Club Run to the Norton Centre on 18/9/2021.

Andrew B, Ben, Geoff, Harvey, Mark and Neil rode the run to Walsingham on a lovely late summer’s day with warm sun and a fresh south easterly. It was pretty much straight out west parallel to the coast as far as North Creake in the morning, before climbing back over to Walsingham for the refreshment break in the courtyard of the Norton. There were some testing little climbs on the way back too, including the lumpy bits through the Barshams and over to the Snorings, then over the airfield to Thursford, through the hole in the hedge (HitH) to Barney, into the wind down to Stibbard, finally working back round to pick up a lot of tailwind by way of Nethergate, Craymere, Briston, the Pond Hills undulations, Hempstead and Baconsthorpe.

Geoff managed to survive an unprovoked attack by a chicken on the light railway bridge at Wighton.

Distances: 63 miles to 80 miles.

Observation (over a period of time): – as things stand, and being realistic, the regular bunch is becoming less and less capable of completing Saturday’s 60 odd milers at a decent pace and still being back in Sheringham at a reasonable time. One of the objectives of advertised club runs has always been to attract new members to NNW. Inevitably some of the old stalwarts pass on for various reasons and some are replaced by new people. However, much more significant numbers of people make enquiries, turn up for a couple of weeks and then vanish without trace. Why? Obviously because they don’t like what is on offer. It might be sensible to re-badge what is currently on offer. This could be along the lines of fit and very fit veterans group (VC Vetus Velox), but all ages welcome and downloadable route files available for those who want to push on a bit. A veterans group would also be less tied to Saturdays and the evidently increasing problems with cafes at weekends. Friday might prove to be a better option, although a couple of the younger members (Ben and Scott?) might justifiably protest. Given the size of the Strava group on the NNW website, it always seems surprising that there is no demand for a younger, more dynamic Strava–driven group, more suitable to 21st century cycling boomers.

Club Run to Jane’s Café, East Rudham, 15th September 2021

Four Wheelers met at PC on a surprisingly good day, considering the previous day’s unrelenting rain and the North Westerly wind was warm and had dried the roads completely. The first leg of this longer than normal ride was into the wind, through High Kelling and onto Wiveton, but then we turned South West to Langham, Binham, the Walsinghams to North Barsham. From North Barsham, Waterden to South Creake, uphill to Syderstone across the B1454 Docking road and down to East Rudham and Jane’s Café at exactly 30 miles. Here we found that the tables on the green had been removed for the winter but one was available outside the café and with an umbrella to shade us from the sun! The food and service was up to the usual high standard and once refreshed we set off for home. We initially stayed south of the A148, on the lanes through Broomsthorpe and Shereford to Sculthorpe Mill where we crossed the Wensum and then across the A148 to West and East Barsham and up the hill to Great Snoring. At Thursford, Jane headed North to Blakeney, with the rest heading East to Gunthorpe, Brinton, Stody and Hunworth, where Andrew headed home for an appointment with the dentist. That left just two to enjoy the climb up to Edgefield, then the run to Baconsthorpe, West Beckham and back to PC for a total of 60 miles.

Some route stats – We climbed 2785 ft/850m, descended 2785 ft/850m, 40% of the route was uphill, 40% was downhill and 20% flat.  If the uphill and downhill cancel themselves out, then 100% of the route was flat, see Norfolk is flat! Our ride time from PC to Jane’s was 2hrs 4mins with an average speed of 14.5mph, the return leg was 2hrs 12min with an average of 13.6mph, so cake does slow you down.

PC to PC was 60 miles

Graham A, Andrew B and Jane, led by Mark

Club Run to Frettenham on 11/9/2021.

Six North Norfolk Wheelers met at Pretty Corner for this week’s run to the Rose and Crown at Frettenham, which is a leading contender for the most comfortable refreshment break venue. Today was a good opportunity to combine a lot of familiar and less familiar lanes in unfamiliar fashion. It was fairly conventional to Briston and Craymere, but then deviating to Burnthouse and Thurning, clipping through the edge of Reepham before turning east through Booton, along Allison Street to Brampton and Buxton, then south to Little Hautbois and south west over medieval Mayton bridge and the narrow lanes into Frettenham. The fare was any combination of sausage roll with Bakewell Tart, chocolate cake or fruit scone, although, to be fair, the sausage rolls came in four different varieties. After a fairly short, but comfortable break, it was a more easterly route back to the north coast, by way of Heggatt Hall, Coltishall, Belaugh Green, Tunstead church, Sloley, the Norfolk dual carriageway, Swanton Hill, Skeyton Corner, Felmingham, Colby, Thwaite Common, Alby Hill, Bessingham and a split at Gresham. The group managed to avoid various stormy looking cloud formations, which deposited a lot of water in the Thwaite and Aldborough area, while enjoying the bonus of quite a lot of unexpected sunshine in the final miles.

