Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Hello Loopy!

Hello blog lovers.

Things are just not working out entirely how I want them to, but that's fine.  I will get time eventually to do what I like to do and to meet up with my riding buddies again.  But for the time being I take what I can get.  Yesterday I managed to find an hour to spend time with the 'B-iatch'  my bike!  I have been neglecting my cycling but not because I don't want to be on it but just because of time!

Because I want to be near home, not more than 10  minutes or so away I chose to do Blackbrook Lane loops again.  I must say, getting my cycling gear on instantly put me in a feel good place!  Just an hour, lets see how I do.  I think the last time I was on my bike was about 3 weeks ago!  Of course I had to do the usual checks, make sure that the tyres are still inflated and the brakes and gears hadn't done anything silly like seizing up! My bike was perfect, lets hope she don't live up to her name and kill my ass for ignoring for so long!

I made sure that I was completely comfortable, you know, the way proper cyclists are supposed to be when they pull on the padded lycra!  I don't want anything to spoil my ride.  I came out of my gate and rode on up Farringdon and then along Oxhawth.  I was trying to make the speed indicator go off, sometimes it has read 19 miles an hour!  But today it didn't register!  "Maybe it's because I've not got my reflective clothing on" I pondered to myself. I didn't want to think that maybe I was going that slow that it didn't even notice I was there!

Along Southborough Lane and the turned right into Blackbrook.  "That's number one started" I thought to myself as I kept a steady pace all along the road to the top, ok so I may have slowed down over the bridge, but I felt like I was keeping to a steady pace.  Then the obligatory wait at the round about and then ride as fast as I could to.....the lights! Every time I get to the lights they are always red.  I was hoping I had not turned off my auto-stop when I was playing with my Garmin!  A quick glance at my watch as I waited at the lights gave me that answer, auto-stop works perfectly.

Doing the second half of the first loop and I seemed to be able to get through all the roundabouts fairly quickly and I thought that maybe I could be on for a good time.  Down the hill and the up......only to find bloody temporary lights!  4WAY lights at that! Well that was that.  I just thought to myself "Lets just enjoy being out on my bike again"  I didn't think a PB would be even in the realms of possibility now, why I don't know!  It's not as if I don't stop at the little roundabout here, but the lights were longer than I usually wait!

So my second lap I just poodled along, well, still trying to keep a nice steady speed going, just no thought of PB's in my head.  I'm just out here to enjoy going as fast as my little legs could take me.  So I decided that I would count how many completley selfish, ignorant drivers there would be from now til I get home.  There was one chap in a white care that decided he didn't want to wait two seconds till I got through one of the pinch points along Blackbrook lane and zoomed past me quite close to me!  Dipstick! And another chap (I say chaps, but should say driver as I don't usually see who drives at me) in a red van going along Bickly Park road probably wanted to see what Garmin I had on my wrist as he came that close to me!  The thing is the other side of the road was completely empty!

Anyway, by the time I got on to my third lap, I had counted only one other driver that I feel sure could have given me plenty of space but for reasons only know to them decided not too,  Each time I was caught by the Bicky lights and the temporary lights!  Oh well, I was enjoying the whole thing anyway, even smiling to myself as I got to those lights again too.  My forth and final lap went without incident, I even managed to get past the Bickley lights before they turned to red!

Going back home I decided not to look at my watch, either I would be disappointed or thinking I should totally got crazy and get a pb.  Either way it wasn't what I wanted at that time.  It had been a great ride and felt good to be on my bike again.  I even took my time going up my path, usually I am going crazy for every second.  When I got outside my house I stopped my watch and did a double take!  "Really?" I thought to myself.  I was thinking maybe I had accidently stopped it somewhere and then switched it back on.  I shall have to scrutinise in when I get it!

But there it is.......time, moving time well under the hour but you can see how long I had to wait at those blimmin traffic lights!  I am very pleased with that!  A PB and I wasn't even thinking about it!  Maybe that's the way to go!

