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June so far in the Forces-of-Nature Diaries
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Owner: squiz

Member#: 6644
Registered: 27-05-2007
Diary Entries: 1721

10th September 2018
Mt. Biking: Alresford to Colchester Castle
Wind Direction:
Wind Stength:
Surf / Sea State:
Air Temperature:
Sea Temperature:
Weather: sunny periods
Max Speed:
Distance Covered: 16 miles (Nautical Miles - unless stated otherwise)

Monday 10th September – bike ***** Alresford to Colchester Castle on the Wivenhoe Trail. Sunny periods.

Good night at our small carpark on the quarry lane at Alresford in Essex, quiet until the lorries started running and the builders arrived at a nearby house but we were awake so no problem. It was cloudy and looked breezy but with a really good forecast for Point Clear tomorrow we continued with our plan for today, a bike ride along the Wivenhoe Trail to Colchester. After breakfast Mag packed cheese and crackers - we couldn’t take much as we had left our rucksack at home - and headed off at 10.15. We started off heading down the lane to Alresford Creek avoiding the steps in the wood down to the Colne. The tide had been up over the road in the night which makes you nervous of parking here for the night! This is National Cycle Route 51 and is a good track along the River Colne to Wivenhoe. With the tide low the Godwits were making the most of the mud:) The Wivenhoe river frontage is very nice, a mix of old cottages and new houses which have been tastefully designed to fit in, then as you leave there the Essex University Campus comes into view as we approach Colchester which is surprisingly close. There are a variety of old barges moored in the mud on the old quay towards the limit of the navigable river, quite a hippy looking community with buses, caravans and campers parked near a large red lightship. The trail continues to be well marked and we end up following the river to the leisure centre and over the bridge to the lovely Castle Park which is absolutely full of squirrels! The castle makes the perfect spot to end the trip and head back but not before we see a fantastic flower First World War tank, a tribute to those who gave their lives in the conflict. We found a nice sunny spot by a pond full of fish for our snack watching the world go by. Refreshed we return by nearly the same route with only a couple of small detours. We had been out 3hours 30 minutes covering 16 miles, another top Essex bike ride and my back tyre stayed inflated, I will have to sort it out when I get home. It was too late to check out Point Clear to sail as the tide was now dropping, Simon Chippington had been foiling there today, getting his best foil speed of 20 knots! A welcome cuppa, relax, read and play cards before we head out for a walk to collect blackberries as it has been a good year for them:) We walk along the path through the middle of the old quarry fishing lakes up the hill to St Marys church which we discover is a ruin as it burned down in 1971! Back at the van we finish off the yummy Lidl lasagne and have another nice sunset. Hopefully the wind plays ball tomorrow and I get to sail with several mates making the trip to Essex!

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Toys Used:
Cannondale Trail 5 29er



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