Look at this, two riding blogs in a row! And boy, does a certain part of my anatomy knows about it! I had no children here with me, I didn't need to be waiting in for packages, I had the key to be able to put the dog in his house and my bike is in perfect condition, just waiting to be ridden! I finally can get out with the Panagua Ladies! It has been a long while!
I know my cycling fitness has dropped off quite a lot, months of not being on a bike regularly will do that! But I didn't let that put me off meeting up with my pals. Mhairi was going to be there, she hasn't been along for a Panagua ride for a while and so it was just so good meeting up with them all. We had a big turnout today, 7 of us including Carmel, she is new to the Panagua's and this is her first ride. We had YogaBear, Lynn, Karen and LongJoJo. They are all pretty fast, fit riders! They just love a climb! Where as I just love a descent! I am like the chalk to their cheese, but what a welcome back I got along with SpeedyMhairi, I have just come up with her new nickname! We just need PoshTotty, Linda and Bims back and we will have all the first members of Panaguas!
So, after dropping off little dude to school, coming back, taking the dog to his house, via a short walk, and then getting my stuff ready I still managed to get to the Panagua Ladies at the cafe on time! I think! They were still there which was good! After the introductions to Carmel we were soon off. They usual route for me, the girls were being kind! I was feeling a little nervous, I didn't want to slow them down too much, but I so want to be able to keep on riding with them. I will have to do some loops or something, to get my legs stronger.
Getting to Downe is an uphill struggle all the way, from the moment we take our first right turn its up and up. But I took in a big breath and got on with it! Lynne was in front with me next and then rest of the ladies behind. I think they wanted to keep an eye on how fast.....slow I had become! Lynne kept checking that I was still near her. Mind you she said to me "Can you chat and ride Old Girl?" When I told her "Yes" she said good we can go a bit faster! That is the sort of thing I say to Tracy when I am running along with her! It's all good training!
We rode on through Keston to the A233 and I so enjoyed that little bit of down hill to our next left turn that will take us to Downe Village. The girls by now had all gone ahead of me, Mhairi had stayed behind to encourage me all the way up to top, our usual photo stop! And this is it! YogaBear took this picture, it was a pity there wasn't a random about so that we could all get in the picture!
|Karen, LongJoJo, Camel, Lyne|
me and Mhairi!
Although it is still all uphill it does feel a little better. I have decided it's because I have now become numb when I get to this point! Almost delirious, in fact if you told me to hop on one leg clucking like a chicken I would probably do that! We took the path to Berrys Green road, when I say 'We', it was me and SpeedyMhairi. The rest of the ladies went down the road to climb up the cheeky steep bit first! See what I mean about them loving a climb! SpeedyMhairi came with me as she didn't like anyone to go by themselves anywhere. But then she could see how much loss of confidence I have as I try and cycle along the narrow path! It has given her ideas again of getting us to go along to a Velodrome! Something that I am really thinking about now, even if I do it once! I am sure it will be a great experience! "Keep you eyes in front Old Girl" she said to me as I kept looking down at the path!
Out of the path and I decided to just keep on going, no stopping till we get to the Shampan. The girls had waited a little further up for me but I rode on by. It's still up hill so they will and did pass me by again. Again I didn't want to stop, not until we get to the Shampan! That was my next 'rest' The girls normally stop here and have snacks and stuff. I never remember to bring stuff like that! But I think I may start getting an energy drink, just to give me a little bit of energy!
From here we discussed which way to get to the A21. You know me, I love a down hill, and Cudham North Lane is 5 miles of downhill! I wanted to ride down here, I love riding down here! Not everyone likes riding down here, so we were going to go into two groups once we got there. One lot going to Knockholt and me and Karen going down Cudham. But once we did get to the 'seperatation' point everybody had decided to ride Cudham!
It felt so good riding down there, I was in front, of course that didn't last too long. Even though I just let go there are a couple of spots on this road that I take just a little slower. YogaBear then overtook me and she was just sitting a few feet in front of me. Then a couple of miles down SpeedyMhairi can riding on past us and starting to pull away from us. This is why I decided on her Nickname! She just flew past, all tucked in, down on her bars looking like the professional cyclists! I was impressed that's for sure!
SpeedyMhairi got there first, then YogaBear and then me. We waited just a few more minutes before everyone else joined us. The next stop will be the cafe at Hayes, where we started from, so up the A21 and then turn left into Farnborough to face that horrible hill. This one is always a toughie! Usually tired and in need of sustenance!
We rode through Farnborough, the cafe that we use normally if we are coming this way and made our way to Hayes. I was so looking forward to a bite to eat! Nearly two hours after I had set off from home I was back at the cafe enjoying my burger and coke! And a great catch up with the ladies! A fabulous ride and such a perfect sunny morning too!
Geeky stats, way slower than what a Panagua Ladies ride should be, I have a lot of training to do!
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