The East Coast Cycle Ride
Sat 18th April - Fri 24th April 1998

Sat 18th April - The GREAT DAY DAWNS

All the planning, phone calls checking of bikes washing, cleaning, oiling etc is over Panniers Packed ready to go.
9:15am Jane and me set off, the plan to travel slowly south on the Al while Colin, Karen and Graeme catch us up. I ring Karen on the mobile where are you - We're just passing the Little Chef, which one ?? That gets the day off to a good start something to laugh about.

Approx 10am Al south at Bramham, Colin overtakes and we are now in convoy to Felixstowe and Harwich, the holiday has started. the weather is intermittent. 11am Coffee stop Blyth services plenty of good natured banter and a laugh at the poor waiter who dropped a full tray of pots "crash" broke the lot. Cruise south onto the A14 Jane" shouts out" Harwich is 100 miles, yes its a long way
2pm Lunch stop somewhere in Suffolk at a Little Chef its raining we try to convince ourselves it will stop. We decide to drive to Harwich get the accreditation then drive to Felixstowe to start the ride.

3pm Harwich outside the first stamp halt The CABIN closes at 2 30pm on Saturdays a forty mile trip for nothing. Plan B we get the local Garage at the ferry terminal to stamp our cards to prove we are there. Jane will have to wait for a bacon and egg Huff.. At  Felixstowe 4pm, its raining, the start is Languard point right next to the container docks, not the most inspiring of starts  with commotion, cameras and videos whirring we set about checking the bikes looking to get started.  I spot a Cockermouth Mountain Rescue sticker on a car in the car park at Felixstowe, its a small world.

Starting in the rain again

En route, but no we have gone the wrong way 200yds we hit a dead end I say lets wait here till the girls go and then we wont lose face, but what the hell so we go back and start again. cycle up past Haven holidays and try and find the town we end up on the promenade first sign we see NO CYCLING, a good start.
We eventually get on the sea front at Felixstowe, which is a nice place away from the docks. We then turn off the front and hit our first bank, Cliff road.  Graeme shouting I thought this was supposed to be a flat ride
"What's Gannin On".

We leave Felixstowe  and cycle through pleasant lanes towards Woodbridge. First impression even though its raining,  this is going to be a good week. We are also impressed by the properties along the way. 6pm ish, we arrive at the Horse and Groom Inn Melton our first night halt.  No girls but after 5 mins they arrive they had had a look around Woodbridge. The shops were only open 10 mins but they managed to make purchases. Accommodation basic but the guy allowed us to lock away our bikes and then we have time for a quick drink
and decide how to spend the evening. Chinese  restaurant excellent meal, back to the Horse and groom for a night cap 1030pm, the Pub was shut so after a drink nearby its good night, a long day but good fun..
 

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