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A damp but mild November day, riding to the Blue Egg 9/11/22

The Easy Riders assembled in Weavers Park, with the Long and Medium groups heading to the Blue Egg and the Short Group heading to Gosfield Antiques. Braintree Easy Riders are benefitting from the recent Ride Leader training giving us a greater number of ride leaders. This week Gavin was conducting his inaugural lead for the long ride, and Lawrence was on his inaugural support ride with the Short group. Dee and Mike had their first ride support roles last week. Thank you all.

The medium ride had 16 riders, and split into two, with Peter Skirrow leading the first group and Jim Dodge the second. The split ride worked beautifully, as Peter took his group to the Blue Egg, with their break one-third of the way around a figure-of-eight route, therefore arriving early. Jim took his group on a different figure-of-eight route, and stopped at the two-third point, so we staggered the influx of riders at the venue.

One of the reasons I enjoy rides with different ride leaders, is that they use different routes. Peter took his group out via Church Lane, whereas Jim took us round the back of St Peter’s Church and Bradford Meadows, and I’d not ridden these roads for a long time. We went through Panfield Village, then headed west past Andrewsfield, north on Lubberhedges Lane, and headed back east to enter Great Bardfield. I’d not ridden into Bardfield from this direction for years, and was astonished how unfamiliar it looked! We were the last group to arrive at the Blue Egg and Ann, not doing a full ride this week, met us there. The Blue Egg are known for large portion sizes, and Andy had the biggest single scone I’ve ever seen.

Health & safety tip for the day is about the benefits of having your bike serviced. I did not ride last week as Jim and I took my bike to the SJS Cycles (the bike-builder in Bridgwater) for a service. Oh my word! My Thorn Raven is riding like a new bike! It had done several thousand miles since the last full service, and was given a new chain, sprockets, brake blocks and new oil in the Rohloff hub. Just like a car, if you do a fair number of miles, you’ll need more work done in a service. Which does cost a bit to keep it fully functioning on the road. It’s money well spent, and I’m all ready for winter.

Jim took us back to Braintree via Saling, Pods Lane and the Flitch Way. I’m always intrigued by the variations in routes, and other data, on rides by our groups and leaders and even riders. Our more computer-savvy riders use apps like Strava. For example today’s ride had 10.9mph average by Andy (who powers up the hills) and 10.6 by Peter Milner. If riders are interested in ride data, look up ride members on Strava.

Medium ride: 26 miles, average 10mph, very little traffic – hurrah!

Cathy MacTaggart


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