Sunday, February 28, 2016

Women's cycling in Bury St Edmunds

A week's gap between comeback rides is fine for bruised sit bones, I have found. And after two or three weekly sessions, rides on consecutive days are manageable, although painful at first on the second day.

The Breeze ladies' rides from Maglia Rosso continue, with hilly 15m circuits around Hawstead, and I've done a couple from Moreton Hall too. This week we rode to Teacups Tea Rooms in Woolpit, via Hesset and Gedding Hall, where Rolling Stone Bill Wyman lives.

It's still a novelty riding with women only - we were always in the minority during my heyday 20 years ago. Now there's a 100-strong group of female riders in Bury St Edmunds alone. Amazing. The Bury Bicycle Collective operates via a Facebook group, with frequent rides of varying distance and speed plus roller training, track days and social events.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

On returning to cycling: coping with a bruised undercarriage

It's been a while.
A very pleasant 15m ride from the Maglia Rosso cafe in Hawstead, courtesy of cafe manager Mandy and British Cycling's Breeze initiative, kicked off what I hope will be a return to regular cycling. Oh but the bum ache towards the end of the ride! And the day after... I had forgotten to start gradually, with short rides.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hastings and the Belgian connection

Spent the weekend in Hastings and St Leonards, staying at the grand but eccentric Royal Victoria Hotel, where we were waited on by Rik van Looy's nephew. The Emporer of Herentals no less.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Mid Suffolk Light Railway

A couple of weeks ago we set off for the Mid Suffolk Light Railway (the 'Middy') near Wetheringsett, via Haughley. More info here. Lunch was a sandwich and figs bought at the local shop in Mendlesham - since we'd had a big breakfast in Bury for a treat, at the Angel Hotel. Mendlesham has some very attractive bits but not much of a web presence, with the notable exception of this rave review of St Mary's church.

The Middy museum had closed for the season, unbeknownst to us, but we enjoyed a cup of tea courtesy of one of the helpers there, as we watched others prepare for December's Santa Specials, which involved some shunting, moving a load of old sleepers with a JCB, some head scratching and plenty of chatting.

The facilities at the Middy are excellent - modern and clean. It's obviously a labour of love for the volunteers there; they seem to be doing a great job and no doubt we'll be back when they are in steam.

Good hedges ride to Dalham

We've been cycling most weekends, but blogging less frequently. Too Busy, aargh. Going out on the bikes on a sunny Sunday is the perfect antedote to overwork every other day of the week; totally absorbing.

So today we went west of Bury to Dalham, and enjoyed lunch at the Affleck Arms - 2 courses of good quality, tasty food and drinks for £15 each. En route we enjoyed the many fine examples of hedging and topiary that seem the vogue round here.

Dalham is in the Kennett valley, with steep (well, steep for Suffolk) climbs in and out of the village. Repleat, we struggled up the road to Gazeley, past this old kiln (pictured) and through gorgeously autumnal woodland to loop back to Bury via West Stow and Culford.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ixworth Pykkerell

Just a 20 mile loop from Bury today, via the Pykkerell for lunch. £28 for roast lamb, pud and pint of orange and lemonade x2. We've been there before and it is consistently good for food and service, with the added advantage of an interesting-looking ancient outhouse at the back, and lovely old yard for parking the bicycles. Nice starched linen tableclothes too.

Ixworth itself seems to have seen better days, and has a rather faded grandeur to it. The village is no stranger to cycling though, and hosted the West Suffolk Wheelers' Ixworth Criterium earlier this year.

The return route took in pig town at Livermere and the mysterious but perfectly preserved Ampton Hall. Bury Blue has taken some nice photos of Ampton. But this is the view one gets from a bicycle.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Bury to lovely Lavenham

Lovely to ride in the sunshine on Sunday; so hot was it that the rays seemed positively to press down on us. We headed for Lavenham, 'a remarkably preserved medieval village' according to the National Trust, which has a presence there (the Guildhall, below).

Our route to Lavvers is fantastically rural - arable land just about all the way, as far as the eye can see. The combine harvesters were out, getting in the barley and wheat, but we also passed fields of sugar beet, oilseed rape, sweetcorn and great purple swathes of linseed.

We lunched at Sweetmeats Tea Rooms and ice cream parlour, down the side of the Swan Hotel. Three courses of unusual but tasty grub and a pot of tea for £25.

Lavenham looks beautiful on a sunny Sunday, no doubt about it.