There is a cafe in Essex called The Blue Egg and it has become a bit of a haunt for cyclists over the years as there is a really really really really really really really really slim chance you may just see Alex Dowsett or even Mark Cavendish either there or whizzing past in a lycra-clad blur.
I have been meaning to get out to this place for over a year now but with one thing and another – mostly I don’t know the route there – I had not yet made it…..until yesterday. Off we set, myself and Helen making the mistake of leaving in the middle of the school run and rush hour when traffic is at its worst but once we were out on the country roads it was fine.
Our route would take us out to The Blue Egg, see us stop for tea and cake and then return home. It is about a 75 mile round trip from my house. But it worked out to be just over 90 miles as we got lost several times. I have a fancy Garmin 1000 Edge which can navigate using turn by turn instructions only it failed in an epic way and just told me I was off course for the entire route. Thankfully I had sent the GPX file to my friend Helen and she was able to lead the way using her phone.
The ride also gave me the opportunity to try out the new club kit from Romford CC, which was amazing and really comfortable.
The file we were using I actually pinched from Strava from someone I knew who had been recently though after almost 20 miles we were being told to cycle (our road bikes) across some fields and then realised for the next 20 miles the route was in a complete straight line. Assuming the people on the route we were trying to follow must have lost GPS signal we navigated our way staying as close to the blue line as possible without having to go across farmers fields. It was a good job Helen was there as I would have probably had a toddler type tantrum and decided to to a different route I knew or just head home.
The sun was shining, there was no wind, most of the roads out were country roads with very little traffic and we pretty much flew down there!
The cafe is in Great Bardfield just a little on from Little Easter, which we cycled through and I decided I would like to live there – the cutest little village! It had chickens, goats, pigs, a bakery, cafe, gift shop and flower shop.
Oddly enough we both had jacket potatoes but that just gives us another excuse to go back for the cake, which can only be a good thing – I mean who doesn’t like cake?
We set off after having a quick chat with two men asking where we were from and the mileage we were doing. They seemed pretty shocked and surprised and we had a few well done girls and some other slightly patronising questions about fluids and gels though I am sure they were meant with the best of intentions. They set off and shortly after we flew past them but ended up riding in a little group for a couple of miles, which was actually really nice.
The route on the way back was in polar opposite conditions of the way there and we battled the wind for the entire way back, taking it in turns to sit on the front and share the load, wondering if we were going to make it before the rain started as the sky started to get darker and darker. Im thinking next time to head back the way we came as I’ve heard the route back tends to be rather blowy all the time.
We didn’t see either Alex Dowsett or Mark Cavendish but maybe we will next time. The cafe is a perfect location to cycle out to and then back in order to get the miles in and we had a lovely day in the saddle and its all training for our endurance ride Newcastle to London!