Day 24 – Ipswich-Colchester-Chelmsford

Day 24 – Ipswich-Colchester-Chelmsford

Fresh off the back of a very very hard 200 kilometres I moved on from Portman Road to The Community Stadium, home of League Two Colchester United.

Fresh off the back after a narrow loss last night against Premier League West Ham United in the league cup, the Essex Boys managed by John McGreal can at least be consoled that they play in a stadium like this.

Because its actually a nice stadium. Premier League fans may scoff, but it even has 4/5 stars on google so…

Although one disgruntled customer called Ann has vented her frustration with the complaint-and i quote verbatim;

No stars unfortunately for you if there was a minus I would.give it. Not only did the queen tribute band not turn up – we weren’t told until we had sat down and paid for drinks’

And another 1 star review simply stating;

“We lost”

You can’t please everyone.

Outside the ground it really deserves the name ‘Community Stadium’ with a load of picnic benches in a designated ‘fan zone’, probably the most civilised thing I have ever seen at a lower league ground.

A ‘Legends Lounge’ and a humble café are accessible from the front of the stadium, just in case you fall under the category of superstar or peasant respectively.

There is a big screen that overlooks one of its many surrounding busy roads. The A12. Junction 28. Should you be one of those road nerds.

Clever little bit of nous there Colchester, meaning every car will see what you’re advertising when they are inevitably gridlocked or passing through at 300mph at quiet times. The locals will know this but if youre an away fan, be careful if you are walking this road on matchdays to get to the ground, I swear it makes up part of the Silverstone course map. Lewis Hamilton kindly gave me a wave as he bombed past twice. At least I think it was a wave, you know how much motorists love cyclists…

Referring back to the stadium reviews earlier, further research shows that this is yet another multi-functional stadium. I come to this conclusion as the next 1 star review I read simply stated

“Olly Murs was Sh*t”

Looking at the list of performers they have had here reveal quite the list. Little Mix were scheduled to play here before covid/no one bought tickets and local revellers will be gutted that the Dolly Parton tribute night has been cancelled and obviously this bunch of rock n roll hellraisers would have been sorely missed in action.

They seem to have a lot of these tribute nights and even a silent disco. Which would have obviously been useful during Olly Murs. I actually think silent discos should be a thing at football anyway. We’ve all been at those 0-0 games where even a root canal would be more appealing. Imagine being able to blast out tunes on the terrace when your team can’t be arsed. I think we’ve uncovered something here. Believe you me this is a nice stadium and the pitch looks stunning, even the day after a game.

One thing though Colchester, just one thing. This, has to be the most bizarre bloody thing I’ve ever seen at a football stadium since I saw Nikolas Bendtner score a hat trick. Colchester United (and this is how savvy, upmarket the Essex lot are), outside their stadium, brace yourselves, have a place to charge your electric car…

No words. I assume they have wireless phone chargers in their seats and actually have toilet roll in the mens toilets. These are things you don’t see at the football.

Essex, have their finger on the pulse of popular culture 👏

So after I left, the skies decided they’d had enough of the nice weather and brought on more wind than an egg and bean supper. Im at Southend in the morning and it started getting that bad that I only made it the 30 odd miles to Chelmsford.

Physically and mentally its been bloody hard these last 2 days and with 18 miles to go it started pouring down. I mean it was hard to ride in it with it all in your eyes. Then my gps took me down a cycleway that I can only assume was a victim of some sort of nuclear testing. Then I got a double puncture. Then I went over a rock swerving to the side to change my tires and bit hard and my £1200 crown i had fitted only last October fell out. Then it started hailstoning. I can only equate it as going as well as my first ever date.Then you know you’re against it.

At least Essex has places to go to escape these tropical bloody storms on the way to your destination. This friendly place for instance, lets you enjoy a cocktail whilst you browse their vast array of pornography. Pie and a pint at the football, Porn and a pint in between.

Incredible Essex. No damns given.

But I made it to Chelmsford where it kindly stopped raining as soon as I got to my hotel. I can see Alanis Morissette using today as inspiration for her next hit single. Girl, I want royalties.

But I got another 73 kilometres in taking the total so far to 2,460.3 kilometres. Also 19,499 metres uphill apparently.

Which would explain why I’ve just bought shares in voltarol.

Keep doing what you are doing on ground level guys and gals, your support is incredible. We keep going in the name of kicking mental healths arse.

Oh and hell yeah we got this. From Carlisle to Colchester do far, I hit London on the weekend so expect a load of live videos at Premier league clubs!

And remember, its ok not to be ok

Thank you so much for your donations to the mental health charities. You really are making a difference.

Together we got this.

Laz x

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