Club Run to The Conservatory at Aylsham 24 October 2018

Tour de Cromer – words by David C, our leader for the day.

On a breezy but reasonably mild Wednesday morning, ten Wheelers descended into the back lanes of East Beckham. The peloton slowed allowing the leader to search unsuccessfully for his long lost Poundland spectacles. Picking up a spare wheel at Gresham Church, the group made use of the strong Westerly to descend through the village and up and out again towards the Aylmerton Cross.

An encounter with a friendly bottled gas delivery driver slowed our progress, but we were soon up and on the move again through Aylmerton and the rear end of the Felbrigg estate. Negotiating the cattle grids we hit the Felbrigg main gate and enjoyed the long descent towards Cromer.

Taking a right at Amazonia Zoo onto the recently completed cycle path, the group climbed up towards Roughton Road, Cromer. “Bollards!” someone called out. And yes, they were a tight squeeze, calling for some beginner’s bike handling skills.

A brief sojourn of no more than twenty metres on the A148, followed by three mini roundabouts in quick succession, had us on Mill Road, Suffield Park with Cromer Hospital on our left and the newly opened Surgery on our right.

At this point the leader became a tad nostalgic for childhood haunts and led the group past Great Aunt Dot’s old house on Connaught Road followed by a slow meander through the mean streets to Suffield Park playing field, the scene of former sporting glories when us Cromer lads handed out a footballing lesson to the Suffield locals on numerous occasions circa 1968-9.

It was time to hit the open country once more. A right turn onto Northrepps Road had us at the foot of the rather unexpected (for some!) steep ascent of the Forest Park climb. After a brief pause at the summit to gather our thoughts, the group enjoyed the rather pleasing Nut Lane descent into Northrepps Village.

The Run continued – words by the Editor

After such an eloquent intro I shall keep it brief.

After Northrepps we followed Craft Lane on to the delightfully named Clipped Hedge Lane at Southrepps and then the back lanes to Gimingham. After Trunch we passed through Bradfield and were lucky not to be held up at the railway crossing. Then came Antingham, Felmingham, Skeyton Corner, the steady climb up to All Saints Church and eventually reached Burgh followed by Aylsham. En route we were treated to the nostalgic sound of the air whistle of a locomotive on the Bure Valley narrow gauge railway.

The Conservatory had not been forewarned of our arrival but despite it being a busy time and no seats available inside they were quite happy for us to dine al fresco. By now however the sun had disappeared completely and it was a bit on the cool side but this did nothing to dampen spirits and the banter flowed. “When are we receiving our Certificates?” Alban asked. We were puzzled. “Well all those hand signals through Cromer felt like we were doing our Cycling Proficiency!”

After lunch we headed off towards Blickling but then cut across to join the (old) Cromer Road and followed the course of The River Bure for a short distance to Ingworth. At this point Malcolm turned eastwards for Banningham and home leaving the group to make their way to Erpingham and follow familiar roads back to PC.

Thanks very much to David – the tour of his former stomping grounds in Cromer not to mention the look of surprise on some visitors’ faces as we wound our way through the grounds of the Felbrigg Estate provided an unusual and welcome start to the ride.

Alan, Alban, David, Ian W, Jane, John S, Kevin, Malcolm, Robin, Stephen

41 miles PC to PC