Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Testing Testing!

Hello Blog lovers,

Today is the first time me and the old boy have felt fit enough to do anything more energetic than getting our boots on! The dreaded Christmas colds have landed on all of us this Christmas, even though we really tried to ignore it.

But the call of our new toys and attire was much too strong and we decided to go for just a short bike ride. So there was me with my new glow in the dark hat, and gloves (Which are for running actually, and I think that is the only time I will wear them, the seams for the key pocket was very annoying, so now must go and get some new winter riding gloves) and my new super duper thermal padded riding tights!

The Old Boy set up his new Garmin edge 200, and was looking at it as it found satellites, mine took for ever to locate, and he had already rode around in circles for quarter of a mile before I was ready! And then we set off.

It was only a very short ride today, about 13 miles, geeky stats will be at the bottom, and just to show you all how hard the OB pushes up hills, as soon as he has made up his own account for Garmin, I shall add his geeky stats on here.

But can you believe, we still stopped for a pint of lager and packet of crisps before making our way home, via the burger shop.

Roll on January, tee total and healthy eating, for one whole month!!

Geeky stats

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

A Wednesday Meander

Hello Blog lovers.

What can I say, definitely getting old, I forgot to take my garmin, but even in this cold me and the Old Boy were out cycling. I am just glad that wind has died down. Wasn't it windy?!

It was a nice ride though. We turned left this evening and headed towards Jubilee park. Our route was only going to be a short one, from Jubilee up through to Bromley, through the high street, and the turn right through an ally way to ride towards Hayes. I was really expecting to stop for a pint at the George, but the the Old Boy turned left and went into Normans Park. Darn it, no pint and olives today!

We cycled around the park towards the gate that will take us to Bromley Common. I then heard the Old Boy say "Noooooo!" when I caught up with him I could see why he said that. The gate was locked! So it looks as if we are going to go off road, through the woods, near the stream! in the dark. But fortunately the Old Boy knew another path, it meant lifting the bikes over a gate, but with the our lightweight bikes that is not difficult. We ended up coming out just by the college, Not too bad, and no danger of me plopping into the water!

So just a ride home from here, but of course, it was heading up before we headed home, going through Chatterton, and whaitehall rec! A stop for some choccies and a bite to eat.....chips!

A nice pleasant saunter this evening, and no beer! Well not till I got home, I had a bottle of lager that has been sitting in my fridge for two weeks now!

Oh and I know that the wind had died off, but I just like the picture!

Monday, 5 December 2011

One Ride, Two Nemesis's

Hello blog lovers!

What a lovely day! Sun shining, well earlier it was, the heat.....from my radiators, blooming freezing out there... yet I wait until its dark, and even colder to go for my bike ride.

Well I do like to go riding with the Old Boy! He keeps me going, especially up the A21, "Go on keep peddling, that's it" And that is just the start of the ride! He was threatening to ride up to Biggin Hill, but I kind of gently persuaded him to ride on to Chislehurst and see how The Tigers Head has turned out after the refurb! As I was in front he just followed on behind anyway!

My Garmin has having a hissy fit and refused to find satellites until we had reached the A21, which is about a mile from my home, so I need to add about 10 mins onto my moving time, plus some more moving time because being as that I am old, I forgot to restart it after we stopped at the Tigers!

The first of my Nemesis's was soon rising up in front of me! "Not today, Perryhall" I am beating you!" I started the ascent. I could feel it getting steeper and steeper, the cold air soon started chilling the moisture on my face (I won't tell you where is coming from, but lets say, I didn't want to stop to get a hanky!) The round about is just up ahead, if I'm lucky there will be traffic on the opposite side wanting to turn right, in which case I can take a legitimate breather! But guess what, the white van man saw me approaching the roundabout and WAITED FOR ME TO CROSS OVER! What a gentleman! I just wished he was a typical white van man just went over the roundabout as if it was his right! I was hurting, my legs were feeling like jelly! But I did it! And I was bloomin pleased that I did.

My other nemesis is of course Summer Hill. Ok so we are going the easier route from Chislehurst to Bickly, but it still gets me puffing hard! So after our pint of lager and a few olives we headed for Summer Hill. The Old Boy let me lead again, but going down Summer Hill he overtook me! I was riding sensible, with the brakes on slightly, he must have had his head down, making himself small as he sped past me heading the the uphill section.

I tried to remember all that the OB had told me, peddle in high gear until you get to the hill, then start working down the gears as you get on the hill! Again it was a struggle, the cold hampering me all the way, the snot annoying me, but I just wanted to get up the darn hill! Made it!! Done it. Two hills in one faily short ride!! I'm pleased with that! Now anything is just a plod along!

We headed on to Bromley, then we turned for home, stopping for a bottle of milk and then a ride though Jubilee! Well, there is no just heading on home when you're with the Old boy!

So geeky stats, with a few little missing sections, but I am old you know!

Ride with Alan by moosh001 at Garmin Connect - Details

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

A Winter ride!

Hello Blog lovers.

Do you remember the days when you were looking forward to Christmas, it was freezing cold outside, firework day was the last exciting day (apart from me, cos I had my birthday!) and every one was well wrapped up heading to school, with ear muffs, scarfs, hats and gloves.

I do! It's nearly December, and me and the Old Boy were enjoying a pint of the amber nectar outside the pub! Of course we took advantage of the heaters that are now springing up for all the smokers to partake of the fav pastime, but still! Years ago, and I mean years, this would have been a big fat no no!

We decided to ride for about 20 miles this evening. With a challenging route to keep us warm. The Old Boy was feeling a tad better, and was up for a plod along with me, as he calls it. I think that any sort of getting out and raising the heart rate above a complete stand still a work out! Where as the Old Boy its just a 'plod along'.

The route is one of my favs, ..... not! But today I really did have a nice time! Up the A21, into Halstead, then through to Biggin Hill. And still no stopping for a pint! It wasn't until we got to Keston that we stopped for refreshments. And boy, did that go down a treat, along with a packet of poppadoms!

So there we were, sitting outside, in the beginning of winter, enjoying a pint of lager! what is going on with out weather! I am sure that soon, very soon, the cold night air will be forcing us to ride straight home and putting on the kettle for a hot choccie instead!

Just another two miles back to home, and then cook dinner! A great ride. It was a struggle, but I have noticed that I am complaining less! And stopping less! and enjoying the hills just a tiny bit more that I did last winter!

So, geeky stats.

Bike Ride with Alan by moosh001 at Garmin Connect - Details

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Summer Hill 1- Done!

Hello blog lovers.

What can I say!? If I could, I would give myself a medal! Getting up Summer hill, (riding towards Bickly) has been a real struggle for me. I have managed to conquer most of the hills that we have had on our routes! I believe the only hills that I haven't quite managed is....... hmmmm, let me think ..... is Ditchling Beacon and another hill just before that on my bike ride to Brighton!!

So, after an 11 mile bike ride, non stop, well virtually! (traffic lights do not count, nor does staring into our favourite watering hole, in Chislehurst,wishing it was open count now!) I really wasn't expecting to get up the shorter side of Summer Hill. But I thought, "I need to try, don't have a defeatist attitude before you even try it woman", I could wallow in that attitue if I didn't make it

Can you imagine the smile on my face when I saw the round about at the top? I was so hoping so that I didn't have to stop for the traffic, that would have been just to hard to get going again. But thankfully I could ride on accross the roundabout. The Old Boy was just past the roundabout waiting for me to appear. "Keep Going, that's it keep going" he says to me. I rode on past him with a huge grin on my face. "Did you do it" he says, as he caught up with me, even though he knew I did. I punched the air! Yup, this Old Girl got to the top of the hill!! Not at any top whack speed, but in one go!

Bloody pleased about that!! Now, just another 4 miles, and we can partake of a bowl of olives a packet of crisps and a pint of Amstel!

Geeky stats

Bike Ride With Alan by moosh001 at Garmin Connect - Details

Thursday, 17 November 2011

An Evening meander!

Hello blog lovers.

I was hoping to get out earlier for a bike ride, get back home, cook dinner and then go for a chinwag with Naggy Neighbour. But things that I think will happen never happen the way I think!

