What a day, where to start I wonder.
Yet another beautiful perfect English morning dawned and, as we planned, we cycled to church. Instead of going into Barford and cutting across to the Marlingford Road and up to Sainsbury’s roundabout, we went a slightly different way in. We decided, that as they were gritting the Marlingford Road that we would whip up the B1108 to the Bawburgh turning, go down through Bawburgh, up the other side, up Herbie Hill and on to the Dereham Road that way. Its a tad longer but we thought that it would be preferable to being shot by the loose chippings, not to mention possible slippage on the road surface. When we turned on to Herbie Hill we discovered that that end hadn’t been re chipped at all and we could have gone that way but it was too late by then.
A quick whiz along the Dereham Road, turning left down Longwater lane and right at the bottom and through Old Costessey, round the double bends at the Mill and onwards to Drayton. Up the slight hill to Church and we were there. 15.5 km went in just shy of 3/4 hour, we were not hurrying, rather we were enjoying the ride, loving the weather and watching the morning bunnies hop about.
After church we headed, along with the rest of the congregation, to the Summer BBQ at our lead pastor’s garden. Still the sun was shining and once over the first steep hill (probably not that steep but it was long and we hadn’t really warmed up at that point) it was a fabulous ride. The tarmac was smooth and lovely and our wheels glided over it with hardly any effort at all. We turned off onto our Pastor’s road and cycled through his village and into his garden, where we tucked our bikes up by his conservatory. Only a 6.84 km ride but we did it in a good bit less than 20 minutes and had a really nice time doing it.
We had an enjoyable BBQ, we sat with a coffee under one of those portable gazebo things, discussing the Olympics and the fact that one of our congregation seems to think that the UK are great at ‘sitting down sports’. Obviously he has never ridden a bike, yeah your bum is supported but its not like lounging on a sofa. He pointed out that you sit while riding a horse. Well, I ride and I used to ride competitively and rather well at that. There is a bit more to it than just sitting there. Don’t even get me started on canoeing, kyaking, sailing, rowing etc. I pointed out that Jessica Ennis didn’t do much sitting about, or Mo Farrah or Greg Rutherford for that matter. We thought Andy Murry would not sit about getting a gold medal either. We were proved right on that one, and so thrilled for him.
As the sun slid behind a cloud, we looked up and saw some serious black clouds gathering and decided to forgo ice cream and cake and skidaddle off home before we got wet. Yeah, good old plan that one cos obviously we didn’t have our rain coats with us at the weather website said that it would cloud over but not rain. Hmmm.
We left at about 2pm and by 2.15pm we were soaked to the skin. We took an interesting route home as Kenn decided that he had seen a sign for the A47 further up the road and thought that would be a good road to take. This was at Lenwade, we could have taken the one before it with ease. Never mind, on we went, getting damp. We pulled in under a tree when the next A47 sign seemed to be taking us in a big circle, pulled up a phone gps map and had a peep at it, under the cover of a large oak tree. We turned off from the A47 sign direction and pedalled on. We crossed the 47 and headed into East Tuddenham and then took the turning that said Barnham Broom. We did take a wrong turning and cycled up somebody’s drive but it was raining so hard by then that we couldn’t actually see and just kind of used the force, as you do.
The thunder was rumbling loudly, the lightning was flashing and I was trying to remember a thread on a cycle forum about riding in storms. I couldn’t remember so decided to pray out loud that we wouldn’t get hit by lightning. Prayers work. We didn’t get hit by lightning and burned to a crisp, so that was OK then. Anyway, we were soaked through, our shoes were squelchy so were were probably too soggy to burn. The rain then decided to fall even harder, we couldn’t see much but realised that we were just passing Barnham Broom golf club. Hard rain hurts, by the way. I felt every drop as I had a short sleeved cycling jersey on. Kenn said that it hurt and he had long sleeves on. I am amazed that I am not bruised. We came across quite a few cars that just couldn’t wait until we passed the big puddle for them to pass us, but took great joy in driving through and covering us in muddy water, suprisingly warm muddy water at that. You should have seen the state of us.
Once past the golf club we were round the bend, up the slight hill and at the post office in no time. We decided not to add on the Barford loop and just to head home. Can’t think why. We were both thrilled to see the turning to take us to the main road. We were delighted to see the B1108 and to cycle along it and ecstatic to reach the top of our drive. We walked down the drive, squelching as we went, with our feet slipping in our shoes. We got to the garden gate and the rain stopped and the sun came out. Typical. A ride of 21.96km, with about 20km in the rain. We averaged 18 + kph which we felt was not too shabby with often zero visibility.
Peeling off wet clothes was as revolting as always but the lovely cup of hot chocolate more than made up for it. The sun is now shining and its really quite warm. Our clothes are in the washing machine and we fully expect to be able to get everything dry on the line with the warmth of the evening. The plan is that this is the day of retirement for Kenn’s Sun Solo. It really is tired and its not happy being expected to work so hard at its advanced age. Poor bike is 34 years old. Perfectly serviceable but the Sun is going to be retired and be a winter bike.
I need a cup of tea now. Possibly a biccy while I am at it. Oh, my lovely clean bike, remember the one I cleaned last night? It looks like its been mountain biking and its as muddy as anything. Better get cleaning then.
Top speed: 44.14kph
Ave speed: 20.22kph
Total: 132 km