Monday, 30 May 2011

A Bit Of R And R!

Hello blogees, I'm back!

Now, can I really write up a blog about my short break. Well I think so, as it involved getting on my bike and peddling.

Me and the Old Boy treated ourselves to a short break in the New Forest. 'A cyclists paradise' as one pamphlet read. And it really is. There is something for everyone in the New Forest, trail rides, road rides, short ones and long ones, plus there are pubs-a-plenty, great accommodation, and fine dining. Blimey, I should get paid for this advert!

We arrived at our hotel in the Woodlands area, and virtually as soon as we unpacked we were itching to get out and just sus out the land. We only went for a very short ride, here is the geeky stats and some pics from our Saturday ride.

It was a lovely ride through the woods, even though we got a bit confused with the map that we were using, but the map we had was not a brilliant one, honest!

But of course, as we are on holiday, we stopped off a a pub, and talked about the ride that we shall do tomorrow, over a lager and a packet of crisps, before we headed off back to our hotel to start our fine dining experience. We went for a lovely Thai meal in a very relaxed restaurant which was attached to a spa hotel! Maybe we should have booked into that one instead! I had forgotten to take pictures of our dinner, but, it was very tasty, nothing extraordinary mind, but still very tasty!

Sunday we had our longer ride planned for after breakfast, or at least after breakfast had settled! We set off at about 11 ish, with a route in mind, and a proper sense of direction this time. (well, we did have a drive about before dinner the night before)

The weather wasn't at its best, but at least it didn't rain on us, even though the forecast was for light showers that day. But, we are on holiday, and we have our bikes, that this is going to be a pleasure ride! So the weather is not going to spoil it, and if it does rain, then, we could be always pop into a local hostelry!

Anyway, popping into a local pub was on our agenda anyway, and we were armed with a map, plus, another cyclist told us of pub that was even nearer than where we had planned.So were headed off in that direction, following the rider who told us about it, as that is where he was heading!

The cycle routes are just great, well, stony, but no cars, or traffic about. And there is always the ponies to see and cattle and deer, roaming free! We did do some roads as well, I am a townie after all!

Its great coming across the ponies just wandering along the road, eating, always eating, forever eating!! I wish I had my camera read when I saw one pony looking really fed up, I guess he was just sick of grass eating! But here is the geeky stats and some pics of our Sunday ride.

This is the meal that we enjoyed on Sunday, it was absolutely delicious, thoroughly recommend Lanes of Lymington! mmm mmm mmm

We did stay until Monday, and we had planned on going for another ride, but when we woke up it was drizzling. That horrible drizzly rain that just floats about getting you soaked to the skin. So, we just packed up, strapped the bikes to the car and ......headed off for a drive! Of course we stopped at a local, for lunch, (me, having a lager with mine, and the Old Boy on diet coke!)Not fine dining but still, it was tasty. Then we made our way home.

Oh and one last stop at one of our locals so the Old Boy can partake in the last of the lager drinking for this week!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Bewl Water!

Hello bloggers,

What a lovely day today. The Old boy has the week off, so today we decided to go for a ride around Bewl Water. We took a picnic with us, put the bikes on the car and set off.

It don't take that long to get to Bewl. My church had a day out to Bewl Water, a good few years ago. My very first bike that I had every owned was strapped to someones car, but unfortunately it came off there, and bounced down the A21 and was run over by, the now, pastor of my church! So I had not actually rode around Bewl water, even though I had borrowed another bike to do so, but then one of the kids had a puncture and we had to go back after only a couple of mile! So I was looking for ward to it.

When we arrived at the place, already I was hungry. It was well passed lunch time and the food in the cool back was beckoning me! So I just grabbed a sausage roll before we set off. The Old Boy asked me "Which way do we go" Well, I didn't know. It looked completely different to when I was last there! There was a lovely play park, and a little adventure park, restaurant and a cafe! So completely different. Not only that, but the Old Boy started to ride in the opposite direction to where I went all those years ago! So that was new territory for me!

I didn't realise just how hilly this ride would be. You would think that riding around a reservoir would be a fairly flat affair! Well let me tell you that that is just not the case! Even the very first part of the ride it was up, up, up hill and we were looking down in to the lake. But then we had some lovely down hill bits as well.

