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The Maldon Gold

The thought process went like this... Here’s a route (thanks HubVelo whose route for the “Essex Strade Bianchi”, ESB, we have used as inspiration and as a basis for this), but I don’t fancy riding in urban East London and we can take this to the sea. And the spirit of the aforementioned route we shall name this after a classic. She shall be "The Maldon Gold" (a beer that is also far superior than the other one!). Our beginnings would be the famed (Mandy’s) Tea hut at High Beach in Epping Forest. The spiritual home of minestrone soup and the only liver sausage and cheese roll worth eating. From here you can not only take advantages of the tea...

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Groves Cycles

A life in bikes both human and petrol powered has brought Mark to this point. Inside his bustling workshop, amongst the rarities and the antiquities, the welding jigs and the boxes of tubes lies the identity of all the bikes that Mark produces under the banner of Groves Cycles. For the last six years Mark has been learning his trade from a background of engineering and refurbishing high end metal antiques. His workshop lies between Billericay and Ramsden Heath close to The Duckhouse. Between a variety of metal antiques lies Marks jigs and tubing. His background and craftmenship is reflected in the detailing on his bespoke frames; the attention to detail and pride that he takes in his work. Mark...

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Alex's Adventures

We spend a lot of time in The Duckhouse looking at routes that frankly we are never, for the most part, going to do. Wanderlust I think they call it. We first met Alex a year or two ago, a mutual friend of our favourite bike mechanic, and were immediately taken in by his all-round enthusiasm for riding his bike for very long distances in some outrageously niche categories (24hr Solo MTB being his newest specialism). In real life Alex is a genuine super hero working in his day (and night) job as a Paramedic. This year however Alex is taking a sabbatical. Mega This year is the year of Alex’s wanderlust as he takes on a few monumental rides...

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Gravel (?)

For us cycling has always been about the adventure. Yes, we get into the racing thing, the training thing, the trail stuff but really it’s all about adventure and regular readers will know this theme runs through a lot of our murmurings! Gravel is something we only really get on the driveways of large houses but it’s cycling a thing now and has been for a while. Being ever sceptical and thus behind the curve we are indeed again behind the curve; but we recently jumped into the canoe and began to paddle. It is safe to say the canoe is awesome and there is more room on board. “Gravel” as a term (in respect to bikes) comes from the...

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Bored of winter

We’re bored of winter now. The black arrow in the middle of the wind reading on the BBC weather app told us that riding bikes was going to be a bad idea today and confirmed the fact that Febuary is a horrible month.   Wet kit, muddy face, crunchy headsets, rinsing drivetrains, frozen toes… We just read a blog via twitter and this guy was grizzling that he had only ridden 1200 miles in January and he wasn’t sure where he was at. Our friendly local pro rode 1700 miles in January and that’s his job. We reckon he's doing ok, especially holding down a 9-5! In the Duckhouse we’re rocking on an average of 100 miles a week in...

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