<iframe src='' title='Blackbrook Laps' width='465' height='500' frameborder='0'></iframe>

Monday, 18 April 2016

Look - I'm not 'Billy No Mates'

Hi blog readers!

Yay!  Look at me, riding with the fast girls again!  Ok, so they all had a pretty busy weekend, and PoshTotty was coming back from injury, but here I am!  Not only that! Not. Only. That! I was 'ride leader' (notice I didn't use capitol letters there!).    But today there was, me (of course) then PoshTotty (Old girl, you are stating the obvious now!) then we had Karen and Jo, but also we had a newbie, Alex, a friend of Yogabear!

I arrived at the shop exactly at 10, and there was no one there!  I was afraid I had missed them all, as they all so fast!  But I waited a couple of minutes and then they all arrived.  First Alex, followed by Karen, Jo and Poshtotty.  We are missing all the others, but I am sure we will all be riding together again soon.

As Posh was wanting a nice gentle ride it seemed that Downe Village was the destination.  Of course, for the ladies, this is a gentle one, for me is eyeballs out puffing out my backside, but it's a good training route for me!  I will get to their standard, if it kills me I will!  So I lead the way, and I was immediately in a dilemma.  Do I go really fast as I can, just so the girls don't get too bored, or just poodle along, nice conversational pace (for me that is), hmmm.  A difficult one.  From where we start, wherever we go it's all uphill!  I just know I can't pace as fast as the girls on the hills!  Give me a down hill and I'm there!

So it just left me just trying to do something in between.  We were heading up hill and I was going as best as I could.  Their girls came along side and chatted to me, when it was safe to do so of course.  And then Alex said she would take up the lead for a while!  I had just realised, they were all slip streaming!  I was doing all the hard work!  Of course I am jesting, we were not going that fast to cause a slipstream!

Once we were on the road that leads to Downe the girls all went before me "See you at the top" they said, apart from Posh, she was still behind me "I right here" she said.  So I kept on pedalling all the way to the top!  The others were waiting there for us, and as usual, photo time!  This is them, looking lovely,
Jo, Alex, Karen and PoshTotty (Mary-Anne)

and this is me, looking blimmin knackered!

Me......having a kip!

Oh, and this PoshTotty, always good to get a selfie!
You need to do a selfie!!

We carried on along Single Street.  Today, as there were five of us, there was no need for me to do the nasty little hill, you know the one, the one that defeated me last week!  As there were plenty of them to tackle the hill it only left me to ride on the hard bit.  The skinny path way, with the dangers of the barbed wire fence and the fear that another cyclist might come in the other direction!  Someone had to do, and I felt it was my duty, as a Panagua lady to tackle this difficult part!

I always feel so much better once we are all back together and riding up Berrys Green Hill.  I can do this road, even though it's uphill.  It's still uphill, and I seemed to ride up it easier, shall we say, than the hills so far.  Maybe its psychological, maybe I know that at the top of this road is the wonderful undulations (mostly down hills) and then Cudham Lane!  The long down hill!  It certainly does put a smile on my face and energy into my boots.

We took a break at the Shampan, and Karen shared her snack.  Absolutely delicious it was too!  Some sort of coconut thing with chocolate! Tasted far to delicious for looking like a healthy snack!  Then it was time to do the next bit!  Down and up the undulations.  I was really enjoying the longest part of the down hill along Grays Road, until I was faced with a car coming through on my green light!  They had temporary lights set up as they were busy tree cutting, or whatever it is they are doing there.  But it was totally obvious the car coming through had jumped the lights on the other side!.  I had to pull up at the bottom of the hill, so losing the momentum of getting back up the other side! Tut, I was not pleased!

And so it was time for Cudham Lane!  "Go on then Old Girl" they said, get going.  They all know I love a down hill.  I set off, I picked the pace up as much as I could.  I was so enjoying the flat bits and the slight uphills and then it was the downhills all the way to the bottom.  I was just so enjoying it, "Come on then!" said Posh as she sped past me!  Now she has certainly conquered her fear of the down hills and was just flying out in front!

