transport café, with large portions, low prices and few refinements. Our group was just about first to arrive, and I was too late getting the camera out to get many photos of moving cyclists from the group arriving just behind us. But I did manage to be prepared for the shortest group to be snapped in motion!

I was delighted to see an impromptu clothing repair from one of our group (who wished to remain unnamed!). The zip on the leg of his cycling trousers had broken and the cuff was flapping. So it had been repaired with gaffa tape! I just love these practical repairs – it was broken – it needed fixed – what was the nearest thing suitable to fix it – Gaffa Tape!

Mick led us on a new route home. We headed east, along a cyclepath immediately next to the A12, past some temporary traffic lights which took us out on the B1389 which runs through Witham. We turned left at the sports centre and followed a cyclepath along the River Brain. At this point, we passed a visually impaired person (VIP) with his dog. This brought back to me, my London Underground disability training, which forms my Health & Safety tip for the day. It can make VIPs jump if you rush past them, so it is good practice to slow down and make a greeting, just before you go past, so they know you are on a bike. If in a group, pass on one side so the VIP knows you are all together, on one side. I was 4th from the back in our somewhat dispersed bike group, and I stopped beside him and his dog, saying there were a few more in our group, while I waited for our back marker to catch up. His dog was very calm and friendly and Ann, Peter and I had a few pleasant words, before continuing our ride.

Mick took us west from Witham, picking up Route 16, through Fairstead, Ranks Green and Great Notley, from whence the group dispersed to go home. 27 miles on a glorious day.

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