My beloved Planet X CX bike – Eric to his friends – has been doing sterling work all winter. I’ve ridden 360 miles on him since having him and all but 2 rides this year have been done on him. I just adore that bike. I bought him a new bottle cage in a rather fetching cat sick day-glo green, to match his handlebars and he seems to like it. I have ridden 313 miles this year on Eric.
I have had 2 rides on my Pro Carbon this year too. I got out last week for a nice wee 16 miler from our new home out along the Hethersett Road, turned off to Ketteringham and headed to East Carleton and came home via Intwood, Cringleford then up past the hospital and across the UEA campus to home again. Great fun and I had forgotten how responsive the roadie is. I also realised how I need new handlebars, 40cm ones as the 42s make me feel like Andre Greipel as they seem so wide.
Today, I got a nice 32.7 mile ride in on the Pro Carbon – I really will have to think of a name for him. I’ve had him since May last year and the poor bike still has no name. Someone outside Halfords today (I bobbed in for a new innertube, just in case like) asked me waht sort of bike he was. I said that he was a road bike. Person looked confused and said “What MAKE is it” with big emphasis on the word ‘make’. I told them he was a Planet X, hence it saying it in huge letters on the downtube, the forks and the seatstay, not to mention the seatpost, stem and handlebars, but the chap hadn’t noticed the writing. Twazzock!
Today, I rode with my pal Mark and we made an assult on Gurney Road for the first time in my life, which is a bit bad being a local and all. I used to ride up Ketts Hill when I was younger but couldn’t face it today so I rode a wee way up Gurney and then cut across to Plumstead Road, via Brittania Road, past the Barracks on one side and St James’ Hill on the other. Lots of picnickers out today. We followed the Plumstead Road out for a few miles then turned left towards Salhouse and then right through Salhouse and out to Woodbastwick, past the brewary.
From there we took a quick detour (see dead end bit on map) along to Cockshoot Broad, because it’s pretty and Mark had never been there. Then back again and round the Ranworth, where we sat in the sun drinking coffee, outside the pub by the Broad. South Walsham was the next point of interest, followed by an amazing cyclepath between Little & Great Plumstead and then back to Mark’s via Thorpe End, Heartsease and a quick whip across Mousehold on the cycle path. Going down Gurney Road is easier than going up, but due to losing some 25lbs in total this year, riding up hill is a lot easier nowadays. Another 20lbs should see me down to ‘racing weight’ but I’d be happy with another stone lost really.
I left Mark at his, as he was shattered but I had another 3 miles or so to ride. I followed the cycle paths and Marriotts Way home but did the last bit via New Costessey and up the Oval Road rather than face Marlpit Lane with 30+ miles in my legs, this early in April.
This year, I am fitter on the bike than previous years. Eric has seen to that. I just love riding him and we’ve had a pretty mild winter here in Norfolk. The rest of the country has had snow but it missed us, except for a light dusting that was gone by lunch time a few weeks ago. Had I not seen the snow falling, I would have assumed that we’d had a hard frost.
I am planning – next week hopefully – to ride on the Marriotts to Aylsham, then along the Bure Valley to Wroxham again. This time with Mark. Kenn says that he will lend Mark his Whyte CX. I don’t think that Mark’s Defy would like the Marriotts very much. Not when it gets narrow and muddy anyway. Kenn has got himself up to about 14 miles but doesn’t really want to ride further than that at the mo. I think that if he gets back on his Boardman that he will change his mind. I’m holding out for a ride with him at the weekend, maybe even Thursday evening if the weather holds. That Ketteringham ride would be fabby again.