Club Run to Reepham Station on 29/1/2022.

Not many fancied the Dutch hills today, so only five riders set out to tussle with Storm Malik. As so often on such blustery days, the cross winds proved to be nearly as testing as even the more exposed sections of headwind. Jim suffered a rear wheel puncture before reaching PC, so the small bunch detoured to pick him up before heading for Bessingham, Aldborough, Erpingham school, Ingworth, Moorgate, Itteringham Common, Oulton, the hidden detour round Oulton Manor, Heydon Park and Salle, where Geoff was gathered up on his direct route to the cafe. After a chatty refuelling break in the cafe’s new hut, the return route looped out further north west in order to pick up some substantial tailwind. Back to base was via Kerdiston, where the bunch stopped to chat with Mrs Mc and the dog out for a walk, Themelthorpe, Foulsham, Hindolveston, where Jim headed the short distance home, Nethergate, Briston, where Neil headed for home, and conventional ways back to Red Barn Lane for the final split. The latter section was effortlessly fast, aided by a big wind up the back end.

Group: Neil Mc; Mark; Jim; Harvey; Brian. Geoff was at Reepham and Malcolm was at Coltishall; any further claims should be submitted by Monday evening.

Distances: 50 miles to 63 miles. The 63 had a perceived effort feel of a genuine 75 plus, so anyone who feels short distanced today can add an extra 20.63 per cent to their logged total.

One puncture (flint in rear Conti).

Club Run to The Courtyard café, Pensthorpe on 26th January 2022

Four Wheelers met at Pretty Corner for a ride to Pensthorpe on a milder and mostly sunny winter day. Good progress was made through Matlaske, Edgefield, Hindelveston and Wood Norton, until the group arrived at Little Ryburgh, less than three miles from the lunch venue. The narrow road was closed for tree surgery and passing was prohibited. So the disappointed riders had to go back up the hill to the Stibbard crossroads now followed by Graham (Duke of York, not). On the A1067, Pensthorpe was soon reached. The return route took the group north of the A148 to Little Snoring airfield and then south to Gunthorpe and Sharrington, crossing the B1110 at Thornage to Hunworth. Then a steep hill to Holt failed to slow Mark who always demonstrates an example of what is expected from relative youth. 

PC to PC 48 miles

Average speed 14.2 mph           Total Elevation 1,781 ft

Andrew B, Mark, Duncan and Graham A leading.

Club Run to Little Walsingham on 22/1/2022.

Only four Wheelers set out from Pretty Corner on this persistently icy morning as a cold north westerly wind kept the glaze on the shady lanes. Brian suffered the misfortune of stripping his freewheel very early in the day, being forced to abandon. He hasn’t enjoyed much luck with components this winter. The victim substituted with three hours on fixed wheel in the early afternoon. Jim headed home early, leaving only the seaside pair of Mark and Neil S to refuel at a quiet Norton Cafe. South of Great Snoring, this fast-moving duo were met by the late-starting veteran, Harvey, who was approaching up the scheduled route in the wrong direction! These three riders enjoyed a lot of tailwind assistance until swinging north after Oulton.

The route for the day was Salthouse Heath, Glandford, Letheringsett, Thornage, Saxlingham, Field Dalling, Binham, the Walsinghams, the Snorings, Thursford, Gunthorpe, Swanton Novers, Hindolveston, Thurning, Heydon Park, Itteringham and the Barninghams (red kite).

One stripped freewheel.

The Sheringham contingent covered the greatest distance today:- 61 miles.

Club Run to The Rising Sun, Coltishall 19/01/2022

Five Wheelers set off from PC in sunny but cool conditions, fortunately the overnight cloud had prevented a repeat of the previous night’s icy conditions. Joining the Wednesday ride for the first time was Neil M, a regular Saturday group rider, hope you can join us again Neil.

Andrew B had the only puncture of the day, less than 4 miles from PC. Unable to find the cause of the deflation, a new tube was fitted and fingers crossed and fortunately the tyre held up for the rest of the ride. Front Michelin Pro Endurance for those keeping score!

Our outward leg of about 25 miles took us via Gresham, Hanworth, Gunton, Bradfield, Swafield, around the eastern edge of North Walsham, White Horse Common, Briggate, Worstead, the International Farm, Tunstead crossing to Coltishall and The Rising Sun.

The staff at the pub looked after us very well, we had a table to seat eight, with a view over the river and also of the bikes. The food was filling and good value and it was with some reluctance that we left the warmth of the pub to set off for home.

While the return leg was shorter at about 20 miles, it was soon apparent that the North Westerly wind had increased and most of the road seemed to be uphill and into the wind!

Our route home was St John, Great Hautbois, Lamas, Buxton, Brampton, Aylsham, Drabblegate, Ingworth, Calthorpe, where Graham A seeking a more favourable wind direction set off for Cromer. The remaining trio then pushed hard into the wind for the remaining 5 miles to the split at Gresham church.

All in all, a good day for a ride, intermittent sun meant the temperature was variable but ok for January and we enjoyed good food and company.

