This weather is really something at the moment. I left the camp at about 10 to 10 this morning and had a great ride. I barely noticed the long slight uphill until I was about 400 yards from Horsford roundabout and then had to slow to get on to the cyclepath. No point dodging the trucks when I don’t need to. That turn and swerve to get on the cycletrack slowed me right down to about 6mph but its preferable to death at that junction.
All in all, I had a great ride in. Going back will be longer as I am off to West Earlham to visit a friend who is feeling a little down at the moment. I can go along the cycle track at Marriotts Way until the end of the paved bit and then its a consult of my good old A-Z. I never thought I would need one of those in my home town, but they will keep building roads and things and making my local knowlege non existent.
I love the free cycle parking at the car park. The attendents there are so nice too. I will edit this post later to add the ride home on. Hopefully it will be uneventful in the extreme. I will make sure I am home by dark. My lights are good but I find that treating all other road users as homicidal maniacs is the way to go.
By the time that the clocks change next month, I will have got used to riding in the dark again. It doesn’t make it any less scary though. On the upside, all this riding about is bringing me closer to the goal of 1000 miles cycled. We have cycled 300 miles, I hope to break 400 miles by the end of tomorrow, even if I have to cycle back the long way.
Edited to add
Thursday 29th September – the rest of the trip.
Collecting the bike from St Andrew’s car park was a trial, the door jammed and despite the car park man pressing his button in his office, the door refused to open. He pressed the ‘get help’ button and another chap came along. At this moment, without him touching a thing, the door opening button decided to work, allowing me to get my bike. Supervisor man thought that this was most funny.
I got down Duke street quickly, not difficult, its downhill and headed for the Marriotts Way cycle path. I was going further along it today. Right to the end of the tarmac, which ends at Marlpit Lane. Once on Marlpit Lane, it occurred to me that that hill might have got steeper than I remember it. Obviously, it has not got steeper, I have got fatter and older. I used to fly up that, I’m sure I did.
Once over the lights at the top, along Larkman Lane, right at the end, second left, first right and so on and so forth, through the estate – Mark says he lives in Hellesdon. Hellesdon my arse, its more like North Earlham. I actually got from the city to Mark’s flat in 15 minutes, so I was pretty pleased with myself. Averaged 12.95 mph, which with Marlpit Hill in the equation, was not too shoddy. There is a much faster route to Mark’s house. If I had simply ridden up Dereham Road, I would have cut off a good mile but then I would be in heavy traffic and not on a nice cycle path with parkland around me. It was totally worth the extra mile for the calmness of the ride, and a much safer route to boot.
From Mark’s to back to camp was a great ride too. Mark showed me a long cut through the estate that brings us out much closer to Larkman Lights where, by this time, the traffic was jammed solid towards it, with a tail back of over half a mile. We joined the queue about 50 yards from the front. Much better. We did not run up the path to the front as its against Mark’s principles (not mine you notice – I have no issue with getting off my bike and jogging up to the front and then remounting) With this set of lights and then a couple more, I actually had nearly 10 minutes of non-moving time according to My Tracks.
Once over over Larkman lights we flew down Marlpit Lane (Perhaps my memories of flying along there was the downhill bit and not the uphill bit as previously mentioned). I got up to 24.07 mph down there. I would have gone faster had I not been slowed up by cars being too slow. I kept going straight, along Hellesdon Lane, Hospital Lane, over the lights and along the middle road through Hellesdon, the name of which has escaped me. This took me back to the main A140. I had fun and games trying to get into the right hand lane to get around the roundabout. I had my right hand out but none of the car drivers were going to let me across. They overtook me and then immediately got into the left hand lane. Would it really have slowed them up so much to have let me across and then had an easier time of getting, or staying to the left. All men in those cars actually. It was a young girl in a learner car who let me over, before I ran out of road. I thanked her as best I could.
Going up the A140 was not so bad today. I was ready to stop by the time I hit the village sign and was cycling past the pavement. I actually didn’t stop at the loo block to lock up today, I went straight to the van and locked the bike to the van, under the awning. It was lovely and cool in the van. Before I left, I had closed the blinds and drawn the curtains, thus keeping the van cool and lovely.
Tomorrow and Saturday are both riding days. I need to go in tomorrow as there is a job fair on, we need money on our dongle and I need a new SIM card as my phone contract ends today. I am not renewing it so need new SIM. Saturday, Kenn has an appointment in town.
From Monday onwards, Kenn will be commuting to work come rain come shine, until we can sort out the car. It will probably only be a month, with luck. Kenn’s first fortnight of daily commuting is going to elicit complaints and moans but he will get used to it and will get fitter to boot. Kenn wants to me much fitter, he just doesn’t want to have to work at it. Commuting will do the trick, I am sure.
Miles today: 17.88
Miles to date: 395.67
Miles to go: 604.33
Max speed: 25.72
Ave speed: 13.71
Feelings: So far, so good 🙂