Sunday, 28 January 2018

Hello Bikey My Old Friend!

Hello blog readers.
Me after the bike ride

Hello bikey my old friend,
I've come to ride on you again,
Because a vision of me in black Lycra
riding fast and passing cars
And the vision that was that was planted in  my brain, still remains
And now it's the sounds of traffic!

You will of course noticed that this is my cycling blog! Yup! That's right, I got my little bike out again.  NaggyNeighbour had asked yesterday, "If it's a nice day tomorrow, you fancy going for a bike ride!"  She did say ten miles out, do lunch, then ten miles back, but I knew I would struggle with just the 10 miles, let alone getting back again!  Baby steps, back to the beginning, and start again!  That's how I feel about my bike.  Last year I only did 9 bike rides, nine!  Pathetic!  I really have lost my cycling mojo!  But as I have said to some of my running buddies, finding your mojo is not going to happen on the sofa, or even hiding in my running shoes!  I know I have done that since September, a few times I have gone out for a run when I could have gone out for a ride instead.

Anyway, here we are, after church, after walking the dog, I got ready for a bike ride, remembering my commando training! It was to be a ten miler I might add, not the 20 she first suggested.  It was up to be me to think of a nice ten miler, with a hill or two.  I don't think she would really enjoy doing any one of my 'loopy' training routes.  Mind you, I must say riding out with your friends is so much nicer, it's great riding with friends, need to have friends to get me out on my bike!  It's more difficult searching for cycling mojo than running mojo! For a start, you don't have to worry about traffic so much.  I have got cleats as well, will I remember to clip out, can I remember how to clip in!?  It's a worry, but I didn't let it stop me.  The weather was just perfect for it, its the end of January, and it's really quite mild, so just perfect really for getting back out there.
Our bikes

I knocked on Naggy's door and we both just looked at each other....and giggled!  Just like blimmin school girls!  I am not sure if it was a nervous giggle or an excited giggle!  I had the route planned, it's an 'ease on back to riding' route, it's the North Bromley route.  With a hill up Plaistow Lane and then one at the other end of the ride, going to Keston.  We rode on through Jubilee park, all's well so far, getting back to is is just like riding a bike......oh hang on......that is what we are doing!  I was clipping in and clipping out just as if it's a daily thing to me.  The test will be going up hills.  I always go way to slow going up and I feel quite nervous because I go slow.  I feel as if I need my feet to be free just in case.  The first hill wasn't too far off, Naggy seems to be in her element on the hills, she just attacks them, I think I may need to dig deep and attack, but not today, today it's all about getting back.....and staying back on it!

I had tried to remember where the Old Boy used to take us when we rode through this route, do you think I could remember, I knew we went on through Bromley High Street, but then I kind of took us on a slightly different route and then thought we would just cut out that bit, so we rode on to Kentish way, I was going to look for the right turn that takes us to the path by the school.  I was telling Naggy "Here, it's this turning" as I indicated to turn right only to find out that actually it was not the right way!  In the end we ended up riding along the A21 and then turning right into Hayes Lane.  This is the other hill, it's  a slope all the way from The George to Keston, our destination, the Greyhound for a pint a a burger!  It was a tough old slog, my 'derriere' was taking a pounding!  Oh my goodness, I had almost forgotten about the sore arse!  But I was just so pleased to see that pub come into sight!  Just fantastic!  I was so looking forward to my reward.  A pint and a burger.  I got a picture of our drinks, but the burger, well I was just too hungry!
It was so good!

We made our way home going back the way we came, to get to Barnent Wood Lane, I think I had enough hills for the day, for the first ride of the year, in search of my mojo! Here's a picture of our geeky stats, I don't know about you or if it's just me......but it's quite an interesting....route, wouldn't you say so?
Geeky stats

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Just a Short Plod out!

Hello blog lovers.

Well, it has been a while since me and the Old Boy have been out for a ride together, and today was the day, or at least this evening was the evening that we went for a short plod about.  I was planning on running about 3 miles, but the Old Boy suggested we go for a ride instead, he has been off his bike for a while and is wanting to get back to getting fit again.  So we hastily made a quick route, a nice flattish one for us, just to get used to the riding again, and then we set off.

