Great Yarmouth to home. 1st ride from the coast this year

We were going to go yesterday but the 20mph + winds put us off a bit. We watched someone being blown down the road on a scooter and picking himself out of somebody’s hedge and decided to snuggle on the sofa, with the dogs, and watch Thor and Thor 2 instead. Mmmm Tom Hiddleston is such a good baddie.

Today, we got on our roadies and rode the 3.75 miles from home to Norwich Rail Station and got on the 11:36 to Great Yarmouth having coughed up £14.20 for two tickets. We did have the bike compartment to ourselves, when we got there so that was nice. Half an hour later, after sipping coffee and watching the scenary (mostly cows) go by, we arrived at Great Yarmouth Station and got on the bikes and followed the bike path out to the roundabout and headed for Caister. The fastest route out of Gt Yarmouth.

I’m a local and, after 50 years of wondering, I still don’t know what’s so great about the town. Not particularly great if you ask me. Dead all winter, bloody cold too. Full of sunburned grockles all summer, mostly rude. Nope. G.Y. is not a nice place. I know that millions love it, but then, they don’t live there.

Gt-Yarm-Home Route 1Not quite a straight line home but near enough. Riding over the marshes was not on our agenda anyway. The A149 is horrible, then it always is. Could have been worse. Could have been mid week or a bank holiday with caravans left right and centre. Once off the main road, we headed to Filby, nice wee village with rowing boats for hire on the Broad there.

DSCF7539I think that my PX looks rather lovely agains that sign. I know that the bar tape doesn’t match the saddle. It did but now it doesn’t. I’ve put the Selle Italia Flow back on. Really comfy now. Also, the Looks are white, but they came off Kenn’s Boardman, which is white.

We headed for Acle then South Walsham and then Ranworth where we stopped at the pub and had a coffee for me, Coke and Crisps for Kenn then went back the way we’d come to South Walsham. We turned for Panxworth and then turned off our usual route and headed for Pedham. Much prettier route. The roads were not so badly potholed as the old route. Really the other route has potholes that would swallow a Smart car with ease. The Pedham/Hemblington Route was nicer, prettier and still a bit hilly for Norfolk but who cares. Wisteria everywhere and I forgot to take a pic.

Once at the Plumstead cyclepath it was business as usual, except for stopping for the other half of a protein bar as I suddenly felt a bit wibbly. We stopped at the village hall and sat under a tree for  5 minutes before carrying on. We stopped again, at the Heartsease to belt into Tesco for some Alpro. Our Aldi doesn’t have Almond milk and I didn’t want to go out of my way, particularly.

The last 4 miles flew by. I managed to get up Marlpit Lane hill in reasonably good style. Kenn wasn’t far behind either.

34.25 all in all in 2:41:03 so averaged around 12.5mph or so. I thought that Kenn did really well. He’ll have tomorrow off for dialysis now. I’ll take a gentle leg turner down to meet him, maybe. Unless it rains. Hoping for a good ride on Tuesday now.


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Another couple of rides

Thursday morning dawned bright and sunny and, although it took me a couple of hours to get Kenn to the car with the bikes loaded into it, we went off for a pre-work ride. To be fair, we walked the dogs to the polling station, went and voted – not that it made any difference – finished dog walking and grabbed some breakfast first.

Themelthorpe Loop from Freelands

Themelthorpe Loop from Freeland’s Corner starting point

We drove up to Freelands Corner, on the Marriotts Way, parked and unloaded the bikes. I love the Marriotts Way, with its mostly flat trail, it’s wildlife and the general quiet of the place. Freelands Corner is the high point of the Marriotts, about 178′ above sea level. We weren’t terribly worried about altitude sickness :) We rode along together on our CX bikes. Quite a few dog walkers about at that time of the morning but we knew that we’d missed the ‘rush’ that happens at around 7.30am where it’s dog walking everywhere you look on the Marriotts.

We rode up and past the Whitwell Station cafe and on to the Themelthorpe loop. It’s narrower and muddier up here. Kenn is not fond of it. I went on ahead, as you can’t ride two abreast in most places along here. At a field opening, I sat and waited for Kenn and watched a pair of Hares running and playing in the field. Kenn came along and we both sat and watched them until they went off through the hedge and out of sight. Then we carried on. The Loop was partially closed last year due to the badger activity there. There are bits of fencing around the setts now. I think that the council were worried about people falling down a badger hole and suing them. It’s a nice 5 miles round the loop to Reepham and, when it was a M & GN railway line, served Themelthorpe.

At the top of the loop the surface gets better for a while, then worse again and then better as you approach Reepham Station Cafe. We rode past there and then whipped through Reepham and back to Whitwell, some 1.5 miles away. Much faster by road but no wildlife to watch. At Whitwell, we parked the bikes up against one of the cafe picnic tables and Kenn went off to forage for coffee & cake. I had the coffee, he had a huge bit of carrot cake – it looked amazing for those of whom like carrot cake (I do but am losing weight and not messing it up by eating a massive bit of carrot cake – anyway, it’s weigh-in day on Sunday). I actually wasn’t hungry anyway.

