Distance travelled: 13.74 miles
Cumulative distance: 520.26 miles
Distance remaining: 4479.74 miles
Percentage complete: 10.41
Villages visited: Panxworth, South Walsham, Ranworth, Woodbastwick.
Where to start? This was probably the craziest, most hectic day of the ride so far. It started off with me trying to blag some public transport assistance, but it turns out you’re not allowed to take your bike on First buses. Talks are ongoing with Greater Anglia about the trains; they can’t give me any discounts on travel, but I’m still hopeful we might be able to do some content together.
I was going to take the train down to OB Café in Old Buckenham, which I’m told is a favourite haunt for cyclists, but they’re only open from Thursday until Sunday. After having been busy with ‘day job’ stuff as well as trying to blag things, I decided to take the easy way out and do a nice simple 20-miler I’d done a few times before, going through South Walsham and Ranworth before stopping at the Fur & Feather pub in Woodbastwick for a pint, then riding the last few miles home.
The Fur & Feather is the pub/restaurant that’s attached to the Woodforde’s brewery; I’d often cycled past on my Broadland loops and thought it looked very inviting, so I thought I’d plan a stop.
It was teeming with rain again for the first few miles of the ride; I’ve got some overshoes arriving on Thursday, which should make a real difference to my rides. Cold and wet legs I can deal with; saturated feet and freezing toes, not so much.
I did trial two other bits of new kit today: a neckwarmer/snood (which I didn’t really notice, but I’m sure it’ll come in handy when the temperature plummets), and a fleece skullcap to go underneath my helmet. This was an excellent addition, and I’m sure it’ll only become more valuable as we transition into winter.
So anyway, I glided through the 13-odd miles to Woodbastwick in good time, then locked up the bike and went into the pub. The coronavirus protocols were all spot-on, and I was shown to my table.
I’ve not had a beer since the end of my previous ride at the end of August, so I thought I was overdue a little treat. Note to self: beer still tastes good. Here’s some pictorial evidence.
While I was waiting to be served I flicked through my notifications, to find out that the official Norwich City FC Twitter account (705,000 followers) had just posted a link to an article about me. My phone was then abuzz with messages from people, and I excitedly told the bar staff about my charity ride and what had just happened.
People at adjacent tables then started asking me about it, and I ended up chatting with them and, before I knew it, I’d ordered myself a second pint. My new friends had ordered food, and I took one look at it and started getting immediate food envy.
On a whim, I called Katie and asked her if she fancied a pub dinner rather than eating at home… that’ll be a yes, every time. So we ended up having a fantastic dinner (pork Wellington, hell yeah) and a great evening in a lovely rustic boozer.
I’m also hoping to get Woodforde’s on board with my ride, and I’m going to be chatting to their marketing guys tomorrow… if I can find the time! I’m meeting a friend for coffee in the morning, then meeting the Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk, Lady Pippa Dannatt, in the afternoon.
After that, I’m going to visit an elderly friend of mine who I was looking after during lockdown; she’s just moved into a care home and is currently self-isolating, so I’m going to go and chat to her through an outside window.
Then, in the evening, I’m going to an online networking event with Buy Local Norfolk, to ‘e-meet’ some local businesses and tell them about what I’m doing.
I feel like the ‘snowball effect’ is starting to happen, and I’ve got an ever-increasing number of commitments related to my riding; I just need to be mindful of my own wellbeing (and, indeed, of the impact all this chaos is having on Katie), and be prepared to slow down a little bit.
Easy does it, Colo; there’s still a long, long way to go.