Essex Branch Ride to Finchingfield

Sunday 17th November 2019.

There were 4 of us on today’s ride to Finchingfield, Phil, Gabe, Peter and of course myself.

The weather was overcast, but dry. The temp was around 11 deg.

We set off along the A414, but soon turned off and took some nice roads through Writtle, Leaden Roding, Ongar, Passingford Bridge, Stapleford, Theydon Bois, and Epping to North Weald airfield for a coffee stop. Here there was a bunch of classic bike riders also having coffee and some boy racers with their souped up cars.

After the coffee we set off again heading for Finchingfield. We passed through Ongar, Leaden Roding, Great Dunmow, and Great Bardfield to Finchingfield.

Here we had lunch in “Winners”. We sat outside, with other bikers, and ate our lunch. You will always find bikers using this place for either food or drink. Plus it’s been voted as one of the prettiest villages in the Country. Well worth a visit.

We had a chat over lunch putting the world to rights, and then realised nothing had changed at all. LOL.

Time came to go. On the return route home Peter peeled off for sunny Clacton On Sea.

We passed through Sible Hedingham (where Peter then left us), along to Braintree, Chelmsford (Gabe left us here). Phil and I then rode along the A12 to Hornchurch and home.

Another great day out with a good bunch of guys, on great roads. Well done guys.

Riding with a HOC club is more than just having a ride, it’s also having a social side where you can sit back and have a chat about anything.

If you are not a member of the HOC then you are missing out, so come along and try us out.

Until the next ride, ride safe.


Essex HOC Branch Secretary.

I certainly had no excuse for not going on the ride having spent about three and a half hours fitting a new rear brake light switch to the Gold Wing. Looking out of the bedroom window I could see that the weather was good, and it was going to be as predicted by last night’s weather presenter, ’a fine day’. So there really were no excuses left for not supporting Roland on his latest ride out into the bye ways and highways of rural Essex.

So, coffee made for the wife still in bed, bantams and pheasants fed, laundry put into the washing machine I was free to swing a leg over the bike and head off for Chelmsford and the Roses Café which was the branch meeting point.

I arrived pretty much on time to find Roland in the café with Gabriel Georgescu and Phil Wasmuth. It was my first opportunity to speak to Phil although I’d seen him at the odd meeting and my impression, gained throughout the day was that he is another visitor to the Essex Branch meetings who is well worth getting to know. I immediately took to him and his sense of humour.

You’ll do for me lad, as they say. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve yet met anyone I haven’t immediately taken a liking to in the Essex Branch which, when you consider my sense of humour, speaks volumes!

What is fair to say is that if anyone tells me Essex is a dull unattractive county, I’ll just dig this ride out of the old memory banks, smile sweetly. Roland led us on the ride unerringly, never missing a turn through what has to be some pretty good twisting roads amongst scenery that rivals any to be found in our ‘Sceptred Isle’ with the obvious exception of Scotland which are unparalleled (in more than one way).

Apart from going over the A12 I don’t think we went on any dual carriageways the whole ride.

Roland had two stops for us on route. The first was North Weald Airdrome and the second where I tucked into a reasonable ‘all day breakfast’ at Finchingfield. At the airdrome we mingled with older mainly Brit bikes that my hero, ‘Ogri’ would have loved and at Finchingfield more modern machinery of all kinds.

I clocked around 150 miles by the time I returned to sunny Clacton-on-Sea and home. A very pleasant morning and early afternoon.

A big thank you is owed to Roland for taking the time and trouble to organise the ride out for the Essex branch, “thanks’ Roland”.

Pete Rodrup