Club Runs to Walcott, Coltishall, Walsingham, Gressenhall, Waxham, Reepham.

A combination of unsettled weather and a range of commitments meant that numbers varied and tended to be a little lower than the post-lockdown surge during the April drought.

28/5 – this was the Bruce Memorial Ride. John H joined five of the regulars for a ride that called at Felmingham church for a chat with Heather before following a lot of lanes to the Lighthouse Inn to refuel in the beer garden. With the route file loaded into their Garmins a vanguard of two were well into their pints of Spanish and Belgian beer before the others arrived. The return route headed inland before heading north to Mundesley and the quiet lanes by way of N and S Repps, Sally Bean’s, Metton and Felbrigg.

Ben; Brian; Geoff; Harvey; Malcolm; Mark.

5/6 – Brian was away sailing at a busy Rutland Water, while Ben, Scott and others were committed to work or family, so only four enjoyed a brilliantly varied route via Frettenham and Mayton bridge, calling at Coltishall for large Dollie’s Buns, tea and coffee.

One early puncture in a front Rubino at Lower Gresham.

Mark; Harvey; Graham; Geoff.

12/6 – there were nine at Pretty Corner on a bright and breezy day with a lot of sun and a west north westerly moving northerly – i.e. lovely clear conditions. The route went over the Heaths and the Downs to Cockthorpe Common, Binham, Copy’s Green, Crabbe Castle, Quarles and Egmere before descending back to the Stiffkey valley at Little Walsingham for refreshments on the courtyard. In-bye came via Hindringham, Thursford, Gunthorpe, Pigg’s Grave, a bit of the B1110 to Briningham, then Burgh Parva, Hindolveston, Guestwick, Odessa, Heydon Road, Saxthorpe and the split at Barningham Winter.

Brian; Geoff; Graham A; Graham J; Harvey; Ian; Mark; Neil; Scott covered a range of distances up to 74 miles.

2 ferrets fighting at Lower Bodham. 2 red kites in the South Holkham area, one very close and impressive in the excellent light.

18/6 – Early drizzle and a lot of surface water from Friday’s deluge kept the numbers down. Brian, Mark and Harvey set off for the Rural Life Museum at Gressenhall, following an unconventional route taking in Baconsthorpe, Briston, Thurning, Guestwick, Themelthorpe, Foxley, Bylaugh, Worthing and Gorgate. To the south of Worthing, the trio noticed a cyclist in a gateway fixing an unauthorised deflation. This turned out to be none other than 2019 NNW punctures champion Geoff (“these are good tyres”) P, who joined us for the rest of the trip. The menu at the Mardler’s Rest cafe was temporarily restricted to sandwiches, sausage rolls and scones. The bunch of four headed home in improving weather by way of Beetley, Hoe (pulling into another private drive for GP to fix a second puncture, while another member of the group watered the rhododendrons in the garden free of charge; a more civilised member of the bunch hopped over the adjacent wall into the churchyard to water the nettles). The rest of route was Swanton Morley Eastgate, Elsing, up onto the high ground through Peaseland Green and Primrose Green via the dreaded concrete road (recently patched up with fresh tarmac, which was a nice surprise), the sharp descent to the Wensum, crossing at Lyng, and then the lanes to Witchingham, Furze Lane, Reepham Moor, Salle, Heydon and Itteringham.

Distances up to 72 miles.

2 punctures, front and rear to add to the front deflation suffered by the victim the last time out, on Wednesday.

25/6 – it was a murky start with some drizzle mid morning, but eight Wheelers were out, enjoying improving conditions culminating in good sunny spells.

The group took a fairly direct and reasonably fast route out to the now very popular Dunes Cafe at Waxham Great Barn, thereby avoiding this establishment’s peak. Graham J, Neil and Brian sat outside in the north easterly, while Malcolm, Graham A, Mark, Geoff and Harvey stayed in the cafe. It was a longer and more varied way back, heading inland from Sea Palling to Hickling Heath, Sutton, Stalham, Brumstead and East Ruston Commons, Fox Hill, Crostwight, Edingthorpe Green, Pigney’s Wood, Swafield, Bradfield, Antingham, the Hanworth Timber short cut, Thwaite, Bessingham, Gresham and the final split at Red Barn Lane.

This was Malcolm’s last club run and everyone wished him all the best for a stress-free shift on the 30th.

4/7 – impromptu Sunday run to Reepham. The forecasts for Saturday were generally dire. The reality was little worse than poor, with periodic and localised chances of a soaking. Sunday was far better with a lot of sun and two short showers. Unfortunately, at least three of those who would have been out were otherwise committed. Four met at Gresham church, taking advantage of the well-situated bench to sit in the sun for 10 minutes before departure. It is tempting to switch the meeting point here, especially in summer, although only three can fit on the bench.

Brian, Geoff, Harvey and Neil followed a very impromptu anti-clockwise loop around the lanes, calling at Reepham station for re-victualling out front, where one member made the dubious claim that the hills of Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire are the equivalent of the Buttertubs Pass between Swaledale and Wensleydale. The bunch then climbed over the ridge to the south to descend to cross the Wensum and turn home through Easthaugh to Attlebridge, climbing over to Swannington and back home via Haveringland church, Cawston, Itteringham, Wickmere and Bessingham before a couple of detours round Gresham and West Beckham to enable one rider to complete his 70 miles for the day. He is still recovering from the shock of arriving home to a reading of 69.88 miles on his Cateye!

Geoff; Neil; Brian; Harvey.

On the sharp climb at Easthaugh the bunch caught supercyclist Martin B, testing out his night tourer in preparation for the overnight London-Brighton in mid-July.

Approaching Lower Bodham there was a meeting with Chris B, who had been sharpening his toxophilitic skills at High Kelling. Chris, who was riding a 1980 British Racing Green King of Mercia, is threatening to join a few club runs before too long.