We made a real effort this morning. Up before 8, quick breakfast, fit the Cateye computer to Madge and off we went.
It promised to be a scorcher, but at this time although it wasn’t exactly cool, it was pleasant enough. Today we set off along Prittlewell Chase towards Belfairs Park and after an uneventful stretch of 30mph dual carriageway followed by a couple of fairly quiet residential roads, we turned “through roads not adopted and woodlanded ways” as a bridleway leading towards Poors Lane and Hadleigh invited us into the gloom.
There were some squeaks and protests emanating from behind me, but whether this was due to the uneven surface, the proximity of the trees, or the sheer excitement of diving off into the woods I am not certain. However, it wasn’t long before this rather muddy path was promoted to a track and eventually blossomed into a surfaced road.
We headed towards Dawes Heath Lane and eventually south into Rectory Road. A short distance later the John Burrows Hall appeared on our right, the home venue of the now-defunct Hadleigh Chess Club. We turned left into Scrub Lane, following the road straight back towards Belfairs Park where there were many people “spoiling a good walk”, as Mark Twain so aptly put it. We used one of the “cycle tracks” made infamous by the searing pen of Nutty, then back along Prittlewell Chase and home.
During the ride it was necessary to tighten the handlebar stem, whose bolts were looser than they should have been.
The total ride was 10.75 miles and we were home well before 10 a.m. That’s really important: if we can cover more than 10 miles in the first hour of the day, what can we do on a day ride? At that sort of pace, LEJoG in a fortnight becomes a distinct possibility…