The long summer days and quiet Norfolk lanes make this a great time to get on a bike! It’s a great way of seeing the country and a perfect way to get the exercise that’s so good for you. With legs pumping and heart rate raised one can feel one’s self unwind as spinning wheels eat up the miles.
Is it sometime since you were in the saddle – perhaps not since you were a kid? The sheer exhilaration of going downhill with the wind in your hair hasn’t altered. It’s still great fun! Fun remains an un-negotiable aspect of Christian living, part of the child-likeness that allows entry to the Kingdom of God! Besides, rising fuel costs and the need to reduce our carbon footprint, makes cycling a moral choice. There’s no better time to give it a try!
Gliding through country lanes gives an opportunity to consider the flowers of the field and the birds of the air. And if while peddling you encounter a burning bush or pearl of great price it is easy to stop and look and wonder. Praying’s easier too! Peddling on its own, or accompanied by a simple repetitive words like the Jesus Prayer, “Lord Jesus Christ, son of the living God, have mercy on me a sinner.” can still the racing mind and calm the jumpy heart. Life in the slow lane is worth chasing after!
An answer to practical questions like “how”, “where” and “when” is provided by the Broads Bike Trail. Published by Broadland Cycle Hire with support from the Broads Authority and the Norfolk Broads and Rivers Open Churches Project, it describes trails of varying lengths. The longest at 35 miles goes through Hoveton, Wroxham, Ranworth, South Walsham, Upton, Acle and Horning. On route are Fairhaven Gardens, Norfolk Wildlife Trust’s Ranworth Visitors Centre, 16 Broadland churches and for those who, have prayed and peddled their way through quiet lanes and are thirsting after righteousness, there’s the Fur and Feather at Woodbastwick, the brewery tap for Woodforde’s Norfolk Ales.
Broadland Cycle Hire’s base is at the Bewilderwood Treehouse Adventure (more fun for children and the child-like!) between Hoveton and Horning. Tel. No. 07887 480331. They can provide well maintained, modern cycles, helmets and all the appropriate safety equipment together with the necessary advice.
Broads Bike Trail leaflets can be obtained from Broadland Cycle Hire, Gateway Churches of the Norfolk Broads and Rivers Project (www.norfolkopenchurches.com) and Broads Authority information centres.
©Richard Woodham 2008