So we started off a lot later than I wanted. It was only going to be a short ride today, up through Hayes, Bromley, Pettswood and home again. But as we started he had already changed his mind. "Lets ride up through to Keston" says the Old Boy! Flippin nora! Blooming Hills! Not a nice little meander as I thought. But, really, it is all for exercise. I am doing this to keep fit! I am riding and running my ass off (literally) to stay fit, get fitter and stay healthy! (and to eat whatever I like thses days)

So the ride up to Keston was, you could say, two differnect stories. Mine and the Old Boys. The OB flew up the hill. I his back red blinking light get smaller and smaller as I tried to keep up him. In the end I had to concentrate on my own struggle. Get a pace going and stick to it. A little ditty going through my mind to help me keep my legs spinning!

I got to the top of the hill and the Old Boy looked quite relaxed and rested by the time that I got to him. But from here to our first stop it was all down hill! My fav, whether its running or cycling. I know running I am still working pretty hard, but cruising down the roads at top speeds for the conditions of the road is just so awesome!! Great fun, and scary!

A quick stop at the the first watering hole, only about 3 miles into our journey, and then off to finish our ride.

We went down through Coney Hall. Again, a lovely long down hill section. Just cruising along and enjoying the unusual November weather. It's certainly not the norm to be sitting outside pubs enjoying a pint!

Our next stop was in Bromley. A great little pub with an area outside heated by those little heater things that hang from the parasols. A packet of chilli peanuts share between the two of us and the ride on home to cook our dinner

A great ride today, very enjoyable as usual. I'm so not looking forward to the cold weather.

Anyway geeky stats for you. I kept the Garmin running while we were sitting enjoying a beverage, just because I forgot to turn it off!

Bike Ride With Alan by moosh001 at Garmin Connect - Details

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

What A Difference A day Makes!

Hello Blogees.

There was no waiting to 'get over' my fall yesterday. There was no, ok so lets take things slower again, get your confidence up, etc etc, it was just get straight back in the saddle and get on with it Old Girl!

So after a faily busy day with kids, nursery runs and toddlers. Plus visits to chemists and getting dinner ready for later, it was straight out. About 20 miles today, up to Halstead and then through to Biggin hill, with a short stop at a local hostelry! Closer to home of course.

The Weather was really quite pleasant for this time of year, especially after yesterdays horrible grey wet (and painful) day. So I was quite looking forward to the challenge.

The route took us up the A21. I found this really ok today. Ok so I still felt it in my legs, but I am old you know! I do believe that I am finally feeling the difference, even if it is getting up the A21 slight easier that I used to, even though I still find it hard!

No accidents today, I am glad to report. I know I was painfully slow, according to the Old Boy today, in getting up those hills. I just find getting up hills difficult, whether its running or cycling! Its something that I need to work on!

I did enjoy our stop at the pub in Keston. We sat outside, these days most pubs have this area that is heated to 'help smokers' go out for a ciggie with out freezing their asses off. But us cyclists appreciate this area too. I looked a complete nerd in my bright luminous jacked and wooly hat complete with head lamp, not only that but I was looking rather sweaty and 'hat head' is not a good look for me. So sitting outside, looking after the bikes was made even more pleasant by the 'smokers heated corner'

We arrived home, opened our door and the waft of the curry I had slowly cooking in the oven was a welcome and warm greeting. Mmmmm, curry......droooll.....arrrrrrggggg!!! OOps sorry, Homer moment. Not had one of those for a while!

So geeky stats, and just check out my max speed, whoo hoo!!, just don't look at the minimum speed!

Bike ride with Alan by moosh001 at Garmin Connect - Details

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

A wet, Horrid Day!

Hello Blog lovers.

I know its Tuesday, but I seemed to have come down with a bit of a cold, and the thought of running and coughing and spluttering in front of everyone one else was not very appealing. Sow I cried off from the more cardio run and opted instead for a leisurely bike ride!

It was a gloomy day, it had been all day, still, the rain can't come down all day can it?! Well, anyway, I decided to join the OB on a slow bike ride, nice and local due to the weather, of course.

By the time we had got from our house to Bromley town centre the rain was coming down quite heavily. But for some strange reason I was smiling, and so was the OB. I kept on having to stop to clear my glasses and that when OB said "I am quite enjoying this really" And I agreed with him!

I wonder if it was the fact that we had properly inflated tyres! The OB had bought himself a new tire, his 'Winter tyres' he called them. More road tyres than trail riding ones. But he also bought a great new pump with a gauge on it, so that we can inflate our tyres to the right PSI. I was quite surprised how under inflated my tyres were.

So there we are, a background story to what I am about to right now. The combination of autumn leaves, wet, wet leaves and puddles, dark, newly inflated hard tyres and me getting cramp in my right foot, lead me to 'crashing' my bike, again! No one else was involved, just me and a fence! My foot cramped up, I pulled on the right hand brake with is the front brake, I slipped in the wet leaves and crashed into a fence. Fortunately I was down a tiny path as we were heading on home, so I didn't fall into the road. No one even saw me, but the OB could hear me as he came back to investigate what had happened.

The OB thinks that I am just a menace on the roads, normally just to my self, fortunately! Still, its all part of cycling, isn't it?!

So geeky stats, and if you look carefully you could possibly work out where I fell off my bike.

A wet, slow Bike Ride by moosh001 at Garmin Connect - Details

Saturday, 5 November 2011

What A Gloomy Day!

Hello Blog lovers,

What a gloomy, grey day it was today! I was thinking that maybe we wouldn't even bother about going out for a ride. But a bit of damp weather didn't put the OB off, so I just had to grin and bear it, and pretend that the damp grey conditions didn't bother me either.

It was just a short ride, compared to Thursdays ride at least, of 12 and half miles. But it was quite a hilly route.

We rode to the George in Hayes. Now the OB did say we were going to stay local, and ride to Bromley, and through that way before heading off home. But then he changed his mind. We were going to head on up through to Keston and then up and up to Downe Village! Again, like Thursday, I wasn't expecting to do anything remotely energetic, after all, I was saving myself for my run tomorrow, with my club! 7k, through the woods. And I know they are going to be very sticky and wet woods!

I managed to get to Downe Village, at my own pace. The OB said I could, there was going to be no racing today!

We had a pint in the pub there, and then headed on home. By this time it was dark, but still quite mild out. Half way down this road though, the OB had a puncture! Fortunately we have become 'honorary boy scouts' and are always prepared. But changing an inner tube in the dark is still a challenge! I was 'torch bearer' while the OB gave me tips and showed me how to change a tyre. If only he had done that on Monday.
I forgot to mention to you guys, I have sold my old jalopy of a bike, my old Raleigh, but before I took it to the shop I had to try to mend a puncture. which turned out that it was a puncture anyway, it was just me not using the pump right to inflate the tyres!

It was an experience, and it didn't take that long either! We rode straight on home, through Farnborough, and Locksbottom.

Quite a nice ride really, but then I always say that after I have finished riding!

I took my Garmin today, well, after missing out on recording my last ride, I shall take my Garmin on all rides!

Geeky stats then

Bike ride With Alan by moosh001 at Garmin Connect - Details

Thursday, 3 November 2011

A Longish Bike Ride - No Pub!

Hello blog lovers!

Well you can all remember what the weather was like today, it was coming down in bucket loads! Lightening, thunder, flash floods in Pettswood and down bottom Oxhawth! There was no way we were going riding tonight!

Yeah, right! The rain had stopped by the time the OB got back and he was well up for maybe just a short 10 mile, from here, Hayes, through Bromley and back again. No stopping at pubs now, its too dark, and cold, and wet!

We headed off up the path and then down Oakly road. I was expecting to turn right and ride on to Hayes from there. But the OB said, "No, keep going, straight, straight, straight" Well I knew where that was going. I was thinking he was going to go to Keston Ponds, then turn right from there, but then he said "Biggin Hill, thats where we are heading" Flipping nora, that was not in my psyche! Can I manage to get to Biggin Hill, I have not even thought about going that far, especially after todays thunder storm! (I was, in fact, thinking a nice cosy night it, with maybe a kebab for dinner!) But onwards and upwards I went, with the OB following behind me, closely. Too closely! He knows he makes me nervous when he is behind me. I do tend to slow down a lot, and when I haven't got anyone behind me I like the freedom to be able to stop.

Which I did. just before I got to the top of Leaves Green! I only stopped for just a few seconds, just to get my breath, and to stop my legs from turning to jelly! Then it was back to riding. On wards and upwards to Biggin Hill.

I was quite surprised how quickly Biggin Hill seemed to appear! I knew I still had a long way to go before we turned left to start our journey back home. We were going to turn left at the Spinning wheel, which has now become a curry house. Must try that place soon!

