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A grey day in Braintree 30/11/2022

After the intermittent rain of the last couple of Wednesdays, there were plenty of Easy Riders assembling in Weavers Park this week, in grey and very still weather. At 0930, 16 riders pedalled off with Gifford and Andy for the long ride to Channels, Little Waltham. At 0945, Chris McCann split the medium ride into two and we pedalled off to The Hub. The short group led by Bill Twinn and Peter Milner were heading to Andrewsfield.

The medium group went due south down to Great Leighs, then picked up a section of the Boreham Road before turning right onto Leighs Road. Health & safety tip for the week is about route knowledge – when to pick or avoid certain roads. Leighs Road is a great example of this. It is one of my most favourite roads, because it takes very little traffic, has great visibility, is on a highpoint in the local farmland and has truly lovely vistas on both sides. However, because there is little shelter from hedges and its ‘high’ altitude relative to the area, it catches the rain and wind from every direction. So, the road surface is prone to frost and water, and becomes dangerously slippery with black ice. I have had ride companions come off here when there had been plentiful rain, a hard overnight frost. The following morning, we rode as it was 4C (more than 3C, so no need to cancel for inclement weather). On this exposed road, the sun had formed a thin sheet of water on top of black ice and people came off. This has made me selective about when to plan a route along this road. Today, it was fantastic to ride on, because the weather was mild. Good choice by ride leader Chris!

We rode across to The Hub, where the conversation flowed even more so than usual. There were all sorts of debates going on, one of which was about part-time work and the variety of driving jobs available.

We headed back via Howe Street and Littley Green. Various Easy Riders who are committee members went back a meeting to ensure our club runs properly (all thanks to them!), and the rest of us dispersed to our respective homes.

22.8 miles, 9.1mph

Cathy MacTaggart


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