The roads were mainly dry but there was plenty of wet mud about to ensure a good coating over the bikes.

PC to PC was 46 miles

Andrew B, Duncan S, Graham A, Neil M and Mark leading.

Club Run to Mundesley on 15/1/2022.

Seven set out on this shorter club run to the Corner House Cafe. There was far less fog than forecast, but it remained murky for much of the day with a nagging chilly south east breeze. However, good bright spells lit up the middle of the day. The route was an anti-clockwise loop by way of Aldborough, Erpingham, Banningham, Tuttington, Felmingham, Antingham, Trunch, Gimingham, Southrepps Lower Street, Northrepps, Metton, Sustead and Gresham church, for a three-way split.

Over the break, someone started a conversation about pop music. It is hoped that the young staff weren’t listening. Phil W turned up after the break and spent some time updating the bunch on the latest from the time trial community. The last two stragglers on the road bumped into Geoff on his way home from Coltishall.

Bunch: Andrew; Brian; Graham A; Harvey; Mark; Neil Mc; Neil S.

Distances: 41 miles to 63 miles.

One puncture: slow and hard to find.

This was a curate’s egg of a club run, which only goes to show that you can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.

Club Run to The Two Magpies, Blakeney on 12th January 2022

Four Wheelers met at Pretty Corner on a cold but sunny morning with little or no wind. The route to Blakeney took us through Matlaske, Plumstead, Edgefield, Briston, Brinton, Sharington, Binham, Cockthorpe and Langaham. Unfortunately, the group spilt in two after Binham as the back two missed the turn to Cockthorpe, however both ended up at the Magpies at about the same time! On arrival we were able to find a table easily, which given the popularity of the Café was a relief and we were served quickly. The food was very good with generous portions (a little to generous when riding on!). The route back to PC was via. Wiveton and up to Salthouse Heath, were Duncan left us for Holt and the then down Long Lane to Kelling were Graham left us for home. The two remaining riders then continued up to High Kelling, and back towards PC via. Hempstead, Baconsthorpe and West Beckham. Although the lanes were very muddy a great ride in beautiful winter weather.

PC to PC 39 miles

Average speed 14.6 mph           Total Elevation 1,506 ft

Mark, Duncan, Graham A and Andrew B leading.

Club Run to Hoe on 10/1/2022.

Six riders assembled at Pretty Corner on a benign January morning for the NNW club run to the Fork in Hoe. The route to the refuelling stop went directly to Corpusty, then via Salle and Reepham town, crossing Whitwell Common and climbing over the ridge to the Wensum at Lyng watermill, up the valley to Fustyweed and Elsing, descending to the Pennyspot Beck, clipping through the edge of Swanton Morley and the quiet lanes of Hoe parish before a final mile on the busy Dereham-Fakenham road.

On the ascent of Pennyspot Bank, veteran powerhouse, Neil S, the Erdington Express, demolished another chain. Three went ahead to the cafe, while three hung back to remove a mangled link and rejoin with a Quick Link. The conversation in the cafe hinged around chains, chain wear and optimum chain life. A heated debate developed about whether the main source of wear was bushes, rollers, pins or plate holes. On departure, obviously feeling the January heat, Graham A left his jacket in the cafe.

It was a comfortable tailwind ride back, by way of Worthing, Billingford, Foulsham, Guestwick (from where early starter, Neil Mc, headed the short distance home), Nethergate, Craymere, Briston and the familiar ways to West Beckham for the split.

One damaged and stitched up chain.

Group: Neil S; Neil Mc; Mark; Harvey; Graham A; Brian.

Distances: 54 miles to 69 miles.

Club Run to The Garden Terrace on 3/1/2022.

Five Wheelers showed up for the New Year leg stretcher club run on a mild, but windy, day featuring more sunshine than forecast. The proximity of the cafe to Pretty Corner offered an opportunity to tour some of the less used local lanes, which also enabled the small bunch to manoeuvre in and out of the testing wind. Outward bound was Bessingham, Aldborough Hall, Wickmere church, Squallham, Little Barningham, Plumstead Green, Hempstead, Holt Market Place, Cley Road, Kelling village and Croft Hill. The staff at the caff were excellent and the food first class.

The conversation ranged from how zebras repel flies to mending a vacuum cleaner to women’s cage-fighting to a bloody encounter with an angle grinder. All fairly normal then.

After another unhurried seasonal refuelling break, the route back went by way of High Kelling, Selbrigg Pond, Baconsthorpe, Barningham Winter, Mannington, Wolterton, Erpingham, Thwaite church, Aldborough school, Hanworth, the gated road* and Metton, before turning back into the wind to the final split at Gresham church. As a special New Year bonus the riders were rewarded with a 1.6 miles headwind detour to take in Mannington Hall.

*The gated road has now deteriorated to the level of dangerous. As a Cromer resident, Graham has been delegated to call in at the District Council offices to give them what for!

One puncture, which was fixed in the front courtyard of Holt Methodist Chapel.

Group: Brian; Graham A; Harvey; Mark; Neil Mc.

Distances: 48 miles to 64 miles.