New riders this week Caroline, Claire, Versha and Martin H, joined regulars Jane, Lynn, Mandy, Gentle John, Johnnie G, Paul P, Teddy, Howard, Neil, Graham, 2 Mile Martin, and myself.
While sorting out a misrouted chain and sticky disk brake for Caroline, (riding Hubby Brian’s bike this week, while he is on child minding duty), the car park sniper returned this week and the target was Sarah who received a nasty wound to her forearm (“forgot my elbow pads”!) Soon patched up by ever ready with the first aid kit, Dr Jane.
Over Butlers and across Rangers for a loop before crossing back at Connaught Water and heading to Fairmead. Climbing up past Bradley’s and on to HB to pick up Jackie and Tracy, running late again! The Rads were regrouping here after their leaders seat post mishap (something about too many pies!)
On through Wake Valley and over behind the wood yard, bridleway to the ridges where a change of direction took us to Jacks Hill and Indian Summer.
The swing bomb hole and Golding’s Hill before the beheading tree and Baldwin’s pond then a mystery tour led by Howard (I know the way!) Along near Loughton Brook to the Victoria Pub for a later than planned lunch stop. Brian (Caroline’s other half) was waiting for us, along with their two lovely kids. We had reserved tables in the sunny garden as cheesy grins were a little slow to appear this week, as was the service in the pub, as it seems orange locals are the favoured flavour in this neck of the (Essex) woods. Lynn made feelings known to the “barmaid”, the obvious attractions for Howard!
Back in the forest and a climb out of Loughton to Robin Hood and up past Bradley’s for the climb up to cross the road and go behind the church back to HB. Tracy and Jackie left us here, we returned behind the church down Dave’s decent and Ollie’s Connaught track back to the car park.
On to SH for a debrief with the Rads, beige, Steve and Carly. Lots of laughs, lots of logs, no dust, no mud, a great day, a great group. Well done Caroline, Claire, Versha and, a bruised and battered (from last week), Mandy.