Friday, August 27, 2010

Cycling Holiday


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Equipped with the new car and, more importantly, a bike-rack, I strapped my trusty old mount on the back, programmed the satnav, and set off for a couple of mights' stay in one of the country inns that I've stayed in as part of a Cycle Breaks holiday -- this time going to the King's Head in Great Bircham, thereby cutting out a couple of days messing around near Swaffham (and, equally important, the drive home down the A11).

After an easy run through showery weather, I got to my destination in good time to unship the bike and head off to the Gin Trap Inn at Ringstead for lunch. Alas, the after lunch amble down the lanes was interrupted by unexpected rain, first a cautionary sprinkle, then, a mile or so from base, the heavens opened.

Tuesday I trusted the forecast when it said light showers, late afternoon, so set out on a long loop, expecting to pick up some provisions in Fakenham, then head up to the coast. Not finding any obvious place to buy big cartons of juice in Fakenham, I just loaded up with some Lucozade Sport, then started following the cycle route to the coast.

Evidence of previous rain was there in the need to get off and wheel the bike around some big puddles on a short stretch of green lane; but by the time I got to Gt Walsingham, the sun was shining, and I could shed the brushed cotton shirt that had been providing warmth. And then I noticed the wall of weather heading my way. With not enough time and land to avoid it, I skipped the off-road path through Holkham Hall grounds, did as best as possible to skirt Wells, and got to the main road as the sun shone through again, and revealed another squall line following.

I got to the Jockey in Burnham Market just ahead of the weather and then waited for it to pass, before heading back slightly damp and in strong cold wind to the hotel.

On the last day, I looped west, through good weather that started to develop a high haze, discovering a convenient superette in Heacham -- even though I didn't need anything; a useful stretch of cyclepath along the main road between Heacham and Hunstanton, and eventually back to the Gin Trap for lunch, before heading back through distinctly overcast weather. This time I beat the rain on the route to the hotel -- but it arrived earlier than forecast during the drive home.

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