Little Bytham

Another thoroughly decent day for cycling forecast today. I thought I should probably do a 100 miler, but wasn’t really sure I wanted to, for some reason. I decided that if I woke up early enough and felt like it I’d do at least 100 miles, otherwise a perfunctory Fondo would do. As it happened I did feel like springing out of bed and doing a long ride when I woke up, so I did.

I’ve devised a new route to Norfolk which is essentially the same as the one I did a few weeks ago, except that after 40 miles it turns south, to join the first Norfolk route that I did four years ago. I certainly wasn’t going to go all the way to Norfolk today, but I thought I’d do 50 or so miles of it then come back the same way.

Cold and cloudy when I set off at about 07:50 but I’d wrapped up warm enough to be comfortable. I was trialling a larger-than-usual backpack to stuff my fleece and tights into, later in the ride – which I did after a few hours after conditions had warmed up nicely. The sun came out in the afternoon. On a longer ride than this I might just have sucked up the hostile temperature over the first part of the ride to save the weight of the additional clothing, but not today. The backpack is nothing special; not very sporty looking or posh. It’s an Amazon Basics product that I think is intended for kids to take laptops to school. But it’s lightweight and did the job very nicely.

I missed the turn for the connecting road unfortunately and had to track back. But the new bit of road connecting the two routes was a delight – nicely surfaced and very quiet. Called ‘The Drift’, for some reason. I went as far as Little Bytham and turned for home again. Really nice to be in that part of the world again. Nice round there. Pleasant memories of my first trip to Norfolk and back, which was a distance record at the time (179 miles).

Like last time I stopped at the shop at Buckminster with a bench outside for a rest and refuel on the way back. Treated myself to a Magnum ice cream. Funnily enough while I was waving my debit card in the proximity of the card machine the proprietor asked me “how many miles you doing today, 100?”. And when I said yes, I’m sure he thought I was going along with his joke.

I was a little dismayed that my lithium AAs in my DAB died after only about an hour, having been freshly recharged. But I put a spare pair in and they lasted the rest of the ride. One of the first pair must be buggered. Shame as they were lasting 12+ hours on a single charge and I’ve only charged them three times. Not to mention they cost £20-odd.

And speaking of disappointing technology I used my GPS G Shock to track the ride. It’s very nice to use, with a brilliant battery life and useful information on the display, until you try to get a track off it and up to Strava. I’ve never yet managed that without re-pairing the watch with the Android tablet and restarting the app a few times and today was no exception. Very cool gadget but let down by the ancillary software.

Anyway that was a really nice run out, one of the best ones this year. 20th Fondo and 5th 100-miler of 2021. 103.72 miles.