Club Run to Coltishall on 30/4/2022.

With two club run Wheelers sailing today and one probably still in Spain, a small field was anticipated for today’s sixty mile loop via No.77 Cafe in the Red Lion at Coltishall. However, Ben was back after recovering from an infection, we were joined by Matt from Malvern Cycle Sport (Worcs) and Chris S had returned from his motorcycle trip to prove finally and conclusively that the rain in Spain does not fall mainly on the plain, but on the Picos de Europa.

Although lighter than of late, the cool northerly gave a good measure of wind assistance on a conventional direct route as far as Little Hautbois, before turning into the minor lanes over Mayton bridge to Langmere, Frettenham church, Crostwick, Granny Bard’s Lane and Heggatt Hall. Once again Malcolm rode up from St. Olave’s to meet the bunch. A rumour that he is now qualified to pilot the Reedham Ferry has been denied. So, nine riders set off from the cafe, heading round the back way to Belaugh Green and the Hoveton road, from where Malcolm turned south for his ferry crossing. The bunch continued by way of Ashmanaugh, Neatishead, Cat’s Common, Tunstead church, Worstead, directly west to skirt the edge of Aylsham (from where Neil Mc headed for home) to Drabblegate, Ingworth, Blickling watermill and Itteringham (where Graham A turned off for Cromer), before taking a less conventional route back to PC, climbing past Up Wood onto Bodham Hill.

Group: Neil S; Neil Mc; Mark; Harvey; Graham A; Chris S; Ben. Plus Matt (MCS) and Malcolm, who completed 52 miles on land and two ferry crossings.

Distances: 60 miles to 77 miles.

And one more thing, as an old pal of Geoff used to say. Over a number of years, various attempts have been made to keep a decent number of riders on the road for NNW club runs. By and large, the circulation of route files has enabled Wheelers of fairly wide-ranging age and fitness to follow the same route to the same cafe. It was assumed that natural on-the-road splits would occur from time to time. The main problem with this method seems to occur when some of the more senior riders start chasing after the natural breaks and consequently start to blow up at around two thirds total distance. The current runs organiser is completely bemused by this phenomenon, unable to comprehend why it isn’t normal to settle into a secondary steady miles group for the last hour or so. Unless someone can come up with an alternative model, it has got me beat. Perhaps it has something to do with pensioner pride.

PS. It is a convenient oversimplification to refer to ‘senior riders’ and ‘pensioners’.

Club Run to Bridgestones, Potter Heigham 27/04/2022

Three Wheelers met at PC on an overcast and cold day. With no forecast of sun and a light north easterly breeze it was no surprise to see everyone well wrapped up in their winter gear.
Our wind assisted outward route took us via Alby Hill, Suffield, Swanton Abbott, Sloley, past Hoveton Hall Gardens and through Horning. At Horning roadworks meant that the main A1062 was closed which reduced the traffic on the two mile section we used to get us over Ludham bridge before taking the backroads to Ludham airfield and down to Bridgestones.
As we arrived we found Malcom waiting for us, having had a shortish 24 mile ride out from St Olaves. We opted not to sit outside but in the dog friendly section, which was sheltered from the wind but close to the bikes. Everyone seemed happy with their meals and refreshments. Andrew B had to leave early to fulfil other obligations, while the remaining three chatted and postponed venturing back out into the cold. Eventually we set off, Malcolm heading south and two heading north into the wind via Catfield, Lessingham, Crostwight, North Walsham to Gunton Station, where Graham A continued north to Cromer and Mark took the usual route back to Hanworth, Gresham and PC.

PC to PC 60 miles
Graham A, Andrew B, Mark leading and Malcolm joining us for lunch.

Club Run to Wells on 23/4/2022.

With two motoring to Spain, one in Birmingham and another taking a day off, the numbers were down again, but a decent bunch of six turned out at Pretty Corner for the club run to Wells. It was a fast ride out with a surprisingly strong ENE tailwind, following a fairly direct route out over the heaths, up the Downs, across Cockthorpe Common, an unusually easy ride over the exposed drag to Crabbe Castle and past Blunt’s Corner to turn through the Triumphal Arch and down the long descent through the Holkham estate, finishing off into Wells by way of the rough road through the east gate, thereby avoiding the full headwind on the busy main road. Wells was busy and Nelson’s cafe was packed to the gunwales, so it was across the road for the inaugural visit to Flo and Joe, where the bunch sat out front at the picnic tables (the pies are good Geoff).

