Monday, 8 December 2014

It Had To Be Done!

Hello blog lovers.

You can probably see, it's a cycling blog!  Yup, I am doing a bit of cross training trying to get as fit as I can before I do my second every marathon!  And probably the last one!  It's a bloomin long way, but I just want to do it one more time, but this time do it right!

Anyway, after a days Christmas shopping all I really wanted to do was to snuggle under my duvet and just browse the Internet, plays games and chat with family and friends.  So when the Old Boy said 'You coming out for a short one to Downe?" I really wasn't feeling 'it'.  It was dark and cold, and I was nice a warm and snuggle.  I was just about to browse the Internet for more gift ideas. I turned on my computer, pulled my blanket around me and started to settle down.

But a little voice in my head was telling me to get off my arse and get out and do some exercises, a bit of cross training will do me good!  It was a struggle, let me tell you!  I was looking at my computer trying to convince myself that this is where I should actually stay!  But I said to the Old Boy "Ok, lets do it, lets go for a ride"  I couldn't believe I was actually getting off my backside!  But there I was, going upstairs to put on cycling layers!

After pumping up my tyres we were ready.  We were only going to head up to Downe Village, along to Jail Lane and then down to Biggin Hill and home.  Like he says, a short one.  But for me, it's up hill and it won't be a quick one!  I have not been on my bike for ages, my cycling arse as all but gone, and my cycling legs have turned into running legs!  But it is very good cross training, and I should try and keep it up, at least once a week!

Downe Village, like I say, it's uphill, so its very good for training.  I am going to try and get up here in one go, without stopping.  I wasn't sure if I was going to make it, but that is in my mind.  It's going to be uncomfortable, it's going to be a bit hard but I am going to try my hardest to do it none stop.  I should be able to, for goodness sakes, I've been at this running and cycling lark for flippin ages now!

The Old Boy stayed behind me all the way, and it was just as well, because just as we was coming down Church road he noticed that the batteries was going on my back light.  So carried on riding until we got the the entrance to the car park for High Elms country Park, and just pulled there to change the batteries.  With that done, and a nice little rest before the ascending road, we were back on our bikes.

I found it real tough, but I kept on, didn't stop!  I kept thinking, it's only a short ride, and once at the top its all virtually down hill with some little bumps till we get home!  Just before we got to the top I really did start to struggle. I so wanted to just stop for a second, or even walk, but I knew I would kick myself if I did.  I remembered last time I did this route, I stopped somewhere around about this very spot, and I was very annoyed with myself.  So I let out a groan, in fact several groans, I huffed and puffed, and moaned and groaned all the way up, "That's it Old Girl, we're nearly there, the flat bit is just up here" he said.

We could hear the dogs barking in the stables, probably because of the grunts and groans coming from me, and then I knew, just a little further and we will be in the centre of the Village, at least I think that is the centre, I am sure it is!  They had their festive lights on, with the obligatory glowing reindeer, moving reindeer at that!  It does look very pretty!

From here I find the rest of the ride home quite pleasant......normally.......but now that it's winter my feet are starting to get very cold.  Although I have two pair of socks on (one pair being thermals) they were still cold.  The rest of me at that time, was quite toasty.  I had thick winter gloves on with liners, a long sleeve top, long sleeve cycling jersey plus my rain/wind jacket!  Around my neck I had snood, (a freebie from the cycling magazines) plus another one on my head (again, another freebie from the Jogging Hippo, after I complained of being cold a couple of years ago!) and also I had a woolly hat one!  Do you think I was maybe a tad overdressed!  Well, all I knew is that I wasn't freezing!  I hate being cold. But my feet was started to worry me!

The lovely ride down to the Keston Mark was fantastic!  Of course there were those bumps to negotiate, but I tried to keep my legs spinning up the hills so that I didn't slow down too much, I not sure if I did too well, but we go there!

Just the short bit through the allyway and then home!  I felt quite pleased that I did it.  Although I really didn't want to go out earlier, I felt better that I actually listened to myself for once and did it!  I'm not sure if this new found mojo for exercise will stay with me, but I know it needs to!

Just one more thing, when I went to switch off my back light it wasn't there!  Heavens knows when that fell off my bike!  Flipping annoyed about that!!  If anyone sees it anyway, please let me know!! Thanks x

Monday, 10 November 2014

Just A Quickie

Hello blog lovers.

It was quite a pleasant evening, I had no running planned, so I thought I would join the Old Boy for a bike ride.  And when he said just a 'nice little gentle ride' it deffinitely made my mind up that I would join him.

