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STATS & FACTS


The average number of pedal strokes during the 3 weeks of the Tour de France is a massive 486,000 (At 90 revolutions per minute)


Cycling three hours or 30 kilometres per week halves your risk of heart disease and stroke


130 houses, a care home and moorings for 350 yachts at Walton Mere, a former boating lake located a short distance from the main promenade. I was dismayed to read that many residents are fighting the proposals, even though the lake hasn’t been used since 1976. There was nothing further to keep me interested so I continued to cycle onwards in the direction of the Naze. I chose to take a break by the old Lifeboat Station which I discovered, housed a substantial collection of Walton memorabilia, admission was reasonably priced at £1. Outside in the grounds was an old, slightly weather worn lifeboat, I chuckled at the name, I didn’t know the ‘City of Leicester’ was anywhere near the sea. I then walked across the road and down a slope to the beach and continued my break listening to the sea and watched a poor jogger dodging the incessant seagulls as he made slow progress zig- zagging down the beach.


Thankfully it was a short distance to the Naze as I was dying for a pee. I


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negotiated the empty car park with ease and left my bike propped up against the toilet block. After a well overdue release of fluids I went off to explore. The Naze is a wonderfully attractive headland stretching from Walton to the North Sea. It consists of a large grassy area and a tower set imposingly in the grounds. The tower was built in the 18th Century and was used as a navigational aid for boats in the busy Harwich and Felixstowe sea lanes. There are several walking options on the cliff top. I sat and watched the sea for some time, the views were beautiful and the mood was wonderfully relaxing but the drop was immense and slightly precarious. The angry surf was battering the rugged coastline. As I prepared to leave, I read interestingly that the Naze was originally farmland, then a golf course before being requisitioned by the military at the beginning of World War II as a look out location. Unfortunately like many cliff top locations along the British coast, the area is suffering from constant erosion and the present rate is approximately


two metres per year, which is a shame as the location is stunning, and its delights would be missed by the locals, tourists and especially the abundance of wildlife. After my substantial, well-earned rest, I retraced my route back through Walton and then opted to pedal inland on the B1034 towards Kirkby-le-Soken. The roads were flat and so typical of any rural location you find in Britain, I turned left and pedalled over a lovely stretch of water called ‘Holland Brook’. I was en-route to the Clacton Factory Outlet, which was located on the northern outskirts of the town. My interest was two-fold, I needed cash and I assumed there would be plenty of cash machines, but more importantly it was a fact finding mission, I sound like I work for the UN. My simple plan was to persuade Sarah that my investigative cycling was productive, women and shopping, especially discounted goods. I would return, like a knight in shining armour bearing news of the Holy Grail. Ok maybe just the chance of cheap Nike’s.


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