I got Kenn out for a ride today and was mightily impressed. Having agreed last night to go for a ride, if it wasn’t slatting it down, he actually changed and got on his bike. We discussed where to ride while we were out walking the dogs this morning, I suggested that I showed him the route I take to the hospital (some 2.4 miles away) which gives me an 8 mile ride. He said fine, so off we went.
Our first small challenge was that Kenn suddenly discovered that his Boardman has no front wheel as I pinched it when my front wheel on the PX got a puncture – which I have still not got around to fixing, oops. Wheels swapped and away we went. Happily, yesterday evening, Kenn flipped the stem on my Defy so it’s bearable to ride again, however I really need to re-tape the bars as a cable has drifted somewhat (and somehow) and is in a most uncomfortable place. I need to fettle the brifter position anyway.
We left West Earlham and headed off to Bluebell Road, my GPS decided to beep incessantly at me. Earlier I had created the route online on my Garmin page, uploaded it to the GPS but where we started from wasn’t the exact spot that the route starts from. I did my best to be vaguely accurate but don’t want all and sundry knowing where I live, ta very much. The GPS wouldn’t bip at me when I needed to turn on the route, but bipped every minute or so to turn me back to start again. It’s really irritating that.
Kenn knows the first, flat bit and was, I think, underwhelmed by the first wee hill but there were no complaints so on we went. When turning on to the cycle-path at Eaton that takes us up past Eaton Golf Course and through to the A140 I did warn him about the wet leaves, the light mud and the hill. I told him that just when you think that the hill is going to level out, it doesn’t and keeps right on going up. Granny gear then. Interestingly, for only his second ride since summer, that hill didn’t seem to phase him at all.
From there we turned right along the A140 (Ipswich Road) then right again on the B1113 towards Mulbarton but turned well before there to Keswick, past the hall and the mill and onwards, up more hilly bits to the A11 where we were very naughty and cycled on the deserted footpath alongside the duel carriageway to the bike and pedestrian crossing. There is no way that I’m cycling on the road, I like living. I think that I’ll check out the little left hander and ride on Cantley Lane next time as that is definitely a cycle path.
The pavement we rode on is marked as a cycleway on Googlemaps though. I was once pushed off my bike and into the road by some random nutter who thought that bikes should be on the roads not the paths, which is fair enough but it was a duel use cycle way/pedestrian way and I was nearly hit by a bus. I don’t fancy a repeat of that at a duel carriageway.
From there we rode along Round House Way to the hospital but decided not to pop in to the dialysis unit and carried on up Colney Lane to where the Sportspark playing fields are and took the cycle and pedestrian path across the green areas, over the river and to the UEA. It’s been well over 20 years since I had any good reason to be wandering about at the university and had forgotten that Chancellor Avenue is a whole lot more uppy than I thought it was. We slogged up the hill – so much for not wanting to grind up Earlham Road hill (or UEA hill as it’s known), we climbed this one instead – then along University drive, back to Bluebell Road.
Sure, it was shorter to go to the left and come out at the top of UEA hill but I needed the extra half a mile to make the ride the right length. Back from the UEA was pretty much the way that we had come out but we did ride on the cycle-paths a bit, until it got too leafy and slippery. Much safer on the road, despite the hoardes of learner drivers.
The GPS did save the route, despite beeping all the way around and we had a good time. It did take forever to get around the 10.5 miles. 58 minutes in fact. I cannot remember the last time I had such a slow ride but I’ll bet it was when riding a mountain bike. Will try harder tomorrow. To be fair, we did go very steadily along Bluebell Road cyclepath as it was busy, steadily too along the cyclepath past Eaton Golf Course as there were lots of kids on their bikes, people with their dogs, other kids scrapping over a scooter and golfists crossing it to get to the next bit of golf course.
1347.04 mi at 13.43 mi/h so far this year. Only 153 to go to target. Yay.