Spring is here! (snow by Thursday, then….)

A brilliant spring day today, so I took a long lunch break and got out on the bike. 9 degrees c and a slight south westerly breeze made riding pleasant for the first time this year, and with no clear route in mind I set off westerly towards Beyton.

I struck out to the south on a route I’ve never done before – through Rougham, then Bradfield St George and Bradfield St Claire, which put me briefly on the main road from Cockfield to Bury. From here, some lovely back lanes revealed themselves, and you get the feeling on a day like this that the long stasis of winter is loosening its grip. Although the hedges and trees are still bare, there is a palpable sense that the mysterious power that pushes the leaves out is building, and that life is starting to awaken.

Rougham

Rougham

I took a back route through Thorpe Green, back to Brettenham and up a 400 yard hill which I managed to climb at a steady 20 mph. Relaxing a little on the road from Brettenham through to Rattlesden, I took a precautionary swig of sugary drink from the bidon, because as I freewheeled through the village of Rattlesden, I knew that I faced the fearsome Woolpit Road hill. Half a mile long and 20 percent in gradient, this is a test, especially when some inconsiderate fool has driven a lorry over the wet verge, spreading a large pile of muddy grit over the road. I found this hard, because the mud gave me a psychological knock just when I didn’t need it – and I also rarely ‘jam’ out of the saddle, as I have had a couple of unpleasant cleat slips when doing so!

Woolpit

Woolpit

At the top, and breathing like a dying camel, I cruised back through Woolpit and the final mile home.

The flight computer tells me that the rode was 21.95 miles, average 17.1mph.

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