The long-standing Tour de Tendring cycle ride was a big success yesterday. Over 1,000 cyclists took part, choosing either the shorter 20mile route, or the longer 50 mile route.
It was my first organised cycle ride, and the day dawned bright, with an overnight shower – having had several weeks of virtually rain-free weather, it would have been Sod’s Law for it to have rained for this event. Setting off and finishing from Dovercourt swimming pool, there were cyclists of all ages and sizes milling around the fields surrounding the building. The queue for the portaloos was quite long!
The ride isn’t a race, and rather than having a mass start, the starting time for the event was between 9:00a.m. and 10:00a.m.
The one drawback with the weather was the very stiff breeze, that was in the riders faces for the first 15 miles or so, and intermittently thereafter. For the first hour or so, option for the 50mile route didn’t seem quite such a good idea!
The route was a circular one (see below), heading out west past Wrabness, before heading south towards the coast through some lovely quiet lanes. There were a couple of refreshment stops en route, with sarnies and other food on offer, and the chance to refill water bottles.
I took it fairly easy to start with, and when we hit the coast at Jaywick and turned north to head up the main coastal road through Clacton, the sun popped out, and that long stretch with a sea view was a highlight of the ride. Heading back inland saw a few more inclines, and the going got a bit tougher. But as the final few miles approached and the shorter route merged with the longer route, I got re-energised, and was clearly channelling Mark Cavendish as I managed a sprint towards the finish line.
A certificate, and a bottle of water, and refreshments of various kinds were on hand at the finish. The event was organised by Bike Events, and you’ll find their other Essex rides, and those organised by others, in the right-hand column.
So whether you’re a lycra-clad racer, or have an old mountain bike in the shed, why not sign up for one of these races? They’re great fun, more so if you are in a team – maybe we should have an Essex Days Out team at one…