We got to the bottom and turned around, just a few seconds more and then other three came down and joined us!  Brilliant, you gotta love a down hill!  And now, we go back up! Up to Farnborough Village!  Boy do I hate hills!!  But at the top of this one is a lovely cafe!  Look, this is what we had...... although Karens arrived a little late........and she sat there and waited patiently too!

Ok, so we started it before I captured it on camera!

After our coffee and munchies we went home.  A great ride, a toughie for me, but so nice to be riding with the girls again!

Geeky stats......with a bit missing, nothing has changed there then!  Ooops, I just remembered why there is a bit missing!  My Garmin stopped after I bent my wrist and accidently turned it off!  And why did I accidently turn it off....I hear you ask?  Well, here's the thing.  I was tired, I was getting up this last hill, turning left and trying to continue to get up the hill!  Before turning left I unclipped my shoes, just in case I need to put a foot down, but I must have clipped back in again and didn't realise.  Now, remember I was tired, it was a hill and I struggled to get up it!

I turned my handlebars into the kerb, and it hit, I tried to put a foot down but of course it was stuck.  Cue one large pink lady falling slowly (thankfully) to the left onto the soft grass (again thankfully).  I giggled, I looked around to see if I was seen and the got up quickly and walked up the rest of the hill! Hmmmm, next time, make blimmin sure it's unclipped!

Monday, 11 April 2016

Downe and Back!

Hello blog lovers.

It's Monday, and usually it's Panagua Ladies day.  I noticed on our Facebook page that some of the ladies went on long rides yesterday, 44 miles, 33 miles and I do think there were some hills in there.  So when I saw that they were planning on just a nice easy gentle ride I thought I would just rock up there and surprise them.  It's been so long since I been riding with the ladies and I have missed my riding buddies.

After I dropped off the child to school I came back and got myself ready for my ride.  Out of my house and then got to the gate and realised I had left my sun glasses, so back in to collect them.  Locked the door again and then realised I had forgotten my helmet!  So eventually riding along to Hayes to meet the others!  I was feeling really excited!

I got to Panagua Bikes with about 15 minutes to spare so I popped into the shop to see the nice young man to just raise my saddle a bit. I tried myself to undo the bolt thingy but I could do it! (such a pathetic girly excuse right!).  With that done I went to the cafe and ordered a coffee to wait for the others.  It was while I was drinking my coffee, sat at the table that I decided to look Facebook and noticed that no one was going to be here!  Mary-Anne  had some problem with her knee and decided to rest up which meant that Karen didn't come along, as she didn't know that I was going to be there!  I should so have checked it sooner!

So now I had a decision, either got back to mine and then ride the loops for an hour, meh! Or just ride to Downe, the gentle ride(!)  as the ladies would call it!  I took the bull by the horns, or at least my bike by the handlebars and rode up to Downe!  I was just going to see how I did.  At least there is no pressure on me to keep up, no fear of letting anyone down as they have to wait for me.  I will use this a 'lets just see how well I do' ride to Downe!

I went along the exact way that we usually go when I'm with the Pangua's, and I was just riding along as best as I could.  My Geeky stats a missing bits as I had forgotten to start my Garmin, and then I had remembered that I had taken off the Auto-pause, when I was running with the beginners!  My head was deffo somewhere else this morning!  So I think there is at least 4 miles or so missing from my stats.  Not sure why I've added that bit of info here, but I think my brain is still not focused!

Riding around the loops as quick as I can is slightly different than riding up long blimmin hills!  I was hoping that my legs would 'remember' that it is getting easier and quicker now.  But my goodness it was still hurting.  I was also doubting myself again that I am still not quite up to what the girls have been doing of late!  I was pleased that my brother had called me along by Fishponds Road just so I had an excuse to stop and answer my phone!  But then I did cycle on past the bus stop where we usually just have a breather!

