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‘Wednesday’ Longer Rides 26/07/2023.

On the last Wednesday of the month, the long ride increases to c40 miles, and the medium ride extends to 30 miles. The short ride continued as usual with between 17 and 20 miles.

The long ride, heading to Cammas Hall, and medium ride, heading to Ashfields Carriage Club, both departed at 0930. Ashfields needed us to be there as soon after 11am as possible, as they stop serving between 1130 and 1200 as the kitchen is fully occupied preparing the lunch menu.

Health & safety tip for the day is to check your bike for signs of wear & tear. Having recently done the bike maintenance training at Doer Cycles, I was riding behind another rider, and noticed the chain was running at a diagonal between the biggest chainring at the front, and the biggest sprocket at the back. I’d remembered this causes increased wear on the chain (My observation skills are ok even if I’m not good at practical bike knowledge!). The rider said his middle front chainring was slipping and this combination was holding true – at least until the overdue maintenance was complete! Other riders also shared tales of ‘maintenance mistakes I have made’, including why not to jet wash your bike, and especially why not to hose down the battery on an electric bike.

Ashfields Carriage Club was a delight, with Dog Agility classes going on in the field, and carriages moving around the premises. We arrived at 1110 and fell on refreshments.

Pedalling back, conversation turned to gardening. Gavin had spent time removing dead shrubs from his garden – the cold spell last winter had killed several evergreens. I’d had what seemed like several plagues hit my garden – all tomatoes wiped out by virus; codling moth on the apples, sawfly hit the gooseberries and all the runner beans failed to germinate. But other crops had the best year ever - resulting in a freezer full of broad beans, and fantastic gooseberries for chutney. Win some, lose some!

We had a lovely quiet route back across to Ford End, down to Hartford End, then across to Rayne, dispersing to our various homes. One of my best rides ever – I really enjoy being a ride member (rather than ride leader/support) – so my thanks to all those who recently did ride leader training as it shares the responsibility and means we can all enjoy being a ride member with our mates.

33 miles, average 10.4mph

Cathy MacTaggart


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