Eric the CX bike has been working hard since January!

My beloved Planet X CX bike – Eric to his friends – has been doing sterling work all winter. I’ve ridden 360 miles on him since having him and all but 2 rides this year have been done on him. I just adore that bike. I bought him a new bottle cage in a rather fetching cat sick day-glo green, to match his handlebars and he seems to like it. I have ridden 313 miles this year on Eric.

I have had 2 rides on my Pro Carbon this year too. I got out last week for a nice wee 16 miler from our new home out along the Hethersett Road, turned off to Ketteringham and headed to East Carleton and came home via Intwood, Cringleford then up past the hospital and across the UEA campus to home again. Great fun and I had forgotten how responsive the roadie is. I also realised how I need new handlebars, 40cm ones as the 42s make me feel like Andre Greipel as they seem so wide.

Today, I got a nice 32.7 mile ride in on the Pro Carbon – I really will have to think of a name for him. I’ve had him since May last year and the poor bike still has no name. Someone outside Halfords today (I bobbed in for a new innertube, just in case like) asked me waht sort of bike he was. I said that he was a road bike. Person looked confused and said “What MAKE is it” with big emphasis on the word ‘make’. I told them he was a Planet X, hence it saying it in huge letters on the downtube, the forks and the seatstay, not to mention the seatpost, stem and handlebars, but the chap hadn’t noticed the writing. Twazzock!
S. Walsham rideToday, I rode with my pal Mark and we made an assult on Gurney Road for the first time in my life, which is a bit bad being a local and all. I used to ride up Ketts Hill when I was younger but couldn’t face it today so I rode a wee way up Gurney and then cut across to Plumstead Road, via Brittania Road, past the Barracks on one side and St James’ Hill on the other. Lots of picnickers out today. We followed the Plumstead Road out for a few miles then turned left towards Salhouse and then right through Salhouse and out to Woodbastwick, past the brewary.

From there we took a quick detour (see dead end bit on map) along to Cockshoot Broad, because it’s pretty and Mark had never been there. Then back again and round the Ranworth, where we sat in the sun drinking coffee, outside the pub by the Broad. South Walsham was the next point of interest, followed by an amazing cyclepath between Little & Great Plumstead and then back to Mark’s via Thorpe End, Heartsease and a quick whip across Mousehold on the cycle path. Going down Gurney Road is easier than going up, but due to losing some 25lbs in total this year, riding up hill is a lot easier nowadays. Another 20lbs should see me down to ‘racing weight’ but I’d be happy with another stone lost really.

I left Mark at his, as he was shattered but I had another 3 miles or so to ride. I followed the cycle paths and Marriotts Way home but did the last bit via New Costessey and up the Oval Road rather than face Marlpit Lane with 30+ miles in my legs, this early in April.

This year, I am fitter on the bike than previous years. Eric has seen to that. I just love riding him and we’ve had a pretty mild winter here in Norfolk. The rest of the country has had snow but it missed us, except for a light dusting that was gone by lunch time a few weeks ago. Had I not seen the snow falling, I would have assumed that we’d had a hard frost.

I am planning – next week hopefully – to ride on the Marriotts to Aylsham, then along the Bure Valley to Wroxham again. This time with Mark. Kenn says that he will lend Mark his Whyte CX. I don’t think that Mark’s Defy would like the Marriotts very much. Not when it gets narrow and muddy anyway. Kenn has got himself up to about 14 miles but doesn’t really want to ride further than that at the mo. I think that if he gets back on his Boardman that he will change his mind. I’m holding out for a ride with him at the weekend, maybe even Thursday evening if the weather holds. That Ketteringham ride would be fabby again.


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One Year Time Trial

This is not me riding! Nope, this sort of distance will have me heading for the nearest duvet at the mere thought.

Steve Abraham, a nice British long distance cyclist, is aiming at the very long standing year record this year. He started in the wee small hours of New Year’s Day – while the rest of us were under our duvets after partying and will be riding every day this year. He’s already broken 2000 miles so far, which is my yearly target for this year so feeling a tad inadequate already this year.

We wish him the best of luck, beating Tommy Godwin‘s record, set in 1939, of 75,065 miles. The record was set on a steel 4 speed bike. Steve has something a little sexier but then he has a lot more traffic etc to cope with too.

His website is HERE. Have a look, you can follow him on Strava too.

Go Steve!

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Longest ride of the year so far today

We have been watching the weather forecast with interest as we wanted to have a good ride today. We planned the ride and thought about doing it yesterday but a 24 hour bug and pouring rain put paid to that in a hurry.

