Cycle Rendlesham Forest Off-road Loop

Over the Christmas period I am hoping to get some off-road miles in through Rendlesham Forest. After lock-down then Tier 2 it will be a relief to join a few friends (less than 5 obvs!) for a blast. I’ve not ridden some of the sections before so rode a reduced loop.

The Plan

This 30 mile route starts and ends in East Ipswich. Rendlesham Forest is not far (8miles) from Ipswich so I try to cycle there rather than take the car. This acts as a good warm-up and hopefully provide develop some fitness for the full 50miles. There is a bit more on-road than planned for the Christmas special, but off-road in the forest and some on the return. The route does cross the busy A12, which will require care and patience.

Rendlesham Forest Loop Ride Report

Track Through Rendlesham Forest
Track through Rendlesham Forest

Once over Wilford Bridge the road climbs away from the river Deben. Keep going and eventually the bridleway across Woodbridge Golf Course is signed to the left. The way marking over the golf course is hit and miss. We missed it as some the the way-marks were old and decays so perhaps some were missing. Time to turn the sat nav on! Navigation in the forest was OK with satnav, but believe me, without at least a compass it is very easy to do a loop!

Out of the forest there is a farm track that really isn’t worth the effort, unless you want a technical challenge. It is heavily rutted by tractors and easier to just continue on a longer road loop into Eyke, . The route then crosses the river Deben and into Ufford. On this occasion we cut out the loop to Bredfield and headed into Melton as it was a very murky day and falling cold at 2pm! We headed through Woodbridge up the surprisingly steep Angel Lane. Joining Grundisburgh road we, turned south just before the village towards Great Bealings. This led to a favourite bridleway that joins the road to Playford church.

The final stretch heads over the River Fynn and picks up a byway with a long sandy drag up to Rushmere. This was OK on a damp November day but in the summer can be quite an ordeal as the dry sand has no traction – always fun!!

Lessons

Planning on GPS always ends up with slightly shorter routes than those ridden. Although we cut out a section it was still 30miles. Our group aren’t that fit so it was quite hard at the end. More training rides required to build to 50mile Christmas special 🙂

We’ll start next week with a 20 mile loop to the river Deben at Waldringfield. Quiet on-road and easy off-road – a real beauty of a ride to start building the miles.

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