Look at the map again. There are probably a few other options to take to link things together at some points. It’s worth trying them and you’ll end up with a stronger knowledge of all the ridable paths in the area and you’ll open up more variation.
I’m very guilty of this and since mapping out the ride from Watton-at-Stone I had only varied it once. Basically the ride looks like this:
It’s really not a bad ride and has a lot of good fast (albeit pretty flat) riding along the way. It shouldn’t take an irritation to change it, but there was one bit I hadn’t quite been happy with. A double-back up a field which is now ploughed over followed by lines across the middle of other fields, all with a tendency to get clogged with mud as things get damper, had the potential to ruin the ride. There was an obvious detour that could cut out that section and I decided to try it out before the conditions deteriorated too much into winter. For good measure there was an alternative end to the ride that I thought I might as well try.
The verdict? The first alternative route is much better and I think will stand up to winter a little better. To be honest it is generally better, adding in a rooty section, open field ridge, and a fast stony track to replace the slight slog before. We’ll call it now option A for the ride and retire the other version for use if I get bored or in the blazing middle of summer where carving through leg-whipping crops seems fun. The alternative ending has nothing much to recommend it over the existing option. It includes more tarmac and replaces field crossings with a stony track. In my head this is now classified as the wet-weather option and good to have in the back pocket for when the ideal option seems too clogged with mud.
I’ve come off the ride with a better understanding of the possible routes out there and that’s a good thing. The links I’ve ridden now also pull in ideas for shorter rides if they’re needed, escape routes, and other things to think about.