33 miles to Earls Colne and back
Sunday dawned bright and clear – a wonderful day for a bike ride. 8 riders and 6 bikes turned up outside the Con Club - Mick & Julia, and Gwen & Ian, on their tandems; Brian, Paul, me and my friend Maurice. Gwen and Maurice had met about 20 years ago – when Maurice interviewed Gwen for a role at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
The roads out of Braintree were blissfully quiet and the 8 of us pedalled east to Millennium Way, past Fowlers Farm and down to Silver End. We rode on to Kelvedon, crossing the railway line, then turning left through the side roads before joining the High Street. We carried on this road until we nearly joined the slip road to the A12, but turned left and crossed the railway line heading north, just east of Feering.
We continued pedalling north east to reach the A120. We dismounted, and paused for a gap in the traffic. Here we had to negotiate a staggered junction, where we would need to ride about a quarter of a mile west along the narrow footpath on the north side of the A120, to the next junction with a minor road. Mick and Julia crossed first. Julia said she suggested to Mick to move along path, to make space for the rest of us to cross safely. Mick interpreted this as ‘ride the tandem to the junction and wait there’ and pedalled off along the footpath. Did he not notice that Julia was not on the back?? I followed, along with Brian, Paul, and Gwen & Ian. Maurice, being the perfect gentleman, pushed his bike and walked with Julia to catch up with us. I suspect Julia may not let Mick forget this faux pas in a hurry!
We pedalled north, skirting the west side of Great Tey ,then headed west to the B1024. We turned right, and turned into The Black Horse café at Olivers. My husband, Jim, was meant to meet us here. When I rang him to find out where he was, I discovered the ‘little job’ I had asked him to do, digging out a bed in the garden, had turned out to be a rather bigger job than anticipated and he was still at home working! Oops!
On departing the café, we headed down the B1024, almost to the A120 but turned left so we crossed the A120 on the north east side of the Coggeshall bypass. We pedalled past St Peter’s Church, through the centre of Coggeshall, to Coggeshall Hamlet. We turned right to ride the road across the open fields. Here, there were some earthworks to our right, looking like either field tests were taking place for the new A120, or possibly footings for new housing. Not sure which. Whatever is going to be built, is going to be quite large.
We rode on through Perry Green and Lanham Green, turning right onto the road up to Fowlers Farm roundabout. Here we started to disperse, with various routes home, including along Millennium Way and the Flitch Way. Brilliant ride in fantastic riding weather.