Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => Rides and Touring => Topic started by: Oscar's dad on May 11, 2010, 04:58:44 pm

Title: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oscar's dad on May 11, 2010, 04:58:44 pm
As some may know, I am a Sustrans National Cycle Network Ranger.  Essex County Council have paid for me to train as a Ride Leader on the understanding I lead rides for new and infrequent cyclists, especially families.  These rides have to be publicly advertised.

Therefore I would like to publicly advertise the rides here - hope you don't mind.

So if you would like to join in or know someone who might be interested here are the details:

As mentioned the rides are aimed at families, new or infrequent cyclists.  We will be exploring the beautifully quiet Essex lanes for a couple of hours at a gentle pace.  The rides will be led by experienced leaders and supported by Essex County Council, Braintree District Council, Witham Town Council and Sustrans.

Meet by the duck pond on the River Walk, Witham

Dates and times:
Sunday 16th May – noon (sorry about the short notice)
Sunday 20th June – 11am
Wednesday 30th June – 6pm (longer, faster ride, bring lights)
Sunday 18th July – 11am
Sunday 12th September – 11am
Sunday 17th October – 11am
Sunday 21st November – 11am

Because the rides are aimed at inexperienced riders we are asking that those taking part ensure their bicycle is in good condition. Bring drinks, waterproofs, a mobile phone and spare inner tubes.  Cycling can be strenuous so check with a doctor if there are health concerns. Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.  Helmets are advisable.  

We have a Facebook page so interested parties can join our group, simply search for "Witham Cycling"

Some experienced cyclists would be most welcome to help out so please come along if you can.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: токамак on May 11, 2010, 05:07:40 pm
Good work, OD. I'll see if I can get one of the girls at work interested - she's pretty local, and has talked of putting her neglected bike to use some time...
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Regulator on May 11, 2010, 05:19:36 pm
I shall see if I can make a ride or two.  Always happy to help out as a TEC or traffic stopper.
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Auntie Helen on May 11, 2010, 05:56:34 pm
I'd like to come along to these but Sundays can be difficult (I sing in a choir Sunday mornings). However I'll see if I can make one of them in due course.
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oscar's dad on May 11, 2010, 06:38:18 pm
I've knocked up a simple A4 poster. If you'd like one PM me an e-mail address and I'll send it over so you can print it out.
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oaky on May 11, 2010, 09:11:06 pm
is your Wed 30th June one going anywhere near the Walnut Tree in Broads Green? ;)
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oscar's dad on May 11, 2010, 09:21:59 pm
Possibly not!
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: токамак on May 12, 2010, 01:33:35 pm
I think I've just got you two riders for this Sunday, OD. Twin sisters in fact.* I've directed them to your Facebook page, and also passed on your mobile phone number - hope this is OK.

*Not the Cheeky Girls though, sorry... ;)
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oaky on May 12, 2010, 01:45:44 pm
I think I've just got you two riders for this Sunday, OD. Twin sisters in fact.* I've directed them to your Facebook page, and also passed on your mobile phone number - hope this is OK.

*Not the Cheeky Girls though, sorry... ;)

I hope you warned them about him!
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oscar's dad on May 12, 2010, 02:30:49 pm
I think I've just got you two riders for this Sunday, OD. Twin sisters in fact.* I've directed them to your Facebook page, and also passed on your mobile phone number - hope this is OK.

*Not the Cheeky Girls though, sorry... ;)

Fantastic!  Many thanks.

Oaky - you coming to help out?

Edit: are her initials NG?
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oaky on May 12, 2010, 02:32:46 pm
I think I've just got you two riders for this Sunday, OD. Twin sisters in fact.* I've directed them to your Facebook page, and also passed on your mobile phone number - hope this is OK.

*Not the Cheeky Girls though, sorry... ;)

Fantastic!  Many thanks.

Oaky - you coming to help out?

Quite possibly - depends when our house guests head home.  I'll keep you posted.

How far are you taking them?
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oscar's dad on May 12, 2010, 02:33:46 pm
10 to 15 miles.  I aim to be back by 3pm at the latest.  I'm hoping to buy some 2 way radios!
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oaky on May 12, 2010, 02:48:46 pm
10 to 15 miles.  I aim to be back by 3pm at the latest.  I'm hoping to buy some 2 way radios!

