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Bluebells are in season! 03/05/2023

Easy Riders assembled in Weavers Park as usual for the 0930, 0945 and 1000 start times for the long, medium, and short rides.

The medium ride, led by Ann, split into two, and headed off towards Gosfield Antiques Centre, via Rayne, Shalford Green, Blackmore End and Beazley End. Lovely ride on quiet lanes.

At the tea stop, Tony was extolling the virtues of the bike maintenance training he had completed with Doer Cycles. He was astonished (and a bit sheepish) at how much wear and tear his bike revealed. His bike was the most appropriate one to use as a demonstration. He found it fascinating to find out how much wear could be seen on the chain ring and was astonished how much his chain had stretched. He didn’t even know there was a ‘right length for a chain’ or a special tool used to remove a couple of links of chain to make it the right length … but he does now! And his bike changes gear much better! His overall opinion was that the training was well worthwhile, and he thoroughly recommends other BER members to attend any future training session, and to take their bikes with them. (No being lazy and driving to the event!!!)

Easy Riders departed Gosfield Antiques and Ann’s group rode via the woods at Lyons Hall Lane. Roger and I had a conversation about bluebells. I didn’t know Roger is an amateur botanist. He explained the different between native English bluebells and invasive Spanish ones. English bluebells are smaller, have darker blue colour, fully reflexed petal tips, and bells on one side of the curving stem. Spanish bluebells are more robust, paler, less defined petal tips and have bells all around the upright stems. He also explained the difference between cowslips and oxlips (the rarer oxlip’s main area of growth in the UK is around Braintree), and greater and lesser celandine. What a fount of knowledge!

We pedalled back via Bocking Church Street, dispersing to our various homes. Thanks to all ride leaders, and members for assorted interesting conversations.

26.2 miles, 2 hours 35 pedalling time, average 10mph.

No medium ride next week, as the BER holiday takes place in Halesworth, and we have fewer ride leaders available at home. Long and short rides go ahead as normal.

Cathy MacTaggart


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