Coast to home (again)

Kenn & bikes at Norwich Station

Kenn & bikes at Norwich Station

This Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday is our long awaited long weekend off. One of our walking customers is off on her hols, with dog. Others are teachers so home and once we knew that Barney-dog was off on his holibobs we blocked out these four days so we could get a bit of cycling in downtime for resting. More like hoovering, using the carpet washer in the carpet, drilling holes for the bike hangers, sorting out the chimney bits and reblacking the woodburner ready to sell. But before all that, a nice ride and ice lolly we thought.

Friday was a lazy morning and we got on the 12.14 train from Wymondham – which didn’t arrive until 12.27. Happily its only an 11 minute ride to the city, which is just as well as the 12.44 train to Cromer was the one we were after. Hooray, it was late and didn’t arrive until 12.44 so we had a few minutes hanging around time, hence the photo of my nice Giant, the Boardman and some chappie in a cat-sick-green top. For the purposes, we will call him Kenn.

Lots of bikes got on the train. There were 5 others, apart from ours. We managed to get our bikes on the rack quickly as we were one of the first in. There was a Canadian chap and his son with a pair of Mountain Bikes and a pair of tourers and a Viking Road Bike with the butterfly gears that I can’t get on with. Very shiney too, it looked like the lad’s pride and joy. We chatted with a lovely lady while travelling to Cromer. She has lived there 8 years but her work is taking her back to London. She says its a shame and that she doesn’t really want to go. It makes me glad that I work for myself, being dragged from Norfolk, especially the coast, seems dreadful to me.

At the station we got off, grabbed a soft drink from the Morrisons that is right next to the station and rode off. For about 300 yards and then we had to get off and walk as the Cromer streets were lined with grockles, wandering hither and thither back and forth across the road. The queue for the ice-cream shop was right across the middle of the street. So pushing our steeds through the town, we then saw the cycle coastal route sign and jumped back on our bikes and followed it.

Coast ride1 003

Ken at the min of defense station

Ken at the min of defense station

We knew that the first 6 miles or so were hilly so we just got on with the job of getting up the hills and whizzing down the other side. I asked Kenn what the Boardman was like on the hills, was it better than the Carerra but he didn’t seem to notice a difference, which suprised me as that Carbon Boardman is way way lighter than the Carerra. Passed a Min of Defense station and stopped to take a pic. One of both of us, one of Kenn only. Taking pics with a camera at arms length is always a bit hit and miss.

A while after that, we got to Trimingham and stopped for a coffee at the cafe that was signposted. The half a cake – we shared a chocolate bun – was nice but the coffee was vile. It was hot and had caffeine in so we drank it and left. The cafe was at a holiday park, just a little one that looked rather nice, not a huge faceless thing for a change.

As we rode along and got to the bottom of a hill, Kenn’s phone rang and he saw it was the hospital so he answered it. It was the dietician chatting about his potassium levels. She asked if it was convenient to speak and Kenn said that it wasn’t as he was on a long bike ride. She ignored this and chatted on and on and on and on. I could hear her on the phone and she told Kenn the same thing at least 3 times, as if speaking to a child. Kenn said again that he was on a ride and needed to be at a train station at a particular time and he really couldn’t talk but she just carried on blithely. I said to Kenn, while he was on the phone “train to catch here buddy” but woman just wouldn’t shut up and was wittering on for over 10 minutes before Kenn managed to get rid of her. The info she was giving was the same as the leaflet he was given on Thursday and will be the same info that she will sit down and give him while he is trapped on dialysis in a room with her.

Finally we managed to move on. Kenn had managed to go to a shop, buy jelly babies and get back to the bike without woman drawing breath. He refrained from yelling ‘shut up’ at her several times. He attacked the next hill with renewed vigour. I think he was pee’d off that his ride had been interrupted but someone who asked if he could talk and then ignored the ‘no’ bit. Narked Kenn is a wonder up hills 🙂

Kenn fixing the bike

Kenn fixing the bike

After leaving Mundesley we carried on to Bacton, past the gas terminals and the signs lying about providing cheap and reliable fuel for the people of the Eastern Counties. Cheap! Not in my world is gas cheap. Towards Walcott where we went over the road from hell. Potholes, ruts, more potholes and a generally rough surface. Kenn stopped to fettle his bike – or more commonly known as, put his handlebars on properly. The bolts on the Boardman had not been done up terribly tight, he could move them with his fingers! I don’t think that Halfords did a great job building this bike. I have had my Giant nearly 2 years and I have never had cause to tighten the handlebar bolts (although I do check them) let alone go back along the road to retrieve anything that’s dropped off. Also, we are not terribly sure about the angle that the hoods are at, they look a bit high to me. A lot high actually, especially in comparison with the Defy.