It was still light out when we started but I know that the night time is just a few minutes away, we made sure we had lights and they were working too. Then we set off.  Our route was through Jubilee Park and then on to Bromley.  Ok, so when I said it was flattish, it was as flat as we could get it.  There is a couple of hills, just some gentle climbs, it's just the way Bromley is, there is a hill almost around every corner!

We rode on up to Bromley North, passing a very nice pub!  Maybe next time we should ride around in the opposite direction and then end up here for a quick refresher, that's a Lime and Soda for me by the way!  I am still determined with my healthy eating lifestyle and cutting out on my drinking for a few weeks!  I am determined, I really want to do this, and I really want to succeed this time around! (again)  Losing weight, keeping fit, it's a life long thing!  I just need to stay focused all the time.

So from Bromley North we ride on through the town itself and on to Bromley South.  We turn right to head towards Hayes, of course it's up hill, just small gradients though!  We ride on and passed another favourite pub that we used to stop at, especially in the lighter summer months, The George!  My legs were hurting, and wanted to just have a little break, but there is no rest for the wicked!  I followed the Old Boys blinking red light up to Barnet wood Lane.  That road is quite dark, he waited for me, we changed our front lights from 'blinking' to full beam to light the way.  He rode a bit more slowly so I kept behind him either that or I managed to stay with him, well that bit was flat!  Right to the end of the road and on to Oakley, and the Two Doves.  This is where we stopped, just for a light refreshing drink.  Then we rode on home from here.

A lovely little ride, it was tough, but then exercise is tough, and that was exercise.  I really tried hard to get up the hills as fast as I could, to give me a nice work out!

Here's my geeky stats.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Hello blog lovers.

As you can see, it's a cycling blog!  I just had to get out today before I took root on my chair!  I have been having a week off, so I have really been lazy, getting up late, no running, not even on Club Night Tuesday, well it was NaggyNeighbours birthday ribs night!

So today I got up......late, but not as late as I have been doing.  I had some errands to do and I had planned to do them early just so that I would have plenty of time to do a bike ride.  I was in two minds as to which sort of ride I wanted to do.  Whether it was to be a nice leisurely ride which means at least 15 - 20 miles at my own pace, or do the loops again, just push myself as hard as I could for an hour.  I thought about it as I procrastinated doing 'stuff' in doors before I had to go out to do the errands.

I thought about it as I drove to Petts Wood to do the errands and thought about it again all the way home again.  I still wasn't sure.  I really had no motivation, I was feeling fat, frumpy and pretty down with that fact too.  After I came back I sat down to just think about it, "I have a wedding to get ready for!" I thought to myself, I should be trying everything  to lose these extra pounds I've put on, and that is not going to happen sitting of my arse! I am not going to be the 'fat mother of the bride' on the day!  Well, I guess my arse sat down is going to get me fit, as long as that arse is on the bike!  So the voice of reason finally broke through, "Just get out there and enjoy, while the weather is nice" Apparantely it's going to rain in London tomorrow, according to FaceBook, it told me to stay dry, so today is the better day to ride my bike. I got up straight away and got my bike out and then went to get myself ready!

I had decided that I need to 'exercise' rather than just a 'leisurely plod' around somewhere, which if I am honest I woult have cut short and come home.  Now that I had decided, I was ready to do battle with the undulations of Petts Wood.  I prefer this route rather than the Blackbrooke Lane loops as it has an undulation in the beginning and then at the end! No rest before you do the loop again. Times that by four and I should know that I've done a work out!

Just getting to the start of the loops I was puffing like an old steamd train, but I just thought "It'll all be over soon" because I am planning on getting under the hour!  I know my motivation will drop to my boots if it's longer than the hour!  This route is like doing a spin class without the music but also without the possibility for me to stop pedalling!  There's a big chance that if I stop pedalling I will go backwards, downhill or...fall off!

