Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Just A Nice Leisurely One!

How many calories
in a flying ant!
Hello blog lovers.

So, after this mornings exercise, all that burning up the thighs and what not, I thought a nice evening in, or out, maybe to the local rib shack! But no, I couldn't tempt the Old Boy!  So I suggested the usual nice easy ride up to down and back home via Biggin hill.  When I say nice and easy, the only bit that is nice and easy is the bit when we get to Biggin Hill!

My legs were a bit surprised to be asked to do more....stuff!  They were also thinking, 'Just a nice walk to the car, get out, walk to the rib shack, and then take the weight off'  But that wasn't too be, hence, me writing this!

Again, around about 6 ish, I had a little snooze (it must be age related) but I shook my self awake and went upstairs to get changed into my cycling gear.  The Old Boy was already getting changed, I think he would have gone with or without me!

I wasn't going to go too far, I am still not in the 20 miles in an evening, mode yet, but I feel sure I will get there again.  Downe village is a good workout, and the Old Boy can class it as a pleasure ride!  We got through the local path, relatively unscathed, what with ants, flying ants and kamikaze kids hurtling towards us!

It's that time of year when flying ants start to fly off to new climes!  The Old Boy, before we left this evening 'googled' up about flying ants and why they do it, and what happens when they mate....in mid air!!  All I can say is.....ouch!!

So, Downe village, that was our destination before going back home!  That ride up High Elms Road seemed so bloody hard this evening!  I felt sure that I wasn't going to make it in one go!  My legs were screaming (not for the first time today) to stop, take a break, get a taxi, chillax!  But I kept going, the Old Boy encouraging me to go all the way, not to stop (we were nearly to the centre of the village).  It's that last little bit, it just seems so steep!

We took a little break once we got to the centre.  And then rode on up Single Street, then Jail Lane!  It was riding up Jail Lane when another cyclists past me by.  He was ever so nice, and said good evening as he seemed to thundered past, first me then the Old Boy! But I am not a speedy person when there is an incline!  I just plod along and eventually get there!

We did meet up with him again.  He had stopped at the end of Jail lane to put on his lights.  We pulled over as well to do the same, make sure our lights were on!  We chatted awhile with the chap before we all headed in the same direction, towards Biggin Hill!  The chap went first and then when the traffic was clear I went with the Old Boy behind me.

Now down hill is when I do tend to push myself.  I can't help it!  Its fun, it's easy and it's exciting!  My bike just seems to love going down hill as fast as it can!  Even with me sitting on top of it!  I soon caught up with the chap that went first, but it was at a point when there is a slight uphill.  I couldn't pull up my brakes, I just couldn't so I just kept going, I even had to get out of my seat to power on past him!

I head the Old Boy say something to the other cyclists like "She's off" and the other chap, I later found out, said "Have a safe ride"  or something like that!  I do love cycling.....of free wheeling down this road.  There is some pedalling bits that needs doing, to get you up and over the little inclines!  But it really is so much fun!

We stopped off at the Greyhound in Keston for a nice refreshment!  It was much needed!  The exercise this morning and now this little ride!  I am totally knackered now....but looking forward to my run tomorrow morning!  At least by then all the blooming flying ants should have found a boyfriend and a new home by then!

Geeky stats, which I stopped at the Greyhound and forgot to start up again!

Bromley Common and Keston Ward Running by moosh001 at Garmin Connect - Details

Monday, 13 July 2015

Spinning 'Eck!

Hello blog lovers.

It's back to our normal British summer!  Wet and drizzly.  I did promise Bims that when the weather is like this that we would do spin classes rather than go out on our bikes with the Panagua ladies!  I was a bit disappointed really as from next week it's the kids holidays, which means I will have the little darlings with me during the day!

But a promise is a promise, and to be honest, I wasn't really 'feeling it'.  It's not just the fact that is raining, it's not just the fact that it's in a class room, and it's not the fact that 'Spinning' is bloody hard!  But I really wasn't feeling it.  The Old Boy has been off colour for a few days and I think he has shared his germs with me!  But like a trooper I turned up at Bims house.

She has this wonderful routine of running to the gym from her house! It's only about half a mile, but still, there is the actual class to do once we get there!  I filled my bottle with iced water, I know from experience it's going to be necessary!  All though it had stopped raining and looked kind of chilly, it was actually quite warm!

