Took a day off work today to sort out some loose ends, however this afternoon made for an impromptu Essex ride out. Weather was perfect, bit overcast, but warm and calm. With my wife, Mary pillion we sent off from Dagenham, with a plan to get a late lunch at Pizza Express in Braintree. Our route consisted of:
- A112 to Hainault
- A113 to Stapleford Abbotts (possibly cutting through Lamboune End)
- A113 to Chipping Ongar
- B184 to Dunmow
- B1256 to Braintree
Easy enough right. The Essex ride out started off well. Cutting across to Stapleford Abbotts, across top of Hainault Country Park, but did miss Hook Lane, so not such a short cut in the end. A reasonably rural road, but with some tight blind bends.
Onwards out to Chipping Ongar was easy going and was able to get a move on a bit. However it was quite congested in Chipping Ongar itself, with little room to filter due to too many huge trucks. Met a happy local resident who thought it was best to lean on his 4×4’s horn as the traffic abruptly came to a halt and I was blocking his exit from a side road. Lovely to meet you to.
Continuing up to Leaden Roding was smooth and easy going. I stopped in the village to check my phone sat nav we were on the correct route, however there was little signal and I couldn’t get any maps to download. 🙁 Convinced I was going off route, I attempted a U-Turn and fucked it up, dropping the bike. Doh! Foot down, but just couldn’t hold it, Mary jumped off and I just had to put it down. Pushed in the front indicator stork, but no other damage. The indicator mount is just rubber with a plastic clip on inside, so easy to clip back in place. Thankfully the faring didn’t crack around it. Hindsight: it was too tight a road to do a U-Turn, I was starting from standstill, just not enough momentum and with Mary on back, balance was a bit trickier.
Brushing ourselves off, we quickly got going again, but soon found ourselves heading into Chelmsford, having inadvertently gone down the A1060. Whoops. By this time we decide to change plan and stop off at local Costa, grab ourselves coffee, paninis and a much need loo stop.
For the return journey, we decide to make up some time and just bomb it back down A12 into Romford. A damn sight quicker, but far less scenic. We’ll make it to Braintree another day.
Finally, I’ve like to just give a quick mention to the RidersGuide website, whose route 185 provided the inspiration for this ride out. It’s a great site with lots of good routes to explore.
You can find many other top motorcycle routes Essex has to offer here.