#5000colo Day 35: Hit The North!

Distance travelled: 23.38 miles
Cumulative distance: 681.55 miles
Distance remaining: 4318.45 miles
Percentage complete: 13.63
Villages visited: Swanton Novers, Hindolveston, Melton Constable, Briningham, Briston, Edgefield, Hunworth, Stody, Sharrington, Gunthorpe.

Today, let us give praise to the support vehicle. Our trusty 2008 Citroen Xsara Picasso, Ethel Red the Unleady, is an absolute legend.

The rear seats can be folded forward, then flipped up, and even removed completely depending on how much space you need. With two seats down (as pictured), I can easily fit the bike in the boot, and still have enough room for a rear passenger.

It’s also spacious enough for me to use it as a changing room – I can get changed back into my ‘day clothes’ completely unhindered by the elements! I love this car, and I’m totally going to drive it until it won’t drive any more.

As for today’s ride, I decided to head up past Guist, to fill in the villages I was supposed to hit last time when I got hit by my first puncture; naturally, I added a few on. It was the proverbial ‘ride of two halves’. I absolutely flew out of the blocks, averaging 17mph for the first part of the ride, before the environment started laughing at me.

Firstly there was the northerly wind, which blew right in my face for a good few miles. Then the second half was lots of twisty, undulating back roads that weren’t conducive to riding at speed. And finally, the last few miles was an absolute mudfest, with all manner of detritus plastering the road.

I powered through, though, despite the elements slowing me down to below 14mph. I’m definitely getting fitter, and I’m putting more effort into each ride, trying to ensure I’m pretty exhausted by the time I get back to the car.

I also recorded my lowest weight in years this morning – 14 stone, 5.6lbs. I don’t place too much stock in my weight, preferring to go on how I feel within myself; however, I’ve now lost two stone since I started cycling, and this can only be a good thing.

Tomorrow I’m off down south for a business meeting near Thetford; obviously I’ll follow that up with some more riding and some more villages.

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