My legs didn't seem to want to work this morning, no warm up whatsoever and not even a cuppa!  I knew it was going to be hard work, and the thought of eating anything just didn't feel right!  Which I know is totally wrong!  It was a very gentle slow jog to the Pavilion in Bromley, but even my lungs wasn't playing ball this morning! I couldn't even jog the whole way to the gym!

Once there though, we got our bikes, adjusted seat levels and what not and waited for the class to begin.  Just one question, if anyone knows the answer, do you have the seat fitted like you would on your own ordinary bikes, or the seat a tad lower!  It's just that when then instructor says 'Ok, up everybody up!" then when I'm spinning my ......umm....bottom still hits the seat, but yet it's fine for when I'm sitting down and spinning, is it necessary for the bike to fit just like a road bike!?

Anyway the class began, nice and steady at first, something I can just about do.  I tried to keep in with the music.  Just concentrate on the rhythm of the music, and listen to her for when she says "Ok, are you ready, 3,  2, 1 and up"  and that's when we have to stand up on the pedals and keep up with the music, which has changed tempo and then down and then hover! Blimey, it's tough, let me tell you!  I was already sweating, I thought I had been at it for a least 10 minutes but when I looked at the time it was only 3!

And then she got us to do some fast spinning!  At a lower gear but getting the revs up to 130 rpm top speed before dropping down!  I think I hit it a couple of times, and the lower end of rpm she said she wanted I think I stayed there for at least 10 seconds!

I always thought it was just spinning, spinning as hard as you can, and then get off and that would be it.  But there is all sorts that she gets us to do, some standing up in an extremely high gears, pulsing, doing this press up type things while spinning, Oh my spinning 'eck!  My legs were burning, they were hurting, my towel was soaked, and I was even too exhausted to pick my drink up!

It was a fantastic session, and although I ached all over, and I hated the hard work.......I really did enjoy it!  So I will stick to my promise to Bims, on rainy days I will hit the gym! Even though now, I think I found a new cuss word!  Spin!

By the way, I am looking forward to the next one!


Saturday, 11 July 2015

Recover At Reculver!

Me, recovering
at Reculver
Hello blog lovers.

What a day!  Such fun, so relaxing, such a long time for such a short ride!  But still, such a brill day.  I must admit, I wasn't 'feeling it!'  It was Bims boyfriends birthday, and we all met up last night in the local pub.  I thought it could get messy as we walked over, there was going to be no 'I'm just having a half tonight!'  So this morning, well, shall we say I was a little delicate.

In fact I was probably suffering from the 'baby germs' that some of the kids have had this 24 hour throwing up bug, and I am sure I am suffering!  At least that is what it feels like!  nausea was deffo going to win today!  So you can imagine how pleased I was when the Old Boy said "I don't feel well, head ache and just not feeling it"  Ooo, I don't mean that I am pleased he is sick!.....but I am pleased that our ride is cancelled.

I called up Bims to tell her, and she was not having!  She was like a kid, "Oh no, you gotta come, you gotta come"  She wore me down, I ran out of excuses to give her, even the Old Boy was saying, "go on, go!"  So I had not choice but to go get ready.  I don't like driving and our bike rack wont fit on Bim's car so we opted for the train, because todays ride was from Margate to reculver, and back!

The morning was pretty glorious actually, and I was thinking "Maybe I can 'feel it' but then riding down Southborough lane there was a very fresh bit of 'road kill'.  It was in such a position that cars had no option but to run over it, again and again and again!  I got near to the bloody squishy mess just as another car did, and it ran over it.  The sound of the tyres running over the poor flatten fox was awufl, I heard the 'shlur' as the tyre came up from the fox!  That feeling of nausea came back with avengance!  This is going to be a tough day!

I met Bims at the rail station and we got our bikes on the train.....along with everyone else....and their kids....and mothers in law......and probably the dogs bikes as well!  What is it, why are these people not riding to their destination, they have got bikes?! Oh, yes, so do I!. Well, I'm different, I am going all the way to Margate!

