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A SUMMER SUNDAY RIDE – 13th August 2023…

Yet another super Sunday ride – ably led by Dave F, Vic, Sharon, Andy and Les, departed Bulphan via Dunton Caravan Park, Laindon Centre and around Gloucester Park. The destination being ‘The Greedy Chef’, at Pound Lane, Bowers Gifford. Untroubled by the odd summer shower, it was perfect cycling weather…Being early for a change… I took a different route via Ockendon to West Horndon and the A127 cycle path of Arterial Road. First constructed in 1924, where our forbears had the wisdom to build in the broad cycle paths either side. Riding between the leafy trees and speedy traffic, it is functional and reasonably well surfaced. My thoughts – ‘We’d better use it before we lose it’. At Pound Lane junction a very cautious carriageway crossing and I joined the others outside the café, under cover. Our regular jolly chat and good eats… An eclectic mix of folks, some two wheelers – a couple of chunky great Harley Davidsons and their riders… Off we set into the Pitsea traffic, Dave guiding us through a quieter route up to Bas’ Hospital, Dry Street and One Tree Hill, where Andy had not visited before. Here misty views out to the distant Thames estuary. Les said farewell heading for his Fobbing home (-: Downhill and a sharp right turn along the out of the way access track and a left turn under the A13 underpass, leading us to Branksome Avenue Corringham. At the railway crossing, Gateway Cycling teamwork swung into action and together we got our bikes through the tiny kissing gates. (Thanks everyone – especially Vic (-:) Pedalling through the pleasant estate homes and on to Victoria Road SLH to regroup, and say farewell. Dave, Andy and Vic took the old A13 towards home. I preferred to take the ever inspiring Thames riverside route and was joined by Sharon, this along Butts Lane leading to the Mucking Crossing. Taking the lumpy track alongside the railway line, passing the quarried out expansive lake lands. It’s a kind of green wilderness here, the wildlife thriving on neglect, eventually leading us to the sea wall. Chatted to a couple of happy walkers, taking in the Thames view. Off alongside the wall, a bit overgrown but we managed it safely. At Coalhouse a swift drink and an amiable chat with ‘doggies’ and their owners and other folks… Flagging a little it was up and onwards, with a glorious sky, towards Tilbury Fort – just great fun and pleasure, enjoying a bike ride. The tide on the ebb, little boats tethered , noses pointing upstream. Wonderful. A steady slug past Tilbury Dock Gates and homewards… A super day out – in terrific company. Thanks folks.

Cheers! (-:

Jon Lane.

Jon Lane

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