Colchester Cycling UK

Great Totham Ride Report

January 1, 2016

For a moment there were eleven riders gathered at Colchester Leisure World, but Chris was there only to say he and Katie wouldn’t be joining the ride after all as Katie suffered a puncture en route. So ten set off with Alan at the helm, headed for lunch at The Prince of Wales in Great Totham. As we were crossing Cowdray Avenue (going very much in the opposite direction of Great Totham) I was already wondering which way Alan was going!

The way was this: through North Station and out of town along Bergholt Road, through West Bergholt, Fordham, into Aldham, through Coggeshall, and into Kelvedon. Stuart peeled off in Inworth toward Messing and home to Colchester, the rest took Windmill Hill, where shortly after we had a stop so Graham could put some air in his slowly deflating rear tyre. At the top we turned right into Grange Road as far as the next green triangle, toward the B1022, that we joined ever so briefly to take Loamy Hill Road into Little Totham. A little way past The Swan Graham stopped to change his tube and insisted we go on to the pub without him, but we convinced him to just put some more air in it and get to the pub to fix it in relative comfort. A few miles later, a bit beyond St Peter’s Church we stopped again so he could put yet more air in his tyre, ensuring he would make it at least as far as the pub.

Graham pumping his tyre up while the group watch on

When we arrived at The Prince of Wales, Graham set to work changing his tube and I ate my packed lunch while the others went in to order some pub grub at the bar. Inside it was toasty and busy, with a jolly good atmosphere. Service was friendly and efficient despite the number of customers and the occasion.

There was talk of a split on the way home, with some staying on at the pub, others heading their own way back, but when it came to leaving, we all went back together.

New Year’s Day group in Great Totham
Alan leading the group away from The Prince of Wales
Leaving The Prince of Wales

After a photo call, Alan led us up to Beacon Hill and into Great Braxted, where Robert was lucky enough to find a fiver! After checking at the top of the hill that everyone in the group had all the money they should have (they did — so “finders, keepers” it was!), we set off along Grange Road again, this time going the opposite way along its length (the crossover point of Alan’s figure-of-eight route) into Tiptree. We turned from Oak Road into New Road toward Messing, onto Copford, and back into Colchester along Church Lane. The group split into two upon reaching The Commons, some turning right toward Maldon Road, others left toward Beech Hill — the latter group splitting as Lexden Road meets Crouch Street.

Thanks for the ride Alan, and Happy New Year to all!

By Malcolm Mitchell