There was only standing room, with people squeezing by bikes, and looking a little miffed at anyone that looked like a cyclists! Bims and I thought it would be a good idea to get out at every stop to try and find the disabled spot where we can secure our bikes!  It took two stations to 'door hop' but when we eventually got there.......there were more bikes!  We decided to just stay where we were and just play bike shuffle when people walked past!

The station at Margate is right by the sea side! Perfect, just what I need, maybe we can just go down to the beach and chill, which seemed like a pretty good idea really, as there was some kind of party atmosphere going on!  Great sounds, loads of people, dancing!  I could do that!  But Reculver called us, or at least it called Bims, so we made our way towards our destination.
Bims!

The route is 99% off road but the path is laid in concrete sections so going over the joints was tough on my backside thats for sure.  But the more we cycled along the more I started to feel so much better! Ok the headache was there, but being out in the fresh sea air was just perfect!  The smell of the seaweed, a warm breeze blowing (in our faces, but I could live with that) and a sudden urge for cockles came over me.  That was one thing I was looking forward to, cockles by the seaside.

I was hoping to find a cockle stall on the way down  to Reculver, there must be a least one, surely.  We rode on side by side, chatting and just enjoying being out.  We had to get off our bikes when we got to the 'beach hut' sections.  These little 'sheds' do amuse me, and I am sure it is such a quaint essentially British thing.  Little huts in a row, painted some lovely colours, where people go and sit in in front of!  Some of them are quite elaborately decked out, with little kitchen units, a kettle and a cooker!  Fantastic.  Some really are like a shed, just storage for all their chairs and tables, and one of them even dragged out a disgusting looking sunbed mattress!

Even the bits of walking was doing me good. I am glad I came out!  I could see the towers of the Church at Reculver getting nearer, I still hadn't found any cockles or winkles yet, but I knew I would be able to grab a sandwich at the pub when we reach our destination.  It was on the last few meters that I got a puncture!  The towers were there, taunting me, Bims had gone up ahead, and I had to get off and walk!
Wheres (the) Wally

She eventually noticed that I wasn't behind her and came to see where I was!  I told Bims to carry on towards the Towers and I will see her at the pub!  I think I will need a pint before I fix my tyre!  I walked the rest of the way.  A chap that we had passed on a bike said, "Oh know, you were doing so well, you even passed me" and then I told hi, "I've got a puncture!"
I got my cockles at Reculver!

It didn't take long to get to the King Ethelbert pub and I chained by bike up against Bims bike and went inside to find her.  She was at the bar, waiting to be served!  Perfect!  We ordered some lunch and we outside to find a table with shade!
Lunch

Lunch was great, we chatted along with some great people at the pub, and then it was time to fix my bike!  Bims hasn't changed a tube since she was a child, so I let her watch and even help out a little.  I amused me when she put the tyre on though, she put it on so that the tyre went over the rims of the wheel, both sides! Bless her.  There were a couple of very helpful chaps that were able to lend me their pumps so that I could inflate the tyre, saving me a gas canister!

Then it was the ride back.  With refueling done and rehydration done we were pretty relaxed and cool, and deciding that they only way to ride back to Margate was to sing all the way as loud as we could.  Do you think we could remember all the words to any of the songs we started singing? No, we couldn't!  We couldn't even think of songs to sing let alone sing all the words!  But we did have a few half songs, Billy Don't Be A Hero, Pack Up All Your Cares And Woe, Smile, Maybe It's Because I'm A London to name but a few!  And I am sure at some point we did actually harmonise quite well!

Getting back to the beach at Margate we decided to find a pub for one last refreshment before getting the train back.  We found a spoons just along the front and again we started chatting to some great people, locals 'born and bred' they said they was!  Also in town were the Millwall supporters out for a beano!  What bunch of noisy......young gentlemen! they were!  They tried to hitch up a flag, 'Millwall Treaty, we are evil"  Well, I wouldn't disagree with them!

Back on the train now and again there are a lot of people with bikes going back home!  We managed to secure our bikes on the disabled part of the train with a bit of shuffling around with other passengers with buggies!  We share the space with two other cyclist, and chatted with them all the way to Bromley South, Matt and Paul!  They had been riding around Whistable and other places.  It's amazing just how much just having something in common can start a conversation.  We didn't just talk about bikes and routes and riding!