It was a typical 'trail ride' with tree roots, dried up muddy horse trodden puddles, and tiny little paths to stick to so as not to get stuck in the grooves! Now you all know that I prefer my tarmac, but this is still a lovely pleasant ride. There was quite a few turns and dried up puddles, and things like that, so that you cant really get a move on. Which suits me down to the ground. We saw some wildlife on the lakes, grebes, ducks, moorhens, rabbits, trout, perch. And we saw some pigs! There were so cute, I took a picture, as soon as I can get them on to my laptop I will up load them. Oh, how blond am I, I just realised how I can do it! Upload to face book, then save as, then stick on blog! Simples!

So here is pic of the cute pigs!

And also a pic of me with Bewl Water as a fantastic back drop! Lovely sunshiny day!

Sometimes the blondness leaves me!, but how about those cute pigs, and if you could have heard them as well, so cute!

Not only did we see those we also passed a field full of horses with their foals! tiny little miniatures of their mums. Another 'ahh' moment, but I didn't take a pic of those. I should have done, but when we go a little closer they moved away, unlike the pigs who to see us.

Anyway, the blog is long again. So I shall try to finish it. We got a little confused when we went on the roads, (I thought we had got lost) But if you had seen the hills that we had to go up, you would be a tad confused too! We were not that too far off from where we had started! And where our packed lunch was!

Needless to say we got there just fine, had our lunch, then packed up the bikes to go home. I suggested that we should pop to the pub when we get back home, instead of putting the bikes away straight away! We also took Big Son with us, but on the way me and Big Son had a collision!! I came of my bike, bruises up and down my leg, sprawled over the pavement, my wheel slightly buckled, but Big son was just fine" All that riding on rough ground at Bewl Water, tree roots, horse ridden muddy dried puddles, ruts in the paths, and I have an accident on a smooth tarmac road!

Oh yes, and I had fogotton to take my Garmin with me, and the Old Boy had forgot to put his bike gizmo onto his bike!! But at least we know that around Bewl Water is 13 miles! And as long as we didn't detour, then it was 13 miles that we did!

Friday, 20 May 2011

I'm On A Roll!

Hello Bloggees,

It had to be done. As it was only a short jog this morning with Vic.2 I had the rest of the day free. So it is either housework.......nah...... or go for a nice bike ride after lunch.

By the time I had lunch and was ready to go for my bike ride it had turned a little windy. But I had my long sleeved running top on, plus my top underneath, because I know, getting up that hill at Crittals corner is going to warm me up!

I had some errands to do on route, pop into the doctors, pick 'script then take to the chemist to get it filled, ready for my return. But I had forgotten that the chemist I go to closes for lunch! Oh well, I shall just have to wait till I get back to Petts wood and get it fill there.

I rode on up to Greenstreet Green, feeling the wind chilling me down. Maybe I should have put on my fleece after all! But the hill soon warmed me up. I am not paying attention to the time, it shall all be a nice surprise when I get back, I am only expecting to be about an hour and half even with the errands I still have to do.

I am sure I am a little slower going up to GSG today, but, I am not too hard on myself, after all, Coach had us running rings around the pitch last night, and I had done 1.75 miles with Vic.2 as well. That's my excuse anyway.

A quick sharp left hand turn to head towards Orpington. This bit is all down hill, I am wondering now if this is where I reach my max speed. Check out my geeky stats it says I reached a speed of 38.5 mph!!! But I think that was a total glitch. On the playback it shows top speed of 24.5, so I am think that was my top speed. Silly old Garmin!

Orpinton High street, again very busy, and I had to use the middle of the road again. I am deffo getting my confident on the roads, but I do know how dangerous it can be, even putting your foot down on the pavement, (!) So kids, always be vigilant, know whats behind you and make sure they know exactly what you are planning. Always make eye contact with drivers in the opposite direction who what to turn right.

I was nearly at the top of Sevonoaks way and in my blondness again, I was thinking, my goodness, that didn't seem to bad today, I don't even think I noticed the big hill climbing up in front of me" Well I wouldn't, would I. Because I was think of Crittals Corner, and the big hill that leads up to it! I soon noticed it then.

But my silly singing helped get me up there. I didn't stop on Sevonoaks way actually, to take my long sleeves off and take a sip of water. I was planning on not stopping once I got to the top of crittals corner till I get to the shops in PettsWood. Well, it didn't quite happen, I did stop at the top, took another sip of water and then carried on till PettsWood.

This is where the blondness came back. Because I forgot to turn off my Garmin, as I popped the script into the Chemist and then went to the shops to get a little extra for dinner and some flowers for my mum. Vic.2 had reminded me why we all started out on the keep fit trail. And it was because my mum didn't survive the cancer. If she had been here no doubt I would still have been a rather plump mum/nanny, but I would have my mum! Who knows, maybe I would have gone jogging anyway. Or cycling, and I could have been the Nagging Sister! And still be raising money for Cancer Research anyway. I be if I said "Put your hands up if you know someone who has had or has cancer." I bet every bodies hand will be up.