The stops and starts were taking a toll on our legs. I don’t like all these stops and starts within the first 20 miles. Stopping to take a quick snap with the camera is one thing. 10 minutes here and there when its not been planned for is another. We like to ride an hour, have a breather, ride and hour and so on and so forth. Unless there really is something amazing to stop and look at. Finally leaving Walcott and pointing out the Poachers Pocket PH where they do great food – or did when I lived locally anyway – to Kenn for another time, we headed along to Happisburgh where we had planned to stop, take a pic of the lighthouse and find an ice lolly.

Coast ride1 008We found the Mace version of the Callipo lolly. We bought 2 each, one to munch on and one to pop into our bidons to make the water cold and orangey. At 50p each they are fabulous value and really tasty. We chatted to the cafe owner for a while. She told us how the tea shop along the road a bit had been bulldozed in April to stop it falling in to the sea. I thought that it had probably gone by now. I had loved that tea shop when I was younger. They did the best cheese and chutney rolls in the world, their cake plate was great too. Not hugely expensive either. From there we rode around the corner to Lighthouse Lane, took a pic and then carried on.

When I was a child, we used to have a static caravan on a site about 2 miles from the lighthouse. I used to watch the beam lighting up the sea from the beach that was about 100 yards from our van. Great site, its still there. A private site not like a holiday park. No amusement arcades, bars or anything. There is a shower block and a loo block but I should think that it gathers dust nowadays as most statics have a loo and a shower. Probably a washing machine too come to that.

We decided to abandon plan A, which was to ride to Gt Yarmouth and either then head for Acle for a train or to get a train from Gt Yarmouth. We decided to head inland to Norwich and get a train from there because there was no way that we were going to make a reasonably timed Acle train today. We rode to Lessingham, Ingham and into Stalham where I popped into the huge Tesco that’s appeared there recently for water and jelly babies. We topped off our bidons and then rode along the main road and into Wroxham some 5 miles along. That A road is a bit mad at the best of times but from Wroxham to Norwich its particularly lethal so we turned left towards Salhouse and up and down the 2 hills that we used to call ‘Delicate Hills’ when we had horses in the area. Into Salhouse and straight back out again without seeing the actual village centre. We took Honeycomb Lane, which is exactly a mile long and had a breather at the Brick kilns PH. I see they have sprouted stables now, very nice ones. There always were horses there.

We then turned right and rode along the Plumstead Road, cut through a little of Thorpe St Andrew to get off the main road and then down Thunder Lane and along the riverside to Thorpe Station.

As predicted, that bloomin’ nutritionist and her wittering cost us a train. By a minute. We could see it but we couldn’t get to it, just as we reached it, it pulled out of the station. We sat in the waiting room for 30 minutes while we waited for the 18:40 to Cambridge. It was a 40 minute wait but a family all came in and took every single seat in the waiting room. 2 of the kids were hovvering about by us just waiting – and probably expecting – us to vacate the seats for them. The father actually said “will you be sitting there long?”. We said that we would be as we were waiting for a train just like they were. After 30 minutes we couldn’t stand the racket any longer and went and sat on the platform. The Cambridge train arrived and we headed up to where we could see the bicycle sign and loaded the bikes on and sat down in the quiet. Imagine our horror when that bloomin’ family got in the same carriage that we were. There were 8 carriages and they got in ours. Thank goodness that we were the first stop and we only had to endure 11 minutes of they yelling, screeching, slapping one another and running up and down the carriage. Not to mention poking their sticky sweet lolly pops in and on everything, getting caught in one ladies hair. I think those kids suffer from C.P.D. or Crap Parenting Disorder. The parents didn’t say or do anything, even when the conductor had a word. Had we been due to get off at the 2nd or 3rd stop, we would have still got off at the first. Nightmare journey. A mighty relief to get to the station.

From the station a little .9 mile pootle home and in for a lovely cup of tea and a sit down on a comfy sofa. A little 10 miler planned for tomorrow.

The ride    :40.22

Ave speed      : 12.8

Top Speed:   29.9

Total Climb: 488.85

Total miles    : 721.1

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About RosieRosie

RosieRosie is a woman of a 'certain age' - whatever the hell that is supposed to mean, known. I feel about 26. I have no idea what I look like as some older woman keeps getting in the way when I look in the mirror. Separated from husband but dating a nice chap at the moment. I have a proper wanderlust and have finally moved - using the housing exchange system from - where I started in Inverness, down to Cornwall and back up to the Flatlands and Big Sky Country. It's taken since September 2011, when I left Inverness until May 2017 to get to somewhere that I really like. That's not too shoddy with a swap here and a swap there, saving up again for each move. Not ruling out going home to Norfolk if necessary. Time will tell. For now my mates are just a 90 minute or so, drive down the road. I love my bikes, I love my dog and I love guitars. They all keep my busy.
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