This morning dawned fine and bright, the wind was not too hideous either so we left the house at around 11.30 this morning and headed off down to the Marriott’s Way and rode along it towards Aylsham.

At Freeland’s Corner we had to stop as I had a flat. There was the smallest thorn in the world stuck in my tyre so we swapped out the innertubes and, somehow lost my pack of Leeches, ready to stick patches. Happily, a nice man arrived with a spare patch and fixed the innertube for us so we had a spare for the rest of the trip. We never did find the leeches so we shall have to buy some new patches tomorrow.

We carried on along the Marriotts until we got to Whitwell Station, on the outskirts of Reepham and got off the trail there and then went across Reepham by road rather than ride around the Themelthorpe Loop. It’s narrow and muddy along there at the moment so we decided to give it a miss today. We picked up the Marriotts again at Reepham rail station (repurposed as a rather expensive cafe) and onwards towards Aylsham. From Reepham to Aylsham is a nice ride. Only 6 miles but Kenn was struggling. We did get to Aylsham and had a break at Tesco for a sandwich and some fruit juice.

Kenn wanted to get on the Bure Valley Railway to Wroxham but there are no trains until half term, mid February. I could have told him that if I’d realised that his plan was to ride to Aylsham and then train to Wroxham and meet me there. The Bure Valley path was great although Kenn was tired and was averaging only 6 or 7mph. At one point he got off and walked but was then moving at 1.8mph. I pointed out that by walking, we would take over 2 hours to get to Wroxham station and that he needed to get on his bike and pedal. I know it sounds horrible but it was getting cold by then. My sciatica was starting to let me know that it was getting cold and I needed to warm up again. We stopped about every 800 yards or so for Kenn to have a rest. I find this really really tiring but he did perk up when I pointed the railway station out to him.

I was aiming for the 16:24 train so I was very happy that we finally made it to the station with 4 minutes to spare. It was getting dark and really cold now and I didn’t want to have to sit and wait for 50 minutes for the next one. I did chivvy him down the ramps, under the bridge and up the other side. I turned my Garmin off at 28.01 miles and sat down to enjoy the 20 minute train ride to Norwich – Thorpe Station.

From the Station we rode, at a bit of a pace in my case, down Riverside and to the bottom on the hill on Barrack Street. I got a shift on as the car drivers along there give no quarter what so ever and all drive like idiots. Overtaking at pinch points as they cannot bear to be held up for 2 seconds. I gave one people carrier taxi a big old smack as he was so close. He took no notice and carried on. I assume from that, if he’d actually knocked me off my bike that he would have just kept right on driving. What a pillock. No respect for any other road users.

From Barrack Street we got on to the cyclepath alongside the base of the fly-over and then on the cyclepath to the bottom of the Norwich end of the Marriott’s again. Kenn decided to go slowly and passed the house key to me so I rode off and took my bike home. 4.01 miles to home. I put my bike in the living room and leashed up the dogs and walked back the way I’d ridden to meet Kenn. I met up with him at the top of the Marlpit Lane hill. The dogs didn’t get the greatest walk in the world but better than the one Kenn would have given them.

32.02 miles today at a 9.5mph average. Very slow but Kenn needs to work on his fitness.

So far this year 75.90 mi at 10.22 mi/h. 3.5% done already for my year’s goal but a mahoosive 76% of this month’s goal so I’m rather chuffed with that. I’m 15 miles in advance of my target curve so I can have tomorrow off.

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2015 Off we go again

I’ve set myself a target of 2000 miles this year. I feel that this is more than doable as I’m living closer to the city, it’s only 3 miles each way so makes much more sense to ride in than drive in and then pay to park. I can commute to my dog walking jobs and to my job at Norwich Guitar Academy too.

1st 3 rides of the year below. I’ve been a lazy blogger and have been nowhere near my guitar blog for a month either.

New Years day ride was good. Kenn came out for a ride.
1st ride of the year and just a shortie as it was trying to rain, a bit windy and cold. A bit of a miserable day, weather wise really.

I’d worked out a short route with the potential to extend or shorten for today. Hubster not feeling the love at all but agreed to go. The New Year’s Day ride has become a tradition now, even if it’s a shortie.

It’s just over 7 miles around and I can play about with it to my hearts content on days when I don’t want a long ride but I do want a ride. You know the days. The depressed days, the really windy days and the days when I need to ride to keep my fitness up but really cannot be bothered to.