I was thinking that we were going to go down Cudham North Lane, the road that always gets me blowing out my eardrums while riding up there! But no, OB had another plan that we were going to head to Knockholt and then to Greenstreet Green from Halsted!

Oh well, At least the rain has held off. I just kept on peddling, kept listening out for instructions from the OB when he was behind me, or following his two blinking red lights.

Once we got to Greenstreet Green I knew where I was going, I nice steady ride back, if the OB wanted to speed up and do his thing, at least I knew which way home to go. But he stayed in my sight.

We went up my very first nemesis hill, Knoll Rise. The OB was behind me again. I don't know why but having him riding behind me just makes me very nervous, I just can't ride up hills with him behind me. It's like I am getting marked for exams or something, I just go to pieces! So I sent ahead of me and then rode up the road at my own pace, style and peace!

I didn't take my Garmin, for one thing the battery seems to be losing life very quickly these days, so it was completely dead! The OB's bike gizmo is not doing as it should be either, so I mapped the route out on map my run, and it came out as 21.19 miles, which we did in just under 2 hours.

A very nice ride, just a pity that none of us had a penny to buy a pint! Next time

Saturday, 29 October 2011

A Saturday Saunter!

Hello Blogees!

Now I thought our time for sitting outside pubs was at an end. I am expecting the weather to really do its worse, and give us our winter at any time now. But today was yet another glorious Saturday. Somebody must have had a word with Him upstairs.

The Old Boy had plenty of time and sunlight and dry weather to do some work on the bike, the one with the engine. Oh By the way Mr. S, its beginning to look like it is just going to fire into life any day now! As soon as OB had done all he could for the old Japanese girl, then we got our selves ready for just a nice leisurely ride through our woods and Pettswood and up to the Tigers, for a glass of sherbet.

When we got there the weather looked really 'iffy' as it it was about to throw cats and dogs down any minute. The wind had picked up and the big umbrella at the put was 'complaining' like mad as it tried to spin in the wind. We decided to just have one pint here, and then go straight home, no trekking on wards to another establishment.

We decided to go virtually the same way that we came here, but then the OB took off at different paths, just take a look at the geeky stats map, it look like a drunk snail has crawled across the floor! (I say snail, because no doubt the OB thinks I ride as slow as one!) Don't get me wrong, I loved every minute of it. Its lovely just cycling through these woods. We even rode passed the place where I did my marshaling duties for my clubs' 10k race.

When we popped out of 'Dog Poo' ally and headed for home via our woods. These are the woods the OB grew up in. We had a reminiscence ride through them. He was telling me of the places where he used to pitch a tent and camp out for the night, and the places he used to do his pigeon shooting, and so many other stories. The paths that I remember strolling along with the kids so many years ago seem to be getting smaller and over grown! But they are still such lovely woods. It was like riding through 'mother natures veins, as they reach out in all sorts of directions. Wonderful trees that look so inviting to climb, and plants and foliage. As well as the brambles and holly bushes that were reaching out and scratching me at every occasion!

My goodness, is this the same old townie girl writing this blog!! Enjoying all of Gods creation, (well except the brambles and holly) I definitely think the old townie girl is finally leaving me, it gives me so much hope that the Old Couch potato me will finally be gone as well!

So Geeky stats, and that look at our 'snail trail' route through the woods and to Hayes.

Leisurely Bike ride by moosh001 at Garmin Connect - Details

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Hello My Little Sparrow!

Hi blog readers.

Today I needed to run! I wanted to run from my house. No taking the car, just out the door and run. The woods on my door step were calling to me. I gave the Old Boy a call and told him I wanted to run into them, and he said he will come along on his bike, and tinkle his bell at me.

I decided to put my IPOD on, just get lost in the music and run and run. It was tough going for me, I felt totally drained to begin with, but I needed to run.

I thought I wouldn't know my way to the path at the end of the woods, but if you just run and run, not veering off the path then its easy going! We soon got to the path, it felt like I had run for 2 miles, but we hadn't even run for a mile! And I had had a banana and everything!

I was only heading for the park, then once round it and back the same way! The Old Boy was on his bike, and of course his bike as that darn bell. He used it to death! "come on, get going" was what filtered through my music. I kept having to remove my ear phones just to check what he said! In the end I gave my IPOD to him so that I can listen to his encouragement instead.

Back through the woods to go home. Not exactly the same way, but a little bit more of running through the woods before we got back on the tarmac path. I was looking for the 'fenced' walk over bridge, because that is the path that we take to get back home. That is just less than a mile before I run up to my house again.

It felt like hard run today, but less than 3 miles! I guess some runs are like that, I'm sure I can remember a run where I felt I could run forever! So now I have felt both extremes.

Todays geeky stats

Short run by moosh001 at Garmin Connect - Details

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Two Woods, Three Stop End Of Summer Ride!

Hello blog lovers!

After a very stressful Friday, what with one thing and the other, today started off with breakfast in Hayes. No we didn't ride our bikes, we took our grandson and his mum, and big son along.

After that we tinkered on the bike with the engine. I am getting to know all about solenoids!!

So eventually we got on our man powered bikes and headed for......... Hayes! The same area we started this morning with breakfast. Only this time we stop off for a lovely lager before heading on up to keston, and beyond. The Old Boy mentioned cockles, so we carried on up to Greenstree Green. A stop there for a glass of ....refreshment and cockles, then on and upwards.......literally. Because after the ride to Orpington it was up the hill, Knoll Rise. That was the first hill I attempted that was steeper than a .... I don't know..... a slope! and I failed, but today I kept on and on. I wasn't go to let it get me. I was hoping the cold wouldn't get to me, (I knew I should have put on my top rain coat as well) I just kept on it. Then the Old Boy said that we are going to Chislehurst, just to pop into the Tigers there, and then ride home through the woods.............. two woods!

Petts Wood I could almost navigate now, blind folded, well, maybe not blind folded, but when you have pound the paths over and over, then you do tend to get to know each nook and cranny. But the woods near my house. Well, thats a different matter. When I started running by myself all those months and months ago, or is it years now, anyway, I never thought about running through our woods. Mainly because I hate getting lost! Although I have lived next to these woods for over 20 years now, I have never walked through them by myself, always with the Old Boy!

It is quite excited riding through the woods at night, I'm sure I have mentioned this once or twice before, and I have decided that I will try and run this way the next time I run by myself during the day, or maybe even with one of the other running buddies!

So geeky stats for our LONG (in time only) bike ride.

Bike Ride with Alan by moosh001 at Garmin Connect - Details

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Winter Is Back, And Now We Go Riding?!

Hello bloggees,

Can you believe that we are back to riding our bikes, don't get me wrong, I love riding my bike, and through the cold winter months early on in the year, we were riding our bikes then too! The Old Boy lost 3 stone doing that! But still, brrrr. I know I will get used to it, just like riding a bike!

My Garmin had gone an used up all its battery again. I'm sure there is something not quite right with it. But still, I do love my geeky stats, so, its back to map my run, to find out all the nitty gritty.

I wasn't up to heading up huge hills today, nor heading into the deepest country side just yet. I wanted to stay close to buildings and heat! But there was still enough of the remnants of warmth left in the air to contemplate a public house stop en route! We decided it would be in Chislehurst, so of course we head off in the opposite direction to where we were going to patronise for a glass of the amber nectar and a bowl of olives.

I was feeling a little like I had never been on a bike before on the roads. I'm guessing the dark and cold night had something to do with that. But I was well wrapped up, and my blinking new dazzling lights will alert all drivers that I am on the road.

We went through Hayes, via Coney Hall, then headed to Bromley, and through the high street to Sundridge Park, and then to Chislehurst. That is where we had a well deserved pint of lager! (And some Olives)

I just tried to map it on Map my run, but the stupid computer froze up on me, and the site is just so slow anyway, but I got up to Chislehurst and the distance read 12.68 miles. So just another 2 and half miles from there makes it about 15 miles!

Not bad. Its good to be back on my bike

Monday, 3 October 2011

Just A quickie!

Hello blog lovers,

Me and the OB went for a short bike ride today. I wasn't feeling up for a run, besides I had done a back to back over the weekend! But I felt in the need for some sort of exercise.

We decided to enjoy the last of the summer warmth and head on through Hayes common and enoy a pint in the George. On the way, and this is why I am writing this, on the way there, through the common we saw some deer. It still amazes me that this gentle creatures are living this close to us.

Just amazing!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

What A Lovely Sunday!

Hello blog lovers.

The Old Boy has the whole weekend off, so we decided to not waste it. The sun was shining, it was a fabulous day for a ride along the coast.

