Club Run to Poppylands, Horsey 29/06/2022

Four Wheelers met at PC, to be greeted with a light rain shower, that would continue intermittently for the next hour. We set off on a south-easterly course via Hanworth, Suffield and North Walsham to pick up John S in Honing.
Alas, the pick up didn’t go as planned. The roads around Honing had just been resurfaced, so John decided to head out to meet us and to take us on a route to avoid the resurfacing. We arrived at the other end of the resurfaced road and decided to try a detour to avoid it, without much luck as it turned out, and in the process missed John.
So as we arrived into Honing, John phones from White Horse Common. It’s decided that we will continue on and catch up with John another day. However, the thought of missing out on 1940’s style Spam fritters was enough for John to organise a lift with his wife and to chase us down, catching up with us on the Brumstead Road. We were most surprised to see John and his bike emerging from a car. Chapeau John!
By now the clouds had been blown away by a steady Southerly wind and it was very warm as we continued to Sea Palling, Waxham to Horsey.
Poppylands was busy with people indoors and out, though we were able to get a shaded table outside. Poppylands is a 1940’s themed café and does it very well, with lots of period memorabilia and quirky menus. Sadly, today the Spam fritters were off the menu but corned beef hash served in a mess tin was popular, with three Wheelers choosing it. The tea cosy was in the shape of an aircraft, though one which had crashed into the drink a few times too many.
Suitably fed and watered and now with a tail wind, we retraced our route to Sea Palling, then along the beach road to Lessingham, Ridlington to Bacton Woods, where John headed for home. Then it was the regular route to Knapton (where they are still digging up the road), Trunch, South and Northrepps, where Graham A headed for Cromer, Metton, Gresham and PC.

PC to PC 59 flattish miles with an average speed of 14.5 miles
Andrew B, Graham A, Graham J, John S and Mark M leading

Club Run to Coltishall on 25/6/2022.

On a bright and windy day, seven riders left Pretty Corner to collect one more at Gresham. The longer morning leg went by way of Sustead, Hanworth, Thorpe Market, Bradfield, Swafield, Little London, Edingthorpe Green, Bacton Wood, Honing, Dilham, Cat’s Common, Callow Green, Neatishead, a short stop at Irstead Staithe, Bewilderwood, Hoveton Hall and Belaugh Green, to the No.77 Cafe, where Malcolm was waiting after his ride up via the Reedham Ferry. One Wheeler was out only for the morning, leaving eight sat at two outside tables for their refuelling break. On departure, Malcolm pushed straight back to Wroxham, while the main bunch headed home, assisted by a lot of stiff tailwind, via St James, Mayton Bridge, Frettenham, Stratton Strawless, Buxton, Rippon Hall, Cawston, Heydon (from where Jim headed for home), Corpusty, Plumstead and Barningham Winter to the split on Red Barn Lane.

Group: Brian; Chris S; Graham J; Harvey; Jim; Mark; Neil S + Graham A out for a morning loosener and Malcolm up from St Olave’s over the ferry. – So, rather more than the 6.25 average for 2022 to date, although that figure includes some wet and/or extremely windy winter days.

One puncture (on anti-puncture ‘winter bike’).

Distances: 67 miles to 80 miles.

Club Run to North Creake Abbey Café on 22nd June 2022

Six wheelers met at PC for a ride to Creake Abby on a beautiful mid summer day. The route took us through Werst Beckham, Baconsthorpe, Edgfield, Briston, Melton Constable, Thursford, Walsingham and North Creake. On arrival at the Abbey Café we decided to sit inside as there were no tables left outside in the shade. The choice of food was excellent and we all enjoyed a good lunch. The route back took us back through north Creake, Wighton and onto Binham. Having heard that the Little Dairy Shop at Binham Priory had now opened a café we were forced to stop to assess it as a future destination. This of course required further drinks and in Mark’s case cake! This was all good and the café should definitely be added to the list. Neil left us at Binham as he had to get home early. The remainder of us continued on the usual route back to PC through Langham. Wiveton and High Kelling. Overall a great days cycling in glorious weather.

PC to PC 48 miles

Average speed 14.7 mph           Total Elevation 1730 ft

Mark, Graham A, Kevin, Neil, Andrew B and Robert leading.

Club Runs – stick or twist?

As the core club run group evolves, it is worth asking from time to time whether both old and new members are happy to maintain basically the same formula. There are obviously a variety of versions of an ideal model, but we need to strike a balance in order to keep as many people interested as possible. Is it starting to get too fast? Is it still too slow? Are the cafes appropriate? Are the breaks too long? Are the lanes too ‘agricultural’? Are the routes too devious for the Strava and average speed cohort? The pattern is not necessarily set in tablets of stone.

Club Run to Bircham on 18/6/2022.

Q. What’s the difference between Friday and Saturday? A. 17 degrees Celsius. This was a remarkable meteorological change in 24 hours.

