The day started as most have recently. A hearty full English breakfast with all the lashings as I tried to load as much food into my body for the day.
England‘s going through a “heatwave“ with temperatures topping a massive 30C (note sarcasm) and the BBC TV News program playing out on the dining room television warned of “Severe heat”.
Who would’ve thought that on a 6 day ride across Great Britain and one that started in Scotland I would only need my rain jacket for the first 3 hours of the ride.
After the lashings of a full English breakfast it was also lashings of factor 50 sun protection cream and ensuring the water bottles were full.
The first 50 km played out pretty similarly to yesterday’s ride from northern Lincolnshire to its south. Warm and flat. Very flat.
I had come across a few people who said “Oh you’ll like cycling Norfolk as it’s flat”.
Now on my many cycle trips I have learnt many things. One is this. Unless a comment like that is coming from a person who has actually cycled the route you’re about to take then it’s (the comment) worth in value is next to zero.
Flat in a powerful car maybe. On a bicycle not so much.
Thus shortly after leaving Kings Lynn and some 50 km into the ride we were surprised to be faced with our first hill. And then another and another and so it continued throughout the day.
Norfolk‘s terrain is undulating but not overly taxing to tackle. Far more interesting to spend the day ascending and descending on a bicycle than simply plodding out the km on very long and straight canal tow paths or roads that we had done for the previous two days.
With the undulation came forests and woods and with them came shade. All in all a lovely days ride to be fair.
Passed some lovely villages, a lot of very proper grown up adult houses with large walls and equally large front gates. The fields were mostly given over to wheat and and an assortment of other crops with a few dairy farms scattered intermittently between villages.
Most of the route was on single lane country roads which were quiet.
Arrival into Lowestoft was around 5pm and having picked our way through the peak hour traffic we headed for the eastern most point of mainland Great Britain.
The last 1km of the entire journey was spent riding through an industrial park passing by vacant warehouses along a very potted road that was strewn with litter.
I was so surprised at the lack of signage directing anyone to this geographical wonderment that I stopped to double check we were actually in the right place.
Unfortunately we were.
The only “structure” denoting you are where you are is a concrete circle with a small round steel plate in the middle. Behind you is a massive wind turbine and a few factory chimneys belching smoke and in front of you the North Sea. All in all a very different experience to the natural beauty of the surrounds of the Ardnamurchan lighthouse some 6 days prior.
Ride done ✅
Statistics‘s and other thoughts to follow in tomorrow’s blog. Shortly after commencing the days activities we crossed the Long Sutton Bridge. Ostensibly it marks the county boundary between Norfolk and Lincolnshire.
The approach to Kings Lynn was like most of the cycling yesterday. Flat, warm, and alongside water.
Kings Lynn public library. One of the more beautiful library buildings I have come across.
The cycle through Kings Lynn park was the last of the flat terrain.
Rode past some stunning houses.
Mid morning coffee break taken in the shade of a church. Speaking of which. One thing we’ve discovered is the discernible lack of cafes in any of the villages we’ve passed through on the entire trip. It would seem the cafe scene is a London one. In their place we’ve had to rely on service stations or the village shop that doubles up as a post office and supermarket for our sugar or caffeine hits.
Passed by hundreds of these throughout the day. Some in the middle of absolutely nowhere special and not within sight of any residential buildings.
My mental and physical strength have held strong over the trip. What hasn’t is my bum. Saddle soreness has afflicted both of us. I came up with what I thought was a great solution. Wear two pairs of cycling shorts. I can report back that it worked !
Alongside cricket, another quintessential English scene. Lawn Bowls.
First sign for Lowestoft that we came across. Into a late afternoon headwind those last 16 miles seemed to take longer to pass than they should have.
Mission accomplished .
Two very satisfied cyclists.
The underwhelming surrounds of the geographic wonder that is mainland Great Britain’s Eastern most point.
Even time for a beer before the train home.