The Old Boy strapped on the bikes to the back of the car, and after a delicious breakfast cooked by the Old Boy we were on our way, heading for the coast! We decided to head for Hastings, at least that was where our bike ride was going to end. Just a leisurely ride along the sea front.

We started off at Bexley on Sea, it is only about six miles from Hastings, but to just loosen up a bit we rode in the opposite direction and headed off on the coast road towards Cooden. We rode to as far as the path could go before it turned into pepples. Then we spun around and headed off back up to Hastings.

Now there is a hill at the other end of Bexley, I wasn't looking forward to climbing it. But I didn't look as if it went on that long, so I just breathed in, and took it at a leisurely pace. This is what this ride out today is all about, just a nice ride along by the seaside. And it had to be slow, because for some reason, there were tons of people about as well! Very inconsiderate. Mind you, one of the 'people' that we rode past just happened to be a friend of the Old Boys. And we saw him just as we reached half way up the hill. Of course we had to stop and say hi. Boy was I relieved! His mate said to him "Oh, it's true then, you do actually ride the bike, its the first time I seen you on it"

So after a few more minutes just chatting and telling the virtues of getting a bike, we headed off up the hill towards Hastings. Of course I just had to try and make it look easy, and like its just no problem at all, after I been sprouting about how good it is for you. I was off the saddle, and riding up the hill on the peddles, trying to look like its a pimple of a hill.

After that hill, the ride to Hastings was a piece of cake! Well, apart from all the people about. We rode on the cycle path, and for most of it, pedestrians kept off the path, mainly because it was well pointed out to all, where the cycle route is and where pedestians walk. Perfect.

We enjoyed a pleasant ride, stopping to admire the views, till we get to Hastings. There the cycle route is not well signposted or noted on the floor. So we were people dodging. I had to get off my bike and walk along with it. I suppose we could have cycled on the road, but then we would have missed the views of the sea, people on the shore, the kids having fun on fair, the crazy golf! It was just so nice! Just like a summers day!

We rode on to the Rock & Nor where we of course had to partake of some cockles! Perfect! Just perfect. It really was just a lovely summers day at the seaside. We had decided as well that we are going to have some fish and chips, but once we got back to Bexley. Well, we had already filled up on tea and cake before we left Bexley, and now cockles and mussels as well. I am sure that will sustains us until be get back.

The ride back was uneventful as well, but on the way here we went under the bridge to get on the road, till we got to Hastings, but this time we carried on the coastal paths. They were very gravelly, and stones where flying all over the place, but it really was a lovely ride. Better than negotiating traffic and breathing in their fumes. and there wasn't that many people to dodge either.

Along this path, that we missed on the way there, we stopped off a a viewing platform, see photos here.
To think that just a few feet from here there is a wreck of a ship that sunk there in the 1740's. You can actually walk out to it, and see the shape of the boat, when the tide is out. And also there are still signs of an ancient forest as well. A petrified forest out there that you can, again, walk to and see this tree laying in the sand! We would not have seen that if we went back to Bexly via the road.

It didn't take long before we got back to Bexley on sea, and of course the other side of 'that hill' where we saw the Old Boys friend. I forgot to mention it was an up and down type hill! Which means that I have to climb up it again. But towards the top of this hill on this side, is a skateboard park, where the kids where doing their tricks on the scooters and skateboards. But there was one group that was walking up to it, on the cycle path, and I really didn't want to stop, because I knew I wouldn't be able to start again.

I was gripping so tightly on to the handle bars of my park that I couldn't let go to ring my bell for them to step out of the way, the Old Boy had to do that. They seemed to move so slowly out of the way! But I kept going! I didn't have to stop and I made it to the top, and then the lovely ride down to where we started.

This is where we had a fish and chip dinner! Here is a few more pictures of our day by the seaside.

Anyway, more pics of our ride today,

Geeky stats

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A Nice Gentle Ride - Not!

Hello blog lovers.

We was on our bikes today. I love my bike! It seems long waits between our rides, but it is well worth the wait.

The OB decided that he wanted to do just about 10 miles. He gave me the route, verbally, which is bloomin useless to me, because my memory is like 'Dory' from 'Finding Nemo' But as we were riding along he had changed the route slightly anyway!

I thought it was just going to be a stretch of the legs, with a pint of lager when we get back to Pettswood, then a slow meander home to cook dinner.

Well it started off something like that. And then we got to Bromley. Up Bromely high street which the OB said that we wouldn't be doing, but he is not pleased with my lights. Did I tell you that some nasty little low life swiped my front light while I was on the sky ride!! Well anyway, I have ordered some new lights now, but in the mean time I have this other light and a head light, so I am ok ish and can be seen!

From here it was straight through the high street, but with some window shopping, and entertainment shopping. (seeing what is on at the local theatre!) It was a bit like it was in the winter and spring, because we stopped off at a 'forward supply depot' cunningly disguised as a mini mart. We stocked up on our chocolate, very important when you do more than five miles! Check out the geeky stats, all those calories, they need replacing!

This is where it changed again. We were not going to go to PettsWood from here, we were going for a pint at the Tigers. They do some lovely olives in there. But that does mean choosing to do one of those rather awful hills. Either Summer Hill, or Old Hill. We opted for Old Hill. It was that hill way back in January that had me walking up from almost the bottom to the top. In fact, I have not yet ridden up the whole hill, not even in chunks. I have always walked up quite a bit of it.

Today I was determined, determined to do my utmost best to get to the top of this bloody hill! I started off ok, I tried not to think about it as it starts off with just a slight incline. Then the pressure on the peddles start as it gets steeper. I dig down deep, change down to another lower gear and try again to keep my pace going. It gets steep fairly quickly after that, I changed down as quickly as I can to keep my pace going. "Get out of that seat" the OB says. I tried, but my backside stayed firmly glued to the seat. My hands gripping on to the handle bars. "Dig deep Old Girl, come on, get your arse of the seat" I think to my self, then the Old boy says again, "Come on, stand up on those peddles" I tried it, I stood up, I pushed down on my legs to get up this awful hill. My Goodness! The pain, it was only for a split second, but I just couldn't do it, my feet came of the peddles as I pulled over to the side. "I can't do it" I said.

The last thing that I wanted to do was to walk, I am not going to let this hill beat me again. I rest up for a few minutes and then back onto the saddle for another attempt to reach the top. There was a narrow part of the road, there were cars behind me waiting for me to get up, and there was cars in front of me, waiting for the cars behind me to go so that they could go. The pressure was just to much, I felt all those pairs of eyes in the traffic behind and in front of me, watching, daring me to get off my bike and walk so that they could drive off.

I did as they wished! The Old Boy rode on up the hill with a pitiful tut tut directed at me. As I stood on the pavement watching his lights go on up the hill, I took ten steps up. "Darn it woman, get back on there and ride, ride ride. Not stop now till the top" I did it! it bloody hurt, but I did it!

Riding that much of Old hill is a step in the right direction for me! I know I am getting stronger! Its obvious to me! I could never have done that much of the hill at the beginning of the year, and who knows, by the end of it maybe I can ride the whole of it!

I was well in need of my pint of lager and olives now, just to rehydrate myself, I was rather sweaty by the time I got to the top. We got to the pub and enjoyed our beer.

But it was getting late, and we still had dinner to cook! So the OB said "Ok, a direct route home, no going through the park" And that's what we did. But we did push it! I peddled as hard as I could, well as hard as was needed to keep a good pace going. I think we did ok on the last 3 miles back home!

Anyway geeky stats for you.

Cycle Ride With Alan by moosh001 at Garmin Connect - Details

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Yeah! I'm on my Bike!

Hello blog lovers.

Well, I wasn't going to do any sort of exertion until Saturday, but I thought a nice little short bike ride to 'The George' would be nice.

Well you can imaging my surprise, when I was in my own little world, automatic pilot, to turn right into Church Lane and the Old Boy went straight on, heading towards the bus garage. "I thought you were just going for a quick pint before dinner" I yell at the OB, "No, I said I was going for a ride then a pint" he corrects me! Oh yes! he did say something like that. I am just glad that I did change into the right sort of attire, i.e. no flapping jeans and nice brightly coloured top on!

We headed off up the A21, boy have I missed this hill...........NOT, well strangely as it seems, I have really. The long rides me an the Ob used to have, rides that got our heart rates up, the muscles working in our legs, and knowing that we had done good ride worth of a pint or two.! I wished I had put my Garmin on! I have become so blaze` about the bike riding, and the tiny little 5 mile rides, I have not been documenting! But as this was way over twice that far I thought I had better blog it!