"Up to Downe village" he said "and then cut through, just 20 miles"  That's his gentle ride, that for me is a good work out!  We got our selves ready, all lycra'ed up and nice bright shiny clothes and set off.  But before we got to the end of our path his light packed out for some reason.  We had to change our route and distance, as we wasn't quite sure how much power we had in the moons (rechargeable lights).  We changed our plans to ride for just 10 miles as we were already dressed for it.

It seems really mild for this time of year, really quite a pleasant evening for it.  Downe village would have been a great ride.  But going through Bromley wasn't too bad, through the streets so that we were able to see where to go if the lights failed!

I can deffinitely tell that I am not doing as much cycling as I used to, my backside is getting bloomin bruised again, I need to work on getting my saddle ass back!  But, even though it was a very short ride, though Jubilee park, up to Plaistow Lane, and then some higgledy piggledy turns that he went through we came about by Bromley North train station.  Down east street to the high street to Bromley South, and then we took at a right just after that, where Bromley Hospital used to be.

We were going to go to Hayes, and then through there to Barnet wood lane and then back home!  A real short, short ride!  But still very nice and I really enjoyed it, with just that one hill to contend with it was my sort  of riding, a pleasure ride!

Back for dinner and veg in front of the telly!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Pulling Power!

Hello blog lovers.

Forgive me blog readers, it's been a while since my last riding blog!  And today was just a perfect riding evening, clear skies, not cold, definitely no rain! What is not to like about this evening?

Me and the Old Boy eventually got ourselves ready and out of the door.  We were a little bit later that I wanted to be so were only going to go on a shorter ride, up to Downe Village and then Jail Lane before making our way home again.

I felt the A21 a bit tough today, don't know why, could be that it's been a while and I'm just not used to it again, but I kept it going.  We soon got to the turn off for Farnborough Village and then we have that lovely down hill to shire lane.  I kept my brakes on, I still don't just freewheel down here, not like I used to on my white Giant.  I don't know why, but I think I still get down it at a fair rate!

I was psyching myself up for that ascent to Downe Village.  I was determined to do it all in one go, no stopping, no pulling over, no moaning, just get up to the top.  After the lovely down hill we turned right and then left to make our way up to the top of the road, Downe!  I still find that ironic, I am sure who ever name the village had a sense of humour, maybe the little 'e' and the end of the name is the old way of spelling 'down'!  Anyway I digress.

We got to the top and then had a little break, the old boy was fiddling with his headlight, and I was much appreciative of the break!  But we soon headed up Jail Lane.  It's not exactly flat, but it's not as steep as the road we came up. There were some down bits, some up bits and some flat bits,  read on to find out exactly how I know this! We made our way steadily towards The Jail, but before we got there, the Old Boys bike made a funny noise and then the next thing was 'entrails' was scraping along the floor!  His chain had fallen off!

"Oh darn it, I was only just thinking about making sure I had a power link in my back pack" he said.  I am guessing that he hadn't actually acting on that thought!  So what to do now.  I certainly didn't have a power link in my possession nor did I have a spare chain!  Now to decide what to do,

  1. Walk the rest of the way to the Jail pub, leave me at the pub and he can ride my bike home and pick up the car to come back for me (that was my idea!)
  2. Call son to come and get us, but then his bike probably wouldn't fit in son's car, and that will also leave me cycling home alone.
  3. Some how tow him to Downe village and then he can free wheel most of the way home, with just a walk up chicken farm bends.   
He chose option 3, something I wasn't looking forward to, even if it was for just half a mile!

Dragging yo' ass about with yo' entrails hanging out!

But once we got near Downe Village the Old Boy found those down hills, and he used those down hills to his advantage.  I just kept firmly behind him, just in case he needs another tow, and besides, I didn't want to go flat out on the down hills!

We had to walk up Chicken Farm bends, and then it was some more free wheeling all the way to trinity church!  Even on the path from turn around lamppost had some down hills and he kept on his bike virtually to Five Posts!  From about that point we both walked back together to the house.

Lovely evening, just unfortunate that his chain broke!  Oh well, there is always next time!

Monday, 6 October 2014

But It's Raining!

Hello blog lovers.

Can you believe that its been pigging ages since my last ride!  No wonder the whole biking mojo is hibernating!  But it's Monday, and me and the Old Boy used to always go out on Mondays, so he said, "Come on, just a short one, up to Downe Village and then Jail lane and back!"  "Ok" I said and then about 30 mins later he went up stairs to get changed into some Lycra.

