a bikeride to Felixtowe.
we’d been planning it for ages, lazily.
where to go? i fancied going to the Welsh coast but my mate wasn’t so sure; Felixtowe coast is a lot closer at just over a hundred miles away and there aren’t so many hills in the way.
so that was decided. now how to get there.
my friend had drove there a coupla times so was fairly confident of the route, and i’d just received a map of Anglia’s cycle network.
we decided on a mix of National Route 51(cycle track) and the best roads including the A14.
Bedford, Cambridge, Newmarket, Bury St. Edmunds, Stowmarket, Ipswich, Felixtowe. and then back again.
we kind of did some training but everyday is a bike ride for some of us 🙂
i did some 40mile rides to aunts n uncles etc.
our houses were being babysat, our kids were with their nans for the week.
the most important stuff was the push-bikes, tent, water, and 2 giant bergens of checklist bits n bobs like Hexistove, socks etc.
and smoke stuff, it might be impossible to find some in another town.
we set off. we thought we were ready. the tent was bungee’d under my handlebars, slightly wider than i thought. the water bladder was a brilliant idea but the bergens wouldn’t let us get comfy so we straddled them on the bikes like pack loads 🙂
which meant we had to pedal bow-legged, i wish i’d took a picture hehehe. so that was an eventful first mile of finding the easiest way to pedal these overladen ‘donkeys’.
We got onto the cycle way, an old railway line turned into a lovely route by the river, past the Priory Marina, 6miles of beautiful countryside loosely following the river Ouse eastwards.
that section of cycleway is cut short by a cul de sac in Sandy, the next town.
after a smoke break and some decision making, we decided to go by the quiet B roads to Cambridge if we could. we were getting used to the awkward riding style. the day was warm, we’d left Bedford behind and were on our way to Cambridge for my first time.
it’s only twenty miles away but i’d never needed to go before, kind of exciting riding in new lands.
after a beautiful B road bike ride, we were in Cambridge, luckily my mate had been to the Strawberry Fair so he knew where we were.
Cambridge was heaving with people. bikes were locked onto bikes were locked onto bikes at every railing. getting off and pushing our bikes was awkward but all a part of the experience.
After a McD and a smoke break in a park, it was still lunchtime. we’d made good ground, i think we’d left Bedford at bout half10.
we found a local in a park who gave us directions for an exit road and we were off again 🙂
Off towards Newmarket, home of the famous horse races, but we must have got a bit lost, Newmarket was just behind us hehehe so we pulled into a field in Kentford.
after setting up tents, cooking bacon and tomatoes from a local garage, smoking weed n changing socks etc, we were knackered and slept like logs.
the order of places becomes a bit fuzzy but i think we reached Bury St. Edmunds after breakfast and a smoke.
damn, did we get lost. all the signs are for industrial estates as opposed to the next towns we may find.
with a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, the miles clocked up in that Dog forsaken town, we found our way out by the sugar factory (Tate & Lyle?) onto the A14 again i think. after that it was plain sailing through and by small towns and villages including Needham Market.
we thought we would get some fishing done on the way but the rivers and lakes were out of sight and we feared getting lost again 🙂
Ipswich was the next main town or city that we entered and the river came into view. this river spurred us on. we couldn’t fish it as it was extremely busy with ports and things; we could almost smell the salt in it although the sea was still twenty miles away according to road signs.
Twenty Miles. a drop in the ocean so to speak.
a maximum of two hours on the saddle left to go 🙂 spliff break!!
we found a petrol garage to get some bacon and noodles, some waste land alongside to cook the food using the Hexistove and mess-tins.
in hind sight, this is where we lost our spare bicycle innertubes, all of them. lmao.
we’d brought six brand new ones and a cheap puncture repair kit.
(on the way home, by a place called Woolpit, maybe ten miles from Bury St. Edmunds, i got a nasty puncture and that is when we realised our mistake, three days after losing them.) never trust cheap puncture repair kits. they are a waste of time.
anyway. after we filled our stomachs and sullied our lungs we were back on the road with less than a score of miles left. we left the A14 and took some quiet B roads, alongside the widening river again.
soon every sign was for Felixtowe Port, the largest in this country, and finding our way was easy. before we knew it we had arrived. 🙂
the rest had been told previously, kind of like how the Lord Of The Rings is told before The Hobbit story, which is a prologue of sorts 🙂