The real world keeps getting in the way of my cycling. I keep having to go to work, cook dinner, take Kenn to dialysis 3 times a week, walk the dogs, do the laundry, hoover, look for somewhere to live and generally do stuff when I don’t want too. By the time I am finished it has either got dark or I am knackered.
I got out on my bike on the 6th April but it was literally down the B1108 to Barford Hire to collect a van to take us to Scotland to retrieve our belongings that had gone into storage “for a couple of months”, or 19 months as it turned out to be. I took the Spesh and mended a geocache of ours near Barford Village Hall as I headed to the hire place. Obviously the bike went in the van for the return journey. That, shockingly, was my last ride until the 21st April.
Of course the cold and miserable weather didn’t help. Working outside, as I do (I am a dog walker & groomer), I had got pretty fed up with freezing my tail off all day so didn’t feel much like changing clothed and going out and getting cold again after work. I huddled by the woodburner and ate biscuits instead.
On the 21st, we rode from home to our friend Mark’s house at the edge of Norwich. It was a nice ride, a bit cool but not freezing. We rode along the busy B1108 and we had forgotten how hair-raising lorries missing us by the width of a fag paper was. As soon as we got to the top of the hill to go down to Bawburgh, we were mightily relived as we freewheeled down to the bottom only being bullied by one estate car who gave a very close pass and some idiot in a Saxo with a massive exhaust pipe. He was probably compensating for something we reckon. Even though there was acres of room, I had to leap off my bike and into the bush or he would have hit me.
Down through Bawburgh, over the bridge and right towards the narrow bit under the A47 and towards Bowthorpe. Under the bridge it was Kenn’s turn to leap for his life as some wazzock in a white hot hatch (not so hot, quite rusty actually) decided that he was coming past like it or not. He too was probably compensating for some small thing in his life. Can’t think what though. Onwards to Bowthorpe. Going along a road called Three Score – who thinks up road names? – there was yet another over compensator who nearly took my front wheel off. I might have given him a rude sign. He stopped and got out. A squitty, spotty teenager who had probably only passed his test the week before. I glared down at him from my bike and suggested that he gave a little more room in future. He didn’t look like he wanted to mess with a fully grown, slightly narky female and retreated to his car (probably full of spot cream) and drove off in a cloud of black smoke. Its quite hard to roar off in a diesel with a dodgy oil ring but he gave it a shot.
On to the cycle paths of Bowthorpe, which are much harder work going up them rather than freewheeling down. Eventually we made it to the bus lane at the top, without actually dying of exhaustion. We did look for a shop that sold lollies though, as we were warmish by then. We found the lolly shop and its closed on Sundays. Poot. We headed through the estate there, out on to Larkman Lane and waited for a couple of years for the lights at the top there to change and then whizzed down Marlpit Lane, hooked a right on to the cycle path and on to the lovely Marriotts Way and to Mark’s house, where we gratefully drank tea, ate cake and sat in a nice squashy chair for half an hour to recover. As we had left the car at Mark’s house the day before, the homeward journey was quicker but not nearly so satisfying. 9.22 miles the way that we went so it wasn’t bad, it took a while though, just a smidge over the hour but we did have times when we were stopped in hedges and being cross with teenagers, not to mention those bloomin’ lights at the end of Larkman Lane where it crossed Dereham Road.
Our next ride was the very next day, the 22nd April. Only a quick ride, up the B1108 – traffic dodging again – until we got around the Z bends and up the hill. We then went right and right again and back along a permitted path/track. We took the MTBs, mine is desperate for a service as I seem to only have a choice of 4 gears all in middle ring. We discovered that it was actually a private track for the local riding club. Horses, not bikes, so we headed back to the main road and home as we did have to get to work fairly sharpish but we just wanted to explore the track.
Here we are then. 5th May and we have managed another ride. We rode to Church in Wymondam, along the Barnham Broom Road, through the edge of the town and to church on the Norwich Road. Very quiet, very uneventful apart from getting scalped up the hill by a youth on a Halfords Apollo bike and flat pedals but we are old and fat. That’s our excuse and we are sticking with it. After church we continued along the Norwich Road, down on to Tuttles Lane, right at Melton Road and followed it all the way down to the B1108 – life in hands again, even on a sunday – and home.
Its amazing how many people are in a tearing hurry on a Sunday. We got bibbed at by a car (cycling single file) as the road was twisty and he couldn’t get past as he couldn’t see. We think that he expected us to get off the road. He yelled something about paying car tax and bikes as he eventually got past, but as he was in a Prius and they don’t have road tax, I feel that he should wind his neck in.
I have to work tomorrow but we are hoping to get out. We are packing to move house at the moment so time is at a premium but after next weekend, we should be in a better fame of mind for cycling.
All those rides only came to 29.61 miles!
The rides : 29.61
Max speed : 20.13
Ave speed : 11.17
Total miles : 95.94