8 met at PC on a glorious Spring morning for Kevin’s ride to Rackheath. Joining us for a second time was Jane and also Paula both of whom are welcome additions to the Wednesday group and hopefully will become regulars.
The downside of the warm south westerly breeze was that it would be against us for at least some of the outward route but you can’t have it all! We passed through Gresham and Metton and having crossed the A140 to join Topshill Road made our way on the long straight stretch to Thorpe Market. On the way we paused for a tube change after a pinch puncture but the group were happy to stop and chat in the warm sunshine. After Lower Street and Bradfield the narrow twisting lanes took us to Swafield and shortly after, via the B1145 and Little London Road, to the North Walsham Road in the direction of Edingthorpe Green.
We then descended through Bacton Woods and eventually to Honing where we said goodbye to Jane and paused briefly to sort what we thought was a simple mechanical. Kevin’s “loose saddle” turned out to be a broken rail however. What to do but to carry on and hope that both rider and saddle lasted the distance!
The route now took in Dilham, Sloley, and Tunstead, turning right just after the village centre into Tunstead Road, over the railway line and eventually to St James and Coltishall. Already 27 miles since PC – we were building up a good appetite! At Horstead we took a left into Mill Road (where we passed Trevor cycling in the other direction) on to Granny Bard’s Lane and more back lanes before we reached the Wroxham Road and the short sprint to our lunch stop.
While Hill Top is great in cooler/wetter times it is perhaps not the best for alfresco style eating as both the noise and dust from the busy main road is a bit of a pain. Nonetheless we all welcomed our refuel before we set off on the return leg via Swash Lane, retracing our steps along Dobbs Lane and Primrose Lane, before heading towards Frettenham and Buxton where we said goodbye to Peter and Paula.
The 5 remaining Wheelers passed through Oxnead and up to Church Road where we left Robin and on to Tutttington where Malcolm peeled off down Beck Lane towards North Walsham leaving just 3 to make their way to Banningham and a familiar route back to PC and beyond.
Thank you to Kevin for leading today’s ride. Both Kevin and his saddle made it home; he recovered, unfortunately his saddle didn’t and is now confined to the great bike bits scrapyard in the sky (ie the garage) – well you never know there might be a use for it!!!
Alan, Andrew, Jane, Kevin, Malcolm, Paula, Peter and Robin enjoyed the sunshine.
Distances covered varied from 55 miles PC to PC to up to about 65 miles for some.
PS The group wish John S a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him again soon.