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.

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.

Club Run to East Rudham on 9/4/2022.

Seven turned out at Pretty Corner, although one was out only for a short morning. Progress was interrupted after only a few miles when Chris S punctured at the top of Bridgefoot Lane. Three continued on the route, while three hung back to sort the unauthorised deflation and one headed for home. The outward trip was a bit of a slog at times with long stretches into a stiff, cold north westerly, but relieved from time to time on southbound sections. The route was over the heaths and up the Downs, then back ways to Binham, Walsingham, up the Stiffkey, climbing over to the upper Wensum watermills* and Broomsthorpe for some welcome refreshments at Jane’s Coffee Corner overlooking East Rudham village green. Brian took the opportunity here to true his back wheel after suffering a drive side broken spoke. The first half home was assisted by an even brisker tailwind than anticipated, followed by a mixture of cross wind, short sections of headwind and some more tailwind. It was a glorious afternoon through the Raynhams, Colkirk, Ryburgh, Wood Norton, Guestwick (where early bird Neil Mc headed for home), Thurning, Briston and directly back to Red Barn Lane for the main split.

*Crossing the bridge over the tailrace of the former Sculthorpe watermill, now an upmarket pub/restaurant, one well-known veteran Wheeler suggested that this would make a good NNW club run venue. In February 2022 the Sculthorpe Mill won a Michelin Bib Gourmand award and in 2021 was voted Sunday Times Best Hotel in the East of England! The bunch pushed on to Jane’s Coffee Corner.

Bunch: Brian; Chris S; Graham A; Harvey; Mark; Neil Mc and Neil S (out for a morning lung opener).

One puncture: rear Schwalbe Durano Plus (more commercial claims of invincibility shattered on Norfolk roads). One broken spoke.

Distances: 64 miles to 82 miles.

Club Run to The Old Dairy, Stanfield 06/04/2022

With the number of Wheelers meeting at PC increasing by 100% compared to last week, they were both greeted by a warm but strong south westerly wind and dry conditions. Graham A was offered the choice of a headwind ride to Stanfield or a shorter easier ride to Reepham, he bravely chose the headwind to Stanfield, reasoning that it would be a tailwind back home.
Fortunately only the first 23 miles to Colkirk was into the wind, via, Edgefield, Briston, Hindolveston, Stibbard and Great Ryburgh, before turning south to Whissonsett and Stanfield.
The Old Dairy was fairly quiet when we arrived, so we were able to get a large table and comfy bench seat. The lunchtime food choice is limited but my ham and cheese toastie was tasty and the coffee was good enough to have a second cup.
As we prepared to leave it was obvious that the wind had increased and the clouds had become much darker and thicker, just as well it was going to be on our backs. And so we shot up the road at high speed and with little effort, a great payback for the morning’s headwind.
Our route took us through Brisley, past the pretty setting of Bintree water mill to Foulsham, then Guestwick, Wood Dalling to Saxthorpe and the direct route back to PC, with Graham turning off at North Barningham.
There were a couple of light showers on the return leg but not enough to make the roads wet and the in the last couple of miles the dark clouds parted and the sun came out.

PC to PC 51 miles, out leg 28miles @ 13.3 avg and a lot of effort. Return leg 24 miles @ 14.8 avg and minimal effort
Graham A and Mark leading

Club Run to Hoe on 2/4/2022.

After half of last week’s bunch upset the weather gods by assuming it was milk bottle leg day, this week’s cold snap came as no surprise. However, the wintry showers had cleared by 9.30 and the day was marked by a lot of sun, benign clouds and fabulous light. Definitely a cold northerly wind though. Last week’s numbers were halved as only Neil Mc, Mark, Brian and Harvey left Pretty Corner for a thirty odd mile leg down to the Fork in Hoe cafe via Bessingham, Matlaske, Corpusty, Foulsham, Bintree watermill, Great Heath, Brisley, East Bilney, Gressenhall and Norfolk Herbs. The cafe was busy, but the Wheelers managed to squeeze in for some decent quality refreshments. The horizontal flag at the front of Corner’s Garden Centre signalled that the northerly had stiffened somewhat to increase the workload on a return leg that went by way of the valley of the Blackwater, the high road above the former Wensum gravel pits, Billingford, Foxley, Themelthorpe (from where Neil turned for home), Odessa, Red Pits, Corpusty and a direct final seven miles to a three-way split at Red Barn Lane.

Distances: 58 miles to 74 miles.

