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Two Riders make their first ride to return from injury! 05/04/2023

Nine weeks after breaking my wrist, I returned to ride with the Easy Riders, feeling I’d not ridden for ages. But I was wrong! Dave, who tore his Achilles tendon 2 years ago, was also out riding for the first time in 2 years! I take my hat off to him, as he did 22 miles on his first post-injury ride, and made it look easy. Hurrah!

Today, I joined the Short Ride, led by Chris McCann, supported by Peter Rhodes, heading to Belsteads Coffee Shop. This ride was an excellent example of forethought by the ride leader. We joined London Road from the cycle path at Tortoiseshell Way. We crossed to the west side of London Road to follow the cycle path, under the A120. I scowled as I realised the steep down/up of the cycle path, but as we approached the King William, I realised the temporary traffic lights meant tailed-back traffic across the roundabout on the south side of the A120. On our cycle path at the other side of London Road, we were kept out of traffic congestion (and trouble) and made good progress towards Queenborough Lane. Good call Chris!

Then we followed our usual path through the park past the Prince Louis, and re-joined London Road. I noticed quite a few Finch’s lorries and idly thought ‘drat, building season has restarted’. Chris chose not to take us past Finch’s quarry entrance near Ranks Green but rode on to the next turning on the left, Banters Lane. Nice piece of avoidance, Chris!

Another nice piece of navigation was at the top of Leighs Road. I normally ride left/right at the turn here to get to Domsey Lane, but Chris took us right/left, joining Domsey Lane further along. His route was better, because Domsey Lane is on a bend in the road, and visibility is better for the right turn. Another good call Chris!

We reached Belsteads Coffee Shop and fell on the most enormous pieces of cake. Yumm! Andrew Ings was given a quick rendition of Happy Birthday (81 today!) while he ate his enormous carrot cake.

Pedalling back via Great Waltham, I reflected on how much I have missed the Easy Riders over the last couple of months. Conversations today ranged from the importance of maintaining the rubber union on guttering between neighbouring houses; open water swimming in a downpour, observing the shape of raindrops; pros and cons of GoPro and Garmin; food orders for the upcoming holiday and how Irish/Scottish people seem to live on bread and potatoes! None of it is rocket science, but these social conversations give me peace and contentment.

Many riders in our group returned via Ann’s house, where a committee meeting was due. Thanks to all with roles of responsibility that keep our bike group running.

22 miles. Cold start, sunny finish (and I caught the sun on my face – so health & safety tip for the day is to remember your sun cream from now on!).

Cathy MacTaggart


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