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Damp, Cold and Misty 25/01/2023


his was a deceptively cold day – the mist lingered, and light levels were low. We had a new rider join us – Malcolm Clapp – one of Ann’s walking friends. Welcome Malcolm! He’s extremely tall, with very long legs – as shown in the photos. He chose to ride with the long group, 0930 start, led by Tim B and Andy C.

The medium group, 0945 start, led by me and Mike V was split into two. I led half the group anti-clockwise, and Ann lead the other half to ride a clockwise route to Belsteads coffee shop near Chelmsford. My group pedalled up the Flitch Way to Rayne, spreading out considerably, and I paused to reassemble them near the station. I was about to set off again, when one rider said they were not ready to go yet, because of fatigue. We waited and then this rider felt really unwell. Mike, as a local resident of Rayne, went home to get his car, and after some debate about going to A&E or home, took the rider home. This week’s health & safety tip is that this rider made a good call about readiness to pedal off again. It takes some confidence to state you don’t feel ok and you need more time. As ride leader I was very glad that good sense, by someone refusing to ride on, meant it did not end up with anyone falling off their bike. (That afternoon I went to see the rider, and a full recovery had been made. Hurrah! And although Mike missed his ride, once he was home, he washed his car instead!).

We made our way down to Belsteads, which was the first time I’d been there on a BER ride. As a destination I like it. Our return journey was a bit easier as we had a bit of wind behind us, and the mist had lifted.

26 miles, 9.5mph.

Andy Pegrum has diversified his cycling interests – he’s participated in his first 100k Audax event – The Kelvedon Oyster. Audax is a cycling event that has to be completed in a set time – so there is no ‘winner’ and it is not about being the fastest. Riders need to maintain a speed between c10-20mph and need to finish by a defined time. Riders need to be self-sufficient, do their own repairs, and find their own route (from the paper map or on a map device). The Kelvedon Oyster was 100k or 65 miles (one of the shortest Audax events), and Andy had to have his ride validated at two points on his Brevet card, and find the answer to 2 route related questions, as evidence that he had completed the route. He also partook of the refreshment (a fresh oyster) at Mersea, as well as the more usual cyclist refreshments of mars bars, crisps, drinks and a flapjack. Andy’s cycling companion, Adrian, completed the ride on a fixie! (Single speed gear bike). Both of them have my utmost admiration at completing 100k in about 4.5 hours and averaging 14.5mph. Hurrah for them both!

If anyone else has a cycling achievement, let me know and I’ll write about it.

Cathy MacTaggart


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