Saturday, August 21, 2004

Holiday — home to Claydon via Needham Market

Driving down, I realise that there is just one problem with a car CD player - it's a lot more fiddly than tape when it comes to changing a disk. So for journeys longer than one CD, best to have one that stands instant repeats.

After finding the Suffolk Cycle Breaks place OK, I start to get acquainted with the new bike. It has Shimano gears, but thumb and forefinger levers, which mean I have to read the labels to figure out which to manipulate to do the shift. And there's a lot of fiddling before I get the saddle to a comfortable height for pedalling (i.e. legs extended on the down-stroke) - even if it is a bit precarious dismounting.

The pretty way to the hotel is only 8 miles. The first bit is supposedly a busy road - which really isn't, this Saturday late afternoon, and even though the supposedly short first hill actually keeps on giving (not helped by this being during the adjust saddle and learn gears phase), it's only 45 minutes to the hotel, so I loop back along the short route to the pub the chap recommended, the Sorrel Horse "a bit of a hike" he said. About a mile, I guess.

The hotel in Claydon is supposedly quieter on a Saturday than the usual one in Needham Market, but they have wedding party. The room is hell hot - it takes several seconds for the cold tap to run cold! After a bath, I stroll over to the Sorrel Horse for supper - steak & ale pud, and a couple of Spitfires. It's now 19:15, so I continue strolling away from the hotel, cross the main road at a footpath, and loop back eventually to Claydon by about 21:00. As I get into the centre, I hear a loud thumping of amplified music. No, neither of the pubs, but the hotel. So have another pint at the pub across the road.

Channel surf to near midnight to cover the noise, and discover that forensics seems to be the new fashion in US imports. Even when the disco dies away, there are motorbikes on the main road just outside, and it's still too hot. Sleep on the bed, not in, and still feel sticky.

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