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The BSCC Bike Ride 2019, Coggeshall, Essex - 11th May 2019

It's the annual Brome Swan Cycle Club annual trip away, this time to Coggeshall, in between Colchester and Braintree in Essex. We're staying at the White Hart hotel in the town, which is a fantastic old building but where the service is a little on the slow side, so there are several trips out to nearby pubs as it's probably quicker than waiting for a pint in the hotel. The ride itself is around 31 miles, and once again Fred's doing it himself whilst Harry's on the towbar. It's hard going in places, and we actually miss out on lunch at the lunch pub because we're late. However, Isobel manages to sneak in a quick order of a few bowls of chips just before the kitchen closes, and Suey has kindly donated her cheese sandwhich, which the boys devour - even though it had had actual tomato in it, such was their hunger and desperation. The final seven mile leg after stocking up on carbohydrates and fats is much better for it, and it proves a nice coda to the ride. After a shower, it's time for the traditional big dinner, then on the following morning we have a short walk up to the river for a poke around, before heading home again.

next album: Pulham Crown and Lunch in Paddington, Norfolk and London - 21st May 2019
previous album: A Postcard From Caister on Sea, Norfolk - 6th May 2019

Fred peers out of the hotel window, whilst Harry's on the pooPad again

The Boy Phil inspects the kids' menu

The gang decides to head out and explore the pubs of Coggeshall

Looking back at our hotel and room

A curious Victorian clock tower with a wonky top, on Stoneham Street

Suey and The Boy Phil stroll past a really old-school sweet shop

Gaz, Marc and Paul

The cute Catholic church of St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Looking back to Coggeshall's East Street

An epic Wisteria, on the oddly-named Wistaria House

Some sort of derelict factory, with paintings on to make it look less bleak

Gaz peers over the church wall

We arrive at the Woolpack Inn on Church Street

Conversation in the Woolpack

Albert Place in Coggeshall

Our next destination: the Chapel Inn

We pass an interesting shop

Back at the White Hart, we chat to Colin, Jill and Paul

The next morning, Spam and John Willy are roaming around

Gaz decides on breakfast

Isobel and Harry

Paul considers more breakfast

The senior table arrives

At one point, we have the whole dining room to ourselves, stripey carpet and all

The view from our bedroom

Harry and Fred

Our bedroom - Room 1 - is truly epic

We get ready for the actual bike ride

Alan and Jessica

Gaz stomps around

Harry looks up - he's ready to be attached

We get about 200 metres up the road before Alan has a technical issue with a flat tyre

We hang around waiting to regroup

Matthew and Alan cycle up the road

Paul's on the phone

Between the very green Greenstead Green, and Earl's Colne

We make it to the first pub

Marc has a laff

Gaz checks his phone

Jessica and Fred are playing cards

Harry's got a lemonade

A nice bottle-wall

Sylvia chats to the Adnams Draymen, who she remembers from the Swan days

The pretty village of Colne Engaine

Chappel and Wakes Colne railway station

Fred's reflected in a curious mirror at the lunch pub

Marc points the way in the Three Horseshoes

The boys scoff down chips

Everyone's on their phone, whilst Fred's playing cards again

Getting ready to leave

Fred comes out of the pub

The Three Horseshoes

Al cycles by

Isobel and Fred on their bikes

A nice field of purple

Back at base, Fred points to Harry

The boys relax in the room for a bit

The Sagas have been out to a nearby pub, as it was quicker than being served at the hotel bar

The gang at dinner

Marc inspects his starter

Isobel teaches everyone to do the 'owl' impression

In the car park, Fred and Harry think they are ninjas

We spot an old brewery on our walkabout

Down by the bridge over the River Blackwater

A bucolic scene on the River Blackwater

Some nice houses down by the river

Someone has sprayed 'don't be afraid' on the wall

The boys mess around on an actual Grange Hill

Another wisteria house

The tragic sight of a burned-down pub - the Queen's Head, on the A120 in Surrex

The pub has been almost completely razed to the ground

A sad sight

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Fred peers out of the hotel window, whilst Harry's on the pooPad again