We headed back to Norwich on Friday evening, so see friends, family and for me to get a nice ride in. Also to check if I was really homesick or just missing my Greyhound. It seems it was that I was missing the dog, that our new landlords said was too big, hence him going to a fantastic new home. It is a fantastic new home too, he has a Pomeranian for a little brother and is living the life of Riley.
We got to Norwich at about 11.15 in the evening, sat at our friends for an hour before heading off to sleep. Or stay awake most of the night, as it turned out. Friend lives in a 2nd floor flat and it was roasting. I couldn’t open the bedroom window as I couldn’t find the catch/handly, so just had to deal with it. I got just under 2 hours sleep in all, I know this because my fitbit tells me so.
In the morning, I took Toffee for a walk, leaving Kenn and Millie asleep in bed. I got a coffee on the way back from a cafe that was just opening up for the morning. Once back, I asked our host if he would like a hand with some housework chores and than, at around 10am, I changed for a bike ride.
Due to the lack of space in the car, as returning a sackbarrow to our friend, plus taking dogs with us, I took Eric the CX bike, as he’s shorter an easier to fit in a small space. It gave me more options to ride anyway. I decided to ride up to Whitwell and see how I felt there. 14 miles to Whitwell and my legs felt empty by Costessey but I kept on and figured that they’d be fine. I’d had breakfast, a bap thing from Greggs that Kenn had been and bought in the morning. Actually, by Attlebridge, I was fine and enjoying the ride.
At Whitwell, I popped in to the cafe area and filled my bidon back up. It was very warm out there and, then there was this pop-whoosh sound and I had a flat tyre on the rear. Joyous. I quickly changed the innertube out, fixed the hole with a patch and was back on my way. I often have a cuppa here but not today as I decided to ride the Themelthorpe Loop and then carry on to Aylsham that way. As I started on the Loop, I saw some badger sets and stopped to take a pic. Sets on the right, in case you’d not noticed them. Naturally I forgot a camera and only had a phone on me, but it takes reasonable pics.
I did a nice ride around the loop, fastest ever, but then it was dry and I wasn’t up to my hubs in mud. Boiling hot day and a dry spell in Norwich for the few days preceeding did wonders for the trail.
I saw some horses, enjoying the sun and took a quick snap of them. Marvelling at how far I can see with no hills. I’d forgotten.
Approaching Aylsham, I realised that if I kicked on, I’d break 2 hours for the Marriotts Way, for the first time, even though I was starting from Mark’s house and not Halfords as per. I was spurred on by that and was a good 2 minutes under my target. I went to the Bure Valley Railway cafe and had tea and a flapjack. I topped up my bidon here too. Lady put ice in it and everything. Highly recommended place to stop for a cuppa if you are about.
I only ate half that flapjack, it was massive. I folded a napkin around the rest of it to eat later. Actually I then forgot and took it back and Kenn ate it while I was walking Toffee. Digressing again, but that’s me all over.
Where was I? Bure Valley Railway. I decided to follow the path to Wroxham and have a rethink there. Possibly an ice-cream, depending on queues.
The Bure trail was lovely as normal. I saw trains – notice Eric leaned up against the fence while the train passes.
I watched the Rainbow Trout in the Bure for a while, while chatting to a walker.
My shadow is the one on the right, in case you are interested. View from a bridge, and all that. This bridge was up all last summer and it’s been made all lovely again for this year. I bet this bridge being out annoyed the tourists last year, not to mention the impact on the train ride business. You can see the trout in the river but you might have to zoom in a bit. Like I said, no camera, just my phone.
At Wroxham I overtook a couple of cyclists on their roadies, they looked like new cyclists with brand, spanking new bikes, who were complaining about the hill out of Wroxham. I’d not noticed it. I’ve ridden it so much over the years plus living in Cornwall gives a different perspective on hills. I turned for Salhouse, down and up and down again then turned at, what used to be, The Salhouse Lodge and headed up the short hill, past the farm that used to belong to Ron Fielder and to the pond where I stopped for a swig of water.
I used to ride my ponies past here all the time, when I was a kid. From the pond it’s down a small hill to the main road where I decided to turn right and start heading back towards Norwich. I did pop into Salhouse Nursuries and begged a top up of my water bottle, the lady there was happy to oblige even though I wasn’t stopping for a cuppa or anything. It does look a good place for a stop and some tea and cake though. Another time maybe.
From there it was a case of heading to Little Plumstead, getting on the cycle tracks and through to Thorpe End. It was here I realised that heading back was going to give me a 48 mile ride. I don’t think so!! I headed through Thorpe St Andrew, past the house I grew up in, doglegged through Cottage Drive and then right on to Thunder Lane (eventually, I turned right, it always was a busy road but now it’s bonkers). Along Plumstead Road East and then doglegging through the Heartsease Estate to the cyclepath through Mousehold ot Zacs Burger place then Gurney Road cyclepath to Sprowston Road.
Still going to be a good mile or so light, so I headed to the right and followed the roads to Mile Cross, up the slight rise there, over the Aylsham Road and then on to the city dump (yes really) but there is a left hander there to put me back on the Marriotts about a mile and a half from our friend’s flat. A quick spin along there had me back at the flat with a 50.2 miles on the Garmin.
I drank a lot of water once back. Then wandered into the City for some new cycling mitts as my old ones were just knackered and my hands hurt. I gave Toffee a good old walk too. 37,000 steps and revolutions counted on my fitbit, so pleased with that.
I was going to ride yesterday but by the time I’d walked, seen friends and sorted out, it was time to head home, so I didn’t ride. Still got my 10,000 steps in though.
Took a nice pic or two (with phone again) of Stonehenge on the way home. It’s on the left in the second picture. We missed the M4 junciton so got on the M3 and the A303 instead. Took about the same amount of time.
Glad to be home again.