Words contributed by Torben; pics by Rachael and Torben
Eight of us met in the sunny reaches of North Ipswich for an IOG cycling adventure on Saturday. Some fine racing and touring steeds were on show although a few of the riders were concerned that the pace would do more than blow out the winter cobwebs. After reassurance from Rachael we headed out to the north and immediately lost one rider out in front (Julian) and one out the back (Paul Dickerson)!
In beautiful sunshine and light winds and on relatively dry roads we purred along via Cretingham, Earl Soham and Saxtead and were in Framlingham sitting outside a cafe slurping coffee and enjoying pastries in no time.
Well, actually, seven of us were. In a modern day hare and tortoise fable Paul had stuck with it and made the cafe just behind us, congratulating himself with a large sausage roll and a bakewell tart. Meanwhile, the hare (Julian) had ridden so fast that he had become disorientated and found himself back at his car in North Ipswich. What to do? Well this pragmatic hare jumped in his car and joined us in Fram to much hilarity and we shared the fable with the staff and any customer who would care to listen! We understand the ever-adaptable Julian was last seen touring antique shops in the locality.
With Paul deciding he would make a more leisurely return to Ipswich, Stage 2 of our circuit took us out between Fram College and the castle and photo opportunities were taken at several locations including action shots outside the Sweffling White Horse.The remaining 75% of the group was reduced to 50% as Steve (I know everyone in Suffolk) Seinet-Martin met one of his mates working on a house and he and Torben unwisely stopped to chat. After a slight delay the group reassembled in Farnham looking forward to a second stop at the Blaxhall Ship. On the way we met another of Steve’s mates and fellow IOGer, Geoff Redgrave, out for a Saturday cycle with his daughter.
The friendly welcome at the Blaxhall Ship had sailed and the landlord can only be described as rather flustered at the sight of six lycra-clad cyclists who had the audacity to order drinks and sandwiches. Steve decided he would get a better reception at the Station Cafe in Campsea Ashe but the remaining five braved a table in the beer garden awaiting the next move from the aforementioned landlord. Ian enjoyed his frothy pint but was not brave enough to ask for a flake in it!
After chilling out (yeah, we got cold) over a quick lunch we returned to the warmth of the pub to find that the landlord was having problems with his card machine; he shared a tale of woe featuring £400 worth of transaction failures, which may have accounted for earlier events. As a result Torben walked away with a free lunch and a promise to wire the payment the following day! We picked up a very relaxed Steve in Campsea Ashe and rattled along through Pettistree, Bredfield, Great Bealings and Rushmere with further moving pictures taken for the IOG roller banner before returning to North Ipswich after a very enjoyable 51 miles of scenic cycling in the sun.