Category Archives: SWNC

Some Hills and A Swarm

I had been looking forward to the first weekend in July for many months.

Untitled While away walking in Portugal we had booked up the Norwich Cycle swarm with Gina, deciding on the 100-mile route, an event I had wanted to do for a few years but had never managed to fit in !!

The route would cover some roads that we had never ridden on before so I was looking forward to some new scenery and a chatty ride with Gina.

Then SWNC decided that our yearly trip to Rutland to ride the hills would be on the Saturday before the Swarm, this we could not miss!

I had done this ride in 2014 but then missed out last year when I suddenly got afraid of hills !! Now I feel stronger on my bike I was eager to go and face my fear of hills!!

The route included 2 great stops, tea and cake at The Windmill then lunch at cafe Ventoux.Untitled

Happy to say I loved this ride, coping far better with the Rutland hills than I expected too, it was a huge SWNC turn out for an away day ride which just proves what a great social biking group it is.

Amazingly the Flying Scotsman even made an appearance just us !!

The Norwich Cycle Swarm is an annual mass participation cycling event that starts from Norwich City Football Club.The routes head out of Norwich through Wroxham then along the coast through Happisburgh and Bacton then turning inland at Mundesley, the coast road was very scenic and windy !!

It was all I expected it to be although I thought the feed stations were very poor but as we are used to doing Audax rides we just stopped at a cafe along the coast.

Although Gina had decided not to join us on the ride we did meet up for dinner so a perfect ending to a busy weekend.

Biking in Mallorca

Well with a tear in my Achilles and a ban on running and any strenuous walking it was lucky for me that our next adventure was all to do with the BIKE .

p1000218.jpgIn April myself,Geoff,Gina along with Andy and his non cycling wife Kate went off to Port Pollenca for a week,where we had hired bikes for 4 days , while we biked Kate was going to enjoy the pool and do some walking.

Our trip overlapped the youngsters from SWNC by a night so we enjoyed a get together meal on our first evening, where we heard all about their adventures.

Mallorca is definitely the place to go for cycling the roads are perfect and there is something for everyone from the beginner to  the elite.

From Feb to Easter the place is swamped with bikers and when you go out the roads are just full of cycling pelotons giving it a great atmosphere.img_0080.jpg

Our first ride out was to Petra where the main square is just full of cycling cafes full of cyclist.

We then carried onto the outdoor velodrome at Sineu which I loved biking round!!

The following day we had a nice hilly ride up to the Monastery at Lluc ,of course what goes up must come down, it was a fun but scary descent in strong gusty wind, at one point it felt like I was not moving anywhere !!

Andy showed us all how the descents are meant to be tackled bombing down like a pro and making it all look so easy !!

img_1672.jpgThe Lighthouse ride is one not to be missed a long slow Climb all the way up taking in fabulous views and at this time is year no buses full of tourists cluttering up the roads.

As well as the biking we enjoyed some fabulous meals out in the evenings,the highlight was going to Tolo’s the cyclist restaurant and one where Barry Wiggins has his bikes on display.

A fabulous holiday enjoyed by all and one I hope we get to do again and again as who would not want to be biking in the sunshine !!

Swapping running shoes for 2 wheels

First week in November and I spent 5 days in the Cotswolds with biking friends from SWNC. We stayed in a fabulous lodge on the Lower Mill Estate near Cirencester, our lodge even had its own hot tub on the balcony

I was worried about this trip as it involved biking up hills, when it comes to hills I lack confidence and fail mentally but I was hoping this trip would help me overcome these fears !!

imageTuesday we were going to head North to the hills riding through plenty of typical Cotswolds villages.

Wednesday an easier flatish ride leaving time to enjoy the spa.

Thursday drive over the Severn bridge and ride into the Wye valley by Tintern valley and Monmouth

The weather was damp but warm and we managed 2 of the planned rides , happy to say I coped with the hills far better than expected. On the third day we decided it was too wet to risk the ride especially with all the wet slippery leaves about.

We didn’t waste the day though spending it in the Spa and generally having fun, I even tried the outdoor plunge pool .

This was a totally fabulous week spent with great friends having lots of fun and laughs  ,so good that we have booked to go again next year and certain people have promised to join me in the plunge pool.

and I may be starting to fall in love with those hills at last !!!!

