8th Woodbridge Surfers Christmas Ride
Unfortunately a few old faces couldn't make it this year; Steve R had moved 2,500 miles away, Clark had undergone major surgery, Ian H had a serious facial hair infection and Eleanor had ruled it too dangerous for Maysty to ride with us.
The good news was that we had a few virgins with us. Quite appropriate given the season. Dave T, Duncan, Giant Paul and Paul B all joined us on the Christmas ride for the first time.
Melanie and her Mystery Machine took five riders, eight bikes and the tandem to Sizewell. JoJo, Duncan's wife, and her Juvenile Juggernaut (Duncan will be 12 years old this coming Friday) carried the remaining five riders. The plan was to ride back to Woodbridge off road. The weather was miserable and even the traditional Sloe Gin did little to raise our spirits. Thankfully the cafe was closed, so we headed off. The ground was waterlogged and we were soon soaked, but the byways, tracks and footpaths made for great riding, although one dog-walker took umbrage to our riding on the footpath (well done Steve W for winding him up even more).
Thorpeness and Aldeburgh passed quickly before we headed inland to Snape. We enjoyed the trails through Tunstall Forest and were deserving of a drink, so we dropped into the The Froize Inn, Chillesford, for a pint, some crisps and two massive portions of roast potatoes.
We headed off, away from home, with a slight beer-buzz, but were all soon beaten by the climb out of a bomb hole near Butley. (I still can't believe none of us managed it.) Alok was unlucky enough to be piloted by Dave H at the time. Neither Dave nor Alok give up easily, but had to when they both hit the sand. Dave then tried solo, came to a holt, attempted to track stand before a final effort, lost his balance and tumbled off down the slope. Fantastic effort.
We skirted Rendlesham Forest, then Hollesley, Alderton and Shottisham before heading back to Sutton Hoo on the road. We rode down the steps to Paul B's road, then the river wall to Dock Land before heading across town, via the Theatre Street steps, to the Cherry Tree. Exhausted. Just thirty miles, but it felt like fifty miles or more.
Well done Alok - seven pilots in one ride must be (another) club record? Well done also to Dave T and Giant Paul for their first efforts "up front". Special thanks to Melanie an JoJo. Roll on 2013. How about a trip to The Flying Nun Trail, Port Hills, Christchurch. Steve R, can you arrange bacon sandwiches en route?