As 9 Wheelers were about to depart from the Banningham pick up point there was a rather loud pop as Harvey’s rear tyre instantly deflated to absolutely zero. This was not a regular flat and would need some close attention so Harvey waved us through and wished us well on today’s run to Waxham.
Malcolm was happy to step up and off we went via Tuttington, Oxnead, Badersfield, Scottow and Tunstead to the still mud free (well mostly) back lanes to Smallburgh. A brief foray on the A149 as a necessary connection for the road to Dilham and then Honing. The conditions were bright and quite warm – could it be that we would be lucky and miss the forecast showers?
After East Ruston we crossed the B1159 to continue on to Brumstead. As we approached the Star Inn at Lessingham it may have suited one or two in the bunch to stop here for lunch particularly as we were running slightly late after a puncture a few miles earlier. However the leader for the day pressed on knowing that once we joined the Palling Road there would be enough tailwind to make up at least a few of the lost minutes.
We arrived at Waxham before the bride and groom – there was a wedding reception in the Great Barn – but as none of us had brought a tie there was little chance we could mingle and sneak a glass of champagne! So we settled down to a pleasant lunch instead.
The skies were certainly darkening but what to do except set off on the coast road to Sea Palling where it was suggested we take the aptly named Beach Road (those that were there will know what I mean) into Heath Road, through Hempstead and full circle back to Lessingham. Only light rain so far! Whimpwell Green, Happisburgh and Ridlington came and went and even Witton Bridge and Edingthorpe Street were quite dry but Knapton was another story as the heavens opened and we sought refuge first under trees and then in the bus shelter.
After a few minutes Trevor decided he would head off and take his chances and soon after the remainder pedalled to Trunch where there was a parting of the ways but all getting a soaking on their various paths home. After Bradfield just three riders were left to follow the traditional route via Hanworth back to PC. However Geoff and Barry later reported that our latest Wheeler recruit was there one moment and gone the next so hopefully he found his way home without too much difficulty.
By the by Harvey expertly rescued his split tyre by judicious placing of plastic wrapper and was able to nurse his bike home but sadly missed out on the weekend run.
Alban, Barry, David C, Geoff, Harvey, Ian, Malcolm, Robin and Trevor
60 miles PC to PC