28 June 2011

Suffolk and Norfolk Coast Mini-Tour: Part 1 - The Prep

This past weekend Alberto and I took a mini-tour of the Suffolk and Norfolk coasts. Alberto had organised the trip as a birthday present for me and had invited our good friends Erin and Ricardo along as well.

We've already covered the route planning aspect of the prepwork. On Friday evening as we both got home from work, all that was left was figuring out what to pack and how to fit it in our limited-capacity bags.

Since it was such a short trip it wasn't too hard to pack effectively. We decided that Alberto would take his Carradice and we'd fit my bike with the Ortlieb Saddlebag that Alberto normally takes on day rides. In addition to the cycling clothes we would wear on Saturday morning, each of us brought a change of clothes to wear in the evening, plus an extra pair of socks and underwear, and packable rain jackets just in case. We also had to bring shoes (the lightest we own!) since it's not comfortable to walk in our cycling shoes. Apart from that, we had to make space for the bike tools and spare inner tubes, and a small bag of toiletries. I wanted to bring my chamois cream, but the container was too bulky and heavy, so I had the pleasure of scooping it in to a ziploc bag to bring along!

Good view of the Carradice bag

Oh, and Alberto packed his swim trunks because he was being very optimistic about the weather and about having enough time to go for a swim!

The other main element of our prep work was to make the wraps. We stuck with our traditional breakdown of peanut butter, banana, and raisins for me, and yummy veggies for alberto (sweet potato dip, red pepper, and rocket). We tried to pack as many cereal bars and bananas as we could as we knew it would be a long two days in the saddle.

The final bit of prep work was a bit of a fail. I set the alarm for the wrong time! We were supposed to wake up at 5:50 in order to get to our 7:30am train, but I think my brain would not compute that time so I accidentally set it for 6:50. Luckily, Alberto had set his alarm for 6-something so we were able to get out of the door with relatively good time.

We had to get to Liverpool Street Station which is about 5 miles from our house. But shortly after we left home, Alberto realised he had forgotten to bring our pump. He decided to turn back while I kept going, figuring he would catch back up with me as I tend to ride more slowly. I kept riding towards the station but he never caught up with me. I was a little worried that he might not make it in time, as I got to the station with only 10 minutes to spare. But when I walked towards the platform, there he was with our friends Erin and Ricardo! He had somehow beaten me to the station despite me having a head start, and he also somehow managed to put on a cloak of invisibility as he passed me, since he claims he took the same route as I did! One of life's mysteries.

Anyway, we made it just in time to catch the 7:30am train to Ipswich where we would begin our journey....
The train we were on was a little outdated... to open the door to get off the train you had to open the window and use the outside handle!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Suffolk and Norfolk Coast Mini-Tour, which describes Day 1 of our ride!

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