I completed the first loop and mentally said "Just three more to go"  I often talk to myself, or make up words to songs to keep a pace going!  I usually make up words for the tune of "Mamma's little baby loves short'nin' bread"  I know it's a silly song, but the words come to me as I'm riding up the hills, it helps me to stay focused and then when I'm at the top I take a deep breath and relax.  Mind you, that forth loop was tough going!  The air was blue, and I'm sure that particular verse is not one that I would sing to children!

I felt I had done really well but I didnt want to look at my Garmin until I got home and stopped it.  I knew I couldn't pedal any better than what I was doing anyway so what will be will be.  It really did feel as if I had done well though, maybe a pb.  I carried on riding along the same streets that I had only an hour ago and rode onto my road and up to my house.  Stopped my garmin and then looked at it, damn it, not a pb!  I was blimmin lucky it was sitll under the hour otherwise I am sure I really would have whipped my ass!

Any hoo, heres the geeky stats for you,

<iframe src='' title='Petts Wood loops' width='465' height='500' frameborder='0'></iframe>

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Pint, Pee and Puncture! - Ride London(ish)

Hello blog lovers

I heard there was to be some sort of bike thing happening in London yesterday, DiscoRich told me that he and IllustriousLeader would be going, they would be taking the train and then they will be riding around London, traffic free! Before some other race that was happening I think! Anyway, the Old Boy had plans to do stuff and then take off for fishing, so I asked NaggyNeighbour if she fancied a ride out to London, spot of lunch, and then ride through the city. Well, who do you know that would say no, especially when they have a brand new bike to test out! So we made plans.

After parkrun in the morning we both went home, I had to do some housewifey stuff, tidy, push the shark around (that's my fabulous new vacuum by the way) and then get myself ready. I think it was about 12:30 by the time I went over the green to Naggy's house.  "I'm not entirely sure of the nice quieter roads to Cator Park" I told her, "Don't worry, I know how to get to Beckenham and then between the two of us we will remember the rest" she said.  I was pretty sure that once we were on the roads we will remember them and which way to turn.

We set off for Cator Park, Naggy in front of me with me following closely behind.  We made our way, twisting and turning through the quieter roads of Bromley and Beckenham and we managed to get to Cator Park with no problems at.  From here I know exactly where to go.  We followed the WaterWay Link.  Oh I forgot to say, it had started to rain!  It started to rain when we were down Southborough lane, so very close to home that if it had been cold as well I am sure that we would both have called it a day, but actually at that time it felt quite refreshing, just a soft gently smattering of rain, but we still put on our jackets.  Fortunately the Old Boy told me to take his pocket rocket, as I wasn't even going to take one! 

The rain didn't last too long, in fact Naggy had shed her jacket when she waited for me as I had to negotiate traffic.  I took mine of once we had got to Cator Park and we continued with our ride to London.  We started chatting once we were on the WWL as there was no traffic to think about and were talking about things she will need for her bike, like a bike wedgie, full of stuff, like tubes, CO2 and bike leavers! An essential little pack actually!  As we were heading for the Moby Dick for lunch we thought a quick ride over to Decathlon would be ideal timing actually.

The ride into London went smoothly, well, there was one tiny little hiccup, when we took the wrong road, but we soon got back to where we needed to be! At least the rain was just about holding off!  I was think we were pretty lucky actually, it could have been so much worse.  We found out way to the pub and chained our bikes up to the railings outside.  Naggy had remembered to get a chunky lock for her bike, deffo an important part of cycling, especially when lunch is involved.  We both ordered a sandwich and had a drink while we waited.  A nice glass of coke for me, went down a blimmin treat, and then I ordered a beer!  Seafarers it was, well, we was in the Moby Dick! 