Our first stop (apart from regrouping at GST) was the tigers head in Chislehurst. Where a well deserved pint of lager was to be consumed, and then we would head on home................Oh blimey, I forgot to say, as we were leaving the house today, checking on whether we had everything, patches for punctures, pump and canisters, lights....... well there was the problem. My front light was missing!! Now I can't remember whether I had it after the Sky Ride in London a couple of weeks ago, as I have not been on my bike since then, but I cannot find my front light! I can only think that it has gone missing either on the Sky ride, or when I went for breakfast, Oh well, it just shows, that there is no solidarity where anyway really, if somebody wants something they will have it..... ok.....moan over.

Any way from the pub at chislehurst I had this headlight on. I just hoped the car drivers would know that I was a cyclist on the road!

To be fairly safe we decided to go through the woods. WOW, what great fun that is! Its Scary, and frightening and fun and exciting. All I could see was what my head light was showing me, so I had to look where I wanted to go! Every so often I looked up so I could see the red 'Kit' light of the OB back light, and the look at the ground again to see where I was riding, and to avoid, rocks, roots and bits or tree!!

Needless to say we got through the woods safely, (although I kind of lost the path just before 'Dog poo' ally,) ....... in fact so did the Old Boy!. We stopped off at Bradleys for one last pint (and half) before heading off home for dinner!

A very nice ride this evening, and we even spotted another friend of ours cycling the other way, who was totally oblivious to us going in the opposite direction! I guess the difference between pleasure rides and commuting rides maybe?

so geeky stats, according to the OB bike gizmo.

12 miles in 1.00 average of about 12 miles an hour!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Sky Ride 2011!

Hello bloggees,

Another Sunday of missing church, but being out in His creation is good also. Mind you, the streets of London I think 'man' had a hand in building.

Yes it is that time of year again. The Mayor of London sky Ride! Big son is coming again. Getting him out of bed was a mission! Bags packed, Garmin strapped on and off we go.

We were going to use the led ride to London again, as I said last year, this is just so much fun, and we all met up at Bromley South. I did say to Big Son last year, that we didn't actually have do the whole ride around London, we could just find a nice spot to chill and relax and wait for the ride home. But I had my Garmin, I wanted to know how much of London was covered by the no cars signs, he was not impressed!

I am not good at judging how many people there are in a group, but here, take a look a just some of them behind me,

We were soon on our way. Up the road towards London Town! And I know that the ride leader knows how to flatten out the roads, a kind of serpentine effect, but I will know for sure when I upload the geeky stats, which so far I still not done.

Pushing through the traffic, stopping the cars from going along their merry way, with all their pollution pouring out of their exhausts. Some of the drivers did get irate, but most waved and smiled and just sat patiently.

There were a couple of incidents on the way there, a little girl kind of toppled over her handle bars, and got a grazed knee. But after a plaster a hug from mum she was soon back to riding. Then at the other end of the age scale, one of the more mature ladies fell off her bike, but she was ok as well. And then just to top it off, and to show its not just females that fall off their bikes an elderly gentleman had a bit of a topple as well.

We met up with the Crystal Palace led ride and converged into an even bigger group, we continued our ride into London Town. There were all sorts of bikes, little ones, big ones, trikes 'bents and one with a box of kids in the front!

We arrived in London, and after some congrats all round, and a reminder of what time we shall be all leaving it was time to explore London. But Big Son could only think of his tummy, and to be honest that was all I thought of too. We decided not to join in the Sky ride just yet, but to go and hunt down some grub.

We ended up in Convent Garden. We were crossing bridges that were not free from traffic, and boy was it busy! We had a lovely Sandwich in a pub, I believe its called the Punch and Judy, (bloody expensive though) I only bought out £25 pounds, and Big Son had already tucked into some of that at Bromley for an energy drink! We had both missed out on breakfast.

After being suitable refreshed we tried to find our way to join in on the sky ride. It didn't take that long. We started to ride towards the bridges and tunnels, and Tower of London. But by now it was raining! (Just as well we didn't want to chill in the sun) We got to Tower of London, and it was getting harder. I managed to persuade Big Son to take a picture, here take a look.

So after this we hid under some bridges, and then decided to spend the last of our cash on a cappuccino, we nursed that for about 2 hours before our ride home.

Anyway, I am going on and on again. (as usual) The ride back was just as good as the ride there, the marshalling was brilliant, the atmosphere fantastic and a few irate car drivers to make us smile.

Geeky stats for you. I did my usual 'forgetting to turn it off and on' but I think I have most of our moving time recorded.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Oh My Goodness!

Hello bloggers,

Just a shortie, after the park run and after buying new shoes, me and the OB decided to go for a bike ride to the pub on the other side of Hayes common. It's a great pub, and what better way to relax, after getting a PB, paying a small fortune on running shoes, and a quick bit of house work!

We had a couple of pints here and then decided to go home, but via the local pub to us. On the way tho, I needed to.... well......fluid retention is not a good look, shall we say. I thought I may be able to make it to the pub, but after attempting to ride down and up the other side of this little hill, I caught my bike peddles in the dirt and fell off my bike!! The Old Boy was laughing his head off, I was laughing, and I just needed to go there and then. So I abandoned the bike and walked down to the river, and, well I'm sure I don't have to explain. In the meantime the OB had similar thoughts as well. I could see him laughing at me, but I just carried on. Until that is, a jogger ran passed at the top of the path. In my embarrassment and slightly inebriated state, I thought to my self "Oh please don't look" Which had the OB in complete stitches by now, and the jogger laughing his head off as he continued his run.

To my horror I realised I hadn't said those words in my head, I had actually called out!! But the jogger was a gentleman and he didn't look! Thankfully.

So, lesson learned, use loo before continuing to next pub, or home! Which ever is on route!!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

On My Bike Again!

Hello bike blog lovers!

It has been a while hasn't it. Well, to be truthful, I have been on the bike several times, but it has only been for around 5 miles at a time! With a stop half way round, several beverages sunk, and then back home.

Today, ......albeit similar, it was a longer ride. Total round trip was about 11 miles, with an average mph of about 11 mph. Just a plod along really, but with a couple of nasty hills!

I had forgotten to take my Garmin, so all those geeky stats from from the Old Boys bike gizmo, which seems to work only when it wants to at the mo. Put it this way, it told me I was doing 4 mph! 4 mph! I don't blooming think so! I was doing far more than that!

The Old Boy, I'm sure, is getting ready for the much cooler and winter months. His encouragement (and of course I mean nagging) wasn't as bad has in the first couple of months this year, but you can tell, he is getting ready.

Already you feel the difference in the air in the morning, although this evening it was rather warm and muggy. I have decided that the Old Boy only nags me ooops sorry, encourages me to go faster, just to get home quicker! Which quite frankly I don't blame him!

I can't believe that we went riding through January, February and March. Obviously when the snow was think of the floor then we didn't go, I went for runs instead, with my club!!

But the route today was a fairly simple route, up the lane to the A21, left to GSG, then on to Orpi'. We didn't go up the by pass. It would have made me sad and crazy, and all vigilante-fied if I had seen the looters out again! Instead, we rode up Knoll Rise. A bloomin steep hill!! But I did it.

The Old Boy came up along side me, I was puffing and panting, and trying very hard not to grip my handle bars so tightly, and he looked like he was on a down hill Sunday afternoon 'mooch about'. How, why? It seems so impossible for me, right now, to be even thinking of being at that stage! What more do I have to do?

After that is was fairly flat.....ish! Just one last big hill, and that was my other nemesis! after we had turned right from going up Knoll Rise! There is road works on this road, and the lights were red. It gave me a little time to get myself ready for the ascent up this. I managed again to defeat this hill. I was blowing out or every orifice by this time, but I blooming did it. I was so looking forward to getting to the Tigers Head!

There is a gentle incline from about here, to the tigers, and I was feeling every cm that we climbed up. (I am such wimp) but at least I did it, non stop, all the way to the Tigers.

After a beverage or two, we headed off home. It was dark now, so we decided to stay on the roads rather than go through the woods. It had been raining a bit earlier, so it would have been quite muddy and slippery as well. But The way we were going was out of the Tigers, and turning left! Heading for Summer hill!

