Eight intrepid riders set off from the Bricklayers car park at 9-30. Mark arrived exactly on time as usual. Our route took us up the Boxted Straight Road for refreshments at Phillpots cafeteria. On to route 1 for an easy ride into Ipswich via Copdock and Belstead.
The BriarBank brewpub in Ipswich is an excellent establishment and just happened to have a beer festival on. Drinking was outside in the yard with beer straight from the barrels. My favourite was the Port Porter at 5.5%, but Cardinal Wolsey was (according to the tasting notes) "full bodied and roasty" The beer was very good too; a beautiful old ale at 4%.
We proceeded around the quay to The Brewery Tap, still trading in front of the dilapidated building that was the Tolly Cobbold brewery. Beer choice was very good as was the food. Up Landseer Road and out of Ipswich via Nacton Road. The ride out to Levington Ship is "proper Suffolk" with no white lines, no kerb stones, no street lights and probably no mobile signal. I do hope so anyway! The Ship is a beautiful old Adnams pub with thatch and low beams. Then it was on to Trimley St Martin and The Hand in Hand via route 51. The Hand in Hand was probably the least interesting of the pubs we visited, but by then a few of us were on coffee anyway. Yes coffee. It does get drunk on Cycale rides!
The ferry to Harwich was not too rough and a little spray does no harm. Getting to the ferry involved walking down a steep beach where I managed fall over, giving mirth to the rest of the team! When we reached Essex three riders departed straight away for Colchester via route 51, but others headed for The Alma for a last drink, and in my case a rather delicious Dover Sole with new potatoes! I enjoyed the day very much and I think everyone else on the ride did too.