Tag Archives: Cambridge to Norfolk

Further photos from the Waterberg Trust Cycle Ride in March 2016

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Just to show that although it was good fun the TWT cycle ride was challenging!  Conditions were foggy and puddles frequent but the back-up team came armed with a teapot.

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The gallant riders made the 82 miles from Cambridge to North Norfolk in one piece – and without a even puncture.

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Funds raised will go to educational projects in the Waterberg region of South Africa, carefully channelled though The Waterberg Trust who have a Justgiving page here

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photographs by Sam Franklin

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The Waterberg Trust Challenge Cycle Ride

TWT Truste Barry Burles reports:

The delights of many adventures are the unintended benefits.  The thought of 84 relentless miles to North Norfolk was daunting.  My first outing recceing the 20 miles of the route to Ely resulted in me peddling through the flood waters alongside the River Cam with frozen and wet feet.  However, it forced me to find an alternative that resulted in us taking National Cycle Route 11 to Ely through Wicken Fen.  The benefits were great because Route 11 was on mostly hard cycle path surfaces suitable for the road bikes.  And it took us across some fabulous open Fen wetlands with great bird watching, wild-looking highland cattle and rare breads of horse.  The natural distractions and frequent punctures during our training rides meant that we missed many trains back from Ely, where we invariably stopped for a scrumptious poached egg and hollandaise sauce breakfast, doubling whatever calories that we might have burnt.

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The next 20 miles was a straight sprint along 10 Mile Bank to Downham Market after which we were noticeably in the Brecklands navigating our way down rutted and puddly farm tracks and through numerous hamlets with extraordinary names such as Totenhill, Wormegay and Blackborough.  This was a long haul through the 55 mile stage when energy simply ran out and the banter stopped as the determination to simply keep going switched on.

To add insult to aching muscles, we encountered our first hills.  Never has the support team been such a welcome sight with their broad grins and stupid questions asking us what took us so long? Our condition was quickly remedied by their freshly brewed coffee and tea and the wonderful consommé soup, flap jacks and scotch eggs to die for.  But our cause to complete the distance was more pressing.  After warming up in the Paddling Duck pub, we slowly recovered and were ready for the final 20 miles that went surprisingly easily as we all seemed to find our second wind.

It was not long before we were in front of another pub crossing a river (picture above) where cars can no longer go.  Refusing to be distracted, we peddled on along the pilgrim route through the Walsinghams, cycling past black caped churchmen walking towards us along the Holy Mile to the slipper chapel.  Knowing that Langham was now close, the hills to Binham and then on up to Langham were easily managed.

We arrived to the welcoming cheers of wives and girlfriends. We knew from the church clock chiming four that we were just in time to watch England beating Wales that added to our glee.  A few beers, a great rugby match and delicious dinner and wine all provided a delightful end to a happy day.

A bunch of men playing hard together engenders the best of camaraderie. The highlight of the adventure was the good spirits that everyone brought with them and kept sharing throughout.

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We have since organised a second bike ride along the same route with a riders from the Cambidge Rugby Club. Together we have raised just short of  £7,000 for The Waterberg Trust which was a rewarding effort in itself. Many thanks to all our sponsors.

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From Cambridge to the edge of the world

The Waterberg Trust Challenge Cycle Ride 2016 is gaining support with coverage on The Prospect Research and in the Leisure section of an online publication called Not Bovvered Weekly.

Barry Burles with his new bike

Barry Burles and his new bike

Barry Burles, a trustee of The Waterberg Trust, is leading his team on the 84-mile ride from Cambridge to the little village of Langham in Norfolk, a journey to be completed in one day, whatever the weather.

New bike and old bikeOld bike and new bike on the finishing line in Langham

Tucking into breakfast after the rideTucking into breakfast after a morning recce ride to Ely

They are committed to raising funds to support the people of the Waterberg in South Africa.  If you are able to sponsor the riders, TWT has a Justgiving page here.

donate_white Justgiving button

William Orme has a Justgiving.com page here

Nigel Hall, who is taking part, has a Justgiving.com page for the cycle ride here

Barry Burles, the leader, has a Justgiving.com page here

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The Waterberg Trust Challenge Cycle Ride – plans and preparations

