Monday, August 10, 2009

Where's Cakes and Ale?

To continue with the cycling theme of my Tour de France blog post...This Sunday, with KT off in the U.S., I woke at the crack of dawn, loaded my bike onto the car and sped out to the Suffolk countryside, driving through dense fog most of the way. Fortunately, it had cleared into a gorgeous day by the time I arrived at Glemham Hall (not that I saw it) for the start of the charity ride organized by Bike Events. One of the best things about this group is the announcer who is very English and very witty--at a recent ride we just did (blog to appear later) he sent us off quoting what I think was a Wordsworth poem. This morning, he was amused by a local group wearing shirts that said "Suffolk & Tired".

The day was sunny, with just a wisp of a breeze--perfect cycling weather. And the route was excellent, with hardly a big hill and a nice variety of scenery. We rolled through farms, small villages, a nature reserve, forest, and sandy heath on the way to a stop at a beach. I soon reached a decision point where I had to chose between the 35 mile route (map here) and the 60 mile route--all had been delightful to that point but I fearfully recalled my last planned 50 mile bike ride, where leg cramps hit at the 35 mile mark. This was a much easier but I still wimped out and went the short way. Oh well--turns out it was actually 40 miles in the end.

The rest of the ride was equally pleasant. The beach stop was Dunwich, a once vibrant port town noted in the Doomsday book and "lost" to the sea hundreds of years ago. At one point I sped by a sign that caused me to quickly brake--yes, it indeed said "Cakes & Ale". I looked down the side-road and saw nothing so I reluctantly rejoined the bike ride route. Turns out it's just a caravan site with an odd name. But the sign had gotten me thirsty, so I had to stop at the last refreshment break--a pub that thankfully had already opened. Fueled with a pint of ale--but no cake--I made it the next few miles to the finish line (just a bit after some who had done the whole 60 mile trip!). --JT

No comments: