Meet our Champion for Active Norfolk
Published: Thursday 31st Mar 2016
Written by: Norfolk Champion
Who? Peter Flett - Managing Director of Fatbirds
What? Fatbirds is a specialist bike business based in Hunstanton. We look after all bikes but have, over the past five years, developed an unhealthy addiction for building bespoke titanium bikes for people all over the world. We’re now Europe’s #1 supplier of titanium bikes. We work to develop cycling across North Norfolk and in 2013 set up the Pedal Norfolk Cycle Festival at Holkham Hall. Now in its fourth year, Pedal Norfolk 2016 will attract more than 2,500 riders and 8,000 visitors over the first Bank Holiday weekend in May.
Let's find out more about this pedal-crazy champion...
Describe a perfect weekend in Norfolk...
Norfolk is an outdoor life and the seasons play a huge part in what’s possible. Spring is fantastic, so from March onwards:
- Saturday morning: Fatbirds has a 9am ride from Hunstanton – and we’ll have people of all abilities turn up to ride around 35 miles as a group. It’s great to blow the cobwebs out along quiet roads with superb views and catch up with friends and customers.
- Saturday afternoon: Brancaster beach is perfect for spring walks and kite flying with the children.
- Saturday night: Dinner with friends at the excellent Orange Tree in Thornham – their fish menu is incredible.
- Sunday morning: Burnham Overy Staithe – the children adore the water (especially the mud banks) and the bird life is stunning.
- Sunday afternoon: A traditional Sunday lunch at home with a roaring fire!
List your top five things about Norfolk…
- The friendliness of the people – from living in Central London where you don’t know your next door neighbours, to village life where everyone makes time for you and says hello.
- The sky at night – the numbers of stars visible on clear nights still takes my breath away.
- The big skies – and don’t look away for too long, because they’ll change!
- The seafood – locally-caught sea bass and samphire from Burnham Overy Staithe.
- Safe roads which make road cycling a pleasure! I can ride 100 miles from my house and never go through a traffic light!
Norfolk is brimming with footpaths and cycle ways. Do you have a favourite? If so, where and why?
I get to ride my bike all over North Norfolk. I’ve got any number of routes which are stunning but there are three I seem to repeat more often than others!
- Great Massingham to Grimston: it’s a fast, direct four mile road which runs through a narrow valley, and every time I ride it the countryside changes!
- Docking to Brancaster: It’s only a three-mile ride, but the view of Brancaster Staithe from the top of the hill as you ride towards it is stunning.
- The 50-mile Pedal Norfolk route on the final day of the festival. When we originally created the event, our plan was to prove that Norfolk wasn’t flat… and this route clearly demonstrates it! Full details are at www.pedalnorfolk.co.uk
What’s your favourite event on the Norfolk calendar, and why?
Norfolk has a number of great festivals each year. The children love Wells Carnival and the Holkham Country Fair, but as part of the team which set up Pedal Norfolk, I’m incredibly proud of the event we’ve built. It’s the only family-friendly, three-day cycling festival in the country and has something for everyone, whatever their age, ability and love of bikes. There’s everything on offer at the event, from 250-miles for the lycra clad, to lessons on how to ride a bike for the very little. With camping in front of Holkham Hall, excellent food, posh showers and loos it’s a lovely way for a family to spend the first Bank Holiday of May.
Norfolk is brimming with history and culture. What’s your favourite heritage building/site and what’s so special about it?
Warham Camp: This is one of the best examples of an Iron Age Hill camp in Great Britain. It’s great to stand on the top of the ramparts and imagine how life used to be in North Norfolk!