Would've been useful on the FYBO "Breaker OD, Got your ears on?  What's your 10-20 good buddy?"
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: токамак on May 12, 2010, 02:50:22 pm
NG - that's her, a work colleague of mine.  Has a little used mountain type bike in the garage. I advised her to check it out before the weekend to make sure it's a goer.
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: bloomers100 on May 12, 2010, 10:12:59 pm
OD my Mrs was on your ride leader course, I'm doing mine this weekend. Small world innit. If I pass  :facepalm: I should be able to help you out.
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oscar's dad on May 12, 2010, 11:37:56 pm
OD my Mrs was on your ride leader course, I'm doing mine this weekend. Small world innit. If I pass  :facepalm: I should be able to help you out.

Wicked! Small world indeed. All help appreciated!
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oaky on May 17, 2010, 09:11:51 am
Very pleasant outing on sunday.

That walkie-talkie certainly proved its worth. "Red Fox to Ride Leader: Can you pick up some crisps while you're at the bar please.  Over.
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: токамак on May 17, 2010, 09:14:40 am
Did you get many punters? Did NG make it along?
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oaky on May 17, 2010, 09:18:17 am
Did you get many punters? Did NG make it along?

There was only one legitimate punter turned up in the end - chap called Nigel from Witham.
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oscar's dad on May 17, 2010, 09:33:30 am
It was indeed smashing.

Nigel showed exactly what can be achieved.  He had bought a MTB from a car boot sale a few weeks ago for £20 and before yesterday had never cycled more than 5 miles.

Now he's done 15 miles, discovered the joyous lanes of mid-Essex, picked up a few cycling tips and had a pint of nice beer.  He said he enjoyed himself and hopefully we'll see him again. 

As this ride was a bit short notice and the weather looked a bit naff I wasn't surprised by the low turn out.  However, it all went very smoothly so it was a good experience all round.  And as Mr O points out, the walkie talkie radios were very useful, I must take them on every pub visit  ;D
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oscar's dad on May 21, 2010, 03:07:38 pm
The next ride is going to be Sunday 20th June.  Meet by the duck pond on the River Walk at 11am (not noon like the last ride).

At present I'm thinking of a trip down to The Cats at Woodham Walter via Hoe Mill lock.
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: токамак on May 21, 2010, 03:09:21 pm
Have you checked that The Cat's will be open? Very erratic IIRC.
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oaky on May 21, 2010, 03:11:59 pm
Have you checked that The Cat's will be open? Very erratic IIRC.

I can report that OD was doing painstaking research of this very matter on Tuesday evening.
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oscar's dad on May 21, 2010, 03:14:29 pm
Have you checked that The Cat's will be open? Very erratic IIRC.

Was chatting with Wally on Tuesday evening.  He is confident he will open at noon every Sunday.  

I love the way you have to stand at the bar for 5+ minutes waiting for him to suddenly appear like the shopkeeper in Mr Ben.  Both Wally and his pub are delightfully idiosyncratic - love it.
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: токамак on May 21, 2010, 03:35:19 pm
Proper ride leader :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: bobb on May 21, 2010, 04:04:54 pm
A ride on acid! That would be something  :P
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oscar's dad on May 21, 2010, 04:08:29 pm
A ride on acid! That would be something  :P

I'm not sure Sustrans' pubic liability insurance would cover such an endeavour!
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oscar's dad on June 14, 2010, 01:40:27 pm
Gentle reminder ...

The next ride is this Sunday (20th).  Meet at the duck pond, on the River Walk in Witham at 11am.  We're off to The Cats at Woodham Walter.  Should be back by 2pm.
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oaky on June 14, 2010, 01:45:14 pm
Gentle reminder ...

The next ride is this Sunday (20th).  Meet at the duck pond, on the River Walk in Witham at 11am.  We're off to The Cats at Woodham Walter.  Should be back by 2pm.

I suggest you lay off the dodgy powders in favour of proper MID-ESSEX ENERGY DRINK.

