On Saturday 26th, Has (Doc), Andy (Speedy) and Tracey (usually found in a hedge) took on the Essex Castles ride.  There was a limited showing from the Tiptree velo: Ian was on chauffeur duty, Mark allegedly riding into Paris and Simon was washing his hair. There was an option of a 25, 50 or 75mile route around Essex & Suffolk and we opted for the 75.  Tracey wore a black armband to commemorate this day last year when she met Abdu and the Jambuster for the first time at this event.

After an 8 o’clock ‘ish start the Team Car met the riders 4 miles from the start in West Bergholt to provide much needed supplies (Tracey’s forgotten Garmin).  An essential piece of equipment if you have ever had to rely on the Docs map reading.

We were soon joined by a rider from Chelmsford who asked if he could join us….. I agreed on the basis that he did my stint on the front, which seemed like a good idea at the time. When we realised how thin the material of his shorts was, we tried to keep him on the back as much as possible.

The route went NW up to Bures then up to Col Lamarsh into Sudbury.  First drinks stop at the bottom of a hill……. no chance of getting going again so we passed by.  On to Castle Headingham, Toppesfield  (was that Bob we passed???) and then a lovely tea stop at Finchingfield.  Bob was spotted again at Finchingfield, out with a mate so he selfishly declined the invite to drag us round the second half of the course.

Out past the Blue Egg, Great Saling and then it was heading for home.  Back to Sible Headingham  (Doc reattached pedal to bike) and a welcome stop at Pebmarsh were the Doc and Tracey’s domestique filled our water bottles whilst we let some air out of his tyres.

Lovely long downhill into Bures and then a not so lovely long steady uphill out of Bures and the joy of the Fordham ascent prior to the even greater joy of the West Bergholt ascent.  Back into Colchester on a respectable 17.4 mph.  Garmin registered 17.3mph after getting stuck behind a motorised disabled buggy going through Castle park close to the finish line, so I’m registering 17.4 mph, which was our speed before the disabled buggy overtook us all and then held us up.

The event pack says “it’s not a race” – of course it was!!!!!  We all took our turns on the front and were only overtaken by two pairs en route and most importantly for the Doc and Speedy – not overtaken by any girlies.

Speedy and Tracey practised ‘The Look’, but kept laughing so I don’t think we have nailed it yet……


Good ride guys – Thank you