200k "Off the rails" DIY Audax

Keen to open my Audax account for 2022, and lacking any nearby calendar events, I opted to create a DIY entry. Given the time of year and increased likelihood of abandoning, I decided to keep the route close to train stations - and then made these stations the targets of the ride. I was pleasantly surprised to be joined at the start (Norwich station) by two others - Paul Andrew and Steve Chapman.

Norwich

It was an overcast but fairly mild (about 5 degrees C) start to the ride!

Diss

Bit of a headwind getting down to Diss, but we took turns well. Short stop for a snack.

Stowmarket

Stronger headwind encouraged us to stop at a corner shop by the station's level crossing for sausage rolls and pasties. No coffee unfortunately! Bit slow getting through this congested part of the town.

Elmswell

A quiet station in a lumpy part of Suffolk.

Thurston

We were getting a bit tired by this point (what with the lumpy terrain and the headwind), and promised ourselves a cafe stop at Bury St Edmunds.

Bury St Edmunds

We had enough snacks and drinks to carry on, and should expect a bit of a tailwind now that we were heading north. So no need for a cafe!

Lakenheath

This was the western-most point of the ride, and we had still been getting a lot of headwind since Bury St Edmunds. Quite tired (especially Steve) and there was a Norwich-bound train arriving in 10 minutes... but we all kept going. Definitely should be a tailwind now!

Brandon

Okay, time for a cafe. We found a greasy spoon on the main street, and chips were served in double-quick time - perfect! Ingestion of caffeine was also much appreciated. The hoped-for tailwind had helped us, and spirits were high as we headed towards Thetford.

Thetford

We were still going fairly strong, although a stretch of twisty cycle-path across a park (and river) gave a welcome distraction from the main roads that we'd been on.

Harling Road

A quick stop here, and only a slight temptation to stop at the nearby St Georges Distillery.

Eccles

Still making good time with the tailwind.

Attleborough

This stop was a good marker, as it meant that we had less than 20 miles left - so about an hour more cycling.

Spooner Row

To visit this station we had to do a short diversion off the fairly straight route back to Norwich, but were determined to complete the set!

Wymondham

This station has two platforms with road access from two completely different places. We came across the entrance on the north side first, so decided not to bother visiting the southern entrance - although Paul (trying to stick to the route) was keen on doing so!

Norwich

Steve peeled off as we reached western Norwich, so only Paul and I appear in the photo back at the station. Steve still did the distance though - completing 133 miles on the day!

In planning this ride, I imported it into cycling.routes.fun and could analyse the route between stations - and print off a route card for sticking to my top tube!

DIY audax: “Off the rails” #stages

Ride on 2022-01-16 07:09:28, at with 2 others

Gear: Orro

Strong day’s ride with Paul & Steve ??

250km in 9:08:55

Average speed27.3 kmh
Max speed46.1 kmh
Average heart rate133 bpm
Average power163 Watts
Calories1454
Elevation gain1325 metres

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July 2024 1 event August 2023 1 event November 2022 3 events January 2023 3 events October 2022 2 events

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02 October 2022 (Sunday): Neil Pears Memorial Cross

16 October 2022 (Sunday): VC Revolution Cross

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About the author

My name is John Swindells and I'm a keen recreational cyclist with a preference for long one-day rides. I've also previously dabbled in time trialling and cyclo-cross. See more of what I get up to on Strava!

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