Since I spend a lot of time in Thetford and the cycle down there from home gives me the chance to push myself over 25 miles, it also provides me with a return leg to savor. especially after my last night.
The Brecklands are a wonderfully rich part of Suffolk and Norfolk to travel around and I cannot think of many better ways to take it all in, than by bike.
As much by accident than by design, I managed to join up two of my previous rides that saw me leave Thetford at 08:00 and arrive home just under 5 hours later, having covered 76 miles of country lanes through farmland, forest and rural towns and villages.
This area is steeped in history as far back as the Pre-Historic flint mines of Grimes Graves, through the Saxon villages like that at West Stow and the myriad of ancient paths that criss-cross the area, including Peddars Way, The Icknield Way and Angles Way.
The native flora and fauna is also immensely varied, with many locally specialised and rare species to be seen.
It is the latter that I get to spend so much time observing as I cruise between the hedges and fields and today was exceptional, given the time of year. Of raptors alone, when you include those seen last night, I saw Tawny and Barn Owls, Kestrels, Sparrowhawk, Buzzards and two Red Kites. Deer of at least 4 species can be seen easily and frequently. (Although I am always somewhat anxious that one of these days a chance meeting might be a little too close for comfort!)
(Red Kite picture courtesy of http://thebarleybird-er.blogspot.co.uk/2014_01_01_archive.html)
Slowly but surely I am getting to know this patch and I love it.
101 miles in the last 24 hours
213 for the week so far
Avg 17.9 a day so far.