29th September 2022
Sand, road, gravel, and strong headwinds, welcome to Further East
Further East covers 400 miles of the East of England. With a combination of on and off-road, the route planned by Mason Rider Josh Ibbett, took riders along rivers, roads, gravel tracks, sand, and manmade landscapes, read more here.
Pre-race day, Josh said…
It’s @furtherjournal East this weekend… I’ll not be racing but have set the route again. The trails are currently running perfectly.
"Sometimes I bury myself so deep in a thing that I don’t stop to take any photos or videos. I’m too engrossed in living the experience.
That was how it was for me taking part in @furtherjournal Further East.
From the moment I arrived at @camillejmcmillan’s house and met his wonderful family, I had a feeling this would be one for the memory banks.
Nestled away in an idyllic woodland setting, we gathered the night before to share a beer and our nervous expectations.
The race itself was nothing short of unimaginable. Don’t be fooled by the lack of ascent. The terrain and relentless wind and pedalling more than made up for it.
From farm access roads and gravel bridleways into a headwind, then turning a corner onto small country roads and a false sense of security, the race really started to bite when the sea wall hit. It was gruelling riding into a headwind along bumpy, grass paths. Then, and only then, when your shoulders were mashed, did you hit the Peddlars way and 50km of narrow, bumpy ruts to really jangle your nerves.
A quick hour nap behind some bins and then onto Thetford Forrest and you could be forgiven for thinking that it would be fun from here on. Cue 40km of sand and shouting at the route creator. The singletrack on the Far East coast was beautiful but with rising winds, I was mindful of the distance still to go.
I think Josh managed to find every single hill on the way back to Camps End. And each one hurt more than the last. About 70km from the end I saw another rider go into a chip shop. While the lure of chips was strong, I knew I had enough food on me and went into full-on race mode, maintaining that extra place to the finish. And what a finish. Feeling. Every. Single. Bump.
I was thrilled to get home 7th overall and 2nd woman. But what will stay with me most of all is the peace and calm of the setting.
A massive thank you to @camillejmcmillan and @joshibbett for a challenging event, @albion.cycling and @hunt.beyond for sponsoring, and to @mason_cycles who once again showed that their bikes are made for miles!"
Well done Naomi, such a fantastic achievement! We'll leave you with Naomi's race round...