Here we are in sunny Norwich, ready for my best friend’s daughter’s wedding tomorrow dinner time.
We actually left home last night at about 9.20pm and made rather good time to Bothwell services near Glasgow where we stopped for a leg stretch and to give the dogs a break from travelling. We then ploughed on to Carlisle ASDA where we stopped for 2 hours and got some proper sleep. Then we wandered into the store and got some sushi as its nice and carby and virtually free on Slimming World’s eating plan. Filled up there too and we are astonished to discover that our 3.1 litre Isuzu Trooper, very ancient, is doing 6.96 miles per litre. We thought that it was doing about 5 miles to the litre so chuffed to bits.
After our sleep we ploughed on, dropped the dogs in kennels in Staffordshire and stopped for breakfast in Uttoxeter MacDonalds. We took the Oat-so-Simple original option, with coffee. We had an hour’s break all in all. Good job we were not in a rush. The rest of the journey consisted on mainly being stuck behind slow moving grockles towing their grockle boxes. Total nightmare, so when we reached our hotel, 2 hours before we could check in, we were forced to visit our friend Mark and drink his coffee.
Once unpacked, we were keen to get on our bikes so we drove down to the trading estate about 1 1/2 miles away, down a long hill. Got them off the rack and then headed up the cycle path starting at the big Go Outdoors store.
We got on the path where Norwich rail station used be. That’s the city station and not to be confused with Thorpe rail station which is still there and very busy. We cycled along the fast flat path, tarmacked to start with until we got to the city ring road, then its a hard flat dirt track. Wide and well travelled. We made a small mistake getting to the wide flat bit by going down a narrow steep track with stinging nettles on either side. Bombing through as fast as possible does not get you stung any less than sneaking through and hoping for the best, We discovered there was another route on the way back, although we came back the way we went and were told about the other route afterwards. The route from Norwich station follows the river Wensum and joins up with ‘route 1’ of the National Cycle Network and goes along Marriott’s way all the way to Sheringham. The path used to be a rail line on the M&GN railway.
We actually cycled through to Drayton, some 4.75 miles from where we got on our bikes. We felt great, suprising as we were up and driving half the night. On the way back, a semi fallen tree that we had ducked under on the way out, had got a bit lower. We and 4 other cyclists, managed to move it to the side of the pathway before someone tried to cycle underneath the bough and brain themselves. We cycled back with 2 of the cyclists. We were maintaining a steady 13.5mph and they would, every so often catch up and overtake. Then we, keeping to our steady pace, would over take them. We got the destinct impression that there was no way that they were having a woman in front of them. We did have a quick conversation about our bikes, they thought they were something really funky and lightweight, after all, we were generally cycling faster than they were. They were horrified that they were cheap bikes from Halfords. We think the thing is, by the general smell of them is that they smoke, and we don’t which is why we could maintain the speed.
Over the last mile and a half, we slowed right up as we were a bit warm in the evening sun. As we were not at home, for warming down properly etc, we just cruised in, very slowly at about 7mph, just gently turning the peddals and enjoying ourselves. Our average was .1mph down on yesterday but who cares. It was a great ride, we could have done another 5 miles with ease on that path. Maybe Sunday though.
Back in our hotel room now and just relaxing before a bath and bed. We plan to go and do the same ride tomorrow morning before we have to be on photography duty at 1pm. If we don’t make it, we will have a long ride on Sunday instead.
Raff & Ken
Miles today: 10
Miles to date: 69.59
Miles to go: 930.41
Max speed: not sure
Ave speed: 11.9 mph