I rode off down Earlham Lane, to the Earlham 5 ways roundabout (it’s a roundabout with 5 offs on it) then down past the UEA on the B1108 and then turned up Colney Lane past the hospital. We kept going up Colney Lane to Cringleford and then down through Eaton, along Bluebell and home via the cyclepaths from the 5 ways roundabout. I did a bit of a wiggle round the local estate to add half a mile and make a decent route up.

It was an impossibly slow 39:53 for those 7.21 miles but we got around and I only had to wait for hubster 5 or 6 times. I find it very frustrating to be averaging just a smidge over 10mph and having to wait. He’s fitter than that, he really is. I think that he just likes to pee me off. Weather permitting, I’ll get a nicer ride in tomorrow without all the stopping and waiting every 5 or 6 minutes.

Friday 2nd Jan:
I had a quick tootle around the estate for a change and then out to Bluebell and actually rode down the road rather than the cyclepath. It was quiet and I just couldn’t face the surface of the cyclepath. I’m sure it loosens fillings. I turned right and rode through Eaton/Cringleford to the A11 (then I used the cyclepath as I’m not suicidal) and crossed at the junction.

From there I followed more cycle path, under the A47 and then off to Hethersett via the Norwich Road, again on the cycle path. The headwind was a bit interesting. I was working hard to maintain 9mph and fighting the urge to turn around and go home. Also, I’d forgotten breakfast, which wasn’t helping much. Once at Hethersett I turned right and right again and followed the road, past the schools and Tesco to the Melton Road. Another right turn and I was heading home. Interestingly, still into the wind. It must be Scottish wind out there today. You know, the wind that comes at you from every conceivable angle.

The spin down the road after the right hander at the war memorial was great. The uphill out of Little Melton to the B1108 not so great but I got up, with minimal swearing and turned right at the top, over the double roundabouts and headed down the hill to Colney and the hospital. Pedalling hard to maintain 23mph downhill into more wind, was a bit of a pain. I was hoping for a faster Max speed than 24.6mph over the ride but it was not to be.

I got half way over the lights at the right turn to the hospital, which is an interesting turning as people will jump a red from the other side if it’s only a bike turning, when I saw an ambulance bluing it’s way towards the hospital. I stopped and let him over the lights and the turning as I didn’t want to be in his way. Naturally then nobody would let me finish the turn as people followed the ambo through. He was on an emergency, I can’t see what everyone elses reason for RLJing was.

I eventually made it up the last hill to the hospital where I was very relieved to see Hubster waiting for me. I was a good 10 minutes late in today, due to my slowness in the wind. 11.61 miles in 57 minutes so averaged 12.2mph according to Garmin.

651 calories burned so extra porridge for me :hungry:. Interestingly the scales said that I have put on 10lbs in 8 days. I think that my scales might be on the blink. I log my food – all of it – and there is no way that I have overeaten by 35,000 calories in the last 8 days. I’m not convinced that I have 35,000 calories in the house at any one time. Maybe I should have put my scales back 10lbs for Xmas. Like you do the clocks an hour in Autumn. Better get those lbs shifted at any rate. I wonder if my jeans still fit :ohmy:

Tuesday 5th Jan
I really wanted to ride yesterday but as I fell over on black ice walking the dogs, I didn’t fancy the roads. I’m glad that I didn’t as I was told tonight that my God-daughter slid gracefully across a normally busy (but thankfully deserted at the time) traffic light crossing due to the ice.

I took a route to my friend Debbie’s house that didn’t involve going up Grapes Hill, as I would have had to do if I’d gone via the Marriotts Way. I rode the pretty route along the cyclepaths, along Bluebell Road and then turned for the A11 Newmarket Road and followed the cycle paths all the way to the city inner ring road and had half an hour with my pal Debbie. We did a bit of re-gifting between us. She hates pate and nairn oatcakes, I’m not keen on citrus perfume and lavender soap, so we swapped. I had a quick coffee and then pointed out the pretty carbon patterning on Eric the bike and headed home again. She pointed out that even second hand, Eric was more money than she paid for her car.^_^

I rode down through the city, past the new Evan’s cycle shop and then on to Gentleman’s Walk, which is pedestrianised but I think that you can cycle on it. It was pretty much deserted at just after 7pm anyway so that was OK. Then down onto the cyclepath at the bottom of Duke Street and home via Marriott’s Way and the slightly longer way to avoid Marlpit Lane. It puts another 3/4 of a mile on anyway so that’s fine by me. I still do the same climb but its longer and less steep. Some days I just don’t want to slog up Marlpit, Strava segment or no strava segment.

