It was so good to get back out on the bike again for a decent ride. A week away from the saddle might not seem much, but this evening it was just lovely out there. I had in mind that I might try for 30 miles this time, but I didn’t set out until after 7pm so I only had a couple of hours of sunshine to work with. The lack of light’s not too much of a problem, but it’s still only April, so once the sun’s gone it starts to get cold pretty quickly. I was glad I was on the homeward stretch once that happened.
As usual I’d not really planned a route. I set out thinking I’d just head 15 miles in one direction before turning round and heading back, but this is what I ended up doing.
And it was lovely. Well, to tell the truth, that stretch along the A602 from Bragbury End wasn’t especially lovely, but once I’d turned off towards Sacombe, the next ten miles were a delight. That whole northward run through Dane End, Green End, Little Munden, Haultwick, Wood End, Ardeley and Cromer was so picturesque and peaceful. There really are some very nice villages around here. And a surprising number of whopping big houses in some of them to make me somewhat jealous. (For ‘somewhat’, read ‘insanely’.) Curiously, For a while I was following signs to Benington, but looking at the map now I see I managed to stay about as far from Benington as I could manage. Maybe I’ll pass through it on another ride some time.
As for how it felt to cycle the distance? Well the first 15 miles or so were no problem at all. The next few I was still in the “lovely villages” part of the route so didn’t really notice. After Cromer it had got dark enough to need my lights on, and cold enough to just want to get home, so the last part did feel like a bit of a slog. but none the less that fact that I can pop out for a couple of hours of an evening and notch up nearly 30 miles without feeling too knackered (or sweaty!) is a great encouragement that London to Paris isn’t going to be beyond my reach.
Oh, and talking of London to Paris…
I got in touch with my local paper, the Stevenage Comet, and mentioned that I was doing the ride for charity. On Friday a reporter rang me and asked for a load more details, and today a photographer rang to arrange when he could come and take a few photos of me. When they publish it, I’ll let you know! Should be a good boost for the fundraising. At least, that’s the hope.But there’s no need to wait until the local paper prompts you: you can donate right now!
Ooh! Ooh! Can’t go without leaving you the boring stats!
Distance: 26.47 miles
Riding time: 2hr 2min.
Average speed: 13mph
Top speed: 28.7mph
Twitter updates sent: Just the one.
Wildlife notes: Saw lots of rabbits. And a pheasant or two.