I almost managed to get to the top this time round. The long ride down was easy peasy obviously, but I have got to learn which gear I should be in by the time I get to the ride up. I tried staying in a high gear for as long as possible, but then I got tired very quickly when I got on the up section, and I could work out which way I should be changing gears..................yes I know that I needed to change down.......but due to the suddenness of the ascent, I just I flapped and kept changing up instead of down!

So this time I Thought I would change down first, after all, I go faster than my peddles can peddle, when I am going down hill. But this wasn't right right. Because I just didn't have the power there to get up the hill! So what is the right way. Obviously, something in between those two scenarios.

Anyway, we got home safe and sound, no looters/thieving little toe rags about, and no getting arrested for imitating a cyclist (The Old Boys little joke!) and a lovely delicious chilli con carne sitting on the stove!!! MMMM, wonderful!

There a nice short blog!! (ish)

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Cudham North Lane? Enjoy? Is It Possible!

Hello Blog readers.

I haven't been on a bike ride for ages it seems, well, I have had the odd trip out to the pub and back with the Old Boy, but nothing to write home about (Or blog about) So today, as I have no children I decided to test myself, see how far I can get before I cry off and say "I can't do it"

My route today was Cudham North Lane, here after known as CNL! A horrible long, laborious climbing hill. Not Only that but I had decided to go to Biggin Hill, then to Keston, and see How I felt after that!

But before all that took place, I had to put a hose on to my bike, I had run through something awful on the last 'pub ride' and it was stinking the whole shed out! I didn't fancy having that as a go faster stripe on my nice yellow top!

The weather was quite warm but a bit windy, I put on my fleece because it did seem that there might be a rain cloud up above, I can always tie it around my waist later, which no doubt I will definitely be doing!

The first few hills seemed horrible, and that was just going up the A21, you can tell I have not been on a 'proper' ride for a while, so I just tried to ignore the hills, knowing that I have some awful hills to climb up soon helped me to visualise these tiny pimples of hills as just specks of dust! Ok, slight exaggeration, but you get my drift.

I have plans to make this ride a non stop all the way to at least Biggin Hill, where I will buy myself a nice cool cola, (I had forgotten to put my water bottle on my bike) luckily I had cash on me, and maybe even enough for a choccie bar there too! It seemed the turn off to CNL, came all too quickly, and I still had on my fleece, so the the next flat drive way I shall get myself comfy and in that special place in my head and just spin all the way to the top.

I was doing really well, at least I thought I was, until another cyclists came up the side of me and overtook me! She looked very comfortable, and just kind of casually riding along, unlike me, puffing out of my..... But she looks as if she has been doing this for years! Skinny thing, and so was she! The tyres on her bike were as thin as a hair band!

But I just kept on plodding away, kept my legs spinning, no stopping, just kept on keeping on! So you can imagine my surprise when I caught up with her again! But when I tell you that she had actually stopped to chat to another cyclist, then you wont be that surprised! But they said to me "Well done for getting up the hill!" I knew I still had loads more to do, but I was.....quite.....enjoying it! Strangely enough! I know, I find myself thinking back to that place, and trying to remember if, in fact, enjoyment was the emotion I was feeling. And it was! Just the fact that I was doing this non stop so far, and I wasn't even thinking about pulling over to stop for a rest.

Just then the girl on her skinny bike came past me, and we had a quick chat as she told me the other chap she was speaking to was a chap from her cycle club, and he was riding in the opposite direction, down hill! The she continue on her way, overtaking me up the road.

Onwards and upwards. I am sure I should have taken a right turn somewhere. It seems to go on forever this road, I had already passed the pub. It seems different when I am on my own, I am in control of route today! But then Grays Road soon showed itself, and I headed on up there.

This is another quite hilly road, with some little steep bits that kind of jump out and surprise you. I remember the first time I went up here they showed them selves that quick that I got confused with my gears and was changing up instead of down! But I was ready for it today.

I got to the top of this road and then turned right towards Biggin hill. I had decided that I will get myself a diet cola and a bit of choccie at the next sweetie shop that comes up. And I also decided that I am going to Keston, then on to Bromley, and then see how I feel from there as to which way I shall take to go home.

Biggin Hill road is lovely, I am sure its newly laid! No potholes there at all as I cycle past the airport! I got quite a bit of speed on this part of the route, it sure coolde me down.

More hills as I start to look out for the road that will take me to Keston. I can feel my muscles start to complain a bit now. But I have no time for that, Bromley was my destination so I just have to ignore the aches and get on with it.

The turn off for Keston. It all seems to be happening quick. That CNL is certainly a long boring road! So much more interesting having to turn left and right, look for signs as to which way to go! At Keston now! So soon, I must have been speeding or something! I knew there was roundabout which I knew I had to make sure I took the right exit which will take me towards Hayes, or else I would end up at West Wickeham, I think!

Passing the pub on the right, The George! I wonder if the Old Boy wants to make a visit there later! He is having a rest day, but sometimes his rest days include a short bike ride for a swift pint!

Bromley is in spitting distance now, and I am still feeling quite good. Maybe I could make Chislehurst, I shall see when I get through Bromley. The little hill that takes you to the High street really hurt my legs now, but there was still no stopping for me, only at traffic lights. I was feeling a little tired now, and I was thinking maybe from the other side of Bromley I shall make my way home.

Through the high street and up towards Old Bromley before I turn right in the direction of home. I decided that Chislehurst will have to wait until next time!

A few more hills to get up before I get home. I feel pretty happy with my ride today. 23 miles! And for the fact that I didn't get lost!!

Geeky stats

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

I Was Stiched Up!

Hello blog readers.

Today me and the Old Boy dusted off our bikes for a quick ride. He is feeling pretty achy today, (he went jogging yesterday and the day before, doing about 2 or so miles each time) He said to me "Lets just go for a very short ride to the George and back" he says, "I don't think I can do much more than that"

Well, I do like the George, and its only about 3 miles away, so that makes about a six mile round trip if I done my sums right! so we set off for the George. Have a lager there, packet of crisps and some olives! A regular little feast really, and the The old Boy informs me that we are not going through the farm, but straight up, and either to Keston or Locksbottom.

As it turned out we did both! But after we go through Locksbottom, he says to me "Do you fancy just one more pint?" Well, how can I resist. I love my lager! So I said "Yes, love another" But then he continued, "Yes, I was thinking of the Bull, in Chislehurst"

Now the Bull in Chislehurst is a little further then Pettswood is from our current position! And Pettswood is so much nearer to our home than Chislehurst! But, being the biker that I am, and feeling fairly fit (ish) I agreed.

Of course we had already done some hills, and then there was some more hills to get up to Chislehurst, but I had the Old Boy giving me encouraging noises from behind! And plus the songs that he was singing out loud, 'The Push bike song' by the Mixtures! circa 1969 (I shall have to check on that tho!) Of course I wouldn't remember I was still so very very young! (Well its true!)

I was so very ready for this pint. But as we were enjoying it I asked the question "Which way we going home, through the woods?" It was then the he gave me emthe look/em> It was the look that says 'Oh dear, poor you!' The he said "It will be very muddy through the woods, what with the rain, so we are going down and up Summer hill"

I should ave guessed really! Its a hilly ride, so why not add one of the biggest to to! But there is one good thing about it, at least we are going the easier way, down the longest part of the hill and up the shortest part.

The Old Boy breezed it up there, I struggled. I got confused with my gears again as I hit the upward part of the hill, and I was in too high a gear, and I tried to change down, but just came to a complete stop as I started to change up! But after a quick rest, I was back up on the peddles, ass off the seat and peddle up to the top to see the Old Boy there waiting for me

It was quite late note, so a quick stop off for a bag of chips to go with our salad, and I shall slap a bit of ham on the plate, and voila, a meal fit for a queen!

Geeky stats

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Why Is Kent So Gorgeous With Rolling Hills?

Hello blogees,

I finally got around to writing my blog about my bike ride yesterday. I was not suffering too much for my run I had in the morning, as was looking forward to riding with the Old Boy as the weather men promised a glorious day.

We set off with our bikes on the back of the car and our fleeces on! I am sure it will warm up, its quite muggy out so the promise of sun could quite easily be fulfilled!

We Arrived at Tonbridge and our route was going to take us through to Penshurst. I know of a lovely pub there, and then after that head of somewhere else and do a loop back to our car.

The paths were a tad muddy to say the least, the Old Boy is just fine, with his off roader, this is where his bike comes into its own. Of course I opted for the bike I have, it should do well with the terrain, and I am hoping the super duper gel gloves will absorb some of the impacts.

