So on Wednesday I just got on my (t)rusty steed - Raleigh Pioneer 2 with Mudguards for you Tour aficionados out there - and set off to baldly go where more hirsute and fitter chaps have been before. I felt like The Lone Striker ("He knew a path that wanted walking..") having left Holly the tiny TT in charge of wandering the house being slightly grumpy. Thanks to the wonder of camera phones and the interwebs you, dear reader, can benefit from a whole day's pedalling from the comfort of your settee:
1. Hour long train to Cambridge with tension mounting as too many bikes get on at Ely. Apparently they should have had people with them.
2. I arrive, fresh faced, at Cambridge Station with the hoodies and business executives and take a picture of the clock for future reference:
3. After a slightly hair-raising (unsuitable metaphor-ed) cycle through Central Cambridge I commence my journey proper along the wooden boardwalk where they store all the original Irish currency.
4. Leaving the metropolis, I find myself in the lonely fens and discover two more Swaffhams. This is the nice little church at Swaffham Prior:
5. The road zig-zags across the flat black arable terrain in fabulous clear blue sky weather and blistering heat mitigated by a stiff breeze (in my face). I arrive at the centre of equine excellence, Newmarket, but am held up by some equines:
6. As lunchtime approaches, I set off from Newmarket and discover that Suffolk isn't quite as flat as Norfolk. This is the view out on the Moulton Road which was starting to feel a bit like the Molten Road:
7. The section of Suffolk between Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds is beautiful, with miles of gently rolling hills and little hamlets in valleys. About 6 miles out of Bury is the small village of Barrow where I stopped for a light organic luncheon with some ducks at a bus stop. (No idea where they were off to)
8. Refreshed and invigorated by the chips and Lucozade I set off into Bury-St-Edmunds, one of the top 10 towns in England according to Alec Clifton Taylor and originally called Beodericsworth, presumably after the bygone film actress Bo Derrick. This is Abbeygate, a Norman tower next to the Cathedral:
9. Pedalling East out of Bury I eventually began to reach the more familiar landscape of Norfolk. By this time I'd taken my helmet off having weighed up the relative risks of head injuries vs heat exhaustion and was beginning to struggle. This was the longest section but I broke it up with afternoon energy tea from a melted Twix and by about 4.30 was two miles from home. However, a sudden onset of leg cramp gave those last two miles a slightly ridiculous flavour as I adopted a weird standing-up-sitting-down pose to keep the legs moving. It wasn't very Chris Hoy.
10. I arrived home just before 5 and ready for a nice evening dog walk.