Riding up to Downe I noticed there were some really stupid drivers again.  When there are more of us they tend to give plenty of room, maybe because we look bloody gorgeous, all of us lovely ladies on bikes, but with just little old me,  I just think they took advantage!  It's not as if they couldn't see me, I am a big pink bird perched on a a bike, I think by then my face was glowing too!  I took a picture of me and my bike, I guess it looks a bit like 'billy no mates' but it's something I would have done anyway, (mainly to have a little break!)

I was seriously think that I could just ride down the other side of Downe Village, towards Shire Lane and then go home, but I had a firm talking too and pushed on up Single Street!  "You're out Old Girl, you're at Downe, hard bit all done, now go find the sweeties, that lovely long fast descent of Cudham Lane!"  Or words like that!  So I pushed on to where we would have gone had the others been here.

When I got to the place where the ladies turn left and then go down down the steep hill, sharp right turn and then back up, and I usually ride along the footpath, I decided to follow the ladies example and ride the road!  Blimey, what a cheeky little fecker of a hill that is.  Going down it is just as hard, as it's quite bendy, and I knew I had to turn right just a short way down.  But then turning onto Berrys Green Road and being faced with the hill up was quite daunting!  I was totally in the wrong gear, I could hear cars behind me and I just lost confidence.  I had to stop and let the cars go by, but then I couldn't get started again, especially as on of the cars was just up ahead and pulled into a house!  Oh well, get off and walk then Old Girl!

I did ride up some of it, I got back on my bike before the place where I would normally join the ladies, I felt a bit better.  I find this part of the ride a little easier for some reason,  I think it's because we are mostly as high as we get on this route, with just some little ups and down, or it could be that I know just at the end of this is the Shampan, and then ....that road!  Nearly at the 'sweeties' road, fast riding all the way down!

Again along this road another plonker driver decided to drive past me just that tad to close!  It was on the widest part of the road too!  Why would he do that, he was in a white van, maybe it's part of White van drivers test!  But anyway, I was so pleased to see the Shampan.  and I took another opportunity for a photo!

The next road was exciting, but not as exciting as Cudham Lane,  I was so going to enjoy flying down there.  I was just praying there wasn't going to be any stupid drivers that will spoil my enjoyment of this road. It seemed my prayers were answered!  Look at this!

 It felt so good, I even called out "Woo Hoooo!" as loud as I could while I rode on down there!  A big smile on my face met any drivers coming up the other way!  Better than they scowl most of the drivers have had to deal with from me so far!

I couldn't believe how quickly that bit of the route went!  It was so much fun!  Oh well, I continued with the route that we would have taken if all the others had been there, and that included stopping off at the Cafe in Farnborouh Village.  I took this picture especially for Mhairi! ;-)

It was most delicious
(and they were warmed up too!)

So that was my solo Panagua Ladies ride today.  Here's the geeky stats, and I think the other bit is on my Garmin site too, where I messed up a bit, so I think I covered about 20 miles today.  Still not as fast as the group, but I am going to work hard to get there!  This is me, after I got in, still looking blooming pink!

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Twice In Two Days!

Hello blog readers.

Look at my bad ass self go!  Out for another ride after I went out yesterday!  Plus I shall be running this evening with my club!

I had the day free after I dropped my little dude off at school.  So I just pottered about the house with the dog (seems I have become a dogminder too!) and then I decided that it was time for me to get out and do something. So I got myself changed into my cycling gear, I was going to try and get a PB on the Blackbrook laps.

I started up to Farringdon and then turned around and came back!  Although the sun was shining brightly, it looked really warm out, but I felt cold.  I had decided, because it looked like so lovely out there, that I would just have my spring/autumn cycling fleece on, but boy was I wrong.  My top layer is windproof as well as shower proof, and it was what I was missing when I first left the house!

So, suitably dressed I started out again, feeling much warmer, in fact I was thinking that maybe I should have just swapped layers, rather than add a layer, but I just wanted to get going so there wasn't  any going back to drop off one of my inside layers!  I didn't have any expectations of getting a PB, at least that was my thoughts as I was riding along to the beginning of the first lap.  "If I just keep it to under the hour that I am happy with that"  But actually I wasn't!  I always have no expectations when I set off on my solo efforts, so this time I decided to change my attitude, blimmin well try and get a PB!  Simples!