A couple of real nice people! In fact all of the people we chatted to today were brill!  As Bims said on her facebook page earlier "Who says British People are not friendly and sociable" All though Paul on the train originally came from Zimbabwe! But still, he is here now in Britain, and loving it!

It's amazing how time flew by on the way back home.  We had to shuffle our bikes around again as our was at the back of the pack and we were getting off first!

Such a brilliant day out, a long brilliant day out, for such a short brilliant ride!  Loved it, and I am deffo feeling it now!

Geeky stats.

Westbrook Ward Running by moosh001 at Garmin Connect - Details

Monday, 6 July 2015

Bunny Hops and Cakes!

Hello blog lovers.

It's Monday morning and it's riding with the Panagua Ladies again.  Just in case you don't know about Panagua, this is there shop in Hayes, where we all met this morning.
You can see Mhairi in the door way!



There was a nice group of us today, Mhairi with her offspring, he was being an honorary lady today (his school has finished already!). Then there was Louise, Debbie, Linda, Bims and me!  Mhairi asked how far, or how many miles we wanted to do, but Bims has work issues (she has to go to work!), so annoying when work gets in the way!
Mhairi's little darling!


So it's off to Downe we go, we know we can do that in the time that we have.  And of course there are those delightful hills! Always good to have a challenge in your rides.......right?!  Mhairi took to lead and Louise took the tail end, sandwiched between the Panagua Ladies we snaked our way up towards Keston.

Mhairi's son was riding behind me, we had only gone about half a mile up the road (he was also in a Panagua jersey) and his mum called from the front of the pack "You ok son?" and the reply came back "Bored!"  her son is a typical young dude!  He is a very good rider, and when he was given permission to ride up to 'the bus stop and wait!" he zoomed up there like a budding Wiggins!  Young legs!  I have at least 40 years on him!

Of course I was at the back of the pack, on the up hills at least, I soon caught up with them on the down hills!  And you know how I do love a photo stop, so when we got to the top of Downe village I just had to do it!  This is the gang, with me!  The young dude took it!

Louis, Debbie, me, Mhairi, Linda and Bims
And with the young dude!


So the next part of the journey is....up hill!  We haven't finished climbing yet!  Although, this bit I can ride ok ish.  We went down Single Street heading towards Jail Lane and the took Berrys Green Road, except from me and Linda, we chickened out the steep bit of the hill and used the path way instead!

Going up the road towards curry corner we had a bit of a breather half way.  By the time I had caught up with the others they seemed to have surround one of the residents!  He had a letter in his hand, and was just on the way to post it!  We were still all just chatting when he came back from the post box (it obviously wasn't that far from where we were!) and he was kind enough to ask if any of us would like a refill of our water bottles!  What a nice gentleman he was!

As always on any group ride that I have been on there are always the 'call outs'  "Car back, car front, drain left/right"  but along Grays Road, the most frequently call out is "HOLES"  There are just so many of them on this road!  It's ridiculous.  As you calling out one there is another one being called out from the front of the pack!  Yet it didn't seem that long ago when they closed this road for 'repairs!'

The next part of the ride, well that is my favourite part!  Cudham North Lane, all the way down.  I got in front of Bims and Linda, as I know Linda don't like to go too fast down the hills, and Bims bike just doesn't roll as fast as mine.  And we started our descent.  I stayed behind Mhari, her son and Debbie waiting for an opportunity to see if I could pass them, if I could pass them!  The young dude just went off and seemed to be in his element, which left just Debbie and Mhairi to pass.  Just then Louise came past me.  So that's another one I will be chasing down the hill.  I did squeeze past Debbie and then the chase was on!  The two ladies in the matching Panaqua tops flying down the hill!  I tried to catch them up, but I did use my brakes on some of the corners to slow down a bit, but then pedalled hard to try to catch up!  Of course I didn't!

I felt sure that the three front riders were 'hanging back' a bit, but I still wasn't too far behind them.  It did amuse me when I saw Mhairi do a 'bunny hop' over a hole!  In fact I was quite impressed!  I don't think I have seen a road bike bunny hop!  Well, not in fronot of me anyway! I met them just a few seconds behind at the car park of the Rose and Crown and we waited for the others, Debbie was just a about a second behind me with Bims just about 30 and then Linda a few more seconds behind!  Love that down hill!!

