So you may have noticed I have been some what quiet over the last couple of months. Long story short, I’ve had a lot of s@*t to deal with since returning from France in June and it hasn’t been an easy time for me. There has been a lot of things to get straight in my mind and a lot of hurdles to over come to get to where I am now. And that place is happy.
But I don’t want to dwell on that. But one of the things that have helped along this bumpy journey is the Simpson Magazine Eels Foot Ride. A proper bike ride. One where everyone is friendly, chatty and simply loves bike riding.
Having worked one hell of a long shift the night before, as it was the Ipswich Maritime Festival that weekend. So when you work at a pub on the waterfront, it’s the busiest weekend of the year. Running off Redbull till the early hours of the morning fighting off endless waves of boozed up punters. I think I just about managed 2 hours sleep, before rising early to make the 8am breakfast at Kesgrave Kitchen. No better way to start a ride than with good chat and a bacon sandwich! We went around the cafe like a new class at school, everyone introducing themselves. I have to tip my cap to Terry, getting one hell of a group of guys together for this ride!
I have to say a thank you to OTE for supporting the ride with bars and gels to keep us all going. Considering this way my longest ride since probably May, I needed them! Caught ‘gramming by Matt Grayson, check him out here.
We then promptly headed off into the Suffolk lanes. That is the great thing about Suffolk and the reasoning behind bringing the ride to this part of the country. The immediate divide between being in and out-of-town. It’s just like switching a switch. It was certainly a crisp morning, although from looking at my entire compared to everyone else, clearly I am just a big softie!
It was really fantastic to finally meet Terry, the founder of Simpson Magazine. Having spoken over the phone about my article earlier in the year, being able to put a face to the name was really nice. Clearly just a true cycling enthusiast that loves everything about the sport.
Along with Terry I got to catch up with Clive and Paul, two of the old boys from the Ipswich Bicycle Club which pretty much taught me everything I know about bike riding. Having not seen either of them in a long time because of racing commitments, it is really warming to have a chat and just make up for missed time. Clive lent me his cyclocross bike about 4 years ago now to do my first ever bike race, and here I am this winter heading back into the discipline that started it all off for me. Bike check coming soon…
As we headed out through forests and rolling lanes towards the coast at Thorpness, sadly it was time for me to turn round and head back. Work commitments getting in the way again! With something like an hour to get back in time for work, the chain was well and truly tight, and all the OTE gels went in.
Just about making it back in time, uniform on, fixie out and smash it through town to clock in with a minute to spare. I haven’t done a ride over 100km in a long time, so on little sleep and having pressed home, thankfully there wasn’t many customers to serve that evening! I was a bit of a mess to say the least.
Finally, I have to say a massive thank you to Terry and the Simpson boys for making this adventure possible, I can’t wait for the next one! See you there!
But for now…
Photos by Matt Grayson
Click the images below to read the Simpson article on the ride or about me!