18 adult riders and one 14 year-old boy  have committed to take part in The Waterberg Trust Challenge Cycle Ride 2016.  “One or two are having to juggle work and family commitments, but we have great expectations!”
Planning the TWT cycle ride
Two brave volunteers – Sam Franklin and Charles Whitbread will be driving the support vehicles, keeping the riders fed and watered at the predetermined stoppage points spaced at roughly two-hour intervals.  Only short stretches of the ride are not on a tar road. These are from Fen Ditton in North Cambridge to Ely.  “It is a great delight to discover how lovely it can be cycling towards Ely Cathedral at 8.00am. It’s the only building you can see on the skyline.”
TWT cycle ride map
“So far, we have had four practice recce rides, which have helped to determine the route. The number of punctures on each ride has been alarming, but it is all part of the practice in keeping everybody going. Being equipped to mend a puncture rapidly or change an inner tube no matter where you are is important.  It is like a motor-racing event with everybody helping out by providing the different bits of kit and expertise to speed the puncture repair.  We have certainly become practiced at it.”
Mending a puncture on the TWT cycle ride
“Will used the puddle alongside the track to determine where the hole was.  He had to do a puncture repair because he had used his spare inner tube already as this was his second puncture of the morning!”
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“At this stage were are still about one hour’s ride from Ely, having just peddled across Wicken Fen. That was a marvellous experience if you are interested in birds and rare horse breads like me.  On this occasion, we had breakfast in Ely and then cycled on to Littleport, half way to Downham Market.”
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A previous outing had been another really fun ride from Ely to Downham Market (the second phase of the ride) across the Fens and the many bird sanctuaries. “We hardly saw a car and it felt very remote. Punctures were again a challenge for the racing bikes on this ride. My steel framed 25-year old tank of a bicycle has the distinction of not yet having suffered from punctures.  The racers were much quicker though. I felt like the tortoise in the hare and the tortoise race of Aesop’s Fables because I did not have to stop.”
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The practice ride last weekend explored the third phase of the ride from Downham Market to the Dabbling Duck pub in Gt Massingham for lunch along quiet country lanes, far from anywhere in particular.
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The cyclists are raising funds to send to the Waterberg in South Africa. 50% will go to the Lapalala Wilderness School, with the aim of sending 100 dis-advantaged children on a residential week’s course on wildlife conservation. 50% will go to ‘Save the Waterberg Rhino’ and help them fight poaching.

If you are able to sponsor the riders, TWT has a Justgiving page here.

donate_white Justgiving button

Nigel Hall, who is taking part, has a Justgiving.com page for the cycle ride here

William Orme has a Justgiving.com page here

Barry Burles, the leader, has a Justgiving.com page here

“The stop press bit of news is that I have been lucky enough to have been offered by my wonderful wife a new hybrid bicycle for my birthday present.  In case you didn’t know, it’s as exciting being given a new bicycle as a grown man as it is when you are a young boy. The 84 miles might seem somewhat shorter for me now on the 12th March!”
There will be three more weekend practice rides between now and then.
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The Waterberg Trust Challenge Cycle Ride 2016

Cycling by the river

TWT Trustee Barry Burles is leading a bunch of good men and true who are endeavouring to complete a sponsored 84 mile cycle ride from Milton Park in North Cambridge to Langham in North Norfolk in a day on the 12th March 2016 in aid of The Waterberg Trust.

It is a fairly flat ride, so simply an endurance test, but they will be peddling on for about 8 hours, whatever the weather. “Most of us will be using a well used touring bike where the challenge will be to keep going all the way to the finish, still smiling!”

If you are able to sponsor them, TWT has a Justgiving page here.

donate_white Justgiving button

Nigel Hall, who is taking part, has a Justgiving.com page for the cycle ride here

Barry Burles has a Justgiving.com page here

Please let Barry Burles know by email b.burles@ukbfas.co.uk if you are interested in joining the ride. He has about 16 riders signed up so far. It is a good day out for couples with whoever is not riding driving to Langham to have a fun day enjoying walking and being by the sea before cheering their riding champion across the finish line.  A truck will be in support of the riders with refreshments and bicycles to swap with any punctured or broken ones.

This long distance cycle ride is on the same day as The Waterberg Trust Challenge Ride 2016 when 14 riders will be setting off across the Waterberg on horseback for six days when they expect to spend about 32 hours in the saddle and hope to cover about 200kms through the African bush. To read more click here.

Cycling

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