Saturday 29th November
As early as 06:30am on Saturday 29th November, from all of the surrounding areas of Colchester, you could hear a loud cheer. The ColVelo Collective awoke to a sound unfamiliar in recent times, silence! No patter of rain, no howling of wind. Dry roads and the sun was about to shine.
The now familiar meet at Velo for a caffeine boost before we set away, with some new faces amongst the old. An early puncture was unfortunate, but following a quick repair the group was once again on their way heading north of Colchester and towards Bures.
Full of cheer, sun glasses being worn, layers being stripped and a murmur of conversation within the Collective as we sat two by two. Dry roads and the sun on our backs made for excellent cycling conditions as we rode steadily towards Sible Hedingham, Great Yeldham and Cavendish. The new route on unfamiliar roads was a success. Classic country lanes, sprawling countryside and rolling terrain a’plenty, a definite revisit is in order.
With 70km already ticked off, we made our stop in the Suffolk market town of Lavenham for a well earned slice of fruit cake and cup of coffee. With the weather as it was we took outside seating to bask in the glorious sun. A day more befitting of September than the last week of November, we continued our journey as a final 40km was our distance to final destination.
Still in high spirits and only the one puncture from early in the day, we rode into Boxford and then onto Boxted before a final run to Colchester and our welcoming stable Velo! A day that will be remembered by all who rode for a beautiful route and camaraderie that makes riding your bike worthwhile. For all the bad days encountered, the good ones at this time of year are special. A cracking day had by all.
Thanks again to all who rode, we look forward to the next adventure.
Sunday 30th November
A grey start with some heavy fog greeted us on Sunday morning. Looking out of the kitchen window it appeared cold and unappealing. Only once pedalling it was clearly milder than expected. The warmth of Saturday just about holding on, and providing us with a rain free weekend. Alas, the tarmac was classic November. Mucky, leafy and damp!
The Collective assembled at Velo! For a route of roughly 75km on quiet roads south of Colchester towards the Heybridge Basin. With some more new faces joining us on the ride, we set out just after 0830. Only after a cup the Specially Blended Vietnamese coffee courtesy of Rich at Velo! Good drop indeed!
Some greasy roads, a tumbling rider and more mechanicals/punctures than we’d like meant the pace for the ride was perhaps a little slower than intended, but it appeared like the route was enjoyed by everybody all the same. In winter sticking a badge on the intended average speed for a group spin is sometimes foolish. Weather, bike and human conditions are huge factors in how the ride plays out. Getting out on the road as the collective is the single most important aspect. Just make sure you tell those waiting at home for you that you may be some time.
The ride was broken into two parts with a stop for breakfast in the Tea Rooms at Heybridge Basin. With winter inching closer, we here at ColVelo will look to build in some quality stopping points on our rides. A hot cup of tea and a toasted tea cake have magical, leg powering properties half way through a winter dig.
The sun appeared for the conclusion of the ride warming our backs as we pedalled. Leaving home in the dark, to arrive home in the sun was a nice sign off for another successful weekend of riding for the ColVelo Collective.
To our regular riders, thanks for joining us again. And to the new guys, great to meet you.
If you’re enjoying the rides and what ColVelo is offering, spread the word. We want to build ColVelo into something great for the local scene, and your help doing this is appreciated.
Keep your eyes peeled for this weekend’s routes to be posted shortly.