Just to leave you on an 'up note' my blondness and Naggy's blondness. Today she wanted to me to make sure that I was home at 3 as she had someone coming to 'do stuff' about her castle, and I arrived home just in time to see the chap coming over to knock on my door so that I could give him her key! Her key that she had with her! She had forgotten to give it to me. It's catching the blondness, just like the jogging and cycling.

Geeky stats.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Get Out There Old Girl!

Hello blogees,

It was a not a nice looking evening as I looked out of my window. I asked the Old Boy if he wanted to go out for a ride. But he has more important things on his agenda these days, while the brighter days (I use the word brighter very loosely) are here, he has decided to work on his bike, and its not the push bike either. This one has an engine!

So I could either, sit back down and play on facebook, with the silly addictive game, then 'do' dinner, or I could get my ass in gear and get out there and cycle! After all, its only next month that I will be cycling from London to Brighton!

I chose the latter, which is obvious because here I am writing up my blog! I had no idea where I was going to go, but looking at the weather it was not going to be twenty or thirty miler today! I decided on a tried and tested route, with plenty of scope to get home if the heavens open! even if they do include huge hills. But any way I go there is going to be hills!

Up the A21 I head, already the silly nursery rhymes are singing in my head. Usually I am looking at the Old Boys backside, willing him to slow down so that I don't look so slow myself, but there is no-one to watch. And so the ditties start.

It was getting more overcast as I was riding. I was hoping that it wouldn't rain just yet, because that would mean I would have to go up one of my old nemesis, Perry Hall or Poverest! As I swung round GreenStreet Green I made a decision. I am going all the way to the bypass. Up the hill there and through Chislehurst. Well I am out now, I know its not going to be mega miles, but I might as well get as much in as I can.

I do like the ride down to Orpington, it's easy going, nothing strenuous, and it helps to relax the legs in readiness the the hill at the other end! Going through the High street was a bit difficult. It was very busy, and the drivers decided that riding near the pavement would help them get away quicker. So it left the middle of the road for me to keep on moving, or I could sit behind the fume spewing cars and wait! No, I didn't think so either. I got my confidence up and I went for it. Straight down the middle of the road, cars on my left, cars on my right, moving in the opposite direction! It had to be done, passing all the cars as they were sitting in the traffic! Great fun.

So no Perry hall Road to climb up, I rode passed that, and on to Sevonoaks Way. I rode on passed Poverest, no going up there, decision made! It's the bypass for me. It has to be done. The ditties are still going around my head, lots more of them, all nursery rhymes! For twenty six years I have been singing nursery rhymes, either to my kids or to all the kids that have come through my doors! I NEED A GIRLS NIGHT OUT SOON

This road doesn't seem as busy as the high street, and of course there is the cycle path either on the road or the pavement, so it's quite a relaxing road to ride. I can see the hill rising up. It looks steeper then ever. Or is it just me getting a little tired. Do you know, right at this minute, I cant think of one of the nursery rhymes that was helping me to get up the hills, apart from Frere Jacques again! Mind you to that tune I made up loads of songs, I even put in Goosy goosy gander There that was another song that was helping me today.

So far I had cycled non stop, apart from traffic lights that is, and I had no intention of stopping now! Not till I get to the top of this hill! Then I will take a sip of my water, which I had remembered to take with me. I did try and take a sip of water while riding along, I saw a cyclist doing exactly that going in the opposite direction along Sevonoaks Way, but I just can't do it. I lose control of my bike! So I don't mind stopping at the top for just a little sip.

And now, sip! I did it. I didn't take a gander (there's that nursery rhyme again) at my watch. I knew I would be doing over ten miles today, and if felt like a good pace as well. After my quick pit stop it was onwards and upwards. Yes, upwards, because getting to to the top at the bypass is not the end of the hills!

By now though, I felt the dampness in the air. I thought maybe it was the cars passing me while they were using the window wash, that's how light the rain felt. But then it gradually got worse and worse. It wasn't huge droplets of rain, just lots of the fine rain, misting up my glasses, making me feel very uncomfortably wet! Oh well, its not far to go now.

Through Chislehurst, and I was thinking about my Tuesday run with the club. This is the road that we ran alongside, but through the woods. It's downhill. I remember while running, looking at my Garmin and realised that I had been running at 10.5 pace through there, very fast for me. I am not going to look at my watch now to see what pace I am doing, it's difficult enough as it is looking through my wet glasses.

