It was a bank holiday, the sun was shining and the rest of the family were out of town – such a perfect day teat up Essex on the bike. Be rude not to take advantage.
I struck North out of Romford, up to Ongar, West a bit to Stansted, up through Thaxted and then my first stop was Finchingfield – all roads lead to Finchingfield, you can’t have an Essex ride out not going there… Though surprisingly quiet today, not like most weekends. A quick cuppa in Bosworth’s, then back on the road.
Heading Eastbound to Sible Hedingham, Sudbury, Manningtree before finally hitting the coast in Walton-on-the-Naze for lunch. Parked on the seafront by Revved Up, a friendly little biker shop selling clothes and a modest brew. With sea, sand, surf and the chippie next door it ticked all the boxes for a quintessential British seaside jaunt.
With a stomach full of chips, I took a slow ride along the coast, following the Clacton-on-Sea seafront with it’s impressive farm of windmill out at in the ocean. The route then kicked North to Colchester to skip over the River Colne estuary. Finally the pace picked up as I headed down to Maldon via Finginghoe, Tolleshunt D’Arcy and Goldhanger (who came up with these place names?!)
At Maldon the route skips around the River Blackwater estuary and does a loop around Tillingham and Burnham-on-Crouch. Lots technical twists and turns, many tight 90 degree bends – late brake, shift your ass over, tip it in, smooth thottle, pull it up, gas it, rinse repeat, again and again. I pulled into The Cabin Dairy on the Burnham seafront for a well earned cuppa tea and natter with a fellow biker also on a FZS600 (but in way better nick than mine!)
The homeward stretch took me along the remaining Burnham-bends, then cross country round the Hanningfield reservoir, through Stock, a splash through a ford as I skirted Billericay, sneak past Kelvedon’s (not so) secret nuclear bunker before arriving back in the big smoke by Romford.
200 miles, ~8hrs.
Download the route as a GPX file.
Seasoned London commuter, doing my best to stay rubber side down and never stop moving forward.