Monday, August 25, 2008

Epic Bike Ride

After all of our riding in RI, we both remembered how much we love to ride bikes. We added 'bikes' to our budget, and figured we could get some later in the fall when we'd saved up for them. We looked around quite a bit, and settled on a pair of Raleighs. We're so dorky with our matching bikes.
And then my parents decided to give me my bike as my (somewhat early) birthday present (THANKS!), which meant that we could buy them both now and get riding! Which we did. We picked them up on Saturday morning from the bike shop in Stowmarket, along with a helmet for John, some high-vis gear, and a set of panniers for John's bike. We rode home, had a few issues with John's bike, rode back to the shop, had everything sorted, and rode home again.

Saturday's total: about 5 miles. Yay us.

Then on Sunday, we rode (in the drizzle) to the Alder Carr farm in Needham Market. Here we are, on the way back. Well, here's John, anyway - I was taking the picture. Sunday's total: 8 miles.

And then today, we knew we wanted to go for ANOTHER bike ride. So we went along back roads, to Mendelsham and the A140. And then we crossed the A140 (carefully). And then we rode to Wetheringsett. And then we went in search of a pub. Further on. And then we got hungry and tired and thirsty and looked at our map and realized that home was VERY far away. Thankfully our getting lost involved doubling back on a parallel road to the one we'd taken, so when we looked at the map we were much closer to home than we thought. The wind was in our faces the entire way home and we were SHATTERED when we got back. I really like riding in Suffolk, though - there are so many 'B' roads and single-track lanes, where you get the odd car but it's mostly just other cyclists and walkers. Crossing the A140 was kind of scary, but there's a nice little crossing spot with really good views in both directions, so we just stood and waited until there was no traffic.

According to Google maps, we rode 27.2 miles. That's more than a marathon, people. Granted, we were on our bikes, and it was relatively flat and not too hot and not raining and the company was lovely. And our bikes have awesome gears and are really light. But still, 27.2 miles is FAR. And we only had my one little nalgene of water. And we kept getting lost and not finding any pubs. Next time, we'll bring more water and some snacks. And sort out the pub(s) before hand.

In other news, I went up to Redenhall (over the Norfolk border) to ring bells with them on Thursday night. I really liked the people and the bells but at 40mins each way it's a bit too much of a schlepp for a Thursday night. It was really fun, though - I got to ring the treble through Grandsire triples (7 bells, the 8th blowing behind), and then I rang some plain hunt on the other bells. It was a treat to ring methods on 8 bells - Old Newton has 5 and Buxhall and Finborough both have 6. Stowmarket has 8 but I've never rung methods on all 8. Supposedly there's going to be a Thursday evening method practice at Stow starting up again - and I can ride my bike to it!

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