It was only just Sudbury, right at the end, for about 10 minutes, no thanks to Anglia rail who dumped us at Marks Tey without a guard (misread the rota, would be an hour late). Should we get out and ride from there instead? Off the route map. Not to worry because Roger could plot a route on his GPS and get us there, so all 12 of us (7 first time GC riders) set off into the strongish coolish NW wind through the lanes. No problems, joined the route map after about 8 miles. After that the weather was a mixture of warm sun and cloud, but the cold wind stayed. I finished up in full winter gear - fleece, waterproof jacket and trousers! The ride was good - small and smaller lanes, undulating terrain, long vistas across gentle farming country and woodland, hedges which provided some shelter from the wind and frothy with hawthorne flowers. The only unpleasantness was an altercation with two "Essex men" who really wanted to pick a fight over a largely imagined (as far as I could tell) infringement of the rights of the motorist-king-of-the-road. We were quite polite but assertive and I think they probably thought 12 was too many to take on.
After that a pub lunch (a bit slow), a quick visit to the 11/13th century Round Church at Little Maplestead, built on the same plan as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem (see Roger's pics), a short stop at Castle Hedingham (where 2 of the group decided to take a shorter route back), and a detour to the gliding club at Ridgewell. Two more of the group peeled off there to meet up with friends. No flying activity as the wind was dead across the take-off strip, but lovely clean loos and very welcome tea and sticky cake. The remaining 8 of us felt well set up for the down hill (ish), down wind last hour back to Sudbury where we screeched in to the tiny end-of-the-line station to find we had 10 minutes to spare instead of the 1 minute we had been advised. Would have liked to spend more time in Sudbury, a small sleepy Suffolk town - will go back again. One-carriage train to Marks Tey with amazingly generous cycle carriage provision, then changed to the London train with virtually no cycle carriage provision.