Just as predicticted the weather warmed up. We where about 2 miles into our ride, at the top of quite a long hill and my fleece came off. Now it was really muggy! But of course there is that lovely pub at Penshurst! I nice long cools drink is what is in order. But when we got there, the Old Boy said there is another lovely pub just about 3 miles away in Fordcombe. Well, three miles is nothing when you're on a bike, is it? And I do love going to different places.

Fordcombe is a lovely place, a little village, with a church and pub, but the top of the hill! Spring Hill! The Old Boy managed to cycle his way to the top, but I just couldn't do it. Even the thought of a pint and a bite to eat couldn't get me to peddle my way to the top.

Eventually the pub was in sight, I got back on to my saddle and rode the little bit extra, I wanted to 'ride into' Fordcombe, the sign was just up ahead and I rode slowly past it, past the church, who where having the summer fete, bang the rat out of the tube, soak granny in the stocks, and dunking the wicked witch, were probably among the games. A real old time summer fete.

The pub was lovely, and empty! Everyone was probably at the fete. We order our beer, and a lovely light lunch of crayfish salad for me and chicken and bacon Caesar salad for him!.

After lunch we spent a few minutes looking around the lovely church opposite. Some very old types in there! from 1790 and something, up till 2008 I think I noticed. Then it was back down the hill and we head for Bidborough. And another refreshing drink stop. It really has warmed up nicely now!

We stopped at some places to look at the great views. We also stopped off a another establishment (I do like these pleasure rides) called the Spotted dog. Here is a picture of it. Its been going forever this place!, since 1520!

After this we continued our ride back to the car. We past the Leicester Arms again, which looked so inviting, but we kept right rolling by and headed for Bidborough. He neglected to tell me of the next hill as well. I noticed the name of this one, Rogues Hill. I could have called at few other things as I attempted to climb it, with my lunch and a pint inside of me, and the weather heating up nicely!

Getting to Bidborough was a relief, we stopped for another pint of lager, well at least I did, the Old boy was doing the driving home from Tonbridge. A large diet cola for him! After we carried on straight down the road. A great free wheeling down, but coming to a main road so we had to keep the brakes on.

On towards our car. After we got back to the car, what with all the stops and taking in the views, and things, it was getting late. We thought about dinner! One more stop before we got home. Here was our dinner! And of me, enjoying it!

It was nigh on 11 at night by the time we got home. But a great day, a busy day, and and active day......yes yes, a drinking day as well!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

London To Brighton Bike Ride 2011

Hellooooo Bloggeeeees!

Well what can I say! What a day it was. I didn't sleep very well the night before, I think I was just too excited. Its only 54 miles, I know, but its to the seaside! The edge of Britain, and I was to ride my bike there. Up till now me and the Old Boy have only ever done loops, or our first long ride included a train journey first!

But first off, I must say a huge thank you to my hubby, Old Boy, he was up with me at 5:30 this morning, driving me and my bike to Clapham, and then was going to meet me in Brighton later on. And also to all the sponsors who have sponsored me loads of money for this ride, and for my Cancer research run. I shall let you all know how much was raised for both charities.

By the time we got the bike on the back of the car and had everything else ready I was already late for my start! But that didn't matter. At least I wouldn't be going to the back of queue to start my ride! So after the Old Boy dropped me off I joined the queue for the loo, well there is no need taking extra baggage is there.

Then I went to the next earliest start gate and got my card stamped and joined the throng. I was excited, I was smiling, my belly was full of butterflies!! And I was thinking I hope I don't get lost! Then the count down began, and off we went.

Here is a pic of the start.

The ride through London was slow, just because of the sheer number of bikes on the road. I knew there was going to be loads, but wow, hundreds of bikes! So I just went along with the flow, and thought to my self that I would be able to make up the time when it had thinned out a bit!

The 'expert' riders, with their matching hats, shirts pants and shoes, all co-ordinating with the bikes were just buzzing past me. I knew I couldn't ride at their level, on the right hand side of the road!, so I had to stay on the left hand side with the 'I want to ride to the seaside' bunch!. So I used this time to 'acclimatise' myself with the whole riding in a huge bunch. Get the measure of people, and how they react, and ride, and practice my overtaking skills, etc. Because surely once we were out of London then I shall be zooming past people, on clear roads!.

There were so many bikes, and I worried about getting lost on the way! All I had to do is follow the line of riders. And its all marshaled along each road, and crossing, and the police are on hand to stop and direct traffic, just to keep the throng moving as much as possible. About 5 or 6 minutes into the ride I realised that I hadn't set my Garmin, so I quickly did that and then settled back into the flow of bikers.

I was wondering how long it will take to get out of the city, out of the huddle of cyclists so that we can start to peddle with some conviction. Still the atmosphere is good, and everyone is happy and chatting, and laughing and joking. Yup, this is going to be a lovely day.

The weather is chilly, and a bit windy. I am glad of my fleece. And I do have my raincoat in the backpack, just in case! The forecaster predicated that this is the better day of the weekend. Lets hope they got it right! I knew working hard peddling will also keep me warm.

The first Official stop was about 10 miles into the ride. So I took this opportunity to have a cuppa. Well, I managed to eat my porridge this morning, the Old Boy had made it for me, but I just couldn't get a cuppa down me as well, and I do need my caffeine intake! So we pulled into Fannys Farm. Seriously! A great place, there were bacon butties, or sausages, bread pudding if you like that, tea and coffee. And they wasn't demanding tons of money either. 50p for a cuppa! brilliant! So I had my cuppa and I gave the Old Boy a call to let him know where I was. He told me he will be on his way shortly, and he had made me a lovely salad for when I got there. Such a diamond bless him.

Then it was back on the road. And let me tell you, the bike traffic hasn't eased off! There is no let up to the amount of bikes on the road! Oh well, looks like my dreams of a 4 hour ride is down the chute......ok 5 hour ride has gone down the chute. But there is still plenty of time to catch up. I decided that the next official stop I shall go straight through. But there was a hill before it, and I had a tiny break there, mainly because I can't ride my bike as slow as that of the throng. I just tend to topple over!

By now I had made a decision, the ride today is not going to be any faster than this speed. There is not going to be any records broken by me for covering this distance, so I shall just have fun and enjoy the whole experience, and if there is a chance that I can go faster I will take it! No doubt the Old Boy will be calling me to see where I am, and I can just hear him now "is that all you have done"

For the next twenty miles it was uneventful, the throng never seemed to thin out. And when it did then it just came together again at a bottle neck or traffic lights. We were in a place called Lindsfield, another official stop. And they seemed to have the whole village roped in to doing something. They were cheering and handing out water, or they were just sitting outside the pubs and houses watching the riders go by. Just a lovely welcome. This is the time the Old Boy calls me to check up. I had to ask a local where I was, I just didn't see any sign posts. It was her who told me I was at Lindsfield. The Old boy thought I said Lingsfield which is nearer to our house than Brighton! But I soon assured him I wasn't on the way home! Then the local lady made me smile. She said "only 15 miles there abouts and you're in Brighton" Well my Garmin was saying another 20, but I had forgotten to start it again after tea, and toilet stops!.

I knew what was coming up next. It was Ditchling Beacon. Well, I have already walked up a couple of hills! So there is no shame in walking up this one! I knew it was going to be a long, steep and narrow road full of walkers. I was impressed with the riders who was attacking the hill, not giving up. Of course there are always the 'expert riders' but even some of those were puffing. I got chatting to one of the walkers as we made our way up. He said "I wanted to give up 2 hours after I started" I made a joke, I said "I expect to see God up here waiting for us" It is a hugely steep hill, well it seems it after what we have done so far. It is a demoralising hill. One particular rider had a tee shirt say 'Dam you Ditchling' He knew from the beginning of his ride that he was walking up there too. Another chap fell into the verge. He was one of those 'expert' riders, with the cleats, and he couldn't get out of them quick enough and just toppled over. I tried not to laugh, things could quite easily go wrong for me!

The chap that I was talking to couldn't even manage to walk the whole way up, he said he was camping on the verge for the night. I carried on. I had to walk to the top of this hill at least, without stopping. There were plenty of people laying on the verges, draped over their bikes or just standing catching their breath.

I heard the announcement over the loudspeaker. Nearly at the top of the hill. Just a few more yards and I made it. I was going to use this official stop. Its the last one, and I was going to drink my drink and chillax for a few moments. I pulled in, the announcer was informing us this is the highest point in the Tour De France race, and from here it was all down hill! Yippee!!!!

