According to one well known online weather source (who will not be named), the forecast was due to be set fair. Relatively warm, no rain and frost free. If I was to say come Saturday 7th February it was the complete opposite, it would be an understatement.
As a motley crew of riders arrived at Velo! Cycling and Coffee, all in the hope of a winters ride without the freezing temperatures. However, there was a distinct feeling in the air that we had all been duped and perhaps things were not quite as they had predicted to be !
After collecting a couple of riders on route, we were a healthy group of 8. Heading out of Colchester and towards West Bergholt and then onto picturesque Bures. It was at Bures that we started to feel the cold and ice rain started to fall. We continued valiantly, although at a comfortable pace.
Modern technology is a wonderful thing, non more so than when your Garmin is saying 0.3 of a degree celsius. As we headed through Sible Hedingham, Great Yeldham and onto Cavendish. The going was hard, plenty of ice, slick roads and freezing temperatures, which at times made for careful riding.
A planned stop in Lavenham was particularly welcomed by all concerned. Our now regular, Cafe Knit on Lavenham High Street, was warm and welcoming. The coffee was hot and the cake sweet. We enjoyed a 30 minute stop to warm the core and we were on our way once more, with only 40km in distance to home. Spirits were heightened and the outside temperatures had risen just a little.
The ice had all but gone and the rain had stopped. With an increase in spirit came an increase in speed. We rode strongly through Boxford, Stoke by Nayland and Boxted on the run into Colchester. With the improved conditions came a little more trust in the road surface and some confidence amongst the collective.
In summary, a stunning 111km route into the Essex and Suffolk countryside. Some valuable winter miles in the bank and most importantly all riders stayed upright. Until the next time, ride safe and we hope to see you on the next ColVelo outing.