I eventually came out of my blanket, and stood by the patio windows, my nose pressed against the glassed, looking at the rain!  I could still here him getting ready, maybe he hasn't looked out yet!  He came down the stairs, in his Lycra, telling me to go and get changed.  I thought round about this time would be good to draw his attention to the wet stuff coming down!  "It's ok, it's only passing"  I was a bit dubious!  I am not one for getting out there and cycling in the rain.  If it happens to start while I'm out then that's just too bad, I have to get home!

Some how I managed to drag my reluctant ass upstairs and into some lycra and warm clothing. If I'm doing thisthen I want to remain warm!  I decided to use my new running top as my base layer under my rain coat.  It's my consolation 'Sorry you didn't get VLM place" running top, as it is an autumn/winter running top I thought it would be perfect.

When I eventually got out of my house, my bike by my side, the rain had stopped, and it felt kinda mild out there.  Maybe it's not going to be too bad!  I decided to go along the dreaded A21 to the Farnborough right turn.  The rain had started again, I was sorely tempted to go back home, but the Old Boy persuaded me to keep going, "It's only a short ride" he said.  So on I plodded.

There was no speeding on this ride, there were wet leaves to think about, the rain coming down, the white lines will be wet, the yellow lines will be wet!  So I shall have to be totally focused!  The down hill on Church hill went without a hitch, I kept on my brakes all the way down. Then it was that up hill to Downe!  I didn't quite manage to do it in one go!  I stopped for just a quick breather, and I was virtually there!  But I am not going to beat myself up!

"Let's just go straight through to Keston" I said to the Old Boy "No, you're our now, might as well continue with the route,"  he said to me, I grumbled, like I usually do!  But as I was riding along Single Street and then Jail Lane I was feeling a lot more positive.  By the time I got to the other end, Biggin Hill, I was feeling bloody glad I did the route!  In fact I thought I even deserved a pint as well!  So off to the Greyhound we went.  Two pints of lager and a packet of crisps please!

Yup, pleased I went out!  Now lets try and keep it up!

Friday, 5 September 2014

Coaching The Coach!?

Hello blog lovers.

Fridays are going to be our days out on the bikes!  Either a nice leisurely breeze ride, or a bit of hill training at our own pace.  But today it was kind of both, kind of, well sort of.

DiscoRich, our coach at PWR's is wanting to add cycling to his repertoire of sports, but apart from a little poodle along to the rec, and a coaching job a mile or so away, he hasn't been that far.  So me and Bims asked him if he wanted to come along and join us on a Friday Day Out for a Meander, or FriDOM as I am going to call them from now on! Sounds just like Freedom to me!  A nice pootle about in the country side or even in the city!  Perfect.

Anyway, I arranged to meet everyone at Petts Wood Station and we were going to cycle to Keston, stopping at the Grey Hound for lunch, taking in Down Village first!  As it's DiscoRich's first ride along with us he did ask us to treat him kindly!  We guessed that he meant not to take him up too many hills.  As if!  I hate hills, but I also know that to get anywhere nice, and put some saddle time in and miles on the clock there will be hills!

I gave DiscoRich three options but after hearing him say that I decided that maybe the shorter route would be better, it has got that long climb up from Shire Lane to Downe Villiage.  I have done this a few times and so has Bims, so we put D.R. in front of us and said to go at his own pace, and stop if necessary, as this is not a race, just a fantastic friendly social!  Well, did I have egg on my face as DiscoRich seemed to glide effortlessly up the hill, me and Bims were left swearing as usual at the hill.
DiscoRich did pull over, of course I thought it was because he needed a rest, but I expect the real reason was to wait for us to catch up!  We got to Downe Village earlier than I had originally thought, (men, they are just so much stronger, right?) and so a unanimous decision was taken to ride along to Jail lane and then into Biggin Hill.  At least that will take up an extra fifteen minutues and then we wont have to wait too long before lunch!

Of course those down hill sections are just fantastic and I took the lead, and we all rode along past the Airport and then turned left to head for Keston.  A great ride today, but I do think that maybe DiscoRich can easily make some of those other hills, novice rider or not!

Geeky stats.

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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Rest Day!

Hello blog lovers.

Rest days, don't you just love rest days!  It's also absolutely neccesary to have rest days to to make sure all your hard work that you have been doing has time to filter through to your bones! Get right in there and make you stronger, well that's how I am seeing it, and the principle is kind of right! things do need to heal and to grow stronger.

But the evening is such a lovely evening, no good just sitting in doors, lets get out on our bikes and do a lovely social 15 miles.  That's what we did, me and the Old Boy.  With a stop at the Grey Hound for some light refreshment before making our way home it made for the perfect evening social, nice and easy!