I sat on the grass and drank my drink, I was going to eat my packet of crisps, but it suddenly got very cold. I looked at the sky and saw these dark clouds approaching. Here, take a look at the sky:-

I thought I had better make a move from this place. I put my fleece on and took to the road. but just a few yards down the road the rain started. Well thank goodness I got my rain coat with me! (The Old Boy said I should, I was going to be optimistic!) I got it out of my back pack just in time. The heavens really opened up. I carried on riding, hoping that it will just go away, or even just stay on the hill. But it seemed to follow me, and came down in torrents. I was wishing I had bought the Old Boys fishing wet weather trousours (again, another suggestion of his) But instead of getting down hearted I started to sing, out loud, like some demented party goer coming home from a brilliant night out! #Show me the way to go home#

Just then my words came back to me "When I get to the top I want to see God waiting there" Well, He certainly showed me whose boss! Visions of Him upstairs laughing, with tears rolling down his face, and splashing on all of us down here, filled my imagination! And I just smiled. I was riding in the torrential rain, singing and smiling all the way to Brighton. Crazy or what! The rain was stinging my face, the drops of rain felt like hailstones, and there was me with my sunglasses on! Then I had another quieter word, "Ok, God, very funny, but can we have some sunshine now". Then it broke, the rain subsided, and it got brighter. I was soaked through to my unmentionables! There were puddles in my trainers! But I was still smiling.

It has been a great ride down to here. And I was looking forward to seeing the Old Boy at the end.

Riding up the last 100 meters was a fantastic feeling. I could see the finish up ahead, I stopped and took a photo of it, much to the amusement of the on lookers. Here, look at this,

They said to me "You can't stop now, you're nearly there!" But I just explained that I wanted to photograph this moment.

It's difficult to get pics when your a lone cyclist, I just kept on forgetting to do it. Riding through the big finish time, getting my medal and my card stamped, fantastic feeling, I was smiling, freezing, shivering, wet through and not seeing anyone I know, but I was so happy!

I still hadn't seen the Old boy, after I rang him he said he was down near the roundabout before the last hundred meters, we had missed each other!

But when we did finally meet up this is what I was handed by my lovely Old Boy,

And just a couple more from the day that the Old Boy took


Geeky stats for you.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Not Long Before L2B!

Hello bloggees,

What a lovely day it is today, and I need to get on with my training! Only 5 days left, and I had a week off from training last week, due to this cold, which is still hanging around! But at least its not making me feel ill any more, and the energy levels are back up.

So I decided to do a bit of banking, bit of shopping, then come back put it all away and then go for my ride!. Didn't quite happen like that, the local small supermarket just didn't have what I wanted! So I just did the banking, came back to get my Garmin, as I didn't take it with me, I am not even clocking up the ride to the local supermarket anymore as exercise, even though I did go on my bike!

I will have to do the shopping as part of my bike route today. Rucksack on me back and away we go. I am doing one of my usual routes today, with the stop off at the supermarket for my shopping (ingredients for my beef curry tonight!) and just head off up to Greenstreet Green.

I wasn't sure how I was going to feel, considering I have had a week off, but I did do the Race for Life on Sunday, and I felt pretty good after that, my chest a bit tight, but still good. If I cant manage to get as far as Sidcup bypass then it will be no biggy! I still think I will manage to get to Brighton, just not sure how long it will take me.

Of course I forgot to stop my Garmin as wandered around the shop looking for ingredients, so that has add to the mph! Still, its not about speed today. Today is all about getting back on the saddle and seeing how I fare.

All together not to bad, I am quite pleased, I was going to go down and up Summer Hill in Chislehurst, but there is plenty of time for that! It was just good to be back on my bike!

Geeky stats

Why didnt I think of this earlier! Here is my widget, just click on it if you wish to donate, thanks :-)

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Uh Oh Jungle!

Hello bloggees!

What a gorgeous day out today! The sun shining, its warm, its not raining! But it is a little windy!

We decided to take a leisurely ride around our area, taking in our bike shop, to get a inner tube for our bikes, and a bit of shopping, and also some shopping for our tea a bit later on.

So nothing very strenuous! Which was good, because Saturdays is all about pleasure riding! The training happens during the week! So our first part of the ride we went through the Grove, and on to Hayes common. Just lovely! Love these pleasure rides.

The Old Boy was trying to find a route with less hills to get us to the bike shop, but there was one hill! Had to be done. But as it was a pleasure ride, I got off and walked! We got to the bike shop, and I mentioned to the guy that my bike had a little rattle when the gears were in a certain combination, and he just took it, checked it out, tweaked it, oiled it and gave it back! How cool is that! Then we bought the inner tube ........ and some new riding gloves for this Old Girl, check them out!!!

They're pink! and they have this whole gel thing going on in the palms to help with the vibrations and other stuff like that, but they're pink!!! Love them!

I took this picture after we got to Chislehurst, and after our little treat of a lager! But the pond where we were was such a lovely little pond, I have never actually stood and looked at it, always just passed it by! So it was nice to look and stop and listen and take pictures, here look at these cute pics of ducklings and their mummy.

See, how cute is that!!

And another picture of the ponds, this one looks like these ducks live on the 'council' pound, the are waiting for the workmen to come and fill it up with water!

We did our shopping, and then went straight back the the pub for one last pint before we head off home! Well, it is a pleasure ride.

We rode through the woods, the old boy had strapped my back pack to his back now, well, its heavy with all that shopping in it, and he let me carry the one item that didn't fit in the backpack. But that was really annoying! It kept banging into my wheel, so I ended up putting my arms through the handles and wearing that like a backpack!

We rode on through the woods, and we were going to go through our local woods as well, a right rumble through the jungle! And you all know me by now, a proper townie! Woods, trees, bugs and dried muddy paths are not my forte!

All I kept doing was letting out these girly squeals, and 'oooompfs!' as I rode over ....... stuff! I did loose the Old boy at one time, and had to resort to shouting for each other, and he rang his bell as I followed the sound!

But we got back safely, even though we did a mini loop in our local woods! I thought the Old Boy got lost, but after we got home he informed me that he planned it, as he knew I wouldn't have a clue where I was! Well, there are not road signs are there!

Enjoyable ride though, and he are the geeky stats!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Time For A Service!

Hello Bloggees,

Well today I thought it about time to have a service on my bike! Make sure that it is in tip top condition for the 19th! You all know that I will be riding from London to Brighton then! (Don't forget to click on my link and sponsor me!)

It's a gorgeous morning, and I am the only one here, so the is only one way this service can happen. I ride to the shop and run back! Simples! It's not that far to ride, only 3 miles away. So it really didn't take that long to get there.

I was looking forward to the run back!

I took my bike in, and told them about the slight buckle on my front wheel, and about my brakes being a little sluggish, and they whipped it away and said that it will be ready tomorrow. So geeky stats for the ride there!

Now for the run home!

I shall write it all on one blog, saves swapping and dithering!

The weather was bright and warm, very warm! I had put on a long sleeve top, but made sure I had a running vest underneath. Off came the top, Garmen reset for the jog home.

I was going to run the route that I came up on virtually, but at the bottom of Pageheath Villas I turned left and headed for Blackbrook lane, down there to Southborough Land and the up to bottom Oxhawth.

I think the pace that I ran yesterday was a fluke, (I knew I shouldn't have sounded cocky) My legs were feeling line lead, and they were hurting, I was doing a lot more jog/walk on the way back. I can't believe that this distance is usually what I run and yet I feel totally worn out! But I kept justifying that I had just rode up to Bromley (only 3 miles!) but it kept my enthusiasm going.

I did the run in 41.37 mins! Pitiful! Very Pitiful. I have done that distance quicker! Oh well, tomorrow when I pick my bike up I shall be quicker on the way there.

Geeky stats

Now, I had stuff to do, shopping to do and people to see.

When I was at my friends house the Old Boy gave me a call to say that my bike had been done! Blimey that was quick, 2 hours! Well, I will spend a little more time with my friends drinking coffee before heading back home, to put the shopping away and then take a slow run back to the shop.

When I say slow run back, it was actually faster than when I ran from the shop to home! I did take a slightly different route back to the shop, but I didn't realise how shorter the distance was by going that way!

Here check the geeky stats

I did look a picture when I got to the shop, all sweaty and pink faced, and no doubt probably not minging to good either. But my bike was looking good, brakes feeling like new, and the buckle in the wheel all fixed they said.

And so the ride home

Not rushing, my legs have been filled with lead, and concrete, and anything else heavy that you can think of!

Geeky stats,

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