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Red Knees in the Sunlight 23/08/2023

Easy Riders assembled in Weavers Park as usual. Sun cream was liberally applied by me, but I missed my knees, so by the time I got home, it was not so much Red Sails in the Sunset, but Red Knees in the Sunlight!

The Long group headed off to D’s Diner in Hatfield Peverel, the medium group went to Belsteads and the short group went to Wood Cottage in Felsted. Peter Sk had planned us a lovely route, riding south to Belsteads, on a hot, humid day.

Health & safety tip for the day is that, when group riding, we need to raise our game. I’ve heard from riders in both long and medium groups that we’re getting sloppy with this! Riding with lead and support riders is great, but it does not mean other riders can switch off from good riding practice. When the lead rider makes a turn, the second rider needs to sit on the junction to ensure everyone follows, until the support rider makes the turn. This precludes riders taking a wrong route. Additionally, riders need to give adequate space to the rider in front. Don’t ride right on their tail, as sudden braking, or deviation by the rider in front will cause a crash – and this will be caused by the rider in the rear being too close.

On our return from Belsteads, I rode with Peter M, and he told me about his sponsored bike ride on 9 September for the Friends of Essex Churches Ride and Stride. It’s for invited riders only for insurance reasons. This supports the fabric fund (traditional church buildings cost a fortune to maintain) and visits some churches with amazing history in them. The route will visit: Stebbing, with its stone rood screen (1 of only 3 in Europe!); Bardfield Saling, with an uncommon round tower; Gt. Bardfield, with another of the 3 rare stone rood screens; and Boxted, with a modern stained glass window dedicated to John McCarthy, Terry Waite & Brian Keenan - the hostages in Lebanon; and finally Lt. Easton, with a modern stained glass window dedicated to the American airmen stationed there during the war. Each church, being centuries old, has its own story, so there is always plenty to discover even in the smallest of country churches. What a great ride out for you, Peter! We look forward to hearing about it afterwards.

From Belsteads Peter Sk led us on a lovely route to The Stores in Great Waltham where we had a much-enjoyed stop for ice cream, before pedalling back to Braintree.

Cathy MacTaggart


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