Cycle Ipswich to Waldringfield – off-road Beauty!

Last week we found a 30mile ride through Rendlesham forest hard going. As we want to have fun on our Christmas ride, we need to start training. This ride to the river Deben at Waldringfield off-road is the first of the December Mince Pie Buster runs. Of course you can do this route at any time of year! Immy and I did this route and had a swim in September, check out the video! This route is good for Gravel, Hybrid and Mountain bikes.

The Route

This ride in Suffolk is a 20-mile loop to the river Deben at Waldringfield, off-road for about half the distance . The outward leg is mainly off-road, returning on very quiet roads. This is one of my favourites; I love that you can ride off-road from Ipswich to such a beautiful location. No car required: two wheels definitely better! The soil is sandy and there are no appreciable hills. There is one sandy scramble around the gravel pits on Ipswich road as you head towards Waldringfield. The only tricky navigation is near the Stables coffee shop, where the bridleway runs adjacent to the road. Look for the signs, else you’ll end up on the road.

Ipswich to Waldringfield Ride Report

This training ride was WET although it wasn’t raining. It had hailed and rained in the morning, snowed the previous day, so the usually free-draining soils were waterlogged. This resulted in some spectacular puddles. Some could be ridden around, others we just had to plough through. We did the reverse of the published route and I am glad we did as by the time I had completed the off-road section I had serious grit in my disk brakes; to have cycled another 10 miles with all that grinding would have been unbearable!

Huge puddles on Waldringfield Bridleway
Huge puddles on Waldringfield Bridleway; fortunately we could ride around this one, which nicely reflects the winter sky.

The ride down to the Red Lion at Martlesham then up to Old Marltesham church was uneventful. Once onto the quiet lane that leads to Waldringfield the water had built up.

Quiet Lane on approach to Waldringfield, Deben just visible on left
Quiet Lane on the approach to Waldringfield, Deben just visible on the left

Waldringfield (main picture) was peaceful as ever. Although it was a chill 5ºC, the sailing club were out in the Cadets. There was practically no wind – good for cyclists, less so for sailors!

Muddy back
A good broad coating of mud covers warm Funkier jacket!

Heading out of Waldringfield off-road on a track by the school was very damp – the usually soft squirmy dry sand was more solid but a grit bath for the chain. The more wooded parts of the bridleways were muddy, so bike and rider were pretty mucky when we got home.

I had not thought about wearing over-shoes as it wasn’t raining; that was a mistake as my shoes & ankles were soaked and caked in mud . My leggings did a fantastic job of keeping me warm even when wet. I think they must act a bit like a wetsuit retaining water that eventually warms up.

Next training ride is out to Alton Water reservoir. There are a few short sharp climbs and the bridleways to get there can be properly muddy – nice 🙂

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