Forecast for Thunderstorms. 17 August 2022
I was listed as Ride Lead for the medium ride, and was somewhat anxious about the weather – for a few days prior, intermittent thunderstorms were forecast. I planned the route with two places where I could cut the route short to Terling, and also put out a weather warning on the WhatsApp group so people could make their own decision about whether a ride was what they wanted to do.
Ride numbers were down, but the long ride had about 12 and my medium group had about 10, so I did not need to split the group. We pedalled off heading to the Flitch Way, down to Little Leighs, and up Paulk Hall Lane. When I explained my rationale for the route to my support rider, Peter Milner, he appreciated that with a bit of thought, routes can avoid main roads, find uphills on quieter roads and enable the group to make left turns on the downhill (rather than right turns on blind uphills). However I had not anticipated Paul S and Andy P would choose to ride through the ford at the bottom of Paulk Hall Lane, and to my astonishment, both remained upright on their bikes, riding on stones through 8” of water. They are better riders than me!
We arrived at Owl’s Hill Tearoom in Terling and fell on refreshments. We met some riders from Basildon, one of whom was wearing a cycle shirt from The Gentlemen’s International Touring Society. How fantastic!
An additional planning guideline that I impose on myself, is that I should not get bored with the routes, so we headed south from Terling towards Hatfield Peverel, before turning left on Witham Road and left again onto Peg Millars Road. I’d not ridden this bit for ages. We returned to Braintree via the track to Dagnets Lane and dispersed to our various homes. And the heavens opened. Hurrah for dry riding for the Easy Riders!
23 miles, average 10.4mph