Today was the day that Kenn finally got new tyres. We were working in Dereham this morning so, on the way home, popped into Pauls Cycles and grabbed a pair of Schwalbe Tyres, with a nice blue stripe around them. Kenn wanted red ones, to match his bike, but they only had the one in stock. Blue matches his wheels. Happily they had 2 of those, otherwise we would have been contemplating yellow tyres.
Once Kenn had fitted his new tyres he showed me the new hole in the Giant tyre – they really are made from the softest rubber imaginable. They might be really grippy but not good for Norfolk roads, he punctured yesterday apparently as the tyre was flat again this morning. Poor Kenn has done nothing but fix flats since he put those wheels and tyres on. We got changed and pushed our bikes up the driveway to the road. Would you believe it? Kenn’s rear tyre was flat. He fixed the hole, or 3 holes! they were along the seam of the tyre, it looks like a manufacturing fault. We got on our bikes and headed down towards Barford village.
Once through Barford we took a left hander, after the Wramplingham road and up the hill towards Pockthorpe Road and Wymondham beyond. After about 1/4 of a mile it became apparent that Kenn’s rear innertube really was pants so we changed it with a spare from my little saddlebag. Onwards to Wymondham where we stopped briefly at the DIY shop to get some long screws and then back on our bikes again.
We fancied a change of route – see pretty heart shaped route on map – and headed out towards Kimberley before picking up the B1108 again. That B road is horribly busy and there are trucks thundering up and down it at all times of the day so we rode along it for a couple of hundred yards and then turned off towards Runhall and finally Barnham Broom.
The route sounds like very plain sailing, so to speak, but the wind was blowing and it seemed that whatever direction we were cycling in, we were heading into the wind. It was really hard work and the route a bit more undulating that I remember from the last time we came this way. Actually, the last time we came this route was in the car and hills are less challenging in a 3 door hatchback. We were down to about 10mph at several points of the ride as we were being so battered by the wind. We also made the mistake of stopping for a minute, to get a drink safely as it was too windy to let go of the handlebars with one hand in some points. Huge mistake as it took ages to get going again. The Wymondham to Kimberley road goes up and over a low hill with huge fields on either side so there is nothing to act as a windbreak. Once we were past there and riding through Coston towards Runhall, there were high hedges and banks so we could pedal along much more happily. The only thing was on these sheltered roads was the amount of dry mud, sandy stuff and small areas of road grit/gravel. It all seemed to congregate on the corners which slowed us down a bit but also made us a bit more careful in the corners.
Once we came out on to the Barnham Broom road, at the bottom of Barnham Hill of course, we sorted out our gears and went to tackle the hill. I got about 1/4 of the way up it and spotted carrier bags of apples on the side of the road with a big sign saying “Eating Apples, 50p a bag”. Rude not to get some at that price! So I stopped, fished out 50p from the many pockets in my jersey and grabbed a carrier bag full of lovely apples (they are lovely too, very sweet and tasty). Kenn managed to tie the bag up so the apples wouldn’t come out but leave enough room in the bag so the apples could move about a bit. Clever Kenn then balanced the bag over his handlebars so half the apples were in front of his handlebars and the other half behind. It was like this that we gently and slowly cycled the last mile or so home.
All in all, a great ride. Definitely a route that we will cycle again. Tomorrow is the last day of the month and we are planning a quick 8 miler after church. Fingers crossed for the weather, otherwise we are going to get very wet as we are not missing out on our target for the sake of 7.82 miles.
Today’s Ride: 14.74 miles
Max Speed: 25.75 mph
Ave Speed: 11.28 mph
Sept Distance: 242.18
Total Distance: 941.43