Essex Lanes - the Frank Haines Memorial Ride
Wheelers are working with the Frank Haines Memorial Trust to organise two special rides in the Essex countryside. This charitable trust supports youth work in Tower Hamlets - details in their newsletter - and many riders will be collecting sponsorship. However, sponsorship is not compulsory, and if you would just like to do one of the rides, you are very welcome.
Both rides will start from the Hutton Junction pub in Shenfield (about 250m from the station - come out, turn right and go under the railway bridge, it's on the right by a mini roundabout). There is an easy ride of 35 miles, which is a circle of Hanningfield reservoir, and there is a 55 mile, moderate ride which will take you out as far as Maldon, on the Blackwater estuary. Both routes are all on-road. We have chosen quiet country lanes as much as possible, with some slightly busier B roads where necessary, and the longer ride goes through Maldon town centre.
There will be refreshment stops at cafes on both routes, at Tropical Wings Zoo near South Woodham Ferrers, and the Fishing Lodge (by the reservoir) on the short route. Asuming the weather is kind, those on the longer route will also have a lunch break in the riverside park. You are welcome to bring your own food and drink for he day but you will probably have to sit outside.
Trains leave frequently from Liverpool Street. Suggested options are the 09.13 to Southend Victoria, 09.18 Clacton, 09.35 Southend (last option for long ride), 09.38 Colchester, 09.48 Braintree, 09.55 Southend. There are also trains every 10 minutes with a final destination of Shenfield - these are not the best, being slow stopping trains, but they will get you there. All trains also call at Stratford about 7 minutes later than the Liverpool Street time. If you can get into groups of 4 then the Groupsave tickets will reduce the cost to about £5 for a return, but don't forget you need to travel back together too.
We will meet at the pub - they have kindly agreed to open from 09.45 for us, and will serve tea and coffee. Because of the number of people expected, riders will set off in groups of 10-12, and both rides will return to the pub on completion - the ESTIMATED return time for the shorter ride is around 16.30 to 17.00 and for the longer ride between 17.30 and 18.00. We hope you will stay on afterwards for a drink and maybe a meal. The pub offers a good range of bar and restaurant food - sample menu here.
Unusually for a Wheelers ride, there will be a "sag wagon" to rescue you in the event of major mechanical (or personal) mishap, and Dr Bike will also be available before the start to check over your bike if requested - but get there early if you need this. However please do bring a spare inner tube and a pump to fit your bike as the ride leaders will do their best to get you riding again in the event of a puncture.
Please be at the pub by 10.00 if you want to cycle the 55 mile route, or by 10.30 for the 35 mile (latest - you are welcome to come along earlier).
If you do want to come along it would be useful if you can let me know in advance (especially if you want to eat afterwards as we will reserve some tables) but it's not essential.