09 September 2010

Louth to Kings Lynn

Many thanks to Anne and Tim for their kindness for feeding me, puttting me up and helping with running repairs to my so-called hi-tech mudguards. Riding as far as Louth on Friday was definitely a good idea and reduced Saturday's long ride by a good 20-odd miles. Thanks too, to Tom Bourke of Bourke's Cycles in the pretty town of Horncastle. Tom generously gave me a free lesson on the finer points of tuning Campag gears! Another warm and pleasant day cruising though the Eastern Wolds, with Anne's sandwiches and plums gratefully devoured at Sleaford. A long but pleasant afternoon into Norfok, the only downside being my rapidly fading confidence in Garmin at (literally) every turn. You definitely start to loose faith when approaching a turn and see that the arrow is pointing to the right, while the words above say "Turn left"!!! I was pleased to have carved up a motorists pocket road atlas, removing those pages I was not going to need, to save a bit of weight. I get the feeling that those pages are going to be used a lot!
I arrived at Kings Lynn around 1715 and was greeted at the church of The Assumption of Our Lady by Peter Barton of the Knights of St Columba and Sr Marian Davey, AOS port Chaplain for the Haven ports. Marian was to be my "roadie", taking car duties and overall command for the next for days.
The Knights have been so helpful. When I first started thinking about the ride, the very simple plan plan was that Maria would tow our caravan from site to site. A no-fuss, self contained arrangement that needed litttle third party support. The arrival of three grandchildren within the past year, however, meant that this was not going to be possible. In fact, it made me think that the ride just wouldn't work. I have great admiration for those true touring cyclists who pack panniers with tents and geat, but both the huge weight and prospects of camping are just not for this OAP. I definitely need the car.
The work of Sheila Bailey (Fundraising Director) and Salvina Bartholomeusz (Parish Contact Coordinator) at AOS, to find lodgings and handle the logistics of moving the car has beeen nothing short of amazing. The Knights of St Columba are an inspirational group. Moving the car from Hull to Kings Lynn involved Mike Fraser-Townend, Terry Pennock and his wife, Elaine who gave up their weekend to drive their own car in convoy with mine. That was greatly appreciated and thanks to you all.
I was given the opportunity to have a few words after the Saturday evening mass before being substantially fed at the home of Deacon John Belfield and his wife Jane. I stayed at the Church Presbytary and was privileged to be the first to use the newly fitted shower! Many thanks to Fr Peter Rollings and to Fr David Baker for their kindness. Breakfast, again with John and Jane set me up for the day. Speaking after the 0930 mass on Sunday meant a late start and with Sr Marian already having left with the car to Ipswich, cycling gear had to be worn. It's probably true to say that this was the first time that anyone had spoken from the lectern at Holy Family Church dressed in lycra!
Dist 158 km
St Time: 06:48
Av Spd 23.3 k/h

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