Fast out, slower back, and pigs for company
Spring is well and truly here, and so after another week away with work, I gratefully donned shorts and (for the first time this year) my Descente jersey, and hit the road.
A fine day was in prospect, with clear blue sky, 13 deg C temperature, but a brisk south westerly breeze. I did the first ten miles incredibly quickly as the wind was with me all the way, making an average of 20 mph for the first ten. Passing through Beyton, Thurston, Barton, then north by taking a risky crossing of the busy A143 towards Great Livermere. On the long, sweeping downhill into the village I managed 33.5 mph.
You have a lot of pigs for company at this stage of the ride. As this is the southern fringe of the Breckland area, the coniferous forest and large, muddy fields give good conditions for their farming. They mostly ignore me as I pass, although some seem to appreciate having a fast moving human to watch as they browse.
I swept on northwards from here, the wind still at my back, until I came to the southern edge of RAF Honington, where I was forced to confront the wind for the first time. What a difference it made.
The long hill towards the RAF camp gates was exposed and I lost a good 5mph due to the strong crosswinds. I continued west and over the A1088 towards Sapiston, the Coney Weston (almost at the Norfolk border again).
It was inevitable that I would have to face the wind head-0n, and I did so by turning south and heading through Barningham and then on to Stanton, where I added a small loop down to the Chare, and then over the third busy road (well, technically the second as it was a re-crossing of the A143).
Through Stanton, I continued to Stowlangtoft, now going in and out of the wind, and feeling glad of the Lucozade sport that I had in the bidon. I (slowly by this stage) descended into Norton and did a final two miles including a strong but very short climb into Tostock.
So, 30.1 miles, 17.1 total ride average, 1:45 time.