Random musings about mountain bikes…

Trip to Pop’s…

My dad has recently moved so thought I would pop over and see him and check out his new pad.

Decided to use the Singular Gryphon for the job.  I’ve really been enjoying it and feels comfortable on the long rides I have tried on it so far.  I knew this would be the longest ride I have done on it though to date and the fact it is single speed would add more to the challenge.

I had a rough idea of the route but wanted to piece up some nice riding through the little villages of Essex.  I calculated that it would be approximately 70 miles in total for the round trip.

Got up early on Saturday, there was a nip in the air but the sun was shining so after our recent horrible weather I was more than happy.  A cup of java, a big bowl of porridge and I was ready.  I had packed up my recently acquired Wildcat Tiger seatpost bag with bike spares, waterproofs and lunch which fit very neatly in my 8 litre drybag.  I have been enjoying packless riding lately and thought I may as well let the bike do the carrying.

Setting off for a reasonable ride...

Set off and followed my usual roue over to Braintree, picked up the flitch way (old railway line) for a while and then pieced up through quiet country lanes to ‘The Bardfields’.  This is were my knowledge ran out but knew which direction I needed to be heading and important towns/villages to look for.

Stopped in Little Bardfield for a banana and to check the map.  Essex has its fair share of churches as you will see from the pic’s so had a rest for 5 minutes.

Little Bardfield Church...

Next I weaved my way to Thaxted where I stopped off for a quick photo opportunity at the church again.  I also found a nice Windmill which I never knew existed.

Thaxted church. Nice cobbles.

Thaxted Windmill...

Set off again and finished my trip to my Dad’s.  He lives in a little village on the Cambridge/Essex border.  I had completed 32.6 miles in 2 hours 20  minutes.  A catch up chat and a few cuppas and decided to head back.

The trip back was not as pleasant.  The sun had been replaced by cloud and the wind had really gotten up.  The first climb out of the village was in a head wind which is never good when you are trying to get the legs warmed up.  Little did I know at that stage that the head wind would last all the way home!

As I got tot he 40 mile marker I noticed another church in Debden and decided it was lunch.  You can always rely on a church for a nice bench to eat your sarnies.  A nice old ladie came over and chatted whilst I ate, we discussed Boudicca of all subjects but its nice to meet new people and discuss ancient war mongers.

Lunch stop at Debden Church.

As I finished lunch I felt the familiar stinging on my face of the start of rain.  I made the foolish decision to not mput on my waterproof as it would nto be anything serious.  You guessed it, the next 25 miles involved a constant drizzle (and head wind) all the way home.  The drizzle was not enought for me to contemplate my jacket until I realised I was actually soaked and by that point I coudlnt be bothered to stop and put it on.

Home was a welcome site.  65 miles completed.  I could feel I had done some distance, especially on the singlespeed with its 29 inch 2.2 tyres.

Really enjoyed the longer ride and a bit of site seeing, and think I have found another tea room to try near Thaxted, I will be back…

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