The longer return leg was sufficiently devious to take a lot of the sting out of the gusty wind, with lots of ducking and diving along high-hedged lanes via Warham, Copy’s Green, Hindringham, Thursford, Gunthorpe, Pigg’s Grave, Briningham, Burgh Parva, Hindolveston (from where Neil continued south to base), Burnthouse, Growle Abbey, skirting Briston to finish off with a bit of variety by dropping into Hempstead, past Selbrigg Decoy Pond, Lower Bodham and the final split at Red Barn Lane. On the homeward trip the bunch split 50/50 between a bairns interval training group and a septuagenarian LSD section (for the uninitiated, the S denotes steady rather than slow). These on-the-road splits, enabled by the route file for the day, seem to suit the majority of the weekend cohort at the moment, although it is never going to be perfect. It is pretty certain that about half of the current potential group (15-16) would benefit from RLSD: R as in regular (weekly); L=4-5 hours; S=steady.

Bunch: Andrew; Brian; Graham J; Harvey; Mark; Neil Mc.

Distances: 62 miles to 79 miles.

Club Run to The Rising Sun, Coltishall on 20th April 2022

Six wheelers (including new man Chris) met at PC for a ride to Coltishall on a beautiful spring day. The route provided by Duncan (who was unable to make it), took us through Gresham, Sustead, Aldborough, Felimgham, Swanton Abbot, Worstead, Smallburgh and Tunstead. We made good speed despite the moderate head wind, although some diversions were necessary due to road closures.  On arrival at The Rising Sun we were able to sit outside and watch the boating activities on the Bure. We all enjoyed a good meal, with beer being the preferred beverage, albeit mostly of a low alcohol nature! John then left us to make his own way home. The route back took us through Little Hautbois, Baderfield, Tuttinton, Banningham, Ingworth and Matlaske. Chris and Graham A left us at on route to make their own way home to Aylsham and Cromer respectively. Overall a great days cycling along a great route (thank you Duncan).

PC to PC 47 miles

Average speed 14.8 mph           Total Elevation 938 ft

Mark, Graham A, Graham J, John, Chris and Andrew B leading.

Club Run to Walcott on 16/4/2022.

There were seven Wheelers at Pretty Corner for the club run to the Lighthouse Inn, which is always a good venue on busy holiday weekends. Once again the food and the service were first class. The route was an anti-clockwise loop as far south as Tunstead on a lot of dry lanes, consigning the February wet weather and sugar beet frenzy to distant memory. Malcolm turned up at the pub, making it eight riders sat out in the warm sun and stiff, cool ESE wind. Disaster was averted soon after the restart, detouring round the bottom of Ostend, when Brian managed skilfully to extricate himself and machine from a telescopic dog lead, which became entangled in his drive train when a poorly controlled dog ran across the road. This was reminiscent of a his similar last gasp extrication from jeopardy when riding passenger in a motorcycle sidecar race, managing to release the lace of his baseball boot from the petrol tank cap just before negotiating a tight left hand bend. Today’s incident summoned up bad memories for Malcolm, who suffered a serious chute when brought down on a club run by an uncontrolled dog. In the last few miles, Chris S went off course unobserved when he shot straight over the top of the hill at Cottage Wood, ending up in Cromer, from where he found it expedient to just head home along the coast road to Sheringham.

Bunch: Neil S; Neil Mc; Mark; Harvey; Graham J; Chris S; Brian + Malcolm at the refuelling stop, who rode with the bunch for the first few miles back, ending up with 68 miles.

Distances: 58 miles to 81 miles.

North Norfolk Wheelers at the Fakenham Criterium this Easter Sunday 17th April

The club will have a stand in the Market Place to enjoy ring side seats of the running and cycling races happening on close roads in Fakenham. The town centre will be closed to traffic for the day. Events include British Cycling and licensed cycle races for various ages and abilities. Local organisations will be running food stalls with plenty of food and activities. This is a great spectacle to watch with pubs and cafes fronting directly onto the course.  The cycling will also be live on Youtube. The club will have a some membership forms and remaining club kit for sale at heavily discounted prices.

Club Run to Whitwell Station, Reepham on 13th April 2022

Four wheelers met at PC for a ride to Whitwell Station on an overcast but warm spring day. The route took us through Hempstead, Holt, Hunworth, Corputsy, Wood Dalling and Reepham. We made good speed despite the moderate head wind. On arrival at Whitwell station we were met by Andrew C who had made his own way there. The sun had appeared by then and were able to sit outside. We all enjoyed a hearty lunch, which was served quickly. After lunch we made our way back to PC via, Booton, Cawston, Oulton Street, Itteringham and Matlaske. Graham A left us at Itteringham to make his own way back to Cromer. Again a good pace was made with everyone wary of the forecast rain. We made it back to PC before the rain which was fortunate as there were heavy showers a couple of hours later.

PC to PC 41 miles

Average speed 15 mph  Total Elevation 1,154 ft

Mark, Graham A, Graham J and Andrew B leading.