One home I discovered that the garmin had recorded the time out but not all the distance and I know that it’s more than 4.2 miles. I looked back on my activities and found when I’d ridden it before and took the infomation from there but used my riding time.
9.3 Miles in 50.22 minutes so averaged 11.1mph and happy with that. It was a really really good ride. I wish that I’d got out in the day time but there was w*** to do, and husbands to feed, dogs to walk etc.
I’ve now done 1% of my target. Only 99% to do now :thumbsup: I wonder how much of my target percentage I will do on Eric the CX bike. Obviously, I’ll ride the roadie in the nicer weather but I am having a lot of fun on the PX CX.

28.12 mi at 11.46 mi/h so I’m up on the drag curve. This is unlikely to continue in the winter but I’ll catch up in the nice weather.


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Last ride of 2014

Just back in from a great ride, the last one of the year and we were determined to get out today. I wish that I’d taken a camera but I didn’t so I couldn’t take piccies of the low flying bi-plane which was out for a play today. It then turned and flew past the, frankly enormous, moon. It would have made a fab shot but no camera and my phone is useless for that sort of thing. I didn’t take pictures of low sun illuminating the frozen marshes either. I did take a pic of a chap out for a ride with his daughers. All the girls had Christmas bikes. I took the pic on his camera after stopping and offering. Nice chap with polite daughters.

Today Hubster and I rode along the Marriotts Way. There was ice aplenty on the roads, which is why we thought we’d go down the cycle track. At least if we slipped badly enough to fall off, we only had to deal with bushes, trees, dog walkers etc and not cars, vans and artics. We took it quite gingerly down the Marlpit Lane and even more gingerly along the first, tarmacked bit of the Marriotts as it was a bit black icy. Once on to the track, we rode through ice puddles, nearly unseated by really grabby mud but carried on regardless averaging just over 9mph. It was a nice day, lots of joggers, dog walkers, kids on bikes. The BBC said it was 4 degrees. Our car said that it was -31 when we had to fetch something out of it this morning. I think that the external thermostat has broken. I hope that it has anyway.

We rode to Taverham and then along the road to the Garden Centre, where we locked the bikes up and had a coffee at the cafe located within. The coffee was OK. Nothing to write home about. The chocolate cake was ok-ish. Again, nothing to get excited about. A bit uninspiring actually. The bill was a tenner. Seriously people, don’t bother with it. There are a couple of other cafes in the complex of shops around the garden centre but they were closed. Never again, shall we go to that. Bit of a rip off to be honest.

We rode home happily enough. It was along the road, just before we turned back on to the Marriotts, that we saw the bi-plane. Very grey it was too. I wonder if it was the Red Baron :rolleyes:. We made slightly better time home, riding time wise. We stopped for a chat with the chap with his daughters, for a couple of minutes. He was asking us how we coped in the mud with such skinny tyres. I said that my tyres were 35mm, Hubster’s were 28mm and that they were cyclocross bikes and designed for this sort of stuff and much worse. He’d never heard of CX bikes. We pointed to the slightly higher BB, the different cable routing etc.

As the sun was dropping and it was getting cooler, we headed off and rode home via New Costessey. We added a wee bit on the end as I needed to make the whole ride add up to 13 miles and we were heading for 12.5 miles. We did get the ride to add up to 13 miles which gives me 1525.1 miles for the year this year. It’s probably a bit more than that in reality (I could work it out by counting garmin miles and proper ride miles) as I loop around the hospital grounds for anything between 2 and 5 miles when I am early to meet him and don’t want to stay still.

2000 is my target for next year. With additional commuting in the forthcoming year, I am hopeful of that and a bit more. I may extend the target. Who knows.:cold::cuppa:^_^

Happy New Year everyone. See you tomorrow.

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The day after Boxing Day ride

The BBC weather said that it wasn’t going to rain until 1800 so we thought we’d go for a ride. Once back in with the hounds, we changed and then watched it tip it down with rain from the safety of our living room. Then it stopped so we gave it another 5 mins and then Hubster & I headed off to our friend @StickBouncer place. When we got there, some 3.4 miles from home, we yelled up at his window “Oy, you coming out to play or what”. He was down in 2 minutes with his Giant Defy 2 and I suggested a wee 10 miler. Choking sounds came from somewhere in the vicinity of the boys but I ignore it and suggested cyclepaths to Whittlingham Lane and back via the back roads.

