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To TA East Members & Friends

The list of starters for the TA East 25 on Sunday (21st March) is now available and is given below.

If you would like to join us for lunch afterwards at Redgrave Cross Keys, please book with by the end of Wednesday 17th. More details are at the bottom of this TA East News

No Name Club Hcp Start
1 Alan Nye T.A. East 24.30 9.01
2 Fergus Muir T.A. East 8.30 9.02
3 Jim Montgomerie North Devon Wheelers 9.30 9.03
4 Ian MacKenzie Southend Wheelers 11.30 9.04
5 John Dupen Godric C.C. 3.00 9.05
6 Andrew Nye Ashford Wheelers 5.00 9.06
7 Peter Holland Lincoln Wheelers 9.00 9.07
8 Adrian Hills Lewes Wanderers 9.00 9.08
9 Martin Badham C.C. Breckland 12.30 9.09
10 Adrian Perkin Godric C.C. SCR 9.10

Following the trike event there is an event for classic bikes – with our member John Malseed on his penny farthing first off at 9.13. Finally there 10 riders in a Medium Gear 25. I can forward start sheets on request.

I see Alan Nye was racing in the Eastern Counties 10 last weekend, his 45:31 offering encouragement to anyone thinking of entering a trike event but fearful of being last.

In the midst of a shivering winter our CHELMER FORDS RUN hit a pretty well perfect day. Lots of water in the rivers, lots of sun above and no clouds in between to get in the way.

And when I was peering at the map, lost in the outskirts of Chelmsford on the way to the meeting place, Gordon Biggs and Gloria appeared and Gloria knew the way.

The run should perhaps have been entitled “Chelmer valley fords”, as none of them actually involved fording the River Chelmer itself, which just as well it is a navigable river, and anyway on the day in question the volume of water coming down was huge.

The meeting place was the elevenses cafe at Papermill Lock (Grid ref TL 770090). Water was pouring over the top of the lock gates and through the lock – and that was just the overflow, the main bulk of water was thundering over the weir 50 yards away.

Although the sun was shining there was quite a bit of ice in wet places in the lanes. As we climbed away from Little Baddow a cheerful Chelmer CC roadman rolled past. Enjoying the trikes we soon swept past him again; he was taking very carefully on the descent.

We admired the depth gauge showing two foot six of water at the ford at Hurrells Lane, and moved on to Paternoster Farm (771038) which proved negotiable.

As we were not committed to a particular lunch stop we were glad to be tempted by the attractive Cricketers Arms at Danbury Common, where, notwithstanding it being 20th February in a notably cold winter, we found it warm enough to sit outside. Afterwards Martin set out for his long ride back to Sudbury and the rest of us, completed a circuit of Danbury, Tom pointing out the turning to the oddly named Twitty Fee as we passed. We re-crossed the Chelmer near Ulting and followed small lanes to our last ford at Nounsley, where – I gather – a van had not so long ago been swept away, its occupant being rescued by helicopter. With the depth shown as 30 inches we didn’t try this one either, but took some more photos before saying goodbye.

Some of these photos can be seen, together with the Chairman’s account of the day on the East News pages of the TA website. From the Homepage click successively on “Regions”, “East” and “East News” to find these.

Audax Accident Figures

Some quite encouraging statistics came to my attention when I saw the Winter 2009 Audax magazine, which included their accident statistics – obviously for bikes and trikes together.

Their definition of an accident includes anything upwards from “sliding and falling off”. The report covered 534 events, in which 69 incidents had been reported.

Basically the results worked out as one accident for every 52,000 kilometres ridden in their events, which, considering it includes some night riding struck me as quite encouraging.

Pen and Ink drawings of a tricycle tempted me to buy a book in the Oxfam shop recently.

The author, Gwen Raverat, I remembered as someone who appears in photographs for instance having breakfast in The Orchard Tea Garden, Grantchester, which the TA East have occasionally visited. She was born in 1885, a granddaughter of Charles Darwin, and later one of the Rupert Brooke set in the early years of the 20th century.

This book “Period Piece – A Cambridge Childhood” was written in 1950, nearly 60 years on from the time it describes.

Here she is in her chapter on Sport:-

“The Bicycling craze came in just when we were just about the right age to enjoy it. At first even ‘safety’ bicycles were too dangerous and improper for ladies to ride, and they had to have tricycles. My mother had (I believe) the first female tricycle in Cambridge; and I had a little one, and we used to go out for family rides, all together; my father in front on a bicycle, and poor Charles (Gwen’s brother) standing miserably on the bar (the axle) behind my mother holding on for all he was worth. I found it very hard work, pounding away on my hard tyres; a glorious, but not a pleasurable pastime.

Then, one day at lunch, my father said he had just seen a new kind of tyre, filled with air, and he thought it might be a success……………….”

And there is a gently humorous pen and ink drawing to illustrate

Perchance to dream….of going to the continent to make a career in racing. If that is you, I recommend a new blog by David Nichols of Chelmsford, who has done just that: 

There is no trike connection, apart from the fact that he is based near Asse, but in my experience he is a very decent lad, and is turning out to be quite nifty with a pen as well as with a bike.

Further details of the Spring 25 and lunch at Redgrave:

The 25 starts at Bressingham Village Hall at 9.00am. The course is Bressingam to Thetford and back along the A1066. There are also events for bikes – a Medium Gear 25 and a Classic Bike 25.

Bressingham Village Hall is in the village, just north of the A1066, Grid ref TM 084814.

Redgrave Cross Keys is about 6 miles from Bressingham, on the B1113, grid ref TM 045780, Postcode IP22 1RW

Please let me, Ferg Muir, know if you would like to be included in the booking by the end of WEDNESDAY 17TH MARCH.

(Telephone 01603 615000,

All are welcome – even if your machine has too few (or too many) wheels.

This is the pub we went to in 2009, but the hosts have changed yet again. However I enjoyed talking to the landlady, who originates from Korea, when I visited in January, and there is general agreement among the locals that the food is good. They will have a Sunday roast on the menu, plus their standard menu, which includes vegetarian dishes.

(My understanding is that a bit of flexibility will be possible on numbers).

Looking forward to seeing many of you on 21st

Ferg Muir

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