Club Run to The Crown at Banningham on 1st December 2021

Two hardy (or foolish!) Wheelers met at Pretty Corner on a cold and windy morning with a forecast of heavy rain later in the day. The route to Banningham took us Gresham, Sustead, Felbrigg, Northrepps, Southrepps, Gimingham, Trunch, Antingham and Felmingham. This took us down some new lanes including a short footpath! On arrival at the pub we realised that it was packed with the first of the Christmas lunches, so it was drinks and snacks for lunch. The manager informed us that they had just been accredited for cyclists and now have a store for clothing and the bike racks have CTV surveillance, which is very encouraging. On leaving the pub we realised that the forecast rain and high winds had arrived. The route back was therefore curtailed somewhat taking us via. Ingworth, Itteringham, Plumstead and Baconsthorpe, were we spilt up to make our separate ways home. Overall a decent ride which seemed longer with the rain and wind.

PC to PC 40 miles

Mark and Andrew B and leading.

Club Run to Hoe on 29/11/2021

During the weekend of Storm Arwyn there was a general consensus to postpone the club run to Monday. In the event there were four Wheelers left Pretty Corner for the Fork in Hoe cafe. On a bright, but cold and windy morning, the route into mid-Norfolk went by way of Plumstead, Corpusty, Tyby, Guestwick, Foulsham, Billingford, Worthing watermill and the Manor Farm detour to the Fork at Corner’s Nursery, where the food and the service were first class. There was some fairly substantial patchy ice on the roads in the Hoe-Dereham area, apparently causing a few early morning accidents. The ‘feels like’ temperature never rose above zero all day. Today was the first time in 71 years of cycling that one Wheeler can remember thinking in November – “roll on spring!”. A lad in the cafe said he felt cold just “thinking about you boys riding back to Sheringham”. He was wearing a fur-lined hat, obviously fashionable in Hoe (“wear the fox hat!”). There was still a bit of ice in the afternoon, so a bit of a wary eye was needed. Homeward-bound looped round by Gorgate, then Hoe church, Woodgate, Pennyspot, Elsing, Sparham, Eade’s watermill, Reepham town (Neil Mc had ridden 14 miles to PC in the morning, so departed here for Kerdiston). The remaining trio pushed on to Salle Manor, Heydon Park, Itteringham and Barningham Winter to a split beyond North Barningham church.

Group: Graham J; Harvey; Mark; Neil Mc.

Distances: 55 miles to 68 miles.

Club Run to The Old Reading Room, Kelling on 24th November 2021

Five Wheelers met at Pretty Corner on a cold and misty autumnal morning, with a temperature of 3 degree, but no wind. The route to Kelling was necessarily convoluted to get a decent mileage, taking us through Gresham, Sustead, Hanworth, Aldborough, Edgefield, Briston, Thornage and Glanford. Progress was however delayed when Graham A had a puncture about halfway which proved difficult to repair and the rest of the group to get very cold! However, a good past was set after this and we arrived just before 1:00pm. There was a warm welcome at the Café and we all enjoyed a good lunch, with soup being the main choice. The free refill of teas and coffee was much appreciated (although Andrew failed to realise this and ordered both!). Following lunch the weather had closed in with a damp mist, but no real rain. Graham J and Duncan left us to make their own way home. The remainder of the group continued to Salthouse, a steep climb up Bard Hill, and onwards to High Kelling, Hempstead, Baconsthorpe and back to Gresham, where Andrew B left the remaining two to ride back to PC. Overall a good ride despite the weather and a great route with some impressive scenery.

PC to PC 42 miles

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

Club Run to Reepham on 20/11/2021.

