The BBC weather said that it wasn’t going to rain until 1800 so we thought we’d go for a ride. Once back in with the hounds, we changed and then watched it tip it down with rain from the safety of our living room. Then it stopped so we gave it another 5 mins and then Hubster & I headed off to our friend @StickBouncer place. When we got there, some 3.4 miles from home, we yelled up at his window “Oy, you coming out to play or what”. He was down in 2 minutes with his Giant Defy 2 and I suggested a wee 10 miler. Choking sounds came from somewhere in the vicinity of the boys but I ignore it and suggested cyclepaths to Whittlingham Lane and back via the back roads.
This seemed like a plan so we crossed the road (took an age), and then the next road (took another age) and then a nice steady 7mph along the cyclepath so as not to flatten lots of dog walkers, kids on scooters, elderly folks taking the air etc. Or toppling off to the left and in the river. That seemed an essential thing to avoid doing. We had to climb some steps a couple of times and then tottered across another road before getting back on to the cycle path (more 7mph) and then on to Carrow Road, up the hill (more 7mph), down the other side and then waiting at the Colmans Mustard gates until we were all back together. It seems that @StickBouncer was fibbing about his fitness as he left us for dead up Carrow Road.
Once up and over the bridge (I overtook SB in some style ) we headed off down Whittlingham Lane, stopping at the visitors centre for a bidon fill of water as we only had one bidon full between us. We carried on along the lane, moving over for a lot of cars. It was like Picadilly Circus down there today, and then over the lumpy bumpy dirt track bit and took a left to where the big sign says “no through route to Kirby Bedon”. We were on bikes so it didn’t apply to us, especially as the other sign there said NCN this way. More bloody climbing and waiting at the top for Hubster. Then we piled down the other side, only to encounter a full width, rubberised sleeping policeman. I yawed on my brakes but got a bit of airtime as I went over it and managed to stay on board. I could see the next one so slowed right down and crept over the horrible slippy thing. Hubster got airtime and scared himself silly over that first one too.
This brought us out on the Kirby Road and we put Hubster in the lead as he was the slowest of us so we followed him. Sadly, he’s not a local and totally failed to see the right hander to the bike path back to Trowse and kept on going. This brought us out, hilariously, on the 3 lane A146. SB led, I hung on to his back wheel and we piled down the road, in the middle (correct) lane to the A47 junction, under the bridge and then across to the left hand lane and relative safety. Then all we needed to do was to turn right at the lights and take a breather in the gateway of Thrifty Car Rental while we waited for Hubster who had missed the traffic light change. From there it was uphill again (7mph) and the task of getting into the right hand lane to turn back towards Carrow Road.
We didn’t quite retrace our steps but went along King Street and over Novisad Bridge, with it’s excellent cycle path right along the middle of the bridge. We slowed for the man struggling with his kayak – he was carrying it, not drunk on the bridge) and back via the riverside cyclepaths back to SBs and a nice cuppa.
Once our legs had got all cold we got back on our bike and rode home. I rode the extra bit of block to finish at 4 miles exactly home and to turn my gps off away from home. All in all today we rode 18.61 miles in 1:50 so averaged 10mph. The cyclepaths at 7mph didn’t help with the average, nor did the walking to cross roads but it was a good ride. Nice to ride with someone other than Hubster too.
I am now 1.61 miles off my target for the year. I have 4 days to do it in so am quietly confident. It will get ridden, come hell or high water.