After our lunch we looked outside, there were hundreds of tiny little ripples in the river!  Yup, we hadn't escaped the rain after all, we just beat it to London!  So, the best thing to do.......have another drink, hope that it is just another passing shower! It didn't pass, it hung around and got worse! Back on with the coats it was and we headed home, we can do the bike shopping another time, and the ride around London, well, we shall have to try that again next year!  Again Naggy was in the front with me behind.  I was staying close to her, slip streaming, I am not sure it works with just one, although I wasn't right on her wheel, I don't like it when someone is that close to my back wheel so I make sure I am not that close to anyone in front of me. I had to have my usual 'comfort break' at the pub we pass by.  I am sure it's in my psyche, because I hadn't even thought of it until I realised we were close by. I am just glad it's there! I guess it could  We were about 2 miles away from Catford, where the Halfords is, and then the noise started on Naggys bike, a kind of flump, flump' noise.  Yup, she had got a flat tyre! The 'P' word was never mentioned, but we did talk about getting all the bits and bobs that would be needed if the 'P' word occurred! She looked at her tyre and there was a piece of glass embedded in her tyre!  

"What size is your tyre?" I said to Naggy, "Um, I don't know!"  So I rang the Old Boy to check it out on google!  Of course it's there on the tyre, and the tube that I had would fit no problem.  I got out all my bits and bobs, tyre leavers, Co2 and thingy for Co2 canister.  I only had the one cannister and one tube!  We will not be mentioning the 'p' word again until we get home.  So upended the bike and struggled to get the wheel off, thankfully she has quick release wheels, but I wasn't sure about the brake thingy, she has disc brakes and mine don't so wasn't sure if you had to 'loosen' the brakes.  and of course it happened to be the back wheel too!  So we had gears to sort out!

While we were trying to get the wheel off a cyclist came by "Are you ok there" he said. He looked a bit worried "Can you change a tyre" I said to him, "Well, I'm not sure really"  and now I know why he looked worried, he though we might ask him to do it!  "Don't worry, we got this" I said to him, and Naggy proceeded to leaver off the tyre like a professional! We changed the tube and then tried to blow the thing up!  No gas!  "Oh no, I've bought out an empty canister" I said to her!  I took the little thing off and looked at the canister, it's fine, I realised that I had just handed it to Naggy and she just screwed it on but not tightly, to pierce the canister! Phew!  Eventually we were all set to go, tyre changed in the pouring rain, and we needed no man, we can do this, we're cyclists! By then, however, the damp and chill seemed to affect my bladder, and I needed to pee again!  I won't tell you where I eventually found a place to go but I was near a river!
Wheels off!

We continued on our way and decided that we would skip Halfords and just keep on going, we I felt sure we would be fine.  It was around this time that my headache had started, it was really bad, I am sure that all I needed was water and maybe I was just dehydrated!  But the headache stayed with me for the rest of the ride.

Me and Naggy have done this route before, with Bims, and we met DiscoRich at the Moby Dick.  On that occasion I noticed that When I was behind Naggy on the way to the Moby Dick I was right behind her all the time, even having to slow down so as not to get too close, but on the way back she was just way ahead.  And yesterday wasn't any different!  She just seemed to find her cycle legs and was blazing in front.  I struggled to keep up with her, seriously, she was just so far in front of me.  She said that she finds the journey home seems quicker!  Quicker? Quicker?  For a start we are heading upwards, all the time, right up to Southborough Lane, it think then it flattens out just a bit!  Ok so it's not huge big steep climb out of London but there is pressure on your legs all the time!

We started to get a little fed up with the rain by the time we got to Shortlands, it wasn't feeling very pleasant, I was totally thankful for hot flushes.....I mean my power surges that kept my temperature up.  I think Naggy was warmed up to, from when we had left the pub she had really cooled down.  Nearly home, we took the back streets to get to Hayes Lane and then on to the A21 from there.  

I was pleased to get home, and if it wasn't for that headache I would have felt terrific for doing a nice bike ride!  Love my bike, and I will deffo try and do tons more!

Here's our geeky stats.

<iframe src='' title='Bike ride to London ' width='465' height='500' frameborder='0'></iframe>

Monday, 17 July 2017

Going Loopy Is Paying Off!

Hello blog lovers.

I finished my day early so I thought I would get in and ready straight away to go for a bike ride, before I even sat on my chair to relax!  It's quite easy to get home, sit down and not do anything!  I need to get out there and find my cycling mojo!  It's out there, I know, along with my cycling fitness!  It's going to take an awful lot of dedication, perseverance and determination, which at the moment seems to elude me, all three of them!

