‘Please die carefully’ was the unfriendly welcome we received twice in Chevington towards the end of this ride through Suffolk lanes. But on closer inspection some wag had carefully removed the r and v from both signs, which was a relief. Before that grim sign had been spotted a peloton of 9 Windmillers had enjoyed a glorious circuit of 38 miles from The Packhorse Inn at Moulton, devised once again by our leader Maurice, to take in some beautiful villages and quiet lanes. His faithful followers were Andrew, Ken, Keith, Brummie Brian, Brummie Chris (Brian’s guest for the day), Tom, Lawrence and Martin. Here is the route taken:
And here is a link to how it looked from the air:
https://www.relive.cc/view/1161290011 (thanks, Andrew).
It was one of those perfect days for a bike ride – a slight chill to start with, but Maurice took care of that with a steep initial climb out of Moulton, followed by warm sunshine and no wind thereafter. What could be better? But en route we passed Calamity Corner from a previous ride when Andrew’s derailleur snapped off which required Tom’s skills to convert it rapidly to a fixie. Perhaps this route has a jinx on it as there were more calamities to come………………..
The feature stop was Ickworth House near Bury St Edmunds, an extraordinary National Trust property set in hundreds of acres of parkland. Described by some as an overgrown folly and others as something from outer space, it is certainly unusual. Full details of its history are here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ickworth_House .
Brian also went to extraordinary David Bailey-type lengths to obtain a suitable pic of the gang in front of the folly:
A quick circuit of the grounds meant it was time for coffee and so on we went to Maglia Rosso, a bike shop / café in the middle of nowhere but, as it happened, a perfect stop for Calamity No. 1 as Lawrence developed a puncture just 100 yards before we got there. So instead of getting his hands dirty the shop obliged and his bike was ready by the time we had finished our coffee.
Whizzing down the hill to Maglia Rosso meant having to climb back up again but the cakes kicked into gear and we were soon heading back to Moulton until Calamity No. 2 occurred when Brian’s cassette gear cable snapped leaving him with just 2 gears.
Thereafter, it was more or less straight back to Moulton via Chevington along this imaginatively named road
until we reached the familiar bridge over the non-existent river in Moulton (at least in September):
and received a warm welcome at The Packhorse where an excellent lunch was had by those who had the time to stay, which did not include Andrew – he had an appointment with an attractive Venezuelan dentist in Saffron Walden, who subsequently turned out to only have the qualifications of a butcher.
Thanks, Maurice for organising another great ride and to Andrew for getting us to the starting line on time.