Four left PC to pick up one more at Kelling Hangs. The bunch of five rode conventionally west over the heaths and up the Downs through to Binham, Wighton and Crabbe Castle. It was then into the less visited territory further west, via the long descent into the Burn valley at North Creake, the long climb over the Shammer Beacon to Stanhoe, before dipping south past Barwick and Hyde Park to the final fast stretch to Bircham windmill cafe. After a few morning spatters, the real rain started on the approach to the mill and this persisted through the refuelling break. The bunch set off on the return leg fairly briskly to generate some warmth in a strengthening north wind and light rain, riding by way of Bagthorpe, Frizzleton, Syderstone, Blenheim Park, South Creake, Waterden, North Barsham, Houghton St Giles ford, the stiff Canister Hall climb over to Great Snoring, Thurning and Gunthorpe to Brinton (from where Jim turned for home), before the familiar villages route back to Bodham Hill and Red Barn Lane. From Syderstone Common over to South Creake and Waterden, the bunch coincided with the band of heavy rain that had been forecast for the area, turning some of the lanes into streams. From North Barsham back it was intermittent light showers. – (Back in the north east of the county, there was barely 1mm in the rain gauge.)

Group: Mark; Jim; Harvey; Chris S; Brian.

Distances: 56 miles to 81 miles.

One puncture: – rear Continental GP 5000, with three inexplicable spaced out cuts.

Six buzzards; weasel with prey; roe deer with two very small fawns; red deer; young tawny owl.

Meanwhile, back in Shannocktown, Neil S had suffered an early morning blowout and a consequent visit to Black Bikes for a replacement tyre and tube. He later rode to Great Snoring to try to intercept the run, but arrived too early, obviously unable to anticipate the puncture repairs being carried out south of Syderstone.

Club Run to Jane’s, East Rudham 15/06/2022

Only two wheelers were available for the longish (65mile) run to Jane’s, on a very warm and sunny day with a light SE breeze.
To try to keep the route west as direct as possible, we went to Holt and then down the main road to Letheringset before climbing the hill up to Sharrington and on to Bale and Hindringham. At Little Walsingham we checked on the Victorious café, having heard that it had closed and unfortunately that was the case. We then had a detour to view Walsingham railway station and platform, now occupied by St. Seaphims Orthodox Chapel:
Onwards and upwards to South Creake and Syderstone then a loop out to see the deer at Houghton Hall before reaching Jane’s, only to discover it was closed! Our ride leader claimed that he meant to check it was open before setting off and that it was open on the last visit!
Fortunately the Crown was next door and though more expensive did have some good food and a welcome beer, all enjoyed outside under the shade of a parasol.
After a longer than normal lunch break we finally set off and found that the wind had increased and we were now working against it. We crossed the A148 at Sculthorpe Mill then enjoyed the climb from East Barsham to Great Snoring, then via Thursford and Gunthorpe to Hunworth, where the climb up to Edgefield seemed unusually long today. The final leg from Edgefield to PC was fortunately wind assisted.
Close to Geoff’s corner we met Kevin, unable to join us for the day but out for a late afternoon 30mile ride to keep the legs in shape.

PC to PC a hilly 65 miles with 802m / 2631ft of climbing and an average speed of 13.6 mph
Graham A with Mark M leading.

Club Run to Hoe on 11/6/2022.

Several Wheelers were out of action this week so a small field was anticipated. Four left Pretty Corner to collect one more at Oulton, from where the small bunch rode in warm sun and a strong south westerly to the Fork in Hoe by way of Cawston, the Witchinghams, Lenwade, Easthaugh, Fustyweed, Bylaugh and Robertson Barracks. Refreshments were taken on the verandah on two deep comfortable couches. Michelle headed home to Fakenham from here, leaving four to head back north east via Swanton Morley Eastgate, Pennyspot Hill, Elsing, the dreaded concrete road, which has now been patched with tarmac to the dismay of any two-wheeled masochists, the descent of Cadder’s Hill, Lyng, Blackwater Equestrian, Eade’s Mill, Furze Lane and Reepham to Wood Dalling for a split that left only two to finish off on the little lanes to Crabgate, Red Pits, Holly Heath, Ramsgate Street and unscheduled detours over the Pond Hills to Hempstead, Selbrigg and Bodham.

Bunch: Neil Mc; Michelle H (who is training for the Bolton Ironman); Mark; Jason; Harvey.

Distances: 47 miles to 78 miles.

Club Run to Hoveton Hall Gardens 09/06/2022

There were four riders leaving Pretty Corner on the ride to Hoveton Hall. The ride had been postponed from Wednesday although, as it happened, the forecast rain showers were rather sparse. The route went southwards with a helpful breeze to Aldborough and Erpingham using familiar roads. The next villages were Colby, Banningham, Tuttington, and Burgh. The view crossing the Bure at Oxnead was delightful in the sunshine. Buxton and Lamas were soon reached before turning off for Little Hautbois and Coltishall. Minor roads to the north of the B1354 soon took the riders to the lunch stop cafe at Hoveton Hall, where a light lunch was enjoyed from an enticing menu. The route home was uneventful taking small roads to Ashmanhaugh, Sloley, Swanton Hill and North Walsham missing the houses via Tungate. After Bradfield, roads were familiar with riders peeling off at Hanworth and Sustead.

PC to PC 50 miles

Average Speed 14.2 mph, Total Elevation 1250 ft

Riders: Graham A (leader), Andrew B, Robert N and Mark M