Yesterday afternoon Mike and I threw caution to the slightly damp winds and decided to take ourselves and our bikes on a trip to Newmarket. It's nearly 3 years since I last did it, and I was a lot fitter then, but I still remembered the route I took - directly there along the A1303 and back through Exning, Burwell and some of the other villages that way to Quy. These days the N51 route exists, so we thought we'd give it a try. And that let us find the T-junction which I've often seen pictured which has a noraml road sign pointing right saying 6 miles to Newmarket and the N51 sign pointing left saying 15 miles! You soon realise why, as at almost every point thereafter where there's a choice the cycle route goes the opposite direction to that which you'd expect. At one point taking a detour 200 yards uphill then 200 yards back down to avoid the main road through the village. The best bit though was in Burwell I think, where following the signs took us round in a loop back to an earlier bit of the route. I suspect one of them must have got turned round slightly. At this point we gave up on trying to follow them and just followed the roads, which weren't so very big or busy. We came into Newmarket through Exning anyway, and arrived at 4:30. Ah, teatime thinks I, but no - it's a bank holiday monday and it appears Newmarket is to a first approximation shut. So in lieu of hot chocolate we drank cider and perry in the Wetherspoons pub and ate enormous portions of warm choc fudge cake. We were pretty tired by this point, and took the direct route home, which was signposted as being abotut 13 miles instead of the 17+ on the way there. Less pretty, and less easy to cycle two abreast on the busy roads, but we got home in one piece a little after 7, very tired and with aching bums! We went out for chinese at the Ugly Duckling late in the evening, and had an excellent meal, even if we had to take most of the main course home with us. It was very quiet but the staff were lovely and friendly and the food excellent as usual. It was a great way to finish off a wonderful weekend anyway.
Today I have been mostly doing washing, trying desperately to get it dry by turning the heating on and hanging it on radiators, and packing the other odds and ends I want for Whitby. I was also going to upload the assorted photos I took while out and about yesterday, but I have been thwarted by my computer. Richard apparently accidentally kicked the power out yesterday, but I wouldn't normally expect that to be a problem. Only it seems on this occasion the motherboard has taken exception to this rough treatment and died. It won't boot, and doesn't even get as far as beeping. So when I get back I'll b shopping for a new motherboard/CPU/memory combination: the memory is so old I probably won't find it's compatible with a new motherboard and it would be too annoying to find that out by trying it and then having to wait for new memory to arrive too. It's done me two or three years, but it's still very frustrating. It's almost tempting to see what I can get in the way of a cheap full system with Windows on it, but it would have to be Linux compatible too and that can be a bit of a challenge. It would be nice to have a working modern Windows install for a change though - not that I use it much but it's handy to have around now and then. Oh well, I get to forget about it for a week anyway.
I have train tickets, Whitby ticket, and cottage confirmation. My phone and MP3 player are fully charged and I have the chargers. I've assorted books and knitting and so on, and lots of clothes which are now mostly clean. And last but not least makeup and a bottle of red for the train journey. Whitby here we come!