At least today I am out here, I am on my bike and ready to do the loops again.  I need to try and beat my latest loop time which was over an hour.  I know I can do it because I have done it before, just got to get back there and then do better! I guess that is the determination, I just got to find the other two necessary items!

I really wasn't feeling, it, I thought I would get that in right now, the ride up the little hills to Petts Wood felt tough, my legs felt like lead, so with that on my mind I just thought to myself  "Oh well, 11 miles on a bike is better than no miles on a bike"  as it's always said, exercise is better than just sitting on your back side. So I decided to do as best as I could.  I got to the beginning of the first loop and looked up at the hill I needed to get to and then just went for it.  Give it as much as I could on the down hill and then push hard on the way up, it sounds easy, don't it!  Well that first one wasn't as bad as I thought, maybe I had warmed up enough on the way here.  I got to the top of Petts Wood road and then turned left at the roundabout and then left again down BirchWood road.  The two hills along here should warm me up for the second loop.

When I was on my second loop I heard "Good on ya Old Girl".  It was Lynne from Panagua Ladies!  I gave a call back to her.  Maybe I will see her again on another loop, I still had two more to do!  It was a little tougher on the second one but I kept the pressure on myself, well, as much as I dared without me thinking it's all a big huge chore.  I love being on my bike, really, I do.  I just know that to keep up with the Panagua ladies I am going to have to put in a bit more effort, and to do any cycling on Saturdays with the Old Boy, in the country side I am going to have to find the love of those flipping hills!  That really does seem an impossibility, especially even when I am with my running buddies I just moan and groan all the way!  On the bike it is a little harder, it's harder to stop for a start, especially if you are passing parked cars.  It's not as if you can just suddenly stop and take a breather.  I don't think the drivers behind would like that!  So I just had to keep on going.

The third lap was just as hard, but I knew that it was nearly over, I even allowed myself a little smile, "Just one more Old Girl, and then it's on the way home".  The fourth lap started, I flew down the hill and I just hoped that no cars would come out from the right to make me have to slow down, and then I saw Lynne again.  "Fourth done!" I said to her, well in my mind it was done because I was on the way up.  Unless I do a complete U Turn then there is only one way to go home and that is to finish the lap.

I was feeling ok as I got back to the corner, the start of the laps in Petts Wood, and I started my ride back home.  I didn't want to look at my Garmin, I didn't want to think that I had gone slower, or indeed see that I could get a PB if I pushed harder.  I just wanted to enjoy the ride home.  It was a great feeling being on my bike, I think my mojo is coming back slowly, but then, do I ever do anything in a rush!

Geeky stats for you.

Garmin Connect

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Still Loopy!

Hello blog lovers.

Yesterday was a cycling day again for me, more of my loops!  I am determined to get fit as the proverbial!  So as soon as I could I was out of the door in my lycra before I could even think about sitting in front of the tv.!  I really love Hollyoaks, I would've watched it. In fact I can't remember the last time I saw Hollyoaks, I am not sure if that's a good thing or bad thing!  Just an hour, that's all I needed to cycle for, the hills will be doing me good.

Again I sat on the saddle and it still felt like I was sitting on pebbles!  I am sure I will find my saddle ass soon!  Off to do my loops, I had a song in my head, I don't know what it was, but the Old Boy had played a clip of a film, Southern Comfort, where they were all having some sort of barn dance!  I don't know what the song was called, but it's in French I think!  I had the tune rolling around my head as I pedalled along to the start of my loops.

I did the first one and I felt quite good, and then I saw J.J. just getting home from work.  I stopped my Garmin to have a chat with her!  Well, I am on a mission!  I only chatted for a few minutes and I even resisted the invitation to go back for a quick drink!  Three more loops to do and then back home.  The second one went well too, maybe it was because I had that few minutes break!  So now there is no break, it's straight up for the third and fourth loop!

I was very warm, I really don't know how I did it, but determination to do well does work.  I was annoyed on the way home about how much traffic there was going along Tudor way, it will severely affect my time!  Eventually I got across the round about and made my way home!  I turned my Garmin off and then chatted to the neighbours who were in their garden.  I didn't actually look at my geeky stats until after I got back into my house and and settled down for the evening!