Petts Wood Road now, wet through, but I was smiling. In fact I felt ok, I had done it, I had done an evening ride, solo, and I had not done to badly. I even decided that going through the local park has to happen as well. I'm wet anyway, it's only an extra half mile/mile, so just go for it.

Through the park and I even had a blast up Whitebeam, another tradition that the Old Boy had started.

Geek stats then, and just look at the average moving pace! Well pleased with that!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Back On The Wheels!

Hello blogees!

It just had to be on the bike today, I am not going to be able to get out later with the Old Boy due to the next few Mondays evenings booked to do courses! So I decided that I will go out on my bike, by myself. It seems like quite a while since I have done that, and it felt like the first time I was going out by myself too. Where do I go? How far should I go. Do I tackle hills, or have an easy ride?

I think the Old Boy would be pleased with my decision. I decided to go straight up Keston and up a little further and head towards Shire Lane. I thought I would go down there, right to the end and then off to Greenstreet Green and Orpington, and then see how I felt from there.

So first of, its dodging dog poo down the path to turn around lamppost! Its easier when you're running, but on a bike, its like doing the slalom! Which reminds me, I must think about getting mud guards on my bike! Then up towards Keson. It was gone 12 when I had left, and I thought I may have seen my big son on the way home from school. He had just done his first GCSE today, English! Thought I would pat him on the back if I saw, but I didn't, his blushes were spared!

I looked up towards the hill thinking, I can do this. No pressure from anyone, traffic is fairly light, it should be a breeze. By the way, the weather looked as if it was going to rain, which is why I left it late to go for a ride! I should have been out first thing this morning! But the rain held off thankfully! There was a bit of a breeze about as well, but I just thought positive about that and said to my self "Its there to keep you cool, Old Girl" because going up the hill I was rather warm!

When I got to the round about that I needed I turned right, and this ridiculous thought popped into my heard "Lets go to Downe Village" Where did that come from? Where is old couch potato head when I need her. So instead of turning down Shire Lane I went up, up, up to Downe Village! I must be mad. I was also starving. I had suddenly realised I didn't have my breakfast, as I thought I was going out earlier and would have lunch when I got home! The thoughts of lunch started to fill my head as I peddled up to Downe village. "Mmm what can I have to eat." I always carry some money with me, in case I need cabs or what ever, and I realised that my route includes the Royal Oak pub! So that was that, lunch venue in mind and I was happy as larry going up towards Downe village.

It didn't seem that long till I got there, I checked my Garmin, 33 minutes. I am not sure if that is a PB for me or not, I shall check later. Just checked on one ride, I think its about average! Oh well. Anyway, no stopping here, head on down the road not towards Shire Lane and Greenstreet Green and Lunch!

Of course that part of the ride is easy peasy, mostly down hill all the way, and fairly flat to Greenstreet Green. Bike locked up, lunch ordered, sat down with a beer. Lovely!

After lunch though I had decisions to make again. Which way home? I could choose one of the hills, or I could add miles to the ride and head to the by pass! I decided to add miles to the ride. After all its only a few weeks now to my London to Brighton bike ride! I need to have has much miles as possible. So I headed on through the high street and down the bypass! I like cycling down there, there is a nice wide bike lane, and then it goes on to the pavement, which is good until you have to give way to traffic crossing the roads.

I could see the long hill up to where I turn off. It looks a long long hill, but I have done this a few times now, and I know I am stronger now than I was first time I tried it. Straight up, no stopping. That's what I need to do. A silly song popped into my head as I was cycling up here. It was driving me crazy. It was Frere Jacques, where that came from I don't know, but I kept my legs going to the pace of the song. and if it was a fairly easy bit of the road I made up words to song instead!

The thing is this song stayed with me all the way home! A silly ditty, and I found myself singing it out quite loudly in places too! Not a good sign really, some crazy old bird singing french nursery rhymes out loud bombing up and down hills!!

This bit of road was soon eaten up by my tyres and I was on to the next section, Chislehurst. The hills here, I felt were trying to intimidate me, but armed with my song and some daft words about the road, I soon ate that road up too.

Before I realised it I was heading towards Pettswood. Of course I have to go straight down Southborough, no need to change part of the route, (extra yards is always good, right?) And through the park, still singing that stupid song!

I got home stopped my Garmin and I was quite pleased to see many miles I had clocked up! Next time I shall do it without stopping for lunch! Lunch was an indulgence really, but it so tasty *drool, drool carrggghhhh* ooops sorry, just had a Homer moment. And I thought I was cured of those!

