Yes, I am a tardy blogger! Its been a funny month. Not a lot of work, feeling a bit depressed and my knee has been aching. I have been riding and have even done an event but the thought of blogging just sent me into a spiral of misery. I get like that sometimes. I have a lot on my plate at the moment. Nothing that I am going to bore anyone reading this with though so panic not.
Little 5 mile leg turner. I can’t even remember where I went but it was local, probably half the wattlefield loop and then home as it was bloomin’ hot and I was not feeling the love.
Had the lights on today. I wasn’t going to ride as I wasn’t convinced that the bike was right still and needed more tweaking & fettling. I then decided just to go. It was a warm night but a light drizzle. I had just my work shorts on and a tee-shirt so slung my Nightvision jacket on too. Switched the lights on and just went. I meant to ride 5 miles or so but ended up heading for Wreningham and turning right in the middle of the village rather than the usual left. The road brought me out on the Silfield Road but at the beginning of Ashwellthorpe. Nice ride home. The bike isn’t right and the gears are jumpy but I’ll sort that in the morning. Felt really miserable when I went out but much better once on the ride and then home. Damp but happier, 8.10 miles
Quick little 4.75 miler to turn my legs & give the new bits a shakedown. I had put new handlebars on the Defy, 2cm narrower than the originals and I am hoping that my wrist pain will ease a bit on long rides. My right wrist especially aches after 35 miles or so, I had put this down to breaking the stupid thing 3 years ago. We have also switched out the Sora derailleur and the shifters. It was horrible. The shifters were too far down the bars and the bars seemed turned to an odd angle. I will get the bar tape off ASAP as it was just horrendous.
As the 17th but added Park Lane on to bump the mileage up a little to 8.86 miles. I had to stop to fettle my right shifter as it was sticking out just a smidge and was seriously annoying me. My legs were knackered and I couldn’t wait to get home. We were planning 16 miles or so but that was never going to happen tonight.
The Fakenham 50
We had prebooked this event and were looking forward to it. The big lap was 55km, the small one 22km so we planned to do one of each, making a nice 77km for the day. The first couple of miles were uphill which was hard work straight out of the gate but we were rewarded with an amazing couple of km downhill into Walsinham before turning right and off to Holkham Hall which we rode though the grounds of and it was wonderfully free of bikes, traffic and people. Out the other side of the park and off to the food stop where we had flapjacks and topped up the water bottles.
It was a bit hilly on the way back to Walsingham and I am not ashamed to say that I prayed all the way up one as I didn’t think that I was going to get up it. Saying “shut up legs” repeatedly didn’t seem to be doing the deed for me. Once back in Walsingham we got a nice 5 minutes rest as we sat, along with a whole bunch of others while we waited for a load of pilgrims to go by. We chatted with a young Priest/Vicar (we were not sure which) for a bit before we set off again. As we were picking our way around some straggler pilgrims we saw a whole MPV load of young Priests all getting out and heading off towards the campsite, pushing and shoving their way. It was like something out of a Dave Allen sketch.
It was mostly flat or downhill from there apart from one short hill that we could see the top of and another short, sharp hill that went round a 90 degree bend. I fluffed my gears right up and ended up getting off and walking around the actual corner as it was a touch steep for old farts. After that we crossed a couple of rather interesting busy roads and then through a park on a shared path, we slowed right down to about 6mph for that as there were kids, toddlers, dogs and all sorts on that path. I was very temped to go and jump in the water though as it was quite warm.
As we got back to the start, Kenn decided that he was off for a burger and I decided to do the small lap. Kenn gave me the pump and his banana and off I went. Did I mention that the first bit was uphill, only about 3 or 4 % but I was tired and was seriously considering turning back and having a burger – or at least a veggie burger. I kept on to the first roundabout and then pushed on – muttering a bit – to the next one and then didn’t pedal another stroke all the way down the hill (at 19mph) to Walsingham and to the food stop. More flapjack and more banana, nom nom nom. I met up with another bunch of riders who said that they were averaging 18kph and I asked if I could ride home with them. They said that I could so off we went.
We had ridden for about a minute when we were stopped for a full 10 minutes by flipping pilgrims again. I got told off by a clergyman for not being in Church. I said that I would go later. Honestly, who does he think he is, telling me where I should be. Anyway it was gone 1pm and my church would have kicked us all out an hour hence. I would have been on my bike by then for sure.
Those 2 hills were not so bad this time around. I sorted my gears out early for both of them and then an easy bimble back in. I could have ridden faster on my own but it was nice to have company for a change. Not that Kenn isn’t company, different company. 49.12 miles in 4:01:51, darn those 2 minutes. Such is life, never mind. They had run out of burgers, hot dogs and soup but had plenty of coffee left when I got back. They had also run out of medals as they were seriously oversubscribed, which is really good for them. I added my name to the list and the organisers are going to have a few more made for the bunch of us who missed out on medals, which is nice. I will certainly do this event again, it was brilliant although the signage could have been a bit clearer, bigger arrows would have made life a tad easier. Best of all, we got 3rd prize in the raffle that we didn’t know that we had entered. All online entrants were entered in to a raffle it seems and we won a £10 meat voucher. I see sausages in our future. Just call me mystic meg.
5.03 bimble around the loop locally to turn my rather tired legs and Kenn’s not so tired but full of bloomin’ burgers legs. That last bit up Silfield Road hill hurt but I got home and flumped in front of the telly vowing to never get on a bike again.
OK so I did get back on the bike again. Wattlefield loop, anti-clockwise so down to start and then a steady uphill most of the way home and then the last couple of hundred yards downhill. Its nearly as fast this way round as the other way round so I must be reasonably fit. PB tonight so doubly chuffed with myself 32:32 for 8.07 miles meaning an average of 14.88mph. I needed to get a wiggle on as I got half way around and realised that I had taken my lights off and had not put them back on so I needed to get going. Not the best way for a PB but I’ll take ’em where I can get ’em.