Our tea and cake stop was going to be at AmeriCarlos in Farnborough Village.  I meant to have got a picture of our cakes, but as usual I was ravenous and only remembered after we had eaten, so here is a couple of pictures of us smiling, post cake and tea!
Tea was good!

All smile!
Selfie with Bims


Rememnats of our tea and cake!



geeky stats.

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Saturday, 4 July 2015

26 Miles At 26 Degrees

Hello blog lovers.

After we decided last night that we would go for a bike ride to Eynsford, I was pleased to see that the sun was out.  We, that's me and the Old Boy, was meeting Bims up at the bus garage along the A21.  Our main objective is lunch at the Plough in Eynsford. I was really looking forward to it!

We arrived at the bus garage met up with Bims and then cycled along the A21 towards Greenstreet Green.  It's surprising just how many blobs are out there driving cars!  The can clearly see us, three of us, cycling along, one behind the other in single file, yet they still try to give you the least riding space as they can!  I am fairly confident while riding on my bike in traffic, but sometimes when there are some A Holes around I do just stay behind and let them 'get on with it'!  But this particular incident we (us cyclists) were actually going faster then the cars, which is where I think the trouble starts.  Drivers hate that!

The hate the fact that we can pass them while they sit in traffic.  But I just couldn't get passed this one driver, he was driving too near the kerb.  I like to have space, space to avoid the drains, and space from the drivers in case they do something silly or I need to avoid debris in the road.  But Bims and the Old Boy were getting particularly annoyed with this driver and they rode up to him and actually told him to "Move over!"  You will be pleased to know.......he didn't!  I managed to catch up to them a little further up the road with the traffic thinned out again!

We made steady progress, I wasn't rushing, well, there will be some hill climbing later that will be challenging enough!  We made Shoreham Village in an hour!  Ok, so it wasn't the fastest of rides, but we did it and we were smiling.  We stopped off for a refreshing drink before getting back to our main objective, lunch at The Plough.  There is that little hill to get up just near the station but I did it, I still hate hills, but I am sure they must be doing me good......please tell me they are doing me good.......I need to know that they are doing me good!



When we ride this way to Eynseford we pass the lavender fields, during the winder and autumn months they are pretty boring but come summer and the colours are just simply stunning.  Here take a look, we had a photo stop.

Lavender fields.

We carried on up the hill, we have to work for our lunch! But it did have the occasional down hill, which was totally amazing!  It's the only time that I can go faster than Bims.  Damn those spin classes!  It's only a very short distance from Shoreham to Eynsford and we was there in no time.  Being as it is a very lovely day the whole world and his wife and family seemed to be down by the river today.  I doubted we would get a table!

But just as we turned up then a table became available, perfect!  I was really looking forward to something to eat.  We chose our lunch and went to order it at the bar, along with a pint!  We had a bit of a wait for our lunch, it was busy!  But when it arrived, I was a tad disappointed!  My linguine really looked as if the chef was busy, and the Old Boys duck, well, it was ok, ish, but nothing like I have come to expect from the Plough!  Maybe they just can't cope with numbers, but still, you should never send out ok food, not for the prices they charge!
My lunch

Bims Lunch
Old Boys Lunch


So after our 'ok' food we set off home.  We were going to go through Swanley, just to add a couple more miles to work off our 'ok' food!  Feeling disappointed we headed to wards Farningham.  I was thinking maybe we should have stopped at the pub there for our lunch!

I quite like this way home, although we don't have to do Foo Kin Hill, we still have to ride up.  Of course Bims just flew up the hill and I was at the back with the Old Boy to keep me company, struggling as usual!  I must work harder on hills!  But right now was not that time!  I was full with 'ok food' and it was extremely warm!  At least 26 degrees, the sweat was doing it's best to keep me cool!  It wasn't working!

But I didn't stop, I kept going.  Eventually catching up with Bims for a little while longer at least, we continued on our through Bexley and past the Slaughtered Lamb.Well, when I say past, Bims had actually popped in to get some fresh water, I gave her my bottle to refill as well.

We had the the busy main roads to deal with before going around the very busy round about by Sevonoaks Way, and then that nasty little climb up the ramp!  Oh how I hate hills!  We went on the path rather than the road, I knew I was going to be slow so I didn't want to piss off any of the drivers that would be passing me.  Also I was feeling pretty bloomin knackered too!

