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Mick’s Magical Mystery Tour

I didn’t get my act together to write last week’s blog, but thought I’d give you the photos anyway. First photos are of BER members serving their community, by sweeping up broke glass.

The next set show how clearly hand signals can be seen, depending on your colour of clothing. And by now, everyone knows just how much I love hi-vi clothing!

This week’s ride was to Chelmsford with the long ride led by Tim, the medium led by Mick, tailed by Peter Skirrow, and the short ride went to Terling led by Ian and tailed by Gwen.

The medium group’s route was a new one to me, and headed to a new café for the Easy Riders. We pedalled due south into a headwind down London Road, reaching Great Leighs before we turned left. I was sitting at the back riding with Peter – I always have interesting conversations with him! As a blood pathologist he had just been to a conference at work about The Prostate! I won’t give too many details here, but one of the current conundrums of testing is that there can be false positives and false negatives, caused by certain types of exercise and activities, which need to be taken into account when interpreting the results of blood tests. He also told me that a former prostate surgeon at a local hospital had been very proud of the personalised number plate for his car: E2P! (Easypee!)

We rode past Lyons Hall, then toiled up the hill to turn right towards Little Waltham. Here I discovered the extent of the building of new housing to the north east of Chelmsford – and I have no idea of the route we took! We ended up at Coffee Squared in Beaulieu where the long group, led by Tim, had arrived before us.

We pedalled back, crossing the A131 at Little Waltham, coming out at the north end of the village to traverse the B1008. We almost reached Howe Street but turned right to ride past Hyde Hall where the Compasses is to temporarily relocate (according to Mick, although I can’t remember why). This road brought us out on the A131, where we rode north for a couple of hundred yards before taking the footpath under the dual carriageway section.

Here I seemed to be frequently shouting ahead to warn of traffic ahead. Peter and I seemed to be the only ones shouting traffic warnings and I was getting a bit hacked off with it, particularly when riders ahead were riding 2 abreast and not passing messages along the line of 14 riders.

I make the observation that we should have the same expectation as Parkrun participants. All Parkrun participants are expected to make some contribution – whether as marshalls, litter pickers, car park attendants, as part of their runners community. I think the same should apply to BER – even if you don’t want to be a committee member or lead/tail rider, you can make your contribution by making clear hand signals, shouting messages up and down the group or finding some other way to support other riders.

Mick led us through Great Leighs, taking us through the housing estate between the old road and the new 131. We rejoined the old road and ended up at Youngs End where we dispersed, mostly through Braintree, to our various destinations.

24 miles, 9.5mph, 2 hours 30 minutes pedalling time. Thanks to all lead and tail riders.

Meanwhile on the short ride, there was an obstruction on the bridge in Hoppits M - grateful to the workers who kindly stopped work to let us through.


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