From there it was a nice 7 miles back to the carpark. 18.9 miles ridden with an average of 10.2mph which is about right for riding along the trail there. I really like that ride, well I like riding on the Marriotts full stop.

Yesterday (8/5/15) Kenn was at dialysis and I left the house a smidge later than I really meant to. I wasn’t sure where I was riding but thought that I would make it up as I went along. I headed off down Bluebell, more out of habit than anything else.

Backwards Intwood to Hospital

From there I went right at the lights and stopped very soon after as I managed to swallow a fly and it tried to fight back. Coughing and hacking, I managed to get a good glug of water while standing on the pavement, bike still between my knees. Horrible, horrible, horrible. How many calories in a fly anyway.
I rode up the hill and then turned up Keswick Road and headed off to Intwood & then East Carleton, past East Carleton Manor. I found that I was doing a favourite ride but in reverse and carried on to the Ketteringham Crossroads, where, after a quick look at my watch, I decided that heading right, rather than left, would be better. Had I gone left, I could have gone to Ketteringham and then popped out on the old Norwich Road near Kett’s Oak but I didn’t have the time. I went right and headed off for the A11/A47 junction as just before it, is a tight left hand bend where if you go up onto the pavement, there is a bridge over the A47.

You can only ride a bit of the way up the bridge, then it becomes wide steps but with a flat bit, to the left hand side, for ease of pushing your bike along. Somebody thought about this bridge. The steps are fine in road cleats, except for the one checkerplate step that each side has. One on the way up, one on the way down again. Fine in the dry, very slippery in the wet. Nice and dry today so not a bother. Once down the other side, it brings you back into Cringleford on Cantley Lane where I turned up the cyclepath, by the vets and then over the pedestrian/cycle crossing over the A11 and onto Roundhouse Way and off to the hospital.

It was a great ride. Just 10.7 miles in the sunshine, in a nice 44 minutes. I wished that I had started out earlier and gone further but never mind. Hoping for a nice ride on Sunday to break the 100 miles this month so far. Very windy out today with 20mph winds with gusts. I didn’t fancy riding back from Gt Yarmouth in it. Tomorrow though and we are looking forward to it.

586 miles done this year so over 25% of my target. Nearly 94 miles this month so pretty happy with that. I might even go and do a little leg turner later on. Or I might go and have a long walk instead. Who knows.

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May already

Blogging has been put to one side while guitar practice and bike riding happens.

I set a goal for April, of 120 miles but was through that by mid month so moved the goal out to 175 miles but ended up on 201. I know that it’s not much in the grand scheme of things but, for April, it’s not too bad for me. I was pleased with it, plus I am riding the Planet X pro carbon again.

We’ve had entertainment changing an innertube with it, as the Conti’s that came as standard on the bike, are tight beyond belief and I can’t reseat the tyres without pinching the tube. As it turned out – after 4 goes – neither can Kenn, so we got onto the Wiggle site and bought a pair of Schwalbe Lugano tyres. We’ve had them in the past, know them to be good and a bit more flexible too. Now the PX has a Lugano on the front wheel. We can’t quite bring ourselves to do battle with the rear tyre at the moment after we broke 4 tyre levers with the front one. We will get it done before summer kicks in though.

The old Conti, has gone on Kenn’s Boardman. Waste not, want not, as they say. My Vision wheels have quite deep rims and the Conti’s are too snug a fit for my stupid fingers to deal with. Boardman has Mavic CP22s on, not so deep rims so much easier. Kenn is happy, he has ‘new’ tyres with only 1000 miles in them so he doesn’t need to worry about buying new ones just yet.

May has a target of 200 miles for the month. So far, I’m up to 63 miles, including 4.5 miles in high winds yesterday. The crosswind was really nasty on a short utility ride to a client’s house and then to meet Kenn from dialysis. I rode down the hill by the UEA, covering the brakes and not actually pedalling as I was worried about being blown across the road. I was not terribly happy about that at all.
Hoping for a nice round 20 today, leaving in a few minutes, after Kenn has changed a tube on his bike, had his breakfast, another coffee and generally faffed about. He’s been faffing for 45 minutes so far and I have to be at work at noon, showered and tidy. I also want to be back by 11 as the BBC says that it’s going all cloudy and that it will rain.

I’ve been riding out to Wymondham, Ketteringham way of late. I also took Kenn out for a ride to Salhouse, Woodbastwick, stopping for coffee at Ranworth Broad, then home via the Plumsteads, Thorpe End and back via the first 3 miles of the Marriotts. 29.77 miles. Had I known that, I’d have ridden around the block. He didn’t do too badly. He certainly didn’t moan for the last 25 miles of it, as he has done in the past.

Off out on the CXs in a min. Marriotts Way to Themelthorpe loop and back again. Looking forward to it.


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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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