With just the undulations on the way up to Chislehurst to get to the Tigers Head to do, yet they felt like huge mountains!  Bims and The Old Boy had now gone ahead of me, it's not as if I would get lost now.  I so wanted to stop, and walk up some of the hills but I didn't I kept going.

I was so pleased to get to the tigers head!  We had one more drink in there before going home, and we didn't go the easier, longer way home, oh no!  We decided to do Summer Hill!  I let the other two go in front of me and I would meet them at the top at Blackbrook Lane!  I seriously didn't think I would make this last hill.  But I just want as fast as I felt comfortable all the way down, just so that I could have that momentum for the other side!

We did it!  It was a good ride, with some very challenging hills!  I was exhausted and extremely warm!  Getting back home for a nice shower and a cuppa is what I wanted now!

Geeky Stats.

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Monday, 29 June 2015

Post Holiday Ride!

Maryann, Bims Me and Linda
Hello blog lovers.

I had a fantastic holiday, full of sun, swim pool, great food, drinking cocktails and long cool beer! And now I am having to work it all off!  Especially as prior to my holiday the only exercises I did was ride my bike, no running at all!

Today it was back with the Panagua ladies.  Bims was going, I think she realises that being out in the fresh air, especially on gorgeous days like today, is so much better than spinning on a static, and also another of my friends was going to come, Linda.  It will be her first time riding with this group.  She was there first actually, as I saw her as I was just riding up towards the shop.

Next came Bims, then Debbie and then finally another new comer, Maryanne.  She had come from South London, on the train to be here!  We waited for our leaders, and then waited.  I popped into the shop to see if it had actually been cancelled today.  I hadn't thought to check! It hadn't been.  We waited a few more minutes and it was way past the 10 o'clock start, so we decided that we will go by ourselves.  We all know parts of routes, so I knew we would all be ok, and as for riding in groups, well we had all done that too!

We decided to go to Downe Village, with Debbie leading the way.  I was quite surprised by the way she decided to go to Downe, it's not a way I would have gone.  It's good to learn new routes to places.  Very good for your psyche too! You never know quite where you are!  Of course, though, there was no avoiding those hills! Downe is up, now matter what way you go to get there!

A much needed stop!


We gave our new recruit a good tourist style ride, through the village but Linda gave the 'talk' as she had lived in Downe for years! We stopped off at Downe House to grab a photo stop.  Here, take a look!

Maryann, Bims, Debbie and Linda

From here we carried on down Single Street towards Jail Lane, I was thinking that maybe we would be going through to Biggin Hill, and then along the same route that I went with the Panagua Ladies on the first ride.  But Debbie took us down Berrys Green, it's another hilly little road!  Me and Linda decided to use the little path instead of going down the steep part of the road, but we still arrived at the end of the the path the same time as the other ladies came from the the other way!

We continued up, up, up the road. It's another undulating road!  There is just  no getting away from hills on todays ride!  We rode all the way along to the Shampan.  We took a little breather there before continuing along the way down Greys Road.  I was taking the lead for this part, well it's the easiest bit to do!  Just two straight roads really.  The first bit is a little undulating, but nothing like what we had done so far, and the the next road, Cudham Lane North, well, thats the sweeties part of todays ride!

Once we had finished Grays Road, I said to the ladies that it's a straight road, and we go all the way down to the end!  There are some of us that like to speed (ok, so nothing like the Tour de France) but going at some speed, all the way down.  I, for one, love these parts of rides, the gorgeous long down hills, going at your speed! We all met up at the car park at the end of the road,  I took a couple of action shots of Maryann and Linda!

Linda in action

Maryanne in action


Time was getting away with us, too much chatting I should think, and Bims and Maryanne needed to be places, so when we were riding down the A21 those two carried on all the way and towards Bromley, where Bims lives and Maryanne needs to get a train back to S.E. London.

Me, Linda and Debbie carried on up (yes more up's) Farnborough Road, I thought it would be a great idea to stop off at Americarlos for coffee and cake!  A perfect end to a ride.  From there, after our coffee and cake we all went back home different ways.

My Garmin had run of battery at the Shampan but here is what I had on it, it missed the Cudham lane!  So I have no idea how fast I managed to go down here!

