Archive index   Go to the Archive index

First Essex Run

Paul Efreme

The day began dull, overcast and raining.  On my way to the start at Rettendon, riding my Francis Barnett Powerbike, it was necessary to don my waterproofs.  Upon my arrival at 10am, I was greeted by the main organiser, Keith Rutledge with his Trojan, and wife Alison with an electric cycle.  Alison was organising the signing-in documentation.  Also in attendance were Bob Sier on an early VéloSoleX and Peter Chinnery, attempting his maiden voyage on a Mobylette M40.  Welcome aboard, Peter.  Other members began to appear, and we were all assembled by 10:30am.

The run commenced at 11 o'clock, with Keith piloting the cyclemotors and myself heading the moped section.  Unfortunately, no other electric cycles appeared, so Alison created her own itinery, taking in tea with a friend.

From after the start, my group broke into two seperate packs.  With me were David Evans on his Puch, Steve Cobb riding a little Garelli (thank goodness he'd shed three stone} and Peter Smith riding his Honda step-through workhorse.  If Peter thought the lack of pedals had gone un-noticed, have I got news for you!  Keith Rutledge's route soon proved to be pleasurable and quiet.  The Essex countryside is very agreeable.

We took an appreciated unscheduled stop at the Prince of Wales pub, in Mountressing.  The second pack soon arrived with Mark Daniels on a seldom seen Leopard Bobby, along with Peter Chinnery's Mobylette, and Mark's guest, Mr Fryer on an Excelsior Consort.  Mr Daniels reprimanded the assistant organiser for not keeping the group together.  Point taken.  Before we embarked on the final leg of the journey, Keith Rutledge and Bob Sier crept past our watering hole as if in carpet slippers.  Keith's Trojan was very chirpy and Bob's SoleX was panting along, as they do!

My warning to the group about the pending ford proved needless, as it was almost completely dry.  We all arrived back safely at the start, but not before David Evans took his usual detour, followed by Peter Smith and Mr Fryer.  The genial landlord of the Wheatsheaf asked us to assemble the bikes along the front of the pub.  We duly obliged, receiving due attention from the pub customers.  Following a pleasant lunch in the pub, Keith Rutledge handed out Certificates of Merit to the participants.  We sincerely hope that a good day was had by all.

It is hoped that next time we will attract even more entrants, especially from the electric cycle fraternity.  Finally on behalf of Keith and myself, may we thank you for attending.

First published, October 2002

Archive index   Go to the Archive index