Colchester Cycling UK

Long Melford Ride Report

May 6, 2012

Alan, Andy, Clive, Steve, Mike and Pam braved the grey skies and set off wondering how long it would take before the rain started. We crossed North Station Road, past River Lodge, and rode up Balkerne Heights to Lexden Road, then on via Turkey Cock Lane and Daisy Green. At Millrace Garden Centre, Aldham, we found the usual warm welcome and enjoyed excellent tea, coffee and cakes. And the rain started just as we left, with Clive holding us up while he put on his wet weather gear.

After skirting Fordham, Alan had the first puncture of the day just after Bures Hamlet, but he had a new tube, and it wasn’t too long before we were on our way again. Alan decided to take us via Kedington Hill to avoid Arger Fen and the cycle route/bridle way which he felt would be very wet, and rather more gritty than normal. It was a bit of a struggle for some of us! We cycled on via Little Cornard, Newton Green, Great Waldringfield and Acton, and into Long Melford.

Alan’s plan was to have lunch at the Hare, but I’d forgotten to ring ahead and book. But as there were only six of us, I went inside to see what they’d say. I was told there were no tables (fair enough), but also we couldn’t have bar snacks at the bar, but would have to wait for a table. So we took our custom elsewhere (it was Greene King anyway, so no great sacrifice!), and we were rewarded with a superb welcome and excellent fresh, local grub at Bizzi Beans Cafe next door, within Cherry Lane Garden Centre. Highly recommended, and if you “like” them on Facebook or sign up to their newsletter, you’ll get a voucher for a free scone and jam on your next visit!

Our return route was via Borley and Belchamp Walter, where Alan had our second puncture of the day! He had another new tube at the ready, and this time we challenged him to work against the clock — 10 minutes in total, not bad.

Alan fixing another puncture

Off we set again, through Gestingthorpe, Little Maplestead, Pebmarsh, Hornes Green, Wakes Colne Green, Jankes Green, and Fordham (where some of us we were sorely tempted to visit the Three Horseshoes, but succumbed to a promise of beer at West Bergholt). Clive left us to head back to St John’s, and Steve left us at the White Hart, where we were told that they closed at 5 pm on Sundays — and sure enough, it was dead on 5 pm. So the pace quickened considerably, and we rounded off our perfect day at the Brickies. Thanks to Alan for another excellent route.

By Pam Nelson