A Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness (or mellow fruiting bodies).

There have been some glorious days for a bike ride recently. This blog post starts with some photos of my bike ride on Sunday.

This week’s Wednesday ride attracted a plethora of riders. The weather was cold, crisp and dry – fantastic for a bike ride. The long ride, led by Tim had 15 riders, heading to Cannons Witham; the medium ride led by Mick had 11 riders, and the short ride led by Bill had 9. We had two new riders: Russell and Jim. Russell said he was looking for a new bike group, riding c25m, but preferably one that did not say they rode at 14-15mph, then tore off at 18mph and left new riders behind. Hopefully our long group is more suitable!

Bill led us out south down London Road and we followed Route 16 all the way to Witham. I like this route – low traffic levels and nice scenery. Part way to Witham we met Mick, who appeared to be playing Hunt the Riders, as he had lost 3 members of his group, because they had missed the turn, when no-one remained on the junction to ensure all the group got round. While we were chatting, his phone went, and it was agreed that as they knew where they were, they would make their own way to the coffee stop.

We rode along Witham Street, arriving soon after the medium ride, at the Cannon garage. While there, we saw two paramedics from Greater London Ambulance, which seemed a bit out of their area, and I enquired why they were in Witham. It transpired that they were conducting some training. When I was working, we regularly had different types of ambulance crews on the stations, so I was glad to have a chat with them.

Mick provided me with this week’s health & safety tip – always have a pump with you, in case you need to change/reinflate a tyre, and make sure your pump has the right adaptor for the type of valve for your inner tubes. It’s worth checking pump/tube compatibility if you have new inner tubes fitted during a bike service, as we are aware of occasions when an unnotified change in tube valve has meant the pump won’t inflate the tyre!

We pedalled back along much the same route, except we took a track that brought us out at Dagnets Farm. I anticipated this being muddy, but it was almost entirely dry, thereby showing we might think we’ve had a lot of rain, but actually we’ve had very little. We emerged at Youngs End and returned back to Braintree, dispersing to our various homes.

A long ride (25m) by short group standards. Nearly 3 hours riding time, average 9mph. Clean air, bright light, conducive company – exhilarating for mind and body. A fantastic ride.

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