Tuesday 20th September. 2016. 23 miles ; via Sutton Hoo
—-A soaking ; 3 punctures ; a wasp sting – and someone forgot to change his shoes !
The day was bright and sunny as we set off from Ufford Park Hotel , and cheesy grins were very much in evidence .We’d had our lunch at the hotel and Ron ,our leader ,was kitted out with a walkie talkie for contact with our “tail end Charlie” (Chris) .We were ready to go. One bright spark however – fortunately not in the picture -, then discovered his front brake shoe was completely worn out , meaning he’d have to ride using rear brake only.
Being experienced cyclists , many of us knew the weather would hold fine and left our rain gear in our cars – it took about 45 mins for the clouds to gather and the temperature to drop and we were soon cowering under whatever tree cover we could find
This was fun and clearly enjoyed by everyone.
Of course some clever clogs came prepared :-
Meanwhile to add to her enjoyment of the weather, Gloria managed get a wasp sting which reacted badly causing a painful swelling to her arm and hand. She suffered with this for two days before getting medication.
Once the rain had eased, we carried on to Sutton Hoo for our tea and cake stop – but not before Chris had the first puncture of the day.
The weather encourage us to have a long break at Sutton Hoo, giving the opportunity to visit the excellent museum showing the history of the Saxon burial and the excavation work.
It was still raining as we left , but we knew it was a short ride back to the Hotel – where we looked forward to hot showers and a warm up. Graham decided then to increase our anticipation by having two successive punctures . These were quickly mended, and we thought we’d soon be home and
dry — only to be frustrated by the total closure of a small but vital lane.
Rather than taking us on a long detour ,our intrepid leader removed barriers and and lead us over a large hole covered by a dodgy grid , to get to the other side
it was an eventful day , and despite the weather , punctures and road blockage, everyone was full of banter and in great spirits. We were joined in the evening by Em, Gale and Anne ; respective wives of Ron , Peter and Allan , for our meal at an excellent local hostelry.
Wednesday 21st September 2016 40miles; via Mimsmere
Garmins ; 3 punctures and wasp sting relief.
Day 2 started cloudy but bright ,but following yesterday we all carried rain gear. Good move , as it meant weather stayed dry all day.The excitement of the day was the Garmins which had the Gremlins. 6 of us had Garmins to supplement Ron’s excellent memory of the route ( we trusted him really) and they started off in good order , confirming every turn that Ron made. One by one however they developed their own ideas – which at least stimulated conversation. Two completed the course fully functional ; two could display the course without full instruction and two nearly ended up thrown into the ditch.
Our route took us along pleasant quiet lanes via Blaxall, skirting Tunstall forest and then onto our coffee stop at Snape Maltings. It was shortly after our coffee stop that Martin had the first of his three punctures of the day.
This ,it transpired , was due to a slight burr on the wheel rim – a problem finally overcome by Graham adding insulation tape to the rim tape
Lunch was at Mimsmere Bird Reserve where we spotted Sparrows (or was it Dunnocks ) and blue Tits. The real bird watchers, (Gale , Em and Anne) joined us for lunch , and they had spotted more exotic birds.
Thursday 22nd September 2016. 40 miles to Orford
No punctures : sunny day !
The route today took us to Orford via Framlingham where we had coffee.
Framlingham Castle was bathed in sunshine as we passed by on a “Quiet Lane” near Framlinham College.It was nearly 30 miles to Orford from our Hotel , but Ron’s route took us through great cycling lanes alongside the river Alde and the miles melted away.
At Orford we first took lunch at yet another excellent pub that Chris had booked for us , then retreated to the Harbour.
t was here that Tony got wind of a local ice cream on sale, and in the interest of research had to try one.
After looking over the Keep of Orford Castle, we made our way back to Ufford Place Hotel , again in time for tea and goodies
Our final evening meal was again in a really super Pub. We came to the conclusion that when Ron and Em researched the routes and pubs in the area ,they must have tried dozens of establishments to find such excellent locations. Maybe it was this that accounted for Ron breaking the wing mirror of his new car , when they were up here.
Our thanks really do go to Ron and Em for all their ideas, planning and research ,and also to Chris for the admin in booking the Hotel ,plus each the pubs we used. Their efforts enabled us to have a great few days away.
We can also congratulate each other for the easy going , good natured atmosphere of the trip – well done all.