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Dodging showers and Roadworks 19/07/2023

It was a day of unpredictable showers, when a surprising number of Easy Riders assembled in Weavers Park. I admit that, if I’d not been Ride Leader, I’d have stayed at home as I didn’t want to get wet.

The medium ride split into two, with 7 and 9 riders. We rode a loop, up Bovingdon Road, and round through Beazley End, where we reassembled. Health & safety tip for the day is to ride at your own speed up a hill. I’m particularly slow going uphill (steel touring bike, and unfit heavy rider), but as ride leader I don’t have to be at the front the whole time. If group members ride at their own pace and spread out up the hill, then upcoming traffic can pass more easily. We did a left/right through Gosfield, then turned right onto Russell Road, maintaining the high ground of the hill south of Halstead.

This is where I, in my planning process, got it wrong. I’d not actually ridden the planned route (life got in the way), and it turned out the quiet road leading to the top of Tidings Hill/Leeches Road had roadworks and was comprehensively obstructed. I approached the roadworkers, and fortunately they let us squeeze past. We went down and up Leeches Lane where Bill Baker, with his fantastic local knowledge, warned us of severe potholes (he was right!) and ended up at Greensted Green café.

My planned route via Burtons Green (and gentler hills) was blocked by roadworks, as advised by a van driver who had failed to get through. So, we pedalled down the Stisted Road (harder hills) and returned to Braintree, dispersing as we went. It threatened rain at various points, but none fell on us!

A singularly good humoured group, riding 21 miles at 10mph. Well done all.

Cathy MacTaggart


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