This seemed like a plan so we crossed the road (took an age), and then the next road (took another age) and then a nice steady 7mph along the cyclepath so as not to flatten lots of dog walkers, kids on scooters, elderly folks taking the air etc. Or toppling off to the left and in the river. That seemed an essential thing to avoid doing. We had to climb some steps a couple of times and then tottered across another road before getting back on to the cycle path (more 7mph) and then on to Carrow Road, up the hill (more 7mph), down the other side and then waiting at the Colmans Mustard gates until we were all back together. It seems that @StickBouncer was fibbing about his fitness as he left us for dead up Carrow Road.

Once up and over the bridge (I overtook SB in some style :laugh:) we headed off down Whittlingham Lane, stopping at the visitors centre for a bidon fill of water as we only had one bidon full between us. We carried on along the lane, moving over for a lot of cars. It was like Picadilly Circus down there today, and then over the lumpy bumpy dirt track bit and took a left to where the big sign says “no through route to Kirby Bedon”. We were on bikes so it didn’t apply to us, especially as the other sign there said NCN this way. More bloody climbing and waiting at the top for Hubster. Then we piled down the other side, only to encounter a full width, rubberised sleeping policeman. I yawed on my brakes but got a bit of airtime as I went over it and managed to stay on board. I could see the next one so slowed right down and crept over the horrible slippy thing. Hubster got airtime and scared himself silly over that first one too.

This brought us out on the Kirby Road and we put Hubster in the lead as he was the slowest of us so we followed him. Sadly, he’s not a local and totally failed to see the right hander to the bike path back to Trowse and kept on going. This brought us out, hilariously, on the 3 lane A146. SB led, I hung on to his back wheel and we piled down the road, in the middle (correct) lane to the A47 junction, under the bridge and then across to the left hand lane and relative safety. Then all we needed to do was to turn right at the lights and take a breather in the gateway of Thrifty Car Rental while we waited for Hubster who had missed the traffic light change. From there it was uphill again (7mph) and the task of getting into the right hand lane to turn back towards Carrow Road.

We didn’t quite retrace our steps but went along King Street and over Novisad Bridge, with it’s excellent cycle path right along the middle of the bridge. We slowed for the man struggling with his kayak – he was carrying it, not drunk on the bridge) and back via the riverside cyclepaths back to SBs and a nice cuppa.

Once our legs had got all cold :rolleyes: we got back on our bike and rode home. I rode the extra bit of block to finish at 4 miles exactly home and to turn my gps off away from home. All in all today we rode 18.61 miles in 1:50 so averaged 10mph. The cyclepaths at 7mph didn’t help with the average, nor did the walking to cross roads but it was a good ride. Nice to ride with someone other than Hubster too.

I am now 1.61 miles off my target for the year. I have 4 days to do it in so am quietly confident. It will get ridden, come hell or high water.:boxing:

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New bike. Yay!

DSCF7459Behold a Planet X XLS CX bike in rather fetching, unpainted Carbon Fibre. The logos were a bit battered from being stored so I took them off. The original bar tape was a bit horrible, anyway the bars were 44s and I prefer 42cm bars. That saddle has to go too. It’s just horrible, or at least in the opinion of my bum, it’s horrible. I’ll change it later today.


Once I got the bike home, on Sunday, I took it to the City and a friend’s place and back again. Monday the bars were retaped with the green tape but I didn’t ride. Yesterday I whizzed up and down the Marriotts, to Freelands Corner and back, then drove to London to collect a Whyte Kings Cross CX for Kenn.

Today we rode into the City and popped into Evans for 5 minutes to grab some more bar tape for Kenn’s new Whyte. The tape on there – and I use the word ‘on’ in it’s loosest sense – is a bit grotty. Kenn has gone with a pale blue. Pics to follow when he’s sorted the bike out,

On the way back, we popped into the Dandy Horse Cafe for a coffee and to snuggle the resident dogs before coming home. My legs were not feeling the love today, neither was my bum with that hideous saddle.

I need to get a new bottle cage for Eric, the PX CX – Oh, he’s going to be called Eric, but you’d probably gathered that by now. Bottle cage can wait until after Christmas though. I have 8 more riding days this year and 27 and a bit miles to target. I am feeling confident about going over. Unless Norwich suddenly turns into tornado alley, I should be OK.

Merry Christmas everyone.


1472.77 mi at 13.24 mi/h so far this year.

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