Colchester Cycling UK

Colne Engaine Ride Report

May 27, 2012

It was a great day for a ride, and a great ride we had! Fifteen of us left Leisure World, led by Andrew and Grace, bound for Stratford St Mary. The route took us up Broadlands Way after which we could have a breather before tackling Bromley Road; through Ardleigh, then picturesque Dedham where we became 16 with the arrival of Andy just over the Suffolk border.

We had elevenses at Hall Farm Shop which has ample outside and indoor seating. With the glorious sunshine we were blessed with we sat outside, enjoying cake and a panoramic view of the Stour Valley.

Fuelled up, we headed through the centre of Stratford past the imposing pumping station, before taking on Gun Hill. At the top we turned off for Boxted, then Great Horkesley, and Mount Bures, before the somewhat gruelling Chapel Road.

Cycling past Stratford pumping station

Not far out of Colne Engaine we started being passed by cyclists on the Essex Air Ambulance Colne Valley Cycle Ride — the riders distinctive with numbers pinned to their backs.

We arrived at The Five Bells to find it swamped with cyclists on the charity ride, but despite this and their hosting a christening, the staff were more than happy to accommodate us. The view across the Colne Valley made for a spectacular backdrop to our lunchtime break.

Clive chose to leave us shortly after the pub stop, so we were back to 15 again for the ride home. It was a pleasant route back (once at the top of Tey Road!) through Great Tey, Aldham, and Stanway. As ever when we near town, we started to disperse, but there were still a number of us together for the final drag along Lexden Road, where I peeled off.

By Malcolm Mitchell