So I just pedalled, I felt like I was pedalling harder and a few times I felt like saying "Stuff if, it's too hard"  But it's only an hour long, then I can rest up for the rest of the day.....until running club time of course!  I decided to play a game, see if I can beat the lights, that will keep me motivated.  If the lights were green then I had to try and get there before they turned red, and if they were red then I had to get there just as they turned green, so there would be no stopping.  I failed.....each time.  It made me laugh though, me racing against lights!

My legs were feeling pretty tired, and I was wondering if maybe, just maybe, I would be faster today.  The last lap to do and I pedalled as hard as I could, up Blackbrook and over the little humpback bridge, I turned left and headed for the lights for the last time.  Just along this bit I had to pull up on my brakes......a pedestrian decided to walk straight out in front of me!  It's not as if I was invisible, I am a big fluorescent bird on a bike!  At least I missed her anyway

I rode through the park, still pushing it hard, and down the road.  I was already preparing myself for the inevitable, "It felt slower today" I said to myself, and I switched my Garmin off as I got home!  "Oh well"  I knew it was.  But when I got in, took my shoes off and then checked again, it was 56 minutes!  Yes, go me!  I am sure that is a PB!

Geeky stats!

<iframe src='' width='465' height='500' frameborder='0'></iframe>

Monday, 21 March 2016

Evening All!

Hello blog readers.

It's been a while since me and the Old Boy went cycling in the evening.  Things have kept our evening cycling well and truly banished, work, tiredness, but mainly weather!  This evening it was quite a pleasant evening.  When I got outside my house with my bike I had thought that maybe I have too many layers on!  But we will see!  I would rather take a layer off rather than get too cold!

We were only going to do a tiny little ride, 10 miles or less, just to get back into the habit of getting out during the evening!  I programmed my oven to stop cooking at 9:00 so we had to be back for that, it was already 7:30 by the time we got out of the house.  Our route was just the little one up through Jubilee Park the on the way to Bromley, taking in a locally know landmark.....David Bowies house where he used to live!

It was a good ride, not particularly fast, but getting used to riding in the dark again.  I'm not particularly fond of riding in the dark, the lights of the cars are blinding, and staring at the Old Boys flashing back light is enough to cause hypnosis!

I had forgotten to switch on my Garmin, and remembered only after getting to Crestview Drive! But so only about half a mile is missing.  Mind you, the Old Boys Garmin read 9.10 miles,  How that has happened I don't know so I think I like his geeky stats!

Here's mine, with the missing half mile clearly shown, with a good stretch of the imagination it makes my route look like a tuning fork!

Monday, 14 March 2016

Hello Blackbrook.....Again!

Hello blog lovers.

I saw on the Facebook page that the Panagua ladies will be going on a challenging hilly, speedy (12 mph, that's speedy to me!), non-stopping ride today.  I just knew I would struggle to keep up with them.  I want to keep my riding fun with the odd challenging hill to make me feel alive thrown in.  I have been practising, doing my laps, trying to at least keep to a steady 11 mph speed.  But that is without the hills!

So this morning, instead of rushing about, making sure I had everything ready, (I do panic and fuss when I'm meeting the girls).  There's usually a little more to remember than just my door key, and I still usually forget something.  But just going around Blackbrook Lane laps, well, all I really need is my bike!  One hours riding, non-stop as fast as I can, and all local so I don't need to carry a drink!  No cake stop, no chatting having a laugh!  But, I am getting fit, I am on my bike's getting warmer!

It was quite chilly this morning, I was thinking I had the better deal than the ladies! When I left my house to start my training the sun was shining brightly!  Yup, I love riding in the sun!  It was still a bit chilly but I knew that I would warm up as I did my exercise today.  What do you think about on a ride? On a solo ride? Just you, or in my case, me!