Group: Ben; Graham A; Graham J; Geoff; Harvey; Neil.

Distances: 66 miles to 79 miles.

One chute – Graham J (unavoidable emergency change of direction on gritty Church Lane, Frettenham – bruised left forearm).

Club Run to Reedham Ferry Inn on 8th September 2021

Seven riders met at Honing Station car park on a glorious summers day for this special ride led by John, including Danny a holiday visitor from Sheffield. Most had driven there, but Mark and Graham had both cycled from Cromer. The route to the Horning ferry took us through Dilham, Smallburgh and Neatishead. At the ferry we met Jane who had also cycled from home, and the bikes were loaded up for the short crossing. On the other bank we met Malcolm who had cycled from his new home on the Broads. We then all made our way to the Ferry Inn via. Ranworth, South Walsham, Pilson Green, Acle, Moulton St Mary and Freethorpe. We all enjoyed a good lunch and refreshments at the Inn on the terrace overlooking the river. 

After lunch Malcolm and Jane took the Reedham ferry, the latter to continue her short touring holiday. The rest us made our way back through Limpenhoe, Strumpshaw, Blofield, Pedham, Woodbastwick, Wroxam, Hoveton, Ashmanhaugh, Sloley and Worstead. Mark and Graham spilt of on route to ride home, a long day in the saddle for them! Although, the pace slowed a little as the heat began to take a toll, all the rest made it safely back. Overall a great ride.

Total distance was 51 miles

Andrew B, Mark, Graham A, Dave, Robert, Andrew C, Jane A, Malcolm led by John S.

Club Run to Mattishall on 4/9/2021

With Brian unfortunately stricken with CFS, Graham riding audax in South Norfolk and Suffolk and various others either working or injured, it was assumed that today’s bunch would be a small one for the run down to Tabnabs. In the event however, eight riders met at Pretty Corner, including Andrew B, who had decided that today was as good a day as any to sample a weekend club run. The situation was complicated further when it transpired that Ben, Matty and Neil had to be back early, so eventually it was a bunch of five who made it to the refreshment stop. The biggest shock of the day was caused by the golden orb in the sky putting in several appearances. For a number of reasons, the group of eight and then five became split even more than usual today. The south bound route took in Corpusty, Themelthorpe, Foxley, Elsing, Dereham Town FC, Clint Green and Brakefield Green. The food at Tabnabs is still the best, but has become much more difficult to acquire than in former days. The return leg was more direct, travelling by way of North Tuddenham, Peaseland Green, Primrose Green, Collin Green, Attlebridge, Swannington Upgate and points north to Cawston, Itteringham, Bodham Hill and West Beckham, although with a few small detours thrown in for variety.

Bunch: Mark; Harvey; Graham J; Geoff; Andrew B to the cafe. Neil; Matty; Ben on a shorter day out.

Distances: 62 miles to 75 miles.

One puncture: – rear Michelin Pro 4 (tiny sliver of flint).

Club Run to The Tea Post at North Elmham on 1st September 2021

Three riders, led by Graham A, set off southwards from Pretty Corner with a light following wind and a promise of patchy light rain. The route was mainly on country lanes passing through villages such as Baconsthorpe, Hempstead, Edgefield and Guestwick before reaching the Wensum valley at Mill Street having avoided riding  on the A1067 at Foxley and Bawdeswell. The Tea Post at North Elmham was quickly reached via Worthing and the group was soon enjoying the tastiest of coffee and home cooked food. 

The return route was on some unfamiliar roads and included the villages of Gateley, Gt Ryburgh, Stibbard, Wood Norton and Briston. Any drizzle was not enough to warrant putting on a waterproof and the ride was an uneventful but pleasing 51 miles.

PC to PC was 51 miles

Andrew B and Mark, led by Graham A.

