CycAle April 2013: Toss's Tour De Halstead

On probably the first sunny and warm day of the year 11 intrepid cyclists met up at Marks Tey station for our 2nd cycale trip of the year.We set off at a sedate pace,passing through Aldham and Great Tey on quiet country roads as we headed to our first destination,The Stisted Specialities Tea Room.We arrived at this cyclist friendly venue after about 90minutes cycling,about 14 miles in distance. We sat outside and enjoyed a superb brunch, the bacon sandwiches were fantastic and the selection of cakes second to none.

A short ride of about 4 miles into Halstead on the back roads followed,our first stop The Three Pigeons.A splendid pint of Sawbridgeworth Dragons Blood was enjoyed in the lovely beer garden.A short trip across town led to The Griffin,which has been saved from GK and is now a free house.Beers straight from the Barrel here,and we enjoyed some lovely Mill Green.A brief trip across town took us to The Dog,and another splendid beer garden to enjoy and some fine Brandons Beer.

We then had another short ride,about 3  miles,to the Five Bells at Colne Engaine.Agood selection of ales here,and some more food as well if people wanted it-hungry work this cycling!!Our next stop was The Swan at Chappel,which had some refurbishment going on and beer choice was a bit reduced as 2 had just gone off.Nethergates Old Growler was settled on by most people,and we then discovered that we had lost one of riders,Barry.This has happened before so we decided to move onto our last pub, The Three Horseshoes at Fordham.This involved a nice quiet,hilly route of about 3 miles again,and just as we arrived into Fordham there was Barry sitting by the side of the road,so we were one big happy family again! We settled into the comfy chairs at The Horseshoes and enjoyed some lovely beer (coffee in some peoples cases.We are responsible riders), Brandons Gunflint and Red Fox Coggeshall Gold in my case.

As it was the last pub of the day people drifted off in their own time,4 of us headed back to town to have a final beer in The New Inn,including the smartest rider of the day,congratulations to Tim,our first ever Cycale rider with a flat cap :) Total miles for the day was about 37,so if this sounds like a good day out to you keep an eye on our website for details of forthcoming rides.