Club Dinner & Dance 15/02/14

It was a pleasure to see so many of our new members attend this year’s Club Dinner & Dance at Theydon Bois Golf Club.  Over fifty club members enjoyed the meal, celebrated the trophy and medal winners (see the pics below), exchanged stories about their cycling exploits in 2013 and finally enjoyed dancing the night away to great music.

Thanks to Wendy for organising a great event.  Scroll down to see five pictures.

Trophy winner

Trophy winner

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Everyone having fun!

Table decorations

Table decorations

More winners!

More winners!

Trophy winner

Trophy winner

 

 

 

Club Ride 16th Feb 2014 to Cooks Mill Green.

Approaching Fryerning from Beggar Hill

Approaching Fryerning from Beggar Hill

 

The winter sun shining through the trees in Fryerning Wood

The winter sun shining through the trees in Fryerning Wood

 

Preparing to leave the Bake 'Huse'

Preparing to leave the Bake ‘Huse’

 

 

 

 

At last, the weather was kind to us. Crystal clear skies greeted the twelve riders assembled at the Cycling Centre for the ride to the Bake House Café, Cooks Mill Green.

Unlike the previous week the stiff westerly wind had now reduced itself to that of a gentle breeze and it made the ride out to the café through Navestock and Doddinghurst a very pleasant experience.  The route took us through Fryerning woods just passed Mill Green, always an enjoyable road to cycle along but more so on this day with the winter sun shining through the bare trees of the forest.

We’d clocked up 22 miles by the time we reached the Bake House.  A very pleasant café adjoining the newly refurbished Fox and Goose pub on the A414.

Heading towards Roxwell

Heading out of Roxwell towards Shellow Bowells on the Tour De France Route

 

The return journey took in the lanes north of the A414 through Roxwell, following the Tour de France route to Moreton. From there we headed for Toot Hill, Abridge and the notorious climb of Mile Hill to the Cycling Centre.

On Tawney Common at the top of Banks lane

On Tawney Common at the top of Banks lane

 

 

 

Words and Pictures  Paul O’Kelly

Club Ride to Sawbridgeworth (The Shed Coffee House) 9th February 2014

Leaving the Shed

Leaving the Shed

 

Just past Sheering

Just past Sheering

 

Winter Bleakness

Winter Bleakness

 

Near Matching Church

Near Matching Church

Nine riders set out from the Centre  expecting roads full of water and wondering whether we’d ever make our objective: the Shed coffee house in Sawbridgeworth.  Our fears were unfounded and after taking more main roads than usual we took to some lovely lanes after riding, in grand procession, around the huge roundabout at the M11 junction, close to the old Bull and Horseshoes – now a Macdonalds.  Our route was a sort of rural bypass of Harlow and I recommend it for cyclists wanting to avoid its busy traffic clogged roads:  Hastingwood, Foster Street, Hobbs Cross, Churchgate Street, and the original old A11 to Harlow Mill.

We reached Sawbridgeworth bang on 11.00am and soon were very warm and comfortable in the Shed;  a largish weather boarded building alongside old multi-storeyed mill-like industrial premises very close to the river Stort.   Full of lovely coffee and food we set off on our return journey in the direction of Sheering.   The westerly wind had been no friend to us at all and now it was getting stronger. Riding with bikes at 80 degrees to the

Passing Matching Church

Passing Matching Church

horizontal became the norm as we fought against the vicious side wind but, thankful for small mercies, at least it wasn’t raining. It fact, wind aside, it was a lovely day and any time our route went eastwards it was cycling perfection.   The strong winds had dried the lanes and apart from weaving our way around some very large puddles we had a pleasant ride home past the hamlet of Matching with its lovely old Church and Meeting House, Matching Green. Moreton and Toot Hill.

 

Words and Pictures  Paul O’Kelly

19th January 2014. Redbridge to Roydon Marina

Setting off to Roydon

Setting off to Roydon

 

Hill courtesy of the M25 at Hobbs Cross.

Hill courtesy of the M25 at Hobbs Cross.

The club rides leader allayed the fears of all those assembled that they would not be riding along muddy towpaths alongside the river Stort to the café stop at Roydon Marina. Everyone was assured that the route would go nowhere near any off-road track and that we would reach Roydon via Coopersale Thornwood Common and the tarmac bike paths of Harlow. Happy in that knowledge a large group of Redbridge Riders set off from the Cycling Centre and headed off through Lambourne End and Abridge towards Coopersale. Soon we were turning left off the old A11 at Thornwood Common onto Rye Hill Road.

On Rye Hill Road

On Rye Hill Road

Rye Hill Road is a delightful country lane. It dips and twists its way through the hamlet of Rye Hill dominated by a water tower. Furthest from the mind as you cycle along it is the scene awaiting you over the brow further on up the road: the conurbation of Harlow New Town with its many housing estates and the high rises of its town centre. Within five minutes we were amongst it, riding along one of its many cyclepaths towards Broadley Common and then back into countryside speeding downhill into the valley of the river Stort to Roydon.

In the Roydon Marina Cafe

In the Roydon Marina Cafe

The Café was in the Roydon Mill Holiday complex. It was a spacious pinewood building and overlooked the marina, home to hundreds of narrow boats and motor cruisers. Well-fed and rested we headed off on our return journey through Harlow and onto the cycle route to Old Harlow and Churchgate Street. Unscheduled stops for three puncture repairs delayed our progress along the watery and mud strewn lanes through High Laver, Moreton, Toot Hill and the usual route via Stapleford Tawney back to Redbridge.

Homeward via the Lavers

Homeward via the Lavers

Old Harlow

Old Harlow

 

 

 

 

 

Words and Pictures Paul O’Kelly