Seven Wheelers were all set to depart from PC at 10.00 when Jim discovered yet another unauthorised deflation of his front tyre*. At the top of Red Barn Lane, a dicky chain forced Neil S back to Beeston Regis for a change of bike. While Mark assisted Jim with the last stages of puncture repair, four set off at steady pace as far as Salthouse Heath, where they were rejoined by the duo of pursuers. The bunch then followed a scenic route taking in the Bayfield dual carriageway (probably the world’s roughest dual carriageway), Wall’s Lane, Letheringsett ford, Sharrington, Briningham, Hindolveston, Foulsham, Guestwick (where Jim was forced by a combination of gyppy guts and malfunctioning rear mech to turn for home) and Kerdiston to the Station Cafe, where someone decided that eating alfresco in late November was a good idea! Neil S had arrived already via a direct route. We were joined by veteran club run stalwart, Geoff, the recent recipient of the prestigious best allotment in Sheringham award; a justified reward for sixteen years of diligent pig manuring. Sticking with the GMT theme of riding a lot of the less familiar local lanes, the bunch then headed home by way of Whitwell Street, Eade’s Mill, the Witchinghams, Brandiston, Eastgate, Cawston, Oulton (from where Neil Mc headed for home), Abel Heath (where we stopped for a chat with Robin, who was out on his afternoon training ride), Silvergate, Ingworth, Erpingham, Calthorpe, Wickmere and Thurgarton (from where Graham A headed for home) for the final miles via Gresham church and East Beckham.

Group: Neil S; Neil Mc; Mark; Jim; Harvey; Graham A; Brian + Geoff at the break.

Two punctures, one non-meshing chain and one malfunctioning rear mech.

Distances: 42 miles to 73 miles.

*PS – and yet another soon after splitting with the bunch.

Club Run to The Old Dairy, Stanfield 17th November 2021

Four Wheelers met at Pretty Corner for the inaugural ride to The Old Dairy at Stanfield.  The sun was shining and the skies blue, though the 7 degree temperature reminded us that summer was long behind us. A fairly strong westerly was noticeable on the SW leg out but a great help on the return leg. Family commitments unfortunately meant that John S could only join us for the first hour or so, down to Bintree, before heading back to PC. Good to catch up with you again John and see you in a few weeks. The puncture fairy struck at Brisley Green, with Andrew B getting a flint through his nearly new rear Michelin Pro4 Endurance, though he was pleased to discover it was now easier to get off the rim than it had been putting it on new. To keep the route as short as possible to fit into the limited daylight we went PC to Saxthorpe, Wood Dalling, Guestwick, Foulsham, Bintree Mill, Broom Green, Brisley Green, Stanfield. The Old Dairy was warm and welcoming, with limited seating inside and more outside. The lunch menu was limited but of good quality as was the coffee, there was also a selection of cakes. The Old Dairy also produces a range of pickles, condiments and mustards, all produced on the premises, which it also sells in the café shop. On the return leg it was Brisley, Gateley, Gt Ryburgh, Stibbard, Wood Norton, Hindolveston, Craymere Beck, Briston, Edgefield, Baconsthorpe, PC.

PC to PC 49 miles

John S, Graham A, Andrew B and Mark leading.

Club Run to Pensthorpe on 13/11/2021.

Five departed from the Pretty Corner meeting point in thick drizzle. Apart from a couple of bright flashes, mainly while in the cafe, and a heavier band of rain early afternoon, that’s the way it stayed all day. The short outward leg to the Courtyard Cafe went by way of Plumstead Green, the ridge road past Range Farm, Edgefield, Briston, Hindolveston, Stibbard and the Lower Clipstone detour, before the lung-opening kicks up the notorious Ryburgh bergs and the short main road run in to an early refreshment break. As in days of old, the initial couple of miles of the return trip joined the heavy traffic on the A1067 to the turn off for Thorpland Hall and Great Snoring. The longer leg back then visited Thursford, Gunthorpe, Briningham, Burgh Parva, Hindolveston (having ridden the 13 miles to PC in the morning, Neil Mc headed off home to Kerdiston from here), Burnthouse, Thurning mill, Growle Abbey and the back ways round Briston to pick up a more conventional last few miles, via the iron sombreros, to West Beckham for a two-way split – (for those who were there, the main reason that the mileage was less than advertised is that the leader forgot to detour round by Blackwater Lane and Rookery Farm).

Riders: Andrew; Graham A; Harvey; Mark; Neil Mc.

Distances: 56 miles to 71 miles.

Club Run Dolies Café, Coltishall on 10th November 2021

Two Wheelers met at Pretty Corner on a warm wet drizzly morning but with little wind and it was unseasonably warm. John S who had planned to lead the ride was unable to attend for family reasons but sent the route. The route to Coltishall took us through Bessingham. Suffield, Felmingham, Skeyton and Wroxam Barns. The rain quickly stopped and we managed a good pace arriving just before 12:00 to a peaceful café. The peace was however short-lived as a large group of rambler arrived shortly after! This was unfortunate as ex-leader Malcolm then arrived and had to wait a long while to be served. However, this gave us time time for a second coffee and catchup. 