Cycle Together Sandringham

Much to my disappointment I had to miss Cycle Together Sandringham in 2014 so it was top of my list for 2015.

Its a great family day out with routes of 10,20, 50 and 100 miles so something for everyone and every penny raised goes to Park house hotel for the disabled.

I was going to ride this with the sandringham and west norfolk cyclist and it was also going to be my first 100 ride of 2015 but as I decided to ride from home it would make it around 116 miles, my longest ride to date.

10171728_10153074990488152_6507144964771980927_n (1)As I left home it was drizzling with rain but by the time we set off from Sandringham although still dull there was no drizzle !!

A large group of us set off together we then split down into smaller groups depending on speed.

I settled into a nice little group of 5 and we rode together to the first feed stop at Holkham ,avg speed was 17 mph and at that time I wondered how I would ever manage the 100 miles.

This is where the route split and we lost 2 from our group who went on to ride the 50 while Myself, Paulette and Lorraine carried on to do the 100 miles.

We then headed out to Holt for the next feed station,we rode together really well taking it in turns at the front for a mile at a time,it was the first time I have experienced such great riding team work, it pushed me hard and I loved it !!

From Holt it was back to Holkham with the challenging Bard hill at salthouse on the way ,I think the 100 route took in every hill in Norfolk.11427703_10153074990763152_640031407545965868_n

Then before we knew it we were crossing the finishing line with big smiles and cheers from fellow riders.

We then received a lovely goody bag , had coffee and pasta before returning home.

A  fabulous ride out with 3 great ,well stocked, feed stations, ran by friendly cheerful encouraging volunteers. The route signage was also very good and clear to follow and the actual 100 mile route was fantastic to ride.

Thanks to Paulette and Lorraine it was well worth waiting a year to do and I loved it.

and I was so happy that I didn’t need a lift home !!

Pedal Norfolk

Pedal Norfolk was the second event Gina and I was doing over the B/H weekend.

IMG_2949Pedal Norfolk is a 3 day biking event at Holkham Hall,organised by Fatbirds of Hunstanton and offering various lengths of rides over the 3 days.

We did the 50 mile “hilly” on the B/H Monday.

Its the first time we had done this event as it always clashes with the GEAR run and I never thought I was fit enough to do both !!

Luckily the torrential rain from Sunday had been replaced with a nice sunny day , perfect for biking.

We arrived nice and early because at the last min and much to my delight Geoff had decided to ride, so needed to register. It was good to see a group of other SWNC riders there so we all started together then split into our own riding groups along the way.

It was a great route to ride heading away from Hunstanton towards Stiffkey and Morston on many roads I had not ridden on before up the famous Salthouse hill towards Binham where you had a grand view of the priory.IMG_2953

The feed station was simple but offered excellent refueling and the best flapjacks I have ever tasted!!

The route back to Holkham was just as enjoyable and what a delight when you spotted the sea on the horizon coming into Titchwell, then back into the Holkham estate with the Obelisk in view and that great finish.

It was one of the best Sportive Routes we have ever ridden and the lovely festival atmosphere at the end was well enjoyed with food drink and chat with fellow riders…….

So enjoyed that next year we may not run the GEAR but ride the 100 mile scenic Saturday route!!

Count the Counties Bike Sportive

Count the Counties was a new local Sportive for 2015 and how could we not enter when it started not far from my house 🙂

You had the choice of 30 55 and 92 miles,1 2 or 3 counties and we decided on the 92 or 3 counties route  which actually turned out to be 97 on the day.

I was really looking forward to this sportive as the route went out over the Fens, an area I really enjoy riding, on a Tuesday with the Tarmac Touring Guys.

DSC_0866A small group of us decided to meet and ride together on the day.

Due to the trains not running , Geoff had to bike 40 miles to get to my house on the Saturday, so unfortunately he started with tired legs and we soon lost him 🙁 but I was sure he would not mind me making the most of this ride as I had trained so hard for it.

First feed stop was in Welney, which was very well stocked with good energy food,and for me the best thing was being able to get a hot drink, we waited around for Geoff, hoping he would catch us up but finally decided to leave without him.

So off we went making very good time and enjoying the tail wind as we knew it would soon be a head wind! Then disaster struck and Justeene’s wheel clipped another wheel and she had a very nasty fall.

