#5000colo Day 19: Punctured Progress

Distance travelled: 18.26 miles
Cumulative distance: 385.66 miles
Distance remaining: 4614.34 miles
Percentage complete: 7.71
Villages visited: Guist, Foulsham, Guestwick, Wood Dalling, Heydon, Saxthorpe, Corpusty.

It had to happen at some point, I guess. With all the detritus on the roads after the weekend’s storm, I’m surprised I didn’t get a puncture sooner, to be honest. However, the circumstances couldn’t have been much worse.

I was 18 miles into my ride, and still seven miles away from the car when disaster struck; I applied my emergency puncture repair spray, which is supposed to fill the inner tube with foam and should inflate it enough to get home safely.

However, it was soon clear that the foam was just escaping from the other side of the tyre. And as I drove up to Guist alone today, I couldn’t call Katie and ask her to collect me. And it was raining, and it was cold, and I hadn’t brought anything waterproof with me… epic fail.

I had to resort to that last vestige of childhood and call my mum and beg her to rescue me. And she did, of course, because she’s wonderful and that’s what mums do.

I am going to need to rethink my strategy a bit, because if that had happened in January and my mum wasn’t available, I could’ve got hypothermia. I’ll definitely need to be a bit smarter with my gear choices, and ensure that I have something to keep me warm if that should happen again.

But anyway, there were a couple of lovely photo opportunities. Firstly, the village green at Heydon: this is a rare example of a ‘one road in, one road out’ village, and it’s beautifully quaint. I didn’t see a single soul, it was totally deserted. I’d love to go back when it’s open… 🙂

And secondly, Wood Dalling gave me the chance to capture the bike alongside a village sign, a village church AND a village pond! Quite the triumvirate, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Due to my puncture, I was unable to complete today’s route, so the villages of Thurning, Hindolveston and Wood Norton will have to wait for another day.

Tomorrow I’m taking the bike into Bicycle Links for some running repairs and a quick once-over, and then I’m heading down to Croxton near Thetford, to meet a lady called Melinda, who is the patron of YANA (You Are Not Alone), an organisation that campaigns for mental health support in agricultural settings. Farming is such a vital part of Norfolk’s heritage and economy, and I’m looking forward to finding out about the great work YANA is doing to support our rural communities.

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