The drizzly rain had returned by the time we left the café with the route back to PC taking us via. Badesfield,. Skeyton, Ingworth, Calthorpe, Matlaske and Barningham. The rain quickly relented and the last part of the route was on dry roads. Overall a good if a bit of a wet ride with a good average speed made (I blame Mark for this!). Many thanks to John for the route.

PC to PC 41.5 miles, 1092 feet/333 m of climbing and average speed of 15 mph

Mark and Andrew B leading

Club Run to Mundesley on 6/11/2021

Eight Wheelers assembled at Pretty Corner for the weekend run out to the Corner Cafe on the east coast. Today’s very convoluted route was the the Spaghetti Eastern, starring Flint Westwood (alias Brian, whose bottom bracket sounded like a Gatling gun). North east Norfolk is of course threaded with lots of little lanes, so why not use them, especially when the roads are generally dry? After numerous twists and turns, the bunch eventually made it to Trunch, much to the surprise of the Erdington Express, Neil S. From there it was a lovely sunlit descent towards the coast and a final climb up over the ridge through the former isolation hospital. Just south of Stump Cross a new club record was set with no less than six riders behind the hedge.

To Neil’s surprise the return ride found another way into Trunch, before crossing the outward route and heading home by way of Southrepps, Antingham, Rugg’s Hall, Suffield rectory, the shortcut through Hanworth Timber, Thwaite Common and Bessingham to the split at Gresham, where Jim suffered his second front wheel puncture on consecutive club runs.

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

Distances: 51 miles to 71 miles.

Conditions: A pleasantly benign cycling day for November, with more sun than forecast, a rising south westerly and light rain from 3.55.

Club Run Victorious Café, Little Walsingham on 3rd November 2021

Two Wheelers and Malcolm E (a house guest of Andrew B) met at Pretty Corner on a cold windy but sunny morning but with a forecast of heavy rain which had clearly put some off. The route to Little Walsingham took us through Plumstead, Edgfield, Stody, Brinton, Field Dalling, Binham and Wighton. The rain held off for the first hour but there were then a series of heavy showers punctuated by sunny periods. On arrival at the Victorious we were joined by Andrew and Malcom’s better halves, and enjoyed and excellent, if rather substantial lunch. The rain had fully set in by then and we decided we would have to brave it! In view of the weather we took the fastest route back to PC through Great Walsingham, Binham, Langham, Wiveton and High Kelling. Andrew B and Malcom E left Mark at High Kelling to return home. Overall a good, if rather wet ride.

PC to PC 40 miles, 1585 feet/431 m of climbing and average speed of 12.1 mph

Mark, Malcolm E and Andrew B leading

Club Run to Wells on 30/10/2021

Four left Pretty Corner in light rain, but apart from a couple of heavier bursts, there was far less precipitation than anticipated. Riding roughly parallel to the coast, the westbound route went by way of Bodham, Salthouse Heath, Glandford ford, up the Downs, Langham, Cockthorpe, Binham, Wighton, Crabbe Castle and a glorious tailwind assisted descent down through Holkham Park to the coast road. The final stretch out of the Park was highlighted by a remarkable light show as the sun behind us lit up the thick black clouds over the sea and highlighted the autumnal avenue of trees along Lady Ann’s Drive. This was also a welcome sign that most of the forecast rain was now out over the sea. Both Holkham and Wells were very busy with half term holidaymakers.

It was good to see an old Wheelers’ favourite, Nelson’s Cafe, restored to full working order after the combined tribulations of a major fire and Covid. Neil felt bloated just looking at Mark’s steak and kidney pie with chips, broccoli, carrots and gravy.

The weather gods proved to be doubly generous for the return trip, providing total sunshine as well as shifting the strong southerly to a helpful south westerly. Back to Sheringham was via Warham, Field Dalling, Saxlingham, Sharrington, Brinton and generally conventional ways back up to PC.

Group: Graham J; Harvey; Mark; Neil Mc.

Distances: 53 miles to 72 miles.