This 243km route is an amalgamation of lots of great roads, routes and rides from days gone by. A chance to link up some favourite sections and parts of the region into one big day out.
With this being the second running of ‘RVA’ – We had tweaked a few parts from the 2014 route to include some new bits from the year of riding that followed last year’s edition.
Roll out was just after 7am on Monday morning – There was a subdued atmosphere in the cafe this morning, I think this had more to do with the time everybody had their alarm sound as opposed to any concerns about the ride…..I hope?! The weather was set fair for Monday. A touch breezy, but clear and bright for large parts of the day. We really couldn’t have hoped for a better day to thrash out a big ride.
Newmarket was our first stopping point at roughly 100km. There had been a distinct split in the group in the run in towards Newmarket with some riders having less miles in the legs than others. Their effort was compounded by battling the wind that was about on their own, always working harder to keep up with some riders who were winter hardened. We lost one rider at Newmarket, bowing out with the prospect of another 150km likely too much this early in the season. But without setting off you never know how you might go. Getting to the start line was courageous enough this day. We rolled at a moderate pace all day, reconvening with dropped riders as often as possible. The roads deep into Suffolk continue to offer some of the quietest and most picturesque scenes on offer in the UK. It never fails to amaze me how beautiful the area can be, and how lucky we are to have the eastern counties as our playground.
With any luck today sees the start of spring proper. Mild weather and dry roads. It’s easy to forget as you toil through winter how great the spring can be to ride. Longer days and cool evenings. Just perfect.
A second and final coffee stop at the 197km marker in Thurston saw the back of the ride broken, with the end in sight. The push for home came just as one rider bowed out with roughly 30km to go in the Town of Hadleigh. With this abandonment the pace increased, and with our target fixed on the village of Wivenhoe we raced towards our finishing point. The day had been strung out a little longer due to the stop start nature of the ride. This meant a reduced group of three hit the Black Buoy pub in Wivenhoe for a well deserved beer. Another edition of RVA successfully in the bag. Well done all. A blinding effort and some solid early season miles in the legs.
Our attention now turns to Colchester – Swaffham – Colchester. A 280km ride taking many of the characteristics of RVA. Great roads, fantastic company all from the comfort of your saddle.
We genuinely believe that as a club we offer the finest rides over the longer distances, and bring something to the local scene that other clubs don’t necessarily offer. Our club was formed indulging this passion for long days out, but with increased attendance on some of our shorter rides our route selection is evolving. Mixing up the big distance with the well crafted morning/cafe ride. Something for all comers. So when you’re ready, drop by, say hello and join us for a ride. A good day is guaranteed.