Club Run to The Carpenters Arms, Wighton 30/03/2022

With all the regular Wednesday Wheelers away, recovering from covid or having looked at the weather forecast, Mark was not surprised to be the only one at PC.
The conditions at PC were good, no wind and around 8C, the forecast for noon was very different though, with near freezing temperatures, rain and an increasing NE wind. So in full winter attire, Mark was overdressed for the first hour before the rain started around Gunthorpe to cool him down!
Following Duncan’s route via Baconsthorpe, Edgefield, Briston, Stody to cross the A148 at Gunthorpe, where the first light rain started, then on to Great Snoring and a tour of the Barshams. Here Mark made a detour from the route, so instead of taking the busy main Fakenham Wells road, he continued west to Waterden, then up the old Roman road to Quarles and then back on route to Wighton, adding about 2.5miles to the route.
By now there had been a heavy rain shower, which eased but left the roads soaking wet, so instead of stopping for lunch at Wighton, he carried on, aiming to beat the worst of the weather.
From Wighton the route was a great tour around Hindringham, Field Dalling (where a group of three bedraggled riders were heading in the opposite direction, I don’t think they had looked at the forecast!), Saxlingham and on to Wiveton followed by the regular uphill route to High Kelling, West Beckham to PC.
After five consecutive dry club rides, today’s ride required a bike wash before heading indoors for a warming mug of tea.

PC to PC 52 miles 730m of climbing 14.7mph avg
A great route, which hopefully Duncan can lead in the future when we have more Wheelers available.

Club Run to Honingham on 26/3/2022.

Eight congregated at Pretty Corner for the run down to the Honingham Goat Shed. The bunch included Dan K, on his first club run since November. The northerly wind assisted a fast ride out, which headed south to cross the Wensum at Attlebridge before meandering about a bit via Greensgate, Hockering Woods, over the A47 at Hawthorn Lodge, Whitford Bridge (over the Tud) and East Tuddenham Common. The Goat Shed ‘Kitchen’ was busy, but the service is good. The longer loop home cut through to Colton church, passing Barnham Broom Country Club, crossing and recrossing the Yare, climbing up to Mattishall, back over the A47 at North Tuddenham, back over the Wensum at Mill Street, up the clamber to Sparham, passing Neil Mc’s house at Kerdiston (where he bid adieu), Guestwick, Briston and the conventional ways back to Bodham Hill, West Beckham and Red Barn Lane for the main split.

Bunch: Brian; Chris S; Dan K; Graham A; Harvey; Mark; Neil Mc; Neil S.

Distances: 62 miles to 87 miles.

One chute: Dan hit the tarmac at Hockering Woods, but thankfully avoided injury.

One lost circlip from friction gear lever.

One broken hub flange (large flange Campagnolo Record). Perhaps Chris B has a spare or similar in his copious bike shed.

Club Run to The Barns Cafe, Great Walsingham on 23rd March 2022

Four wheelers met at PC for a ride to Walsingham on a fine sunny spring day with light wind. The route took us through Baconsthorpe, Edgefield, Briston, Melton Constable, Hindolveston, Fulmodeston, Barney, Thursford and the Snorings. Excellent progress was made in perfect cycling conditions with a tail wind. On arrival at the Barnes we decided to eat outside due to the fine weather and all enjoyed a good lunch of the home-made produce. Most of us decided that cake and another coffee was also required! After lunch we made our way back on the usual route through Binham, Langham, Wiveton, High Kelling and back to PC. The pace was a little slower due to a slight head wind and the climb up from Wiveton the usual challenge. Overall a great days cycling.

PC to PC 42 miles

Average speed 15 mph  Total Elevation 1,490 ft

Mark, Graham, Robert, and Andrew B leading.

Club Run to Waxham on 19/3/2022.

Eight riders, including new man Chris S (ex-Wymondham), left Pretty Corner for the club run to the Dunes Cafe at Waxham Great Barn, where they were joined by Malcolm on his sortie up from south Norfolk via Yarmouth. The group pushed a strong east south east wind much of the way out, via Erpingham, Banningham, Tuttington, Swanton Abbott, Worstead, Honing, Brumstead Common, Ingworth (where they coincided with a Yarmouth-Cromer-Yarmouth sportif), Calthorpe Fen and Sea Palling to the always busy, but very efficient Dunes Cafe. During the refuelling break, one rider had a glove pinched by a large wet dog. The back home leg was notable for long stretches of strong tailwind, retracing to Calthorpe Fen, then Hickling Heath, Sutton windmill, Lessingham, Happisburgh Hall, Ridlington, Bacton Wood, Dead Man’s Grave, Knapton, Trunch and Bradfield, to connect to the familiar route back from the east coast over Tops Hill to Hanworth and Bessingham.

Bunch: Neil S; Neil Mc; Mark; Jim; Harvey; Graham A; Chris S; Brian. Malcolm at the cafe.

Distances: 65 miles to 81 miles.