Saturday, 28 January 2012

Why Did God Make Hills?

Hello Bloggers.

It was a pleasant sunning morning when we both woke up, it was a pity we didn't actually go out for our ride then. But the OB wanted to do some more bike maintenance and clean up our bikes as well, and also take a look at Nagging Sisters heavy old Jalopy! Which by the way, dear sister, needs a new tube!

So we eventually we set off about 1.30, our destination the Blacksmiths on Cudham Lane. but not the straight forward direct route, but taking a slight detour route! We were going through Farnbourough then head down Church Lane and head on to Downe Village.

Now you all know how much I love, love, love riding