Ride Report Update
Just for completeness, I include a couple of ride reports with pictures that I have completed in the past few weeks. You see, I haven’t been idling, just haven’t had time to post them!
1. March 18
I managed a 40 miler yesterday in the balmy spring weather, making a foray into the fringes of Norfolk before retreating to safety again. The bike is starting to reveal its qualities; the comfort on a longer ride is superb, and the average speed I am making is not significantly inferior to the road bike I was riding previously. As I said before, the Audax is a fast bike when you want it to be.
I struck out through rolling countryside in North Suffolk, with a brisk westerly breeze making the first 2/3rd of the ride easy and a joy to experience after all the cold weather. The picture below is Knetishall, the furthest point on the ride.
Most of the ride is lovely quiet roads like this; you have to make three hazardous road crossings on this route, two of which are the A143 Bury st Edmunds – Diss road. Stopping in the village, I thought a nice Norfolk flint wall would make a good backdrop:
And on the way back, having passed a few other cyclists (the count was two mudguarded audax bikes of unknown origin, one lovely blue Mercian and a couple riding Dawes touring bikes), I stopped off for a short break to decant an energy gel into my water bottle, and the Thorn took on an urban mood, posing in the manner of a 1980s punk band against a grafitti’d bus shelter:
Now the milder weather seems to have arrived, I’ll be continuing to push the frontiers of the mileage a bit; the Brooks is breaking in nicely too.
2. March 22
A quick record of my fourth ride of last week – I make the week’s riding about 120 miles in total, so the Audax is really getting broken in now the weather has got better. Saturday saw me going on a normal route, with changeable weather and a stiff south westerly at my back, making the journey north out of Suffolk easy and quick. The bike still keeps impressing me by slowly revealing its qualities – I am finding the comfort just makes me want to extend my rides! The grey skies looked a bit forboding as I set out:
The following pic shows a bit of road that goes up towards the A143, fabulous and fast on a day when the wind is behind you:
I continued north and towards the border with Norfolk, realising with an ever deepening sense of desperation that I should soon be forced to turn west and into the wind, which seemed to be gathering strength all the time. The spitting rain was becoming showery now as well. I decided to stop to put some waterproofs on and take a couple of pics of the Thorn:
By now heading in a westerly direction, the wind was blowing diagonally left to right as I rode. Downhills were becoming as slow as the flat, but to stop myself boiling in the bag, I stopped again as the rain ceased. Note the sign which has been used for gun/stone practice…..
The scenery has a bleakness about it at this time of year.
So, after 2 and 3/4 hours in the saddle (and doesn’t a new Brooks make its err..presence felt!!), and 41 windy miles under my belt, I returned home, having thoroughly enjoyed the ride. Incidentally, about 5 miles from home, I stopped at a busy junction next to a couple of roadies and enjoyed their looks of consternation as they saw the Thorn, luggaged up. But as we set off from our short stop, I made a point of pacing them until they turned off.
Looking forward particularly to the clocks changing in less than a week!