Will you be goign via Greggs?
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oscar's dad on June 14, 2010, 02:04:13 pm
I've learnt my lesson regarding the powders and hopefully Greggs will have opened a new branch at Hoe Mill Lock.

You lot coming?
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oaky on June 14, 2010, 02:57:10 pm
I've learnt my lesson regarding the powders and hopefully Greggs will have opened a new branch at Hoe Mill Lock.

You lot coming?

Quite possibly, en-famille.  Acorn #1 was quite keen on the idea of riding a bike to a pub.  Must be genetic.

If the weather's rubbish it might be just me though.
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oscar's dad on June 14, 2010, 03:13:26 pm
If the weather's rubbish I might be on my own as well.  In fact it could just be the two of us!

Metcheck seems to be fooked at the moment so I can't get a forecast.
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oaky on June 14, 2010, 03:15:52 pm
... In fact it could just be the two of us!

But will you still be issuing the walkie-talkies in that case?
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oscar's dad on June 14, 2010, 03:21:58 pm
... In fact it could just be the two of us!

But will you still be issuing the walkie-talkies in that case?

Naturally!  In fact they are charging up right now!
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Auntie Helen on June 16, 2010, 03:54:09 pm
Just got an email through Colchester Cycling Campaign advertising this - including Oscar's Dad's mobile phone number. Now loose on the internet...
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oscar's dad on June 16, 2010, 05:28:06 pm
 ::-)
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: chief on June 16, 2010, 05:35:25 pm
Telephone boxes and now the Internet, what ever next :o
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oscar's dad on June 16, 2010, 05:40:29 pm
 ;D
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oscar's dad on June 21, 2010, 03:25:53 pm
We did our second ride yesterday with a bigger turnout, we had 12 riders on a variety of machines with an age range of 3 to 70+ years.

Yours truly ...

(http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l160/stevenr_01/WithamCycling2TheCats1.jpg)

... led a motley crew ...

(http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l160/stevenr_01/WithamCycling2TheCats17.jpg)

... to The Cats at Woodham Walter ...

(http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l160/stevenr_01/WithamCycling2TheCats6.jpg)

Here we see the peloton sweeping past on the homeward leg ...

(http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l160/stevenr_01/WithamCycling2TheCats18-1.jpg)

After a leisurely 15 miles the grateful throng were treated to locally brewed beer (Maldon Gold from The Mighty Oak Brewery) and BBQed sausages in our back garden.

Suitably fortified we found the strength to indulge in that age old Essex pastime of shoving a small child through a cat flap - fun for all the family ...

(http://i95.photobucket.com/albums/l160/stevenr_01/WithamCycling2TheCats20-1.jpg)

Many thanks to all those that took part and helped out.
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: clarion on June 21, 2010, 04:09:31 pm
Looks like fun (especially the posting the kids through a catflap). :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Gently guided rides (Witham, Essex)
Post by: Oscar's dad on July 02, 2010, 03:56:58 pm
The evening ride on Wednesday went well. 

We had a nice chap called Grant turn up with his 6 week old Claud Butler hybrid.  Previously Grant had only cycled 2 or 3 miles to work.  I met him and his girlfriend just before the 20th June ride, gave him a leaflet and he joined our Facebook group.  Now he's done 25 miles and is pretty pleased with himself.

We met up with the Mid-Essex Mid Week Nocturnal Series gang at The Walnut Tree but fortunately left  before the fun started! (http://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=22529.1185)  ;D

With three rides now behind us we turn our attention to the fourth ride in the series …

The date is Sunday 18th July and the meeting point at 11:00am is the duck pond on the River Walk in Witham.  I have two routes in mind and will choose the best one based on who turns up on the day and the weather. 

The longer option (about 15 miles, just under 2 hours of riding) takes us down Paulk Hall Lane, one of our favourites.  This quiet lane hides a secret not to mention some mischievous puncture fairies so bring some spare inner tubes.  We will be stopping at the Square & Compasses, Fuller Street for a break.

The shorter option (about 10 miles, around an hour of riding) takes us to The Green Man at Little Braxted from which point its downhill all the way back to Witham!