Small Bunch to East Rudham on 1/5/2021

For various reasons not many were expected today and that’s how it turned out. A bunch of four rode a long south westerly loop down to Jane’s on the village green at East Rudham, where we had booked a patio table sheltered from the worst of the persistent northerly winds. As the inside seating capacity at Jane’s is very limited, it is a few years since we have visited this venue. However, there are now several picnic tables set out on the village green, so weekend numbers can be accommodated comfortably if the weather is co-operative. A run down in summer by a different route seems very much on the cards.

The route out was conventional to Hindolveston and Fulmodeston, then Stibbard, Ryburgh, Colkirk, North Raynham, West Raynham, Helhoughton and Broomsthorpe. Return was via West Rudham, West Raynham, South Raynham, Whissonsett, Horningtoft, Gately, Broom Green, Guist, Wood Norton, Guestwick, Corpusty and a 3:1 split at Mannington.

The weather was light showers in the morning, mixed cloud and sun and then a heavy band of rain during the early afternoon which rendered the lanes through Gately and down to the Wensum awash with stones, sand and flint. Consequently there was another adventure with a tubeless tyre. This one however retained most of its gunge (white version), but required three attempts to insert the sealing plug into what was a fairly long slit in the tyre.

Graham A, Duncan O, Brian and Harvey enjoyed a good day out on the bikes, cold wind, showers and tubeless tyre notwithstanding. We hope there are more can make it for the next two runs to Waxham and Mattishall, the last two weeks of outside catering.

The group of four spoke to five other Wheelers on the road today and only two of them were together.

With no Sheringham starters out and no pick up points, the distances covered were all substantial today, up to a maximum of about 82 miles.

NNW Weekend Club Runs

Moving into May seems as good a time as any to make a few observations following thirteen disrupted months and a tentative restart. We have realistic aspirations to return to something resembling normality, including, hopefully, full access to cafes. As we pick up the pieces after a long year there is a genuine desire to revitalise club runs while also seeking ways to include everyone who is interested in this side of cycling club life. Those of you who have been participating since the alfresco restart at the beginning of April will have your own ideas about how things are going and any alternative ideas will be welcome, while bearing in the mind the current objective of accommodating all-comers without too much disruption.

It is probably worth pointing out that we are trying to get away from the habit of the first, and especially the last, few miles of club runs always following a limited number of identical routes. Over a period of several years a lot of members have enjoyed riding hugely varied routes, so why miss a lot of variety closer to home? Some might see this as adding an unwelcome couple of miles on the way home, but the runs at the moment are in fact a bit shorter than is customary.

Run to Dollies at Coltishall on 24/4/2021

Eleven coureurs rode to Coltishall in two loose groups, which became less and less coherent as the day wore on. By Ingworth one rider had picked up a slow puncture, requiring periodic inflation. At Drabblesgate another rider was losing air and decided this was caused by a dickey valve, resulting in two of the bunch heading for the nearby Aylsham Cycle Centre. Acquiring a new valve proved to be simple. However, the unfortunate complication turned out to be that it wasn’t the valve causing the problem but a thin slit in the tubeless tyre, resulting in a psychedelic nightmare on Burgh bridge, where a combination of thick orange gunge and a thinner pink gunge were inserted in large quantities through the slit. On inflation of the tyre, this lurid gunge found various orifices through which to re-emerge and run down the rim and spokes. As this procedure was being performed a friendly local on a hybrid bike stopped to offer assistance, thereby threatening to add his lime green version of gunge to the mix. The tyre did seal however and the rider in question was able to nurse the bike back home and get in his desired quota of miles for the day. This delay also meant that one Wheeler had to ride solo to the cafe and was late for his Dollie’s Bun.

*The Route File version of this club run was Erpingham, Aylsham, Brampton, Buxton, Stratton Strawless, Frettenham, Stanninghall and Heggatt Hall to Coltishall. Returning by way of Belaugh Green, Ashmanaugh, Neatishead, Tunstead church, Worstead, Swanton Hill, Tuttington, Colby, Thwaite Common, Sustead church, Gresham and Chaucer’s Hill.

Riders out: Stuart W; Scott; Neil S (wearing his GS Giro maglia rosa); Malcolm; Ian S; Harvey; Graham J; Graham A; Duncan; Brian; Ben.

Distances ranged wildly, up to a maximum of 74 miles.

*The objective is to accommodate as many riders as possible in differing pace groups. However, one of the fundamental splits in personnel is between the Strava-hungry technophiles and the ‘traditionalists’ (technophobes and Luddites). The majority of those who load the route to their Garmin have a more general affinity with the brisker group, while the majority of the ‘traditionalists’ are so traditional that they won’t even take a look at the transcribed written directions, which would seem to bring them out in a rash. This is all a bit unfortunate for the poor mug who spends quite a bit of time and effort putting these things together.

Thanks to Scott for managing to guide two different groups with his downloaded route file.

For those who seem to be in some doubt about what’s happening next week, the next couple of club runs are posted on the NNW website.

Cafe Runs Restart, 17/4/2021

Eight riders split into two flexible groups for the first weekend cafe run since October. The ‘training group’ set a brisk pace, while the ‘touring group’ varied their pace on a glorious spring day for the ride to Reepham station, where the staff made a fantastic job of dealing with mass outdoor catering at a very busy cafe.

The route went by way of Itteringham, Cawston, Attlebridge, Easthaugh, Lyng, Fustyweed, Sparham and Whitwell Common to the break. A shorter return journey picked up the lanes through Kerdiston, Guestwick, Burnthouse, Craymere ford, Briston, Cross Street, Baconsthorpe and Bodham Hill. The distances ranged up to 65 miles.

Riders out today: Ben; Brian; Duncan O; Graham A; Harvey; Ian S; Malcolm; Stuart W. John Hayward and Andy Argyle were at the cafe.

One puncture (early morning). One rider was fitted out with a 38t single chainring and a 42t bottom sprocket. Despite an early morning intravenous chemical booster another rider was going no better than last week.

Thanks to Ben for leading this run and driving from the front all day.

Next week Coltishall, with a route file to be circulated via e.mail.

Restart Club Run to Mundesley, 10/4/2021

Following a 23 weeks break, the tentative restart run took place in dry conditions with a cold north easterly wind.

Nine riders were involved at some stage during the ride, including Duncan from the Northants-based club, A5 Rangers.

This latest attempt to split weekend club runs into viable pace groups was cleverly foiled by the tactically sophisticated North Norfolk Wheelers. Those of us who have ridden a lot of these runs over recent years realise that if this element of the Wheelers’ activities is to be revitalised to accommodate wide ranging abilities, an unarguably ageing cohort and some new blood then an effort to ride as separate groups might well be worth the bother in the longer-term. The present attempt will depend on the circulation of a downloadable route file for the day.

Under current restrictions, today’s event depended on refuelling alfresco (in the true meaning of the word on a cold day) at the Royal Engineers memorial on Mundesley seafront. The worst combination was pork pie with hummus and chilli and there wasn’t a Marmite sandwich to be seen.

The official start to finish route was relatively short, but distances ridden varied greatly up to a maximum of about 65 miles.

Thanks to Scott for leading today’s vanguard group. Next week Ben will be leading a group on a loop down to the Wensum valley en route to refreshments at the tables outside the cafe at the former Reepham station.