Monday 15th August 2016 saw eight riders from Burnley and Pendle CTC arriving at Framlingham College in Sufflok for a weeks cycling around the flat and quiet Suffolk lanes. Around 450 CTC members from around the country were atending to celebtate hte 138th birthday of the National CTC.
Five of our members were staying in the student accomodation, with the remaining three camping/caravanning.area.
Being around 250 miles from Burnley & Pendle, we didn't arrive until mid afternoon, so only had time to unpack, prepare our steeds, and familiarise ourselves with the area before our evening meal.
From Tuesday to Saturday, we had a choice of rides available, rangng from extra short (10 miles), to long (80 miles+). We selected rides in the 30 to 60 mile groups, sticking together some days, whilst some riders elected for different rides on a couple of days. We also made a couple of detours from the given routes to allow those participating in the British Cycle Quest to find the Suffolk based clues.
Our Tuesday ride included our whole contingent, in a trip to the seaside at Southwold, via the "Southwold Direct" 48 mile route. Scenes along the way included St. Mary's Uggeshall church, with its thatched roof, St Andrews church at Walberswick, and included a fish and chip lunch on the prom at Southwold.
Wednesday we selected the Ufford, Woodbridge, and Earl Soham 31 mile route, taking a small detour to Sutton Hoo, where we dropped of a few riders who wanted to look around the site.
Thursday saw our shortest ride of the week, only 30 miles, taking in the undulating countryside of the Deben Valley, calling in at Debenham for lunch (although we had to ask the postman the way!). (That's Debenham, the village, not Debenhams the store!). As it was a short ride, we had time to stop at the pub on the way back.
Today we opted for another ride out to the seaside. This time to Aldeburgh and Thorpeness. Again snacking at the chippy for lunch. Detouring to collect another BCQ clue, three riders then rode up to Dunwhich before returning via Tuesdays route.
Today was our longest ride, taking the 62 mile "Windmill Trail", although only two of our number rode it. (The others taking a shorter option). It was quite windy today, a necessity really, for the windmills, but making the going a little difficult at times.
Given the longer distance, we upped the pace a little today, which also allowed time for several stops. Coffee for elevenses, and and emergency halt to rescue a frog that was having difficulty crossing the road. Lunch was in Ixworth, and afternoon coffee and cakes in Debenham on the way back.
Throughout the week, riders had the opportunity to submit photos for the annual photo competition, which each rider allowed to enter five photos each day. Burnley and Pende were lucky enough to win the "Best Photo for Wednesday" and the "Runners Up Photo of the week".
A sad day, we had to pack up and go home.... - Until next year!.