Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Bivvy tastic

Having only camped a handful of times the concept of the bivvy was new to me and until I read about long distance bikepacking I thought it was something reserved for fishing allnighters.
This said I was intrigued and working with an ex-forces guy who raves about it I was keen to try.
I'm currently still recovering from a broken thumb and post op ligament damage so my racing is over for the year and my riding has been restricted to my single speed Inbred mtb on the flat pathways of Norfolk.
This is not all bad as its kept me motivated and I have been loving the simplicity of the single/rigid machine and how far it can take me in this brilliant summer weather.
So this week I planned to string together a few of the long distance cycle/walks that cover Norfolk. Starting from Norwich along Marriotts Way, Weavers Way, Norfolk Coastal Path and then down to Thetford on the Peddars way. Along with a few extra trails I know locally.
I had planned to set off on Saturday but rained stop played and I headed off Sunday AM. Within 8 miles I had a puncture in my only Tube so I had to try and ride nearby to a shop to find another thankfully the discount store of Roys of North Walsam held some for £2.99! bargain!
A rather large lunch was ingested and I was back on the remainder of the Weavers Way to Stalham and then I rode the Norfolk coastal path to Cromer. From Cromer did a few small trails in Weybourne and then back on the Coastal Route until a quick Fish & Chip stop at Salthouse.
Light was beginning to fade so on with the lights (In true shameless blog styley these were the awesome Hope R4 LED front light with the Hope District rear Light).
Enough of dicing with death against the cars on the Narrow coastal path I saw a Hostel/campsite open @ Brancaster. They appeared to have just closed, so I found a member of staff and asked in there was any room at the Inn was initially told no but they managed to squeeze me in on a unpopular pitch next to the toilet block. Given that I was only a bivvy bag I didn't need much room. 
This site is excellent and well worth a visit if camping out that way http://www.deepdalefarm.co.uk/.
Someone to kip found so a pint is was in order as I had just been cycling for 13hrs, just a couple of hundred yards was http://www.whitehorsebrancaster.co.uk/ and again very impressed and a amazing courtyard with the best patio heaters I had ever seen.
Couple of pints down and back to the camp-site and a wiggle into the bivvy and to fall asleep watching multiple shooting stars in the sky.
Everyone was up early, so up I got washed/packed and on the bike by 6:30am. The remainder of the coastal path beckoned until the start of the Peddars way just before Hunstanton.
This is a long straight 47mile roman road which ends just past thetford. This is well signposted and reasonably quick so just under 4hrs I was at the end and then cycled onto to Thetford.
Wimping out on 40miles on a singlespeed MTB on roads home I caught the train back to Norwich.
All in I rode approx 200miles and had a mini adventure to boot, Again? most definitely and in fact the the Ridgeway - Reading to Bristol and back is planned for September.

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