These things always scare me, luckily she was wearing a helmet and no bones were broken but she was very battered and bruised. She decided she wanted to carry on and then due to a puncture Geoff finally caught us up and stayed with us till we arrived back at Welney for the second feed stop.

Unfortunately, Justeene  had started to feel sick and get a headache just outside Welney so she decided to call it a day and called her daughter to come and rescue her, we sadly left her but she was adamant that we should carry on and not get cold.

Much to our delight the feed stop still had a good choice of food and another hot drink was more than enjoyed especially as we knew the last 23 miles was going to be into the head wind from hell!

At this point I left Geoff, again,  as I wanted to race back and get his photo as he finished, but it soon became clear that I was not going to be strong enough to keep up with the other 2 guys, they would have been happy to wait for me but I insisted they go… the route signage was good and I had my Garmin so was happy I would not get lost.P1000174

Then I remembered I had a gel so I used it, within minutes I got a second wind and was off to catch them, it took me 10 long hard miles into a fierce headwind  but I finally caught them up and we rode the last 8 miles back into LynnSport together.

An excellent well organised Sportive which had excellent feed stations with a very well signed route.

I was very disappointed not to see more riders from the local bike clubs support this new,and well organised sportive but I well impressed with Cycle Sportives uk who sent Justeene flowers and the finishers medal when then found out about her fall 🙂

I may well be tempted to enter another one of these sportives which is actually on my birthday and get a few of my friends to do it with me 🙂

Start of the silly season!

February 21st saw the start of the Bike Sportive season for most of us, with the Wiggle No excuses sportive from Huntingdon race course and a huge group from my biking club turned out for this ride in cold windy conditions.

WNOEX08I wanted a nice chatty ride with my friend Gina and that is just what I got, but it was a toughie in the wind, all the running the week before did not help and at one point going up a hill I thought about just falling off to stop the pain … but i didn’t 🙂

As usual the feed stops and signage was excellent and I would always recommend these wiggle sportives…

The list of events now continue like this…

Lincoln 10k Run (March)

Count the Counties 95 mile bike sportive (April with Geoff)

Trowse 10k Run (Easter Sunday)

GEAR 10k run (May 3rd)

Pedal Norfolk 50 mile bike sportive (May4th)

Cycle Together Sandringham 100 mile bike sportive (June14th)

Then I think I may need a Holiday 🙂

My Birthday Weekend

As my birthday fell on a weekend it was easy to decide what I wanted to do, Kings Lynn Parkrun and SWNC club ride, two things that have become very important to me.

My lovely friends Gina and Jayne were going to come over from Norwich and join me for parkrun and lunch and with Geoff having returned from his travels it was going to be a lovely day but even I never expected the surprise Geoff had in store for me.

Geoff gave me an unexpected parcel which when opened was a Belkin WeMo Switch, now as we are into gadgets I thought great something else to play with !!

After a few minutes Geoff said are you not going to open the box…..  I was thinking my friends will be here in half an hour maybe I should open it later…   but I opened it and almost died with shock when inside I found another box……

Which was a Garmin Edge 1000 !!!!!!!!

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When Gina and Jayne arrived at 8am I was in a dizzy excited mood to say the least but we managed to get ourselves and the cakes I had baked to parkrun on time. Where we enjoyed a lovely chatty run and much to my delight everyone enjoyed the carrot cake I had made.

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In the afternoon we enjoyed a lovely lunch at Marriotts Warehouse then I hobbled home as my achilles was very sore by this time 🙁

Gina and Jayne left around 5pm and I spent the evening playing with my Garmin and setting it up ready for Sunday’s club ride.

Earlier on in the week SWNC had asked me where I wanted to ride too, I knew straight away that I wanted to go to the Bedlingfeld Arms, a club ride I had always missed before.

We woke to a cold still morning so wrapped up well and set off at 8.30 I was so excited about trying my new Garmin out which had the route on ready to follow

We had a fantastic ride out to the Bedlingfeld arms in brilliant Autumn sunshine, the landlady laid on lovely tea/coffee and cake for us and my Garmin worked so well I was shouting out the directions at most junctions, when not too busy chatting !

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A great weekend shared with lovely people 🙂 and I am so lucky not to just have a Garmin but the Garmin 1000 which is totally amazing