The first ride out since the clocks went back. Earlier start times bring the issue of which hostelry would be open to welcome a band of thirsty cyclists.
Four intrepid explorers, Maurice, Andrew, Keith and Sandra, accepted the challenge to check out a new hostelry and met in the car park of The Fox & Hounds, Clavering, a potential starting point for many a route in the area.
Those that had taken advantage of the extra hour in bed the day before were looking refreshed and ready to go. Myself feeling a little bit tender but still on a high, having completed a 73 mile ride in Norfolk the day before, brought a choice of bikes, with the intention of testing which would be most comfortable in the car park before we set off, well the ‘lovely’ pebble stone surface meant wheeling the bike to the entrance for testing. With more substantial padding in my trousers the relief bike was not required and we set off on what was to be a fantastic Autumn evening, clear and still. A perfect evening to take in the Essex and Hertfordshire countryside on a bicycle, carefully avoiding the afternoon school traffic, as we passed through the villages of Rickling, Rickling Green, Manuden, The Pelhams and Meesden, sadly cutting the corner and by-passing The Bull at Langley Lower Green (too early for a pit stop here!) and back via Roast Green to Clavering.
Long shadows forming behind us. Time to light.
17.5 miles clockwise the sun setting as we completed the last few miles back to Clavering for the all important beer/protein shake (certainly had some substance to it, not exactly crystal clear shall we say!!) and welcome at The Fox & Hounds. I think the Jury is out on this one! Always scope for more research.
Thanks to Maurice and Andrew for organising the ride.