Thursday, August 25, 2011

Late summer cycling break

Same sort of gig as last year, only with different weather.


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This time I arrived in Great Bircham about 10:30 on a beautiful summer's day, and headed out on the long run I'd meant to do last year, without the interruption by squall lines.

With the later start, I reached Little Walsingham after the first course of packed lunch (stopping for a pint at the Black Lion), and then kept going east as far as Binham (another pint at the Chequers Inn -- which, despite the name, does not seem to offer accommodation, but would have made a good base for another time), then looping back.

Second course of lunch -- cheesy rolls and a beefsteak tomato from the greenhouse -- at 15:00, partway along the coastal cyclepath, before heading for the first time through the grounds of Holkham Hall from the north. I'd steered clear of it, having previously taken other paths from the south which didn't make good cycling.

This side, the paths were properly made, easy going up and over the rolling terrain, then rolling downhill most of the way to Burnham Market; then the grind up the Ringstead road was where my legs started to tire, but still back to base not long after 17:00, having done about 48 miles.

Tuesday was wet, so read, did internet and generally rested up, with a little stroll around the local area late afternoon.

Wednesday was dry, if cool and generally cloudy, so another clockwise loop through the area (with one misstep when the path I'd meant to take was less obvious on the ground than the one I didn't), through lanes I'd mainly not taken before, with the goal of lunch at the Gin Trap Inn at Ringstead.

After their substantial club sandwich and chocolate mousse, I didn't want to take the rather punishing direct route to Sedgeford, but instead detoured out to Heacham, before finally ambling back (with a number of pauses where a full stomach made it more comfortable to get off and push rather than grind an uphill).

So that was about 28 miles; but between the end-of-day fade on Monday, and the push while digesting, my logged average speed went down from a steady 11 mph as it had been all summer, to only 10.8 :(

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