Text and pics contributed by Rachael
There was a little bit of confusion as to where we should be meeting. Some of us went to the coordinates stated on the instructions while the rest correctly went to the carpark where we met last time we did this ride. Fortunately we were only about a half a mile apart so after a few minutes, all 11 of us were gathered together and on our way. It was a surprisingly warm day for January, perfect for a cycle ride through the forest.
The route took us out along some very sandy and muddy tracks. It was hard going at times with most of us losing control in the deep sand now and again. It was lovely when there was a stretch of hard, smooth track where we could relax and have a chat as we rode along. The route was quite wiggly, making use of as many bridleways and byways as possible. We headed in a clockwise direction from Sutton Heath carpark, heading northwards into Tangham Forest, then southwards to Hollesley and out onto more open tracks towards the River Deben at Ramsholt We stopped for a half an hour or so to have a picnic lunch on route.
As we passed Ramsholt Church Steve unfortunately got a puncture, apparently the muddiest puncture repair he has ever had to deal with. While he spent a few minutes sorting it, the rest of us took the opportunity to take a break from the saddle. I certainly was getting a bit sore from all the bumpy tracks at this point. The recent hedge trimming along the route was most likely the cause of the puncture. Paul had received two punctures on his pre-ride and another couple of us got one towards the end of the ride. Fortunately ours didn’t need dealing with till after we got back.