Tag Archives: Norfolk

All roads lead to Bungay

Quite a frantic weekend but managed to get some cycle training in, with a trip down to Bungay and back via several intriguing country roads that didn’t necessarily go where the map said they did, or rather where my Garmin thought they did. In fact I didn’t really end up going the planned route at all on the way back, but it still worked.

Route here.

Bungay was confusing. I went around a few roundabouts several times, and took a few wrong turns, plus got caught in a one way loop exacerbated by road closures due to a running event. It didn’t seem to matter which way I went, even after I was miles from Bungay on the way home my sat nav kept trying to direct me back there; think there must be something insidious residing in the town, or maybe underneath it, perhaps Lovecraftian in nature, that screws with your navigation devices. Knew I shouldn’t have ventured into Suffolk 😉

Still, Bungay was pretty:

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There used to be a roundabout just outside the town that was home to chickens, just roaming free on their island oasis. Sadly they seem to have all disappeared now but would like to know what became of them. I hope it wasn’t a health and safety issue, and hopefully they didn’t all end up as take-away dinners.

My bike was fully loaded today, including tent on the back rack, and felt heavy especially when cycling into a strong headwind. You really have to adjust your cycling style with a heavier bike, it doesn’t stop as quickly, in fact the brakes take a lot longer to work when travelling downhill at any speed as I did a few times today (Norfolk really isn’t that flat despite rumours to the contrary). The bike also doesn’t corner quite as well and I had to give myself more time to change direction, which resulted in a few close calls with hedges and curbs.

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I recorded a video during a downhill stretch that got a little ‘exciting’ due to the one-handed nature of my descent, and lack of efficient breaking. Had quite an ‘interesting’ encounter with a speed bump at the bottom of the hill. If I can work out how to compress the video a bit I’ll stick it up. It ends quite abruptly due to aforesaid speed bump.

Spring definitely sprang today with temperatures soaring to around 17 degrees C, lovely to see lots of daffodils out along the roadside, although not sure what this chap was doing loitering next to them.

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Also managed to squeeze in a quick pint at the pub in Woods End, which has re-opened under new management and is pretty swanky now, will have to go there for a meal at some point.

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Made it back to Norwich after a circa 50 miles round trip. Will be doing longer on a day-to-day basis once I start the tour, but today was more about testing the bike fully loaded, and making sure my knee held up. Thankfully both worked.

Other news from the weekend; lost at poker but nothing new there (can’t seem to play anymore), back fence fixed, again, but hopefully will stay upright for another few years now. Feisty Kendo session which resulted in a few bruises after some excellent fencing (not the same as the garden fence I had to fix), curry and a few pints in the Fat Cat was a good recovery session. Also had an interview and photos taken by the local newspaper, so should be in the Norwich Evening News tomorrow, and perhaps the EDP later in the week, which will help with publicity and sponsorship.

All in all great weekend. Think I’ll go an chill with my guitar for a bit now before another hectic work week starts. Roll on 01 May!

Beside the seaside

Whilst traditionally it is appropriate to sing ‘oh I do like to be beside the seaside‘, when going to the seaside, it’s a little hard to build up enthusiasm when it’s only 2 or 3 degrees, with a brisk North Easterly making it feel like it -2. Still, I loaded up the bike with pretty much everything I’m going to take on my tour, bar my tent, and set out to Sea Palling on the Norfolk coast at about 8.30am.

Had to wheel my bike through a manual level crossing at one point, haven’t encountered one of these for a few years:

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Nice ride out through the countryside with lots of other cyclists out on the road (greetings duly exchanged); must be the bank holiday, and despite the cold a hint of spring in the air, that motivated everyone to get out.

Record of route here.

Made it to Sea Palling in good time and enjoyed a second breakfast hobbit style at the local cafe. Great bacon roll and hot chocolate consumed with vigour.

Bacon Roll stop

The sun finally came out properly during this stop, but unfortunately didn’t do much to increase the temperature. I did however change my lenses from ‘happy’ yellow, to shades, a step in the right direction.

Few more pictures from Sea Palling…

People out for Easter Walk:                                   Slightly doctored photo but looks cool – high tide:
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Ramp down to beach through dunes:
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Travelling lobster close to ‘natural’ environment with Easter Egg:
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The route back from Sea Palling took me along the coast before heading inland back towards Norwich, via several picturesque villages. Somehow my GPS decided it would be advantageous to send me along a dirt track at one point. The below definitely isn’t a road but I managed to navigate through the ruts and horse manure successfully, with no bike damage.

63567_10151574488528923_278265644_nWent through Horning and had a brief stop down by the broad.

Horning

There were several old looking Wherry type boats, or reproductions thereof out sailing today, but didn’t manage to get a photo of them.

All in all good day out cycling, covering about 56 miles. Slightly worried about knee injury – it seems to be getting better but is still a bit achy and stiff, so might see a physio next week. Raising my saddle has definitely helped though.