Wednesday 1st August.
Yesterday didn’t happen, cycling wise as it tipped it down with rain, all day. Absolutely poured it down plus, it was really cold. There we were on the last day of July, shivering like whippets, the greyhounds were complaining and our little Jack Russell went under the duvet and refused to come out. We had to bite the bullet and dig out our halogen heater and turn it on. At least the greyhounds were happy.
Today dawned bright and sunny so cycling was definitely on the cards. We had a nice cup of tea and then gave the dogs a quick walk and then jumped into our cycling kit and got going. Or we would have done if Kenn’s front inner-tube hadn’t gone bang while the bike was standing in the garden and Kenn was looking for his gloves.
Plan B and we hadn’t left the garden yet. Remember me saying about the horrible ladies racer that we got inner tubes for? Well, Kenn whipped the front wheel off and stuck it into his Sun and off we went. Probably not a good idea, Kenn said the bike pulled to the left the whole time.
We decided to cycle to Wymondham to pop a repeat prescription into the docs and to stop off at the bike shop and get Kenn some new cycling mits. I had a brilliant ride to Wymondham and didn’t really notice the hilly bits, not that Norfolk does proper hills – unless we are talking about Ketts or Gas Hill, they are proper hills and happily nowhere near us – Kenn said that he struggled up the last little hill into the outskirts of the town. Once up and over the main road and heading into the town, Kenn sped up a lot. We arrived at the bike shop to discover that it shuts on Wednesday. Poop! We headed off to the doctors using the one way system. I love the little uphill bit past the library and up to the big junction there. Kenn noticed my speeding up and flying up the little rise and chose to ignore it.
Once at the docs, Kenn popped the ‘script in and then back on our bikes, we carried on and rode up the cycle-path to Waitrose, where we turned left at the roundabout and cycled down the hill towards the Wramplingham/Gt Melton turning.
About 50 yards from the turning, I noticed a young hedgehog, taking his life in his hands and wandering about on the cycle path. Not the best place for him to be, in broad daylight too. I stopped and scooped the little chap up and put him in the long grass under the hedge at the edge of the path. I figured that the boy prickley would live longer, and not puncture any tires.
Turning right towards Gt Melton, we pedaled along happily and then turned left towards Wramplingham. I love this bit of road but Kenn was getting fed up with the whole left pulling thing with his bike. He couldn’t sit up and ride with no hands to rest his arm as the bike was just determined to ride him into the stinging nettles. Where I might think that this is funny, Kenn curiously seems not to think this is very hilarious at all. This is a lovely bit of road, not too busy and quite pretty. There is a lovely downhill into the village, but round the right hand bend was a bit gravelly today so we slowed to a gentle pace around it as neither of us particularly wanted to go flying. Happily, at the bottom of the road there was no traffic as we entered the B1108 and turned for home. It meant that we didn’t have to actually stop and get going again. I have no problems getting up this now, its only about a mile long and not very steep but Kenn seemed to have issues with it. He decided to stuff trying to keep up and to just concentrate on his cadence and moving along. Quite right too.
Both of us had a really good ride and we are discussing the Tour of Britain Challenge ride on the 8th September. 57 miles or so from Gt Yarmouth to the Norfolk Showground, via Dereham and the next village along. There is no reason not to be fit enough for it, if we can just get our pedals moving. On the 9th, its the first part of the Tour of Britain and we are planning on watching the riders go by from Colton village, we can’t wait.
Kenn is currently looking for a new bike. He has had the B’twin Triban 3 recommended to him as the best bike money can buy for £300 (we’ve considered and then ignored some other contenders). There is a review of the B’twin in this months Cycling Active and it got 92% in the value, comfort, handing, wow factor & build quality tests. There seems to be a fair bit of bike there for not a massive amount of money. Our nearest stockist is Nottingham way so its not a huge way away. It was mentioned as a reasonably good by on Cycle-chat too, which we take to be a good thing. Kenn is also looking at a Carrera for a couple of hundred that he has seen second hand. Not the bog standard version, but the better one with the Tiagra gear-set. He really really does need a new bike before September. The Sun is a nice bike, but its 35 years old, heavy and the non indexed gears are a pain in the sit-upon. Kenn says it will be his winter bike. Oh, the luxury of a winter bike. I remember when I had one of those, in the 90s.
Kenn is swapping the inner-tubes out on his front wheel as I type. Tomorrow we plan to cycle to Dereham as we have an appointment there. This is if it is not pouring with rain, so fingers crossed for a dry morning.
Top speed: 42.3kph
Ave speed: 19.66kph