Originally posted on CycleChat 27/01/13
We met up at 7am outside the Giles statue and headed off on the first of the three thirty(ish) mile loops that would make up our 100 mile ride.
The rain was raining and the wind was, er, winding as we bipped along at a cheery rate towards Martlesham where there was a chance a new friend called Phil would be joining us. After waiting a wee while I found a tweet telling me there was little chance Phil would be joining us on account of a manifestation the type of wind that got Tonto into a pickle in Kansas.
Another friend called Trumpet had failed to show up before we left Ipswich so we weren't too troubled.
Apart from being a little moist the fifteen miles out to Wickham Market seemed nice and easy, which 'might' have been more to do with the tailwind than our level of fitness. From the moment we turned back to Ipswich the roads turned to rivers, the wind turned against us and nature punished us for daring to defy the laws of physics while perched upon two wheels.
The going was less than preferable but wasn't too bad, barring a flood that made us choose a diversion. We tried to have a crack at drafting a tractor but found out pretty quickly that large tractor tyres are quite efficient at transferring entire puddles onto cyclists foolish enough to draft them.
By pure fluke the fella who wasn't there to meet us in Martlesham (Phil) managed to find us as we made our way back to Ipswich town centre. So now we were four.
The start of the third loop took us out along the River Orwell to Shotley Penninsula, our new friend Phil (on his first ever group ride) had his first go at leading our little pack and put in a damn fine effort despite the increasingly hostile weather conditions.
On our way down the other side of the Penninsula along the River Stour the wind got consistently worse and before turning towards Manningtree we decided as a group that the day's ride was in danger of becoming an unhappy slog and headed directly back to Ipswich - we agreed that there was little doubt that we were capable of the full 100 miles but there's no point in letting cycling make us miserable, this is supposed to be fun!
But the company was good, the pace was comfortable and on the whole the cheer was good. Roll on next month.
Here's the route - http://www.endomondo.com/workouts/154407269/4626205
A few hours after getting home I got a text from Trumpet telling me that his phone had just reminded him that he should have got out of bed this morning to go on a bike ride...