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All Cannons Firing!

Another lovely day for a bike ride. Tim led the long ride, Gavin led the middle, tailed by me, both heading to Cannons at Witham; and Mick led the short ride, tailed by Bill going to Owls Tea Room in Terling.

We pedalled off through the town, along Victoria Street (avoiding the roadworks on Manor Street), then to Millennium Way. We spread out nicely along Long Green, reassembling at the Three Ashes corner. Along this section, Peter told me about his latest cycling holiday in Spain, riding about 40k a day, in beautiful, bright, 22C, spring weather.

As there were 16 of us, Gavin led 7 riders into Silver End from the North, and Gifford led the rest of us into Silver End from the west side. We rejoined on Boars Tye Road, and also got mixed up with the long group who came steaming through at the same time. We pedalled down to Rivenhall and turned right, then left on the blind corner to take the track to the bridge over the railway line. There was some sterling work being done by Bill Baker and others, who diligently waited on various corners to make sure the group did not get split up. We rode along Route 16 to turn right onto the main road where Cannons became our tea break venue.

Peter noticed the name of the café – Café Torque – a clever play on words linking motorbike engineering and conversation.

Health & safety tip for the day is to consider the benefits of cycling shoes. Proper cycling shoes have a solid sole that does not flex as you press on the pedals. Trainers flex slightly when you ride, and thus lose some of your energy on every revolution of the pedal. So if you are inclined to run out of energy – try proper cycling shoes.

On the way back, we rejoined Route 16, up and over the railway mainline, along Cutthroat Lane and across the Braintree branch line. Then we followed Route 16 through Chipping Hill to Powers End.

On the way back, I was listening to some fascinating conversations. Helen, as a specialist burns nurse, updated us on progress in New Zealand for people who had been harmed by the recent volcano eruption. Apparently there are all different chemical compositions in lava from different volcanos, which impacts on optimal burns treatment. Volcano burns need to be treated as both chemical and heat induced. Analysis needs to take place to identify what chemicals are in the lava, before appropriate treatment is decided upon. Some of the lava at the New Zealand contained mica, which melted and patients had volcano-induced glass particles in their burns! Some people who fled the eruption, ran into the sea, which saved them, but they still had burns (and seawater is not sterile!). These people ended up with infections – and the bacteria on analysis was identified as being from bullfrogs! However, although infected burns are never good news, the bullfrog infections were comparatively easy to recover from.

Ever the source of good conversation, Helen also showed us a Youtube video (click here) of a nurse advising people how to avoid coronavirus threat by better hand/mouth hygiene practices. Of course, Easy Riders would never do this!!!

We pedalled through Fairstead and Ranks Green, and returned to Braintree from the south. From Great Notley we dispersed to our various locations.

A great ride with lots of stimulating conversation that piqued my interests. I hope it was likewise for other riders.

21 miles, 2 hours 14 pedalling time.


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