Brilliant ride today. We only had a Labradoodle to walk today – twice, once at 11am and once at 3ish pm – so we put the Giant Revel and the Specialized Hardrock onto the back of our brand new Aldi Bike rack and off we went. We walked Barney for half an hour and then pootled around the corner to the car park at the Taverham bit of the Marriotts Way. We got there for about 12 noon, we were a bit late for poor Barney but he didn’t seem to mind.
While getting the bikes off the car I was wondering about the wisdom of wearing shorts as it was a bit parky under the shade of the trees and the sun hadn’t made an appearance yet, all day. I had a tee shirt over my cycling top, Kenn hadn’t bothered with his cycle top, just a tee shirt for him, which meant that I carried the pump, wallet, change, phone, car keys etc. Just call me Buckeroo! Once we had put the bidons into their holders we were good to go, except for the 3 elderly hikers who decided to totally block the gate to the trail as they were in earnest conversation as to which way Norwich was.
We couldn’t get past and they were deaf to 3 or 4 polite ‘excuse me please’ comments and a couple of bell tings too. Happily there is a short side entrance to the trail, its a 45 degree sand bank to get up but that’s the way we chose as the hikers were in no mood for shifting. You would think that they would notice a couple of cyclists trying to get on to the cycle path but no. Maybe they were vision impaired and had forgotten their white sticks. Eventually we were on our way.
The first bit of the path is easy peasy as Taverham is the high point of the Marriott’s Way at a huge 180′ above sea level – the Highlands of Norfolk indeed, and we got to Lenwade in very good time. There we crossed the bridge with its rubber surface which makes the bike feel that it has 2 flat tyres and then away towards Whitwell Station where the trail goes between the platforms. Kenn rode along making ‘toot toot’ noises followed up with ‘tcheer coo, tcheer coo’ as in Ivor the Engine. The Themelthorpe loop starts at Whitwell but there is a lot of badger activity in the area so we were diverted round by road for about a mile or so before getting back on the loop. There are signs but a couple have been pinched but I remembered the way from the last time I rode the route back in October time. Kenn has never ridden from Lenwade to Reepham before so it was all new to him. The sun had come out by now and it was just a gorgeous ride.
We stopped a couple of times to look at horses in a field, to watch a wren, to look at an eventing course – no horses or riders on it though – and got to Reepham Railway Station in 90 minutes from starting out. We decided that a cuppa and a sandwich would be in order. Having ordered 2 cheese and pickle sandwiches and 2 black coffees, we were suprised to find the cost was a massive £12.60. This is the first time we have had a cuppa there, it will be the last too. The sandwiches were nice but not that nice. The coffee was less than average. Not as nice as the instant stuff we have at home. We should have carried on for 200 yards and gone to the Crown PH instead. We will next time.
Once we had finished our sarnies – they took a good 10 minutes to arrive BTW – we cycled through Reepham and back onto the Marriotts back at Whitwell Station and then rode back to the car. The phone app said we had done just shy of 20 miles so I carried on for 400 yards over the road and towards Drayton and then turned and came back again making the ride just over 20 miles.
We loaded the bikes and went and walked wee Barney again – not so wee actually, he’s a big Labradoodle, only 9 months and he is going to be a good old size when he has finished growing.
Kenn is now outside with my Spesh on the bike stand having a look at the gears. I had a free gear and brake service from Halfords. I wish that I hadn’t bothered as the gears are pants. You move the lever and nothing happens, move it again and it changes and then later on it changes again with out touching the lever. I say later, a minute or so later. Kenn has the big book of bike fettling and is trying to sort the gears out. I might need a new chain on that Spesh too. Kenn’s Giant Revel has just got back from being serviced – he collected it Tuesday as we were away Monday – and its brilliant. I rode it for a while as Kenn wanted to see what my bike felt like with its Schwalbe Landcruiser tyres on, rather than the knobblies. Great on the road and great on the sort of trails that we ride on. Not so great when going across a muddy field but that’s the compromise for a comfier and easier riding in the summer.
We are looking forward to a short ride tomorrow and then riding from Gt Yarmouth to home – weather permitting. If its howling it down with rain, we will do the ride another time.
The ride :20.69
Ave speed : 9.11
Top Speed: 17.93
Total Climb: 282 feet
Total miles : 507.27