Gentleman Cyclist

October 7, 2012

Solo ride to Little Dunmow

Filed under: Cycling,Essex,YACF — admin @ 12:10 pm

I set off at 8.30 and thereby used the “nasty” roads before the motorists were out of bed and into their football kit. I was aided and abetted by some flood water hanging around. This was the aptly-named Watery Lane.

The ford along Sporhams Lane was higher than I remember seeing it, and I used the footbridge.

It was a glorious sunny morning and Riffhams and its sheep looked very fine.

A view towards the city of Chelmsford. At this point I was engaged in conversation by three ladies out for a morning walk. It seemed that they had the ambition to cover many miles.

Great Graces was also in a fine fettle.

The Chelmer was very high, and flowed over both lock gates at Paper Mill Lock.

It’s unusual to find such foaming torrents on this normally placid river.

The Tea Room did not disappoint. That is fruit and chocolate flapjack – about 2000 calories’ worth. There were huge chunks of white chocolate nestling amongst glacĂ© cherries… phwooaar!

There was an attractive shimmering rime over the ploughed fields – dew-bespangled spiders’ webs!

Easters – the 21st Century Tudor mansion in Barnston.

The trig point along Warren Road.

An excellent day out. Lunch, at the Flitch, in Little Dunmow, saw me eating alone in what was clearly a proper “local”. I’m sure everyone else was a regular, and there was a splendid conversation on the table to my left in which an old gaffer was holding forth about the evils of Thatcher and Blair, in a really fine Essex accent, of the type that’s all too rare these days. There will be a WARTY to this pub ere long.

A bit short of wildlife. There was a little egret at Stambridge Mills early on, a fox, and a weasel somewhere near Danbury. Oh, and a kestrel somewhere else. Significantly, I saw neither swallows nor house martins, in complete contrast to Thursday, when there were quite a few. I saw at least one green woodpecker, heard at least one more, and heard a greater spotted or two.

I arrived home a little before 6 p.m having completed 81 miles. I passed last year’s milage total at some stage during the day, and brought my weekly total up to about 185 miles. Still on target for a 7000 mile year…

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