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Monday, 15 June 2015

Out With The Panagua's

Hello Blog lovers.

Well, I am with them again!  The lovely ladies of Panagua.  We did look a colourful bunch, but we sooo clashed!  Two of the ladies were in bright orange Panagua jerseys with three of us in bright pink and Debbie was in black and red!  Now if I was to tell you what bikes there were all on, well, I don't know!  Except what Mhairi was riding as she told us later on!  Darn it, I can't even remember that! What a girly thing to notice!  But that's what I love about riding with the girls, I can say stuff like that and not get 'that look'!

So there were eight(?) of us, Bims, I finally got her out of the gym, Debbie, who has been riding before with the ladies, but not for a while.  Then there was Mhairi, Sian and I have completely forgotten the others.  We met at the cafe near the Panagua shop, The Village Cafe. 

After pit stops, we were ready, now do I mention that one of the ladies dropped her glove in the only puddle that was around for a mile? No, I won't, but I expect it was feeling a tad cold when she put it on!  We set off with Mhairi leading and the other Panagua lady (oh, what is her name!?) riding at the back, we got on our way.  I didn't know which way we were going, but I was expecting to go up, up, up!

I was quite pleased, therefore, when we then turned right instead!  I think I did hear something about West Wickham, but I have no idea in what direction that is!  I think I should start paying more attention to where I am being led to, either with The Old Boy, the Breeze ladies now with the Panagua ladies!  Too long being a passenger!  

We had our first encounter with the hills more or less as soon as we turned right....but it was down hill!  Perfect, I do like a down hill.  We all snaked out way way through Hayes village, past the lovely kebab shop......so I've been told......well it looks nice.....ok so I've been in there quite a few times! It didn't seem that long before we were winding our way into the country lanes.

It always amazes me just how close to these country lanes we are.  Fields and farms smells fill the air with some strong aromas!  Something that Bims likes, she likes the smell of stables, horse poo!  Peculiar woman!  So she was in her element!  We rode down Nash lane and caught up with the faster ladies who were waiting just opposite the dog training centre.  

We split into two groups, the more faster ladies all with the other Panagua jersery clad lady, I think they were going to find some more hills, but definitely more miles, and we, me, Bims and Mhairi, were heading up to a place that me and the Old Boy have cycled before.  The road was a hill, but a doable and chatable hill!  There were a couple of bits that had me huffing and puffing a bit, which was handy for the other two as they could hear me behind them!  Those spin classes at definitely working for Bims! 

We rode at a nice easy leisurely pace all the way up to Botley Hill, one of the Old Boys favourite solo routes that he does, but when we ride it, its one of his leisurely rides!  We took a quick break there, at the top and then decided to go back, more or less the way we came, rather than turn right to head into Wallingham.  The country style roads were much more appealing than traffic and buildings!

Of course the ride back is all down hill!  Mhairi gave Bims the lead, she wanted to ride at the back for a bit so she could just watch.  It's good to see how people are when they are on the roads.  It's a bit like me when I lead my group running, I lead from the back most of the time, just so that I can see how people are coping, and maybe offer advice at technique and things.

We took the left hand road when we got to the road that we came down, we were going to ride past another lovely pub, The White Bear, another spot that me and the Old Boy use on the odd occasion.  We were soon riding back up Nash lane, and heading on through to Hayes Village.  Of course there is that cheeky little blighter of a hill to conquer, why does it seem to be steeper on the way up!?  Once at the top we then on to the cafe stop for some lunch and coffee.

A lovely ride, with great company.  Mhairi had to virtually neck down her coffee as she had another cycling activity that she needed to be at.  Me  and Bims had our lunch and then came out of the cafe.  Well, what do you know, we saw the pub opposite and decided that it was a perfectly decent time, so we stopped for another, cooling refreshment before heading back home!  Perfect day!

Mind you, I do wonder if the Old Boy has 'got' to Mhairi, as she was saying that me and Bims should get a goal, an event of some sort!  I guess if there are any nice and easy rides for the S.A.S. crew then I think me and Bims could put our names down....S.A.S.....Slow And Steady!

Geeky stats.  It's  missing some parts, because as per usual I forgot to turn it off when I needed to and then back on when we started riding.  But it's more or less the ride, with a couple of miles extra for the ride home!

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