Sunday was a great morning and we left our home at just gone 9.30am and pedalled the .8 mile to the Railway station. We had a 5 minute wait for the train and discovered, to our joy, a bike rack that held 2 bikes either side of the carriage. There were already 3 bikes on the racks so I added my Giant and Kenn managed to wedge his Carerra in so it was secure and we went and sat down. We arrived in Norwich 11 minutes after leaving Wymondham and then sat about for 30 minutes until the Great Yarmouth train arrived. We squashed the bikes in behind the drivers door and chatted to a couple of other passengers. There were people standing in the bike/luggage bay. A family who were noisily dismissive about our bikes – although they looked like some time on a bike might do them some good – hogged the whole luggage bay with their pushchair as they said that they couldn’t be bothered to unstrap the toddler and go and sit down. They were pretty noisy too. Eventually we arrived at Gt Yarmouth and escaped the train.
After popping to the loo and answering the phone to a would be customer who lives in Uxbridge – nowhere near Norwich! we threw our legs over our bikes and hit the road. We headed, first of all, to Caister via the cyclepath and then through Caister and then at the big roundabout took a wrong turn and spent a hair-raising mile on a duel carriageway instead of going to the next turning which was a more sensible option. Soon we were on the A149 and spinning along in the sunshine. Unbelievably soon we were approaching Ludham & Kenn was suggesting an ice lolly. Fine by me so 13 miles in we were sitting in the sunshine stuffing a calipo in the sunshine.
We then carried on along the A149 until we hit Hoveton and crossed the road there and negotiated the hills to Coltishall where we had decided to have lunch. We sat in the sun, outside the Rising Sun but there was a 90 minute wait for food so we popped next door to the Kings Head and had lunch there instead. Wonderful food and we would highly recommend it.
Leaving was hard work as its slightly uphill and of course we were not in the right gear, as per. We decided not to head to Norwich via the North Walsham Road as its too busy and not very attractive riding so once past Coltishall Island we bore right on the Buxton Road and headed towards Hainford, crossed the road and followed Shortthorn Road, straight over again towards Felthorpe where we were supposed to head towards Taverham but the map and the road bear little resemblance to each other there and straight on map wise was a kink left in reality. Naturally we went straight on and found ourselves in bloomin’ Attlebridge. Well we know the way from there so the plan of Taverham and along the Marriotts to Drayton and home via Costessey went out of the window as we headed for Weston Longville instead.
The hill up to Weston Longville is a long old drag and we had a minute at the top before spinning back down towards the A47. Crossing the A47 took a while and, despite being tooted at by the impatient 4×4 driver behind us – I could see him drumming his fingers on the steering wheel in frustration at being behind to lycra louts on bikes, maybe that should read MAMIL & MAWIL on bikes 🙂 In the end I turned and stared at him over my sunglasses and he had the decency to look a tad contrite. There was no way that we were crossing that road before it was safe, there were artics left and right, boy racers in hot hatches and people in hats driving erratically. We must have been there for 5 minutes before it was safe to cross. 4×4 boy roared past us before we had really got to the other side. He must have been in a rush.
There is a nasty hill on the way to Barnham Broom, we have encountered it before and have not been able to get up in one hit. Today was no change there. We stopped for a breather at the usual cut in at the side of the road. What we need is for a courting couple to be having a snog in their car meaning that we have to kick on and get past. No snoggers this time though. Its a technique that has worked on a hill for us in the past. We were really glad to go down that hill past Barnham Broom golf club and round that gorgeous banked bend to then go uphill to the village post office and the Bell PH beyond it. We stopped at the Bell (I know its only 7 miles home from there) and asked if they would fill our bidons with water for us. When the landlady realised that we had come from Gt Yarmouth she was suprised. She was happy to fill our bidons too. I asked politely and said that it was a bit cheeky but would she possibly mind filling our bidons with water as we had run out. Lovely lady, we shall have to pop in the Bell for a drink again sometime.
The last 7 miles was a bit of a slog and Kenn was seriously flagging but we kept right on going, even managed to get up our hill on Silfield Road without dropping below 10mph, Kenn overtook me at one point but I overtook him back and dashed up Park Lane.
Recovery ride tomorrow then and Tuesday off. I think my legs might be stiff by then and, if I suggest a ride on Tuesday, Kenn might leave home.
The ride :46.58
Ave speed : 12.9
Top Speed: 31.7
Total Climb: 607 feet
Total miles : 561.84