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September Long Ride to Little Easton 27/09/2023

Plenty of Easy Riders assembled in Weavers Park for the extended rides at the end of the month. The Long Ride headed out to Thaxted doing about 40 miles, the medium ride went to Little Easton riding about 30, and the short ride went to Cressing Temple pedalling about 20 miles.

We had one of our more recently qualified support riders expressing a little anxiety about having his first ride-with-responsibility on an extended ride, and being very relieved that there were experienced support riders alongside. (Just to let you know, a little bird told me that this tail rider was fine once the ride was under way, and you’d not know he’s been a little worried about it!).

Ann and I took half the medium group each and set off to Panfield. Tony managed to lose his chain on Panfield Lane and although he replaced it promptly, ended up covered in chain oil because he’d not put any latex gloves in his repair kit. Health & safety tip for the day is to store some latex gloves on your bike somewhere (instead of in your garage, in Tony’s case; or in the cleaning cupboard, in my case)!

The route was originally planned by Peter Milner, and it was a route thoroughly approved of by our riders. Past Andrewsfield, up Lubberhedges Lane, through Lindsell, and across to Great Easton – idyllic country lanes through farmland. It was a particularly conducive group that I was leading, and their riding was excellent, spreading out well so traffic could pass. Once at Little Easton Manor, we had a great coffee stop, and Mike V was recounting historical visitors to the area. Apparently, Daisy Greville, Countess of Warwick owned Little Easton Manor and Edward VII was a frequent visitor to his favourite mistress. Wikipedia gives some astonishing details if you are interested.

We pedalled back, heading east to skirt the north side of Dunmow, using a useful bridleway which came out opposite St Edmunds Lane, to ride up to Bran End. We pedalled through Stebbing, before I nearly rode into the back of a parked car. Second health & safety tip for the day, is to pay attention to where you are riding – I was thinking about alternative routes back and was not watching where I was going! A sharp shout from Tony led to me make a last second swerve to ride round the car, rather than crash into it!

We ended up on the Flitch Way and dispersed to our respective homes. Brilliant riding from my group. Well done team!

30 miles, 10.5 mph, 3 hours pedalling time.

Cathy MacTaggart

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