Club Run to Waxham Dunes Cafe on 28/8/2021

Five departed from Pretty Corner on a persistently showery morning with a strong north easterly wind, in keeping with summer 2021. However, Geoff suffered his second puncture in the rain after only seven miles, so decided to give it best. Four Wheelers followed a fairly conventional route via Swanton Abbott and Worstead to East Ruston before picking up the lanes over Brumstead Common and Calthorpe Fen to Sea Palling and the busy cafe, where Malcolm was awaiting us after his ride up from St Olave’s via Yarmouth harbour. After bidding farewell to the newly-domiciled Broadlander, the bunch headed home on what was now a bright and breezy afternoon through Hickling and into a series of narrow lanes to Sutton mill, Lessingham Star, Happisburgh Common, Hill 60, Crostwight Heath, Dead Man’s Grave, Trunch, Southrepps, Northrepps and Metton to a three way split at Gresham church.

At Felbrigg Woods, Big Ben’s van was spotted parked mysteriously in a layby. The mystery was solved however when the missing Sheringham mile-eater was caught at Bodham Hill into the last ten miles of his post-rain 100 miler.

Neil, Mark, Harvey and Brian completed the club run. Geoff, Malcolm, Ben and Mike P were encountered at various stages during the day.

Distances: 67 miles to 77 miles.

Two punctures.

One jack snipe (Calthorpe Fen).

PS – Geoff put in 59 miles via Reepham station cafe.

Club Run to The Swan Inn, Horning on 25th August 2021

Five Wheelers met at PC on an overcast and rather cold day for the time of the year. The route to Horning, took us through Sustead, Northrepps, Trunch, Knapton, North Walsham, Worstead, Ashmanhaugh and Upper Street. A good pace was set by Robert with only a couple of stops. On arrival at the Swann we were disappointed to find that they were not serving lunch and a search of other pubs along the river indicated either no food or a long wait. However, sandwiches and drinks were purchased from the local shops and we ate on the green were we joined by our former leader Malcolm and John Dimascio for lunch. 

After lunch John left us to return home to Honing. The rest of us proceeded on the shortest route back to PC via Tunstead, Swanton Abbot, Banningham, Erpingham and Gresham. There were two punctures on the way back which slowed progress and as the northerly wind had picked up by then, the group split up to accommodate different speeds/routes home. 

PC to PC was 54 miles

Graham A, Andrew B, John S and Mark, led by Robert.

Club Run to East Rudham on 21/8/2021

Prior commitments (inc Tour de Broads), injuries and, possibly, poor weather forecasts kept the numbers down for the re-arranged ride out to Jane’s on the village green at East Rudham. Three Wheelers were joined by Beach Runners’ marathon man Jim H on a route that went by way of Baconsthorpe, Briston, Craymere, Hindolveston, Stibbard, Ryburgh, Colkirk, the Raynhams and Rudham Grange to a fairly quiet cafe, where the service was once again first class. The objective on the homeward leg was to keep ahead of an advancing band of rain, which produced only light showers anyway. This was a more northerly route, threading through the quiet lanes via Broomsthorpe, two of the Wensum watermills, two of the Barshams, both Walsinghams, Hindringham, Bale and the familiar villages to Briston, Edgefield, Bodham Hill and the parting of the ways at the south end of Red Barn Lane. This was not the end of the day’s action however. On the final lone miles back to base, one rider was accosted aggressively at Selbrigg by a cocaine-fuelled loon, who was in the middle of the road trying to spark up his rollup. He looked as though he was still on the way back from a trip to Wembley on 11th July.

Bunch: Brian; Mark; Jim H; Harvey.

Distances: 60 miles to 77 miles.

Club Run to The Three Swallow at Cley on 18th August 2021

Five Wheelers met at PC on an overcast but mainly dry summer day with light wind. The route to Cley, took us through Gresham, Sustead and Aldborough where we stopped to put on waterproofs due to light rain. This successfully put off the rain and having stopped to take kit off again we proceeded via. Calthorpe, Wolerton, Itteringham, Corputsy, Briston, Sharrington, Lethrringsett and Glandford. There were some challenges to navigation as the route kindly provided by Jane did not show properly on Garmin. However, with reliance made to good old fashioned map reading we all arrived safely were we enjoyed lunch in the pub garden. 

After lunch Jane left us to return home to Blakeney. The rest of us proceeded on the normal root back to PC via High Kelling, but with a detour to Kelling via Long Lane. Duncan spilt of for the route to Holt at the start of the lane and Graham left us at Kelling to make his way back to Cromer. Although the wind had begun to pick up the rain held off and hopefully everyone got home dry.

PC to PC was 40 miles

Graham A, Duncan, Jane A and Mark, led by Andrew B.