River and sea * ride - 28th July 2019

Nice turnout yesterday for the ride, thanks for Michael Eveleigh for backstop, Colin HP for middle marking, John D and others for route assistance, lifting bikes over fence and for all the good company. Lots of familiar faces and a few new people. Last time I did this ride (or the shortened version from 27 to 1.5 miles), only 2 ladies turned up, but it may be due to the snow and gale force winds.

Battlesbridge with its various cafes and the the pub could cater for our lunch needs. Lucky with the normally horrible Beeches Rd/Watery lane being closed for motorised traffic. The busy roads around Rayleigh were unpleasant, but Hadleigh Castle Tea rooms with its terrace overlooking the castle (built against the French by a guy with a French name) and the sea was worth the effort. An interesting encounter and conversation with Hina who is cycling from Scotland to Kent.

The ride gradually disintegrated by some finishing at Leigh-on-Sea, others continuing to Southend and a few of us having a drink and a meal at the Brewers Fayre in Southend East, followed by a short ride after sunset to Thorpe Bay and returning from there. Slightly annoying having to pay £1.90 for 2 stops to Southend when London to Southend cost just over £8.
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