I was quite pleased with it, 2 minutes quicker that the last time!  Yup, I will have that!

Geeky stats.

<iframe src='' title='Petts Wood Loops' width='465' height='500' frameborder='0'></iframe>

Monday, 3 July 2017

Gone Loopy!

Hello blog lovers!

I am chasing my cycling mojo, I think I am seriously gaining on it!  Today I went out by myself on one of my loops, trying to get 'match fit' as they say, and there isn't a hidden meaning in there, just in case you were wondering.  My cycling is strictly for fun!  But I have noticed that I am slower that I used to be, so I need to build it up again.

I procrastinated for the whole day, I found things to do, things to wash, things to change, look after little Deci (when the little fellow came to see me)  but I really wanted to go.  I just knew that when I sit on that saddle it's going to hurt!  Naggy and me had only just done a 20 miler yesterday, and that was after having a week break from the 28 miler last weekend!  I was just going to have to grin and bare it!

I got my cycling gear on, got my bike out of the shed and went outside!  I looked at my saddle and I thought "This is gonna hurt!"  I sat on my bike and I could feel the pain straight away!  It's like sitting on a couple of huge peddles! Oh my goodness!  But I just have to get over it.  I know that eventually the pain will go!  Just not today!  I cycled out towards Petts Wood, I wanted to do that loop today.  I thought that maybe the roads there will be quieter, even though with my procrastinating it was home time, so there was a bit more traffic on the road that I would have hoped!

I cycled to the start of my loops, just at the top of Petts Wood Road.  The down hill bit looks good, but then there is the road that goes up!  I start cycling down hill, trying to ignore the fact that I could quiet easily coast down, I do need a bit of speed to get up the hill using momentum!  It's a good plan, and I was thinking that as I am not as light as I used to be the last time I did these loops I was hoping that it will 'flip' me right up the hill before I had to start coming down on my gears.  That was my plan.

The first loop I thought "Yeah, I got this" as I remembered our ride yesterday to Downe Village.  There was no forgetting my ride yesterday as every tiny little stone or bump in the road I was feeling! At the top of the first hill I was feeling a bit smug as I found it, well, not as much of a struggle as I thought!  This is only the first hill though, only half a loop!  I should not get so cocky just yet!

I rode along Orpington road before turning left to go down Birchwood.  A nice down hill before the undulations of Great Thrift and the other roads that I need to do before I get back to the beginning of the loop.  I felt that I did that first one ok, buy my bottom was not liking it at all! "Maybe I should just do one one and then go home" I thought, "What's the point of pushing yourself" was another thought that popped into my head!  But I continued to do the second lap.

I know I was feeling so cock sure of myself on the second loop, but I was still enjoying it!  That's good at least, I need to be able to enjoy my cycling and not find it a chore!  Oh my bum!  And I need it  be pain free too!  That is going to take time in the saddle to ease the pain!  It's just like when I practised to play guitar, my fingers used to bleed and hurt like hell, but I was loving it so I continued practising!  That's what I need to do with my cycling!

The second loop done, I was fairly happy with that and I also though that I could do the third one, and if after that I am not really feeling it at that then I will go home!  So up again Petts Wood Road! This time a bus had decided to take up the whole road, right on the down hill bit, the bit that I needed to build up some speed to get up the other side!  This one is going to hurt!  I wasn't wrong!  I had to dig deep to get to the top of the road!  A bit of a rest at the top as I ride along Orpington Road and the nice down hill.  I got back to the start of the loops and I thought "It's only one more to do, so go do it" and I took a drink and then started up for the last loop!  It was tougher, I could feel my legs hurting....and my butt.....and I still have to do those other hills!  But I was feeling good! Well I felt good when I got to the top of Petts Wood road, and I felt good after I did those other little inclines!

I was feeling really very satisfied!  I did it, I missed Hollyoaks to do it, I was still totally bruised from Sundays ride, but I did it!

Check out my geeky stats!  I was quite pleased actually! (not sure why I can't get it to do the usual map) but you can click on the link and check it out.

Garmin Connect