Long ride today again. We were going to go out at about 1pm but we thought that we would wait until the thunderstorm had passed as having got soaked to the skin a fortnight ago, we were not keen on starting out wet. We hung on until about 2.45pm until the rain, which was intermittent, had stopped, we had hoped that it would drop the temperature a bit but no such luck. Waiting a bit gave Kenn a chance to swap out our bike seats. I now have my Giant seat back on and Kenn has the hateful Sella Italia Proline, and very welcome he is to the torturous thing. I have seen another Giant seat in Pauls Cycles in Dereham, that I might give a try to. At £14.99 its probably worth a try. It has a gap down the middle of the saddle, which I am reliably assured, takes pressure of lady bits, which has to be a good thing.
Anyway, we cycled off down the Watton Road towards the A47 but turned off down to Bawburgh but instead of crossing the river and turning left, we went right and headed up into Bowthorpe. Kenn’s idea and when we went under the bridge and discovered a very sharp, but mercifully short, uphill I was thinking that Kenn could keep his bright ideas to himself. From there we went up the hills, nothing exciting hill wise but up nonetheless, turning left at the lights and right at the big roundabout – where only one numpty in a tatty old Escort carved us up, impatient prick – and down Dereham Road to the Marlpit lights. We decided to go into Go Outdoors for some energy gels so took the Marriotts Way cyclepath there. We topped up our water bottles there too as we were not sure if we would get another chance, also we were not sure how long we would be out. It was a good 28 degrees out today and drinking a lot was a big must. From there we traced our tyre-treads back the way that we had come, along the Marriotts way slurping a gel on the way. I had forgotten how vile they are luke warm. At Marlpit Lane and went right to Hellesdon lights. A car driver bibbed and waved madly at us at the lights, he seemed really happy to see us. Haven’t a clue who he was but we waved anyway. Through Hellesdon and a coffee stop at the Airport McDonalds.
We were at McDees for about 30 minutes where we planned our route onwards there, sitting in the shade outside with our bikes. We decided to go along towards Horsford and then from there, turn right before the curry house towards Drayton. Its faster to take the 1st Drayton turning but we were having such a good time up the little hill we took the second turning, at the curry house, in the end. From Drayton we took the Taverham Road past Attlebridge and then took the 1st big turning towards the A47, which might have been a mistake we should have taken the second turning as we did a fortnight ago. The road we chose was undulating which was fine until we crossed the A47 and got half way up a hill, totally fluffed my gears and ground to a halt with my foot cramping like a mad thing. We took the opportunity to stand for a few minutes and sort out the cramp and get our heart rates down to something towards normal before setting off up the hill again. A tactic that worked wonderfully and we pedaled up the rest of the hill, if not with ease certainly not with difficulty. In total today we climbed 497 metres, I am pretty sure that it was all on that hill. We then seemed to have a gradual uphill all the way to a crossroads which I think used to be the old Dereham Road, before the A47 was built, straight over there following the Barnham Broom signs and before we knew it we were passing the golf course and could smell home. Not literally you understand as the neighbours would complain.
That last hill up past the golf course was horrible, we were getting towards knackered and that hill was horrible. My feet cramped, both of them, and when I stopped my hip cramped up. I got off my bike and stretched everything about, got a drink of water noting that I had drunk most of my water. Made a mental note to buy a new bidon for each of us this week so we can carry more water. Once we were turned at the post office and on our way home we discussed whether to go straight home or via Barford. We elected to go via Barford but as we approached the ‘go straight home’ turning, I noticed that I was going really really slowly and close to falling off as I was going so slow and Kenn was losing ground, so I took the go straight home turning, making the decision for him. Even though its a gentle downhill to Barford I was concerned that Kenn really had bonked, he should have had a gel 10 minutes or more before. We could have done with the extra couple of miles but tomorrow is another day.
It was a great ride. Kenn is giving the Tour of Britain Challenge ride on the 8th Sept more serious thought. He says that he’s apprehensive. I told him that the mere action of putting a number on, will give him another 15 miles in his legs. It works in Marathons, Triathlons etc so I am pretty sure it will work on a 56 miler. He has never done any sort of sporting even before and I reckon that at 48, its high time that he did. Whatever happens, he is going to get a PB.
Both the bikes need a service, we have priced that up at Pauls in Dereham. We can get it done there and go off into Dereham for lunch. We also need to get both our bikes set up properly for us. We have costed this at £25 each from Pedal Revolution. Kenn’s neck and shoulders ache a bit, my left arm keeps going a bit pins and needley. Then again, my left arm often gets pins and needles whether I am on or of the bike. We have a bit of a shopping list at the moment. New helmets are required as ours are over a year old and getting tatty. I need clipless pedals and road shoes. Kenn needs shoes and cleats, he has pedals. New shorts would be nice and Kenn is desperate for a short sleeved cycling top. Better get some work in then.
Ride: 50.39 km
Top Speed: 45.95 kph
Ave Speed: 19.65 kph
Total Elevation 497m