Geeky stats!

The link should take you to the geeky stats, can't embed it at mo, think they are doing maintenance on the site

Thursday, 5 May 2011

An Even Shorter Ride Out!

Hello blog readers.

Well, today I was going to go for a run, cos the Old Boy didn't really want to go for a bike ride, he had stuff to do, but after I said that we needed to vote on the whole AV thing, he said that we should ride to the polling station.

So that's what we did, but he didn't take the direct route. I was going to going running after we got back, but I am beginning to think that maybe he is quite enjoying being out on the bike in this lovely warm spring evening.

We took a longer route to the polling station, and after he said "Right, shall we just ride up the the common, through Normans cut across to the farm and out by the Grove?" Well, that seemed ok to me. And that will probably be all I shall be doing this evening, as it was getting late.

We went to Normans Park, taking some quieter roads, and also stopping off to look at cars in the local garage! When we got to the park there were some people flying model planes, and we watched them for a while, which was quite interesting, but then some big old white fluffy happy slobbery dog came and said 'hi' to me, doggy goo all over me, nice!

Then we went through the common after riding around the park. I just love the fact there is this great amount of space around us. These fields and woods and parks and farms. Its just great! We were going through the common and saw two deer! Deer, even close to our home then when we saw them last time! A mile and a half away from us! its just amazing, all this nature, He made such a fantastic place really!

But, and its not a horrible but......well, depends on who is reading it really....but as we were going along the path the Old boy was riding in the ruts, I was riding on the higher bit of ground. I heard him say "OOOOOOO" and I turned around just in time to see his front wheel stop dead on the path. He then went flying over the handle bars closely followed by the back wheel, He landed face first in the dirt, with the bike on top of him! The Old Boy laid there for a while, I was sure he was ok, we wasn't speeding along, as we where enjoying looking at everything, and I said "Get up, you silly sod" When he didn't move or say anything, I did get a little worried then, and went over to take a close look, still trying to control my giggles!! (First aid never popped into my mind!) I took the bike off him and he rolled over onto his back, saying that his hands hurt. I started to feel a little guilty then about the whole giggle thing, that was until he started laughing him self!!! Then I could let out the suppressed laughter!!!

It was a spectacular fall!! 10 out of 10, and fortunately he wasn't hurt, and the bike wasn't damaged. But we did have a chuckle about it all the way home. Of course I was desperate not to fall off my bike. You know how it is, you laugh at someones fall and then fall over yourself!

I didn't take the Garmin, well I was only expecting to ride for one mile in total, to the polling station and back, but all in all we rode for about 7 and a half miles in less than an hour!

Oh, and the Old Boys hand is a little swollen now, so he really did land on it awkwardly, bless him!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Just A Short Ride

Hello blog readers.

Today was not a good day. Seems like you have a good day, then a bad day! I was working all day so couldn't get out for a head clearing run, so was quite pleased to get out for a short ride today.

I knew it was only going to be a short ride, so didn't even put my new bike hat on, I wanted to let the wind clear out the cobwebs!

There was still a hill involved as we headed on up to Keston. I was puffing and blowing a bit when we got to the top! But I didn't stop on the hill, just gritted my teeth and pushed through it. The Old Boy was way a head of me, but I knew that he would wait for me if he were to turn left or right. So I just kept on going straight on!

We turned right to head down towards Hayes. This is a lovely ride down, let your legs get loads of rest as you just fly down this bit of road.

On through Hayes high street and the turn right to go through the farm. Two riders were just coming out of the stables, and one on the ladies said "Ooo sorry, can't stop there are no brakes" as the horse just slowly walked across. Just as well none of us were speeding really!

We took a left turn down a path. Its the path that leads into Normans Park, and about half way down or so there is a 'big dip' The Old Boy didn't think twice about going down it and up the other side. But I just stood at the top and looked and then went for it. Its only about 4 feet down and up again, but it looks quite daunting, and so close to the water too! The Old Boy loved it so much he went back and did it again.

We just went around the park then out at Bromley common, then through whitehall rec. I suggested that we pop into the shop to get a little bit extra to go with out salad for when we got back. The Old Boy suggested the new local supermarket, and we headed for there.

A few other bits in the supermarket and the head on home. "Did you get the sweetcorn for salad" I said to him! "Eh, no, I forgot" he says! The one thing that we went in there for. Oh well, he did come out with some lovely gu!!!!

Geeky stats, even though its only a very short ride.