Echappee is a French term, roughly translated as “escape”; a fitting description for this counter-clockwise amble through East Anglia. The ride represents the final leg of the Colvelo “Monument” season which commenced on a misty morning way back in April. A typically Colvelo peloton amassed on Bromley Road headed for Aldeburgh, made up of the usual array of bikes – TT machines, fixed gears and steel tourers among them. It was great to see that on a staple Colvelo ride, the variation and “open to all comers” attitude which is a club benchmark has remained.
The first 80km were brisk aided by the usual southerly wind to Aldeburgh. Chopping’s Hill Bakery proved a great stop, with giant homemade sausage rolls that needed two sittings (and a knife and fork, if one was at hand!) After this the route tracks east towards Eye, via Saxmundham and Redlingfield. This was a particularly tough leg, combining rolling terrain with a wind which was just strong enough not to disregard!
Soon after the route headed south towards Elmswell, which provided the last chance for sustenance and a quick break before the last 60km to home via Hadleigh and Dedham, well-worn roads for the Collective that are always a welcome sight after a long ride of new villages and towns!
In true Echappee fashion the heavens opened at Higham, almost a mirror image of last year’s edition. However, this couldn’t dissolve the spirits of the group who completed the ride!
A special mention goes to Michael Land, having completed his longest ever ride following a summer of progression from the Coffee and Canvas rides. Additionally the group of Monument ever-presents including Rob H, Will Ibbotson, Alex M, Jamie Lones and the (modest) yours truly. The Monument rides this year have been blessed with at least passable conditions, but made much easier by great company and support along the way. Keep an eye here for details of next year’s series!