1.    I wonder if there are going to be any plonkers about today!
2.    I had better get a good time today.
3.    I wonder what the girls did today!
4.    Here we go, lap 1 of 4.

I was at the beginning of Blackbrook lane!  Always on this first lap now my thoughts are

1.    Right, first one done! (I know, only just started and I'm wanting it done!)
2.    See you pot hole, just three more times I'm passing you!
3.    Blimey, I got to do this three more times?
4.    I hate this bridge!
5.    Can I get to the lights before they!

I always seem to get caught at the lights along the top!  Thats ok at least it's a breather!  My thoughts normally continue along that vein until the last lap, then I start getting happier thoughts, like,

1.   Yes, nearly finished
2.    I can't wait for my cuppa.
3.    What shall I have for my lunch.........oh yes, I remember!
4.    I don't think I got a PB today!
5.    At least this is the last lap!
6.     Where were all the plonker drivers today!
7.    I miss riding with the girls!

Just the last little bit through the park to do, I was really trying to keep the speed up.  My feet were feeling a bit cold, but the rest of me was just nice and toasty.  Why does my feet always suffer!?  I rode back along Whitebeam and turned into my road.  To me it felt slow, what with the wind that seemed to be head on on the way up Blackbrook and on the way down Southborough Road, How is that possible!  Maybe a little cyclone had developed just in that area!

So my geeky stats.  I actually put them up on my Facebook first thing, mainly because I still got under the hour, which I am pleased about.  But something that made me feel really confident was a comment from Debbie saying that I actually cycled faster than they did this morning!  Ok, so they probably had a few hills thrown in there to slow them down!  But, I will take that!  I will soon be able to 'stray fresh looking' on one of our less challenging (for the girls) rides soon!

Monday, 7 March 2016

Hello Blackbrook My Old Friend!

Hello blog lovers.

So this morning I was feeling a tad delicate after celebrating Mothering Sunday with a couple or so of pink stuff in bottles!  Was very nice!  And I could remember reading that the Panagua Ladies were going to be hitting some hills!  Hills and speediness plus delicate disposition just didn't sit very well at all with me.  I let the ladies down very gently!

I had another couple of hours to get over my delicate situation and into my cycling gear.  I wasn't sure how I was going to do today, I mean the last time I was on my bike was on the 17th Feb!  That's like nigh on 3 weeks ago!  What have I been doing?!  The sun was shining, that's always a good start, there were blue skies and the school traffic had obviously all gone. Perfect for a training run.  If those Panagua ladies are doing what they said they were doing I am going to need to build up my strength and speed!

With the sun shining brightly through my darkening glasses thoughts of yesterdays indulgence of grape juice came painfully back, knocking loudly in my head!  The ride will do me good!  My Garmin was ticking away the time. Time that I want to be under the hour for when I get back!  I was surprised at how windy it felt.  I could hear the wind yet the trees didn't seem to be moving!  Maybe it was me that was moving fast!  when I turned on to Oxhawth Crescent I looked right, to make sure that there were not cars coming, 1) because it's a safe thing to do and 2) because I wanted to be the only person riding pass the traffic signal thing that tells you how fast you are going.  Usually I ride pass it at 15 mph, today however I rode passed it at 18 mph!

Maybe it's not going to be too bad.  I started the first lap of Blackbrook, My head was already feeling tons better, lets get this session done!  I could see that the sunshine is not going be with us for the whole of the afternoon, I just hoped that it will stay until then of my training ride.  The second lap is always good, half way there, and it don't feel like it's only halfway, thats how short these laps are, but doing them I cover 11 miles!  On my second lap and for the rest of the laps there were some w...... rather impatient people in their motor vehicles wanting to get passed me at skinny parts of the road, at the people crossings, at roads with cars parked at the side!  Why must they do that!?

Anyway, with the fourth and final lap done I head on home, I wasn't feeling confident that I had a PB, as I felt a bit tired on the last two laps, but the telling will be on the Garmin!  I was very pleased when I got back and saw that I had indeed kept it under the hour!  so, geeky stats for you!