Text and pics contributed by Christina; map by Ian.
On Saturday 21st, 6 of us got our bikes, helmets and cycle gear out and joined Ian on a social ride. It took us through Bucklesham, Foxhall and Newbourne, where we stopped at a delightful café and had – as advertised by Ian – delicious scones, cakes and cups of coffee or tea. We were most comfortably seated on cushions in an open barn watching chickens picking crumbs nearby, as well as a buzzard which was circling over the neighbouring field. Ian said he was convinced it was a golden eagle; he then had another vision of this splendid predator, elusive in these parts of Britain, when we stopped at Freston Boot. Perhaps a trip to Specsavers?
We then proceeded to Kirton and Fakenham where a lush green and gently undulating landscape rather unexpectedly came into view, followed by the River Deben and Bawdsy Manor and the open sea in the far distance. En route our group spied a couple of peregrine falcons in close proximity. The birds sported chains and were sitting on wooden posts in somebody’s front garden, a most unusual sight.
From there we rode along the sea front to Languard Viewpoint where we stopped for lunch whilst waiting for the hourly habour ferry to take us across to Shotley Peninsular. I watched the small yellow and white ferry boat approaching our part of the beach, thinking to myself it was not really suited to take our group and 6 bikes as well as another group. However, I was mistaken; we all managed to get on board and were able to sit at the front and had a most enjoyable journey of about 30 minutes to Shotley Gate via Harwich.
Immediately past the Oyster Reach Pub we had Freston hill to tackle, which proved almost endless and a bit of a killer, but we all survived. We sat outside the Freston Boot Restaurant, pleased with what we had achieved and glad to be out and about in this glorious weather. We did over 40 miles in the end and at a “steady old pace” according to Bob Stoner who had cycled all the way from Felixstowe to join us at our starting point – Cliff Lane in Ipswich.
Thanks Ian for this well organised and enjoyable cycle ride.