The vital statistics of 3 rides
Tue pm – an easy ride to Risby 17 miles at 10.2 mph
A very flat route with the only brief shower of rain fortuitously occurring as the group of 7 were under cover having coffee. ( on subsequent days 3 of riders joined the moderate groups).
Wednesday all day to Angelsey Abbey 53 miles at 11.3mph
All went well with gps taking us unerringly to a coffee stop in Burwell on the way out. The leader then spun his bike around a few times considering which way to go and that probably did not do the gps any good. However working from memory the leader determined what to do and set forth.
Subsequent review of the actual route taken confirmed that remarkably the published route had been followed through the back streets of Burwell and out the correct side of the town. Unfortunately there then followed a disastrous navigational error – north was confused with south and the group turned off in completely the wrong direction. (the reason for this has not been ascertained and the leader although suspicious of the gps directions accepts the charge of incompetence)
By the time the error was discovered they were 4.5 miles off course. In other circumstances the group might have carried on and amended the route. However one of the groups partners were due to meet the group at Angelsey so they turned back. That detour added 9 miles to the day and put about an extra hour on the clock.
Thursday all day to Lavenham 55 miles at 11.1 mph
The designated leader had a memory failure before the event started and had forgotten his gps device. He was substituted from the bench by a new leader with the technology. He was obviously pleased to get his chance to lead and keen to impress. In fact, so keen he cycled off the front and was out of sight within 3 miles. The group nevertheless rode on. About half an hour later the leader re-appeared from behind ( claimed the group had gone off course) , resumed the lead and managed to keep in contact until lunch. An uneventful run to the afternoon coffee stop ( Ickworth House). A decent enough coffee on the terrace but an unfortunate turn of events led to another half hour being lost. As they got ready to leave a toilet sub group formed and went in search of facilities. They had no gps guiding them and … well lets just say in took at least half an hour for the group to reform in the grounds before departing for Mildenhall
The pressure on the leader not to ride off the front had been building, he could no longer contain himself and piled the pressure on at the front. The orginal leader was not having it, set off in pursuit and the breakaway was established. Meanwhile the peloton encountered some traffic and the back marker had to keep dropping off to let traffic through and eventually lost visual contact. However the main group did wait at the next junction and the remainder of the ride came together. They decided to let the breakaway go and not chase them down. A leisurely last 15 miles and they came in at 6.15pm. Thoughts of a lie down were dashed when they were informed on arrival that there would be a photo shoot in 15 mins followed by ordering in the restaurant.