Wortham Wedding

This weekend I made a series of discrete decisions that resulted in me riding a solo century with a tent balanced on top of my saddlebag, itself filled with formal clothes for a wedding.

I’d been invited to the evening reception of a wedding on the Norfolk/Suffolk border. It’s 2 hours by train, plus a taxi at the other end, and I felt a bit ‘meh’ about the whole going-to-a-wedding-on-your-own kind of thing. But I really wanted to go, so I thought I’d make the most of the day and cycle.

I left booking accommodation so late that there was nothing available, it being the middle of nowhere, other than a campsite. I don’t own a tent any more, having abandoned mine in Austria last month in a fit of rain-sodden pique. My housemate lent me his, a roomy and comfortable 2-man tent. Perfect for carrying on a bike.

Woolwich Ferry

I planned to set off early but spent some time trying to find clothes and shoes that would be a) suitable for a wedding and b) packable, and then trying to secure the tent on top of the saddlebag. When I eventually set off I was held up at the Woolwich Ferry for a good half hour (I don’t know why I persist in loving the ferry so much) and it took forever to leave London. I wasn’t sure I’d make it on time, and started to think about where I could get a train from.

Things picked up considerably when I left the howling wasteland that is East London and I stopped in a village near Chelmsford for a plate of pasta, surrounded by women drinking pinot grigio on their way to the V Festival. I rode up a dual carriageway to Braintree and managed to get lost (despite having a garmin) in some lanes near Sudbury. I was trying out various different gels and bars, some of which were unpalatable (I’m looking at you, powerbar) so I had to throw some of them away (in a bin, I hasten to add) and was pretty hungry. I took a shameless selfie.



The final 30 miles were a blast, I felt really zen. I arrived at the campsite, pitched my tent, had a shower and headed to the wedding reception, where I danced to abominable/awesome music all night.

Would I do it again? Yes – with a smaller tent (I was able to do yoga in mine the next morning, it was so spacious), with a different route out of London and with more food (there was some bread and cheese at the reception but it didn’t fill the hole and I woke up in the night so incredibly hungry that I had to go for a walk around the campsite, the only thing I had remaining to eat was a caffeine gel and I couldn’t bring myself to do that).

Strava link.


One thought on “Wortham Wedding

  1. Nice little cycling report 🙂 I’ve just started a blog where I’m trying to collect nice routes from all over the world. It’s hellocycling.wordpress.com. If you have some great routes to share, I’d be happy to add them. You can also browse the routes already uploaded from Spain, Germany and Sweden. 🙂

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