Followed the ‘Bike It’ route 1 from Wymondham to Barnham Broom, Hingham and back via Deopham. Nice ride and it was all going very well. We stopped to chat to a couple from the local Tri club while we slurped a Calipo at Barnham Broom Post Office. A couple in a new Jag stopped right next to us and the woman passenger just opened her door on Kenn very nearly clipping his bike. I dread to think how he would have reacted if his beloved Boardman had been damaged, stuff their bloomin’ Jag, they should have looked out of the window before opening the door. We have no idea how they didn’t see us when pulling up. I was in bright orange and Kenn was in his cat-sick greeny yellow disgusting coloured top thing that he so loves. They looked like ‘new money’ anyway. All fur coat and no knickers.
From there we rode off to Hingham where, on rounding a bend, I came face to face with some idiot in a bronze coloured small car going TFF. I rode up the verge and had to push myself off the car with my right hand to avoid going under it. He roared off at the same speed, I did worry for Kenn’s life but he caught me up muttering something about a close pass with some pillock in a browny coloured car. Only one had passed so it must have been the TFF chap. I rode the rest of the way home using my left hand only, which made gear changing and braking interesting to say the least. I poured cold water over my mitt periodically. It was a lovely colour when I got home, the hand I mean, lovely bruising. A pack of peas sorted it out overnight though. 25.94 in 2:02:51 We would have been round in the 2 hours had I not had to ride one handed. Down hill is quite scary one handed.
Hand and wrist were fine, a pretty colour but fine. 12.12 miles on the Wreningham, Ashwellthorpe route. We stopped briefly to pick a couple of Damsons off a loaded up Damson tree. We then scooted home as fast as we could so that we could pick the damsons later. We got nearly 2kg which got turned into chutney rather quickly.
10.62 miles and the first 25 minutes were just hell as my legs were tired, cold and stiff. Not enough cycling and too much youtube. My own fault. Once I got warmed up my legs decided that they liked cycling and the next 25 minutes were joyous – kinda. I rode a new route, round to Wattlefield then back to the Silfield Road via Broom Lane and then on to Ashwellthorpe – past the damson tree and then turned at the Wreningham turning and then back on the “wreningham loop” roads only backwards. I thought that there was too much farm traffic to do the last 1/4 mile on the Silfield Road so nipped up Verdons Lane where I nearly ran over a loose dog. I yelled “STOP” at him and he stopped dead and sat down. Must try that with my own hounds sometime. Out for 50:37 in the end so not too shoddy at an average of 12.59mph.
Another slightly different route tonight taking us straight over at the Wreningham junction at the middle of the village. We have never been straight before. It took us down to the B1113 where we went left, up the hill (boo hiss) and then we turned up Wymondham Road, which is a bit fast and busy for my liking so we turned up Potash Lane through the cycle path and home via St Thomas Road as if on the usual Wreningham Cyclepath loop. A nice little ride of 11.53 in 54:19 which is not bad for having Kenn along. He is not riding enough and is losing fitness and putting on weight which is not good. He won’t be eligible for transplant if he is over a BMI of 27. He needs to get out.
12/9The getting lost route. Hmm. A slightly interesting ride this evening. I rode off on my usual 11mile and a wee bit route but after the cycle path at Hethel decided to go right for a change and thought that I would come back via Ashwellthorpe. Off I went, pedal pedal and then came to a main road. Aha! thought I, its the Wymondham Road and I don’t like riding on that so I’ll go straight over. Soon I started to see signs for villages that I don’t really know but I had heard of Hapton so I followed those ones. It seemed like a plan. I rode through Flordon, I used to exercise a client’s horse out here way back when so I knew that I was near Wymondham – ish. I carried on and through Hapton. On a bit more, pedal pedal swig drink pedal. By now I was expecting to see something pointing me to Wreningham or Ashwellthorpe but nada. I skirted Forncett Saint Mary and started seeing signs for Aslacton and thought ‘that can’t be right, I had better stop and look at the map.
The map was a good plan. It appears that I hadn’t crossed the Wymondham Road after Hethel, I had bypassed that entirely and had crossed the B1113 and into unknown territory. I was a bit worried as I had no passport and wasn’t sure of the currency that side of the ‘big road’ so I zoomed out a bit on my phone MMR map and could see that I was a bit away from where I needed to be, and indeed, thought I was.
I hooked a right and pedaled on to yet another unfamiliar junction and had another look at MMR. A chap in an estate car pulled up and asked if I was lost. I said that I knew where I was, thank you very much and that I was just deciding if I had time to go the pretty route home. I didn’t know who he was but he was not from our side of the big road so wasn’t going to take any chances. They are a funny lot over there.
I hooked another right and found myself at the junction of the B1113 and turning right again, I rode down it through Fundenhall, past the Kings Head and then on to the Ashwellthorpe turning.
Phew! Back on the right side of the big road (actually its the left but you know what I mean). Pedal pedal, swig, pedal and onwards through Ashwellthorpe, past the Wattlefield turning, over the A11 bridge and a quick whiz down a tiny bit of the long hill (boo hiss, cos I had been up a lot of hills – Norfolk hills anyway) and then turned into ours.
I was very glad to be home. I have been ‘over the road’ and I live to tell the tale. It was getting dark too, the ‘over theres’ might be even stranger in the dark
18.84 miles, ave 14.1, time 1:21:11
The rides : 231.11
Ave speed : 12 ish
Top Speed: 32.5
Total Climb: —
Total miles : 1070.81