For all those that live in my area, to make a nice social ride of about 15 mile is difficult to keeping it nice and flat, especially if you want to include a favourite watering hole!.  I decided  that Downe Village would be a great turn around point.  Cycling from our house, up to Downe and then along Jail Lane to Biggin Hill.  At least from Biggin Hill it's all just a lovely coast down to Keston, with maybe just a couple of smaller hills to slow me down!

We got to Keston just as the sun popped behind the trees making the clouds a lovely orangy pink colour.  Perfect.  I love being out when the sun goes down, or indeed, when it comes up, but I have not seen the sun rise for ages! All in all a lovely social, easy paced (with a hill) ride!

Geeky stats up until we got to the Greyhound, and then we we left I forgot to re start my watch!  But the Old Boy had his Garmin and it said 15.01 miles.

Friday, 29 August 2014

The Hills Are Alive With The Sound of......Grunting!

Hello blog lovers.

A gorgeous day, way to good to be sat in doors moping around, waiting for work to begin in September!  Today is a day to get out there on bikes and ride!  Ok, so it's not going to be a mega ride to the seaside, not just yet anyway, but a ride is a ride, and this one we have planned to do to the countryside.

Bims (Nagging Sisters new 'Old' nickname) and I decided that although London is lovely, it's a flat route, traffic free, until London that is, and that what we needed was some hills!  Yup that's right I said hills.  I hate hills, but I know that to get over them (pun intended) I need to do some work on them.  I really wasn't looking forward to riding up them, after last Saturdays disastrous attempt at one of the Old Boys routes that he wanted to try, I felt a little apprehensive.

So we chose our route carefully, starting off with the not so hilly of our hilly routes, and that's down to Eynsford via Shoreham.  This is just such a beautiful ride, well, riding through Shoreham and Eynsford is, the roads are a lot to be desired. The A21, for instance.  We cut some of that off by going through the housing estates and joining the A21 from Tuppington Lane, and then cycling up to the garage where we crossed over to cycle along the cycle path to Knockholt Station, using the trees to block our view of the dreaded road.

For some reason that little bit of road seamed a lot easier than cycling along with the traffic to the turnoff!  Strange.  We were making good time for a couple of old girls out for a leisurely cycle ride and we got to to roundabout in under 50 minutes, quite good for me and bims!  We took the 2nd of the exits towards Shoreham, a nice little country road, hardly any traffic on these roads and of course that lovely little stream to look at. But before you get there we have a couple of smaller hills, to deal with and downhills of course, but there is one particular hill, just by the farm that I seem to fly up with hardly any effort at all.  Every time I do this route, this hill surprises me.  I try and think what I have done differently, to see if I was in the right gear, ready for the next hill. But nothing is out of the ordinary, only the fact that this particular hill is an easy hill!  Strange!

We cycled through Shoreham and then face that nasty little hill to take us to the main road heading for Eynsford.  Again the cussing started, and not just from me!  "Who's idea was it to come here?" Bims said, "A couple of stupid old girls who think they are fit decided that it would be a good idea" I called back to her as I puffed and pushed and panted and cussed my way to the top!

It was a great relief to get to the top of that hill!  We turned left and made our way up, yes up, to Eynsford.  Thankfully those hills are not steep, they are just long. We made good progress to our lunch stop, The Plough at Eynsford, a nice grilled chicken fillet and salad for me, and two entrees for Bims, (she didn't like the mains, and being a veggie she is very particular!)

We sat and chatted and enjoyed our lunch, neither of us in a rush to get moving again, after all, this is a pleasure ride, albeit with those darn hills.  Which by the way we faced more or less as soon as we left the pub!  Foo Kin Hill to be exact, proper name being Crockenhill Lane!

As soon as I was on hill I could feel the burn in my legs!  That's the only problem about stopping for lunch is the whole getting started again! Especially when the getting started thing has a hill as your first road!  But we did it, and in fact we were quite surprised at just how quickly we 'ate up' the hill.  It didn't seem as bad as it was when we first tried it!  So, I guess doing hill work really does work!

But our hills didn't stop there! Oh no.  we decided to have a refreshment stop in Chislehurst, the Tigers Head, which means going up the ramp! And if that isn't enough hills for the day, then once we got to the top of that we still had to ride up to Chislehurst to get to the pub!

After we had put the world to rights over our refreshment, and tried to recruit some other ladies to the cycling world we made our home.  Now from here we could turn right and ride home through Petts Wood, which would leave Bims that little bit further from her home, or we could turn left and taking in the very last of the hills, that hill that always gets gasps from the PWR's everytime a group leaders mentions it, SUMMER HILL! Guess we way we chose! Yup Summer hill! What's one more hill eh?!

Geeky stats.

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