Distance travelled: 27.56 miles
Cumulative distance: 1425.73 miles
Distance remaining: 3574.27 miles
Percentage complete: 28.51
Villages visited: West Winch, Setchey, Wiggenhall St Germans, Wiggenhall St Mary Magdalen, Watlington, Runcton Holme, Stowbridge, Wimbotsham, South Runcton, Tottenhill, Wormegay, Blackborough End, Middleton, North Runcton.
Yep, I know it’s been a long old time since I last updated this blog. I took a week off from everything to do with 5000colo, as my body and brain were clearly struggling to cope. Looking back on my last entry, I think I did the right thing in taking a step back.
I’ve been busy, though; I’ve actually had a decent amount of paid work to do, as well as powering through my Mental Health Awareness qualification.
For my first ride in over a week, I started my journey through the wild west of the county.
I started and finished at Captain Fawcett’s Emporium, where the boss was kind enough to give me a guided tour of his incredible barbershop and men’s grooming museum on the outskirts of King’s Lynn. The place is absolutely teeming with fascinating artefacts and trinkets, plus this awesome modified Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200.
It was pretty chilly; certainly my coldest ride yet. Thankfully it stayed dry, and I got my layering just right so I was never too cold. The first few miles were on a cycle path running alongside the A10; it’s a very busy and narrow road on this stretch, and I wouldn’t have relished being on the carriageway with the HGVs. It was quite good fun riding up and down all the little dips in the pavement, and the surface was generally pretty good. From there it was a lovely meander through a couple of the many Wiggenhalls (St Germans and St Mary Magdalen). When you’re on the bike, you notice things more acutely; things home in on you. I was struck by the curious road layouts; although there are vast expanses of flat nothingness, the roads still take a leisurely meander with the occasional double 90-degree turn for no particular reason. I mean, there may be a reason, but I couldn’t work it out. One would have thought that Roman influence in the area would have meant the roads would be arrow-straight!
Another thing I noticed was that a lot of the houses were built from this beautiful rust-coloured stone that I haven’t noticed anywhere else in the county. Despite the lack of undulations, at points it felt like I was in Derbyshire or Yorkshire with all the pretty little cottages. Watlington, Runcton Holme, Stowbridge and Wimbotsham all flew past as I got back into my rhythm.
From there it was back up the A10 for a few miles, although it’s slightly wider at this point and there’s a little hard shoulder to dip into when there’s oncoming traffic to allow vehicles to pass safely. I know that technically I should stand my ground and stay two or three feet out into my lane, but with the speed of the vehicles it felt safer to give them the opportunity to pass safely.
I went back to the back roads at Tottenhill, then through the curiously named Wormegay (etymology and pronunciation, anyone?), then Blackborough End, Middleton and North Runcton, before zipping back up the cycle path and back to base. A nice steady 27 miles, and despite a bit of ache on my hamstrings and glutes I feel pretty good.
I must say a few ‘thank yous’ at this point: firstly to Fat Lad At The Back for donating me this brilliant jersey, then to Rehook for sending me one of their handy multitools and a drinks bottle, and to Sealskinz for the warmest socks in the world, which just keep on giving. Then Windwave sent me two pairs of BBB Cycling overshoes after my previous pair wore out. Oh, and I have some new 2021 desk calendars from the lovely folks at Wensum Print – if you’d like one, make sure you follow my Instagram account (click the link).
Finally, a massive thank you to Tim from Bicycle Links for his ceaseless support – my bike has a new chain and cassette and is running like a dream. Tim also donated me some thermal bib tights and a fleece gilet, which enabled me to brave the cold without even wearing a jacket today!