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.