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Nine Hills to Halstead 13/09/2023

Easy Riders had their usual departures at 0930, 0945 and 1000 for our 3 rides. There were 11 riders in the medium ride, heading to Olivers garden centre in Earls Colne.

We’ve had a new rider, Carol, join us for the last couple of rides. Carol works from home and had decided it’s time for a get fit campaign, so she’s joined the Easy Riders for exercise and social contact. Carol rode last week with the Short Group and this week joined us on a (rather demanding) medium ride. Welcome Carol!

Health & safety tip for the week is to watch the riding surface. There seem to be countless potholes, and if you see one, point at it and shout ‘pothole’ as you ride past, so following riders can avoid it too. Other riding surface hazards as we enter autumn are acorns (which resemble ball-bearings if you ride over them) and fallen leaves (which are lethally slippery when wet).

Today’s route took the medium group up and down 9 hills.

1. Bocking Church Street

2. Kentish Farm Lane

3. Leeches Lane, Halstead

4. Parsonage Street, Halstead

5. Brook Street, Halstead

6. Brook Street, Colne Engaine

7. Station Road, Earls Colne

8. Nightingale Hall Lane

9. Stisted Road, Greenstead Green

10. River Mead, Braintree.

Which is 10 hills! According to Peter Sk, we ascended 1300 feet!

Riding all these hills has made me alter my leading style. I ride a touring bike, which is heavy, and so I am often at the back of the group when riding up hills. On some of the rough surfaces (like Leeches Lane), Bill Baker and Geoff, with their extensive local knowledge, led the group up the hills, and I was able to plod up slowly at the rear. Hurrah for teamwork!

On the way back, Neville had another minor mechanical, as his chain came off. What I find astonishing about Neville’s mishaps, is that he fixes them so quickly! It took him about 30 seconds to get the chain back on, whereas I’d be grounded by it because I don’t bend well and have a poor grip. Well done, Nev!

Arriving back in Braintree, we met the Short Ride coming back in on the Flitch Way. What not to like! Great day.

26 miles, 10mph. Great ride team!

Cathy MacTaggart


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