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Easy Riders to Black Notley 07/06/2023

This was a cold morning in June, as we assembled in Weavers Park. The long ride departed at 0930 heading south to Springfield. They negotiated some very new roads on the development at Beaulieu Park – so new that they were not on the Garmin map downloaded by Andy P about a month ago and coped with quite a lot of heavy construction traffic turning in and out of new housing developments. The medium group departed at 0945, split into two, led by Peter Sk and Steve B.

Peter had picked a truly lovely route – on little-used roads I’d not ridden in months. We took a quiet road through Willows Green, then picked up the idyllic Rectory Lane and Whites Lane (south of Little Leighs) to go under the A131. We pedalled down Goodmans Lane before turning north up Paulk Hall Lane – where Paul S and Bill B successfully rode through the ford, (i.e. did not fall off) but both got their feet soaked! They are better riders than me! As I toiled up this hill, I heard a cuckoo repeatedly calling – the first I have heard for several years. We then rode through Ranks Green and ended up taking a couple of tracks (Green Lane and Snakey Lane to Cornerstone Church. Fantastic route Peter!

Health & safety tip for the day is about getting a bike serviced. Tony has recently had various issues with his bike and ended up having the bike serviced and upgraded by Doer Cycles, as their skills were better than his! Tony sagely observed it was riding like a new bike, and was money well spent.

The café at Cornerstone Church was its usual friendly self, with home-made cakes and beverages. Astonishing low prices, and as usual our riders supported their chosen charity of the month.

The weather had warmed up by the time we left. Peter took us back via Fairstead, past the church, then turned right up a concrete track. This brought us out near Ranks Green (another route I’d not travelled for years since our illustrious former leader Mick had taken us along it!) and around Banters Lane (to avoid passing Finch’s quarry), and back home to Braintree.

My final point is to thank all those who participated in the most recent ride leader training. I’ve noticed that since then, I usually have a ride lead/support role about once a month, instead of every other ride, meaning my rides are more relaxing. By spreading out the roles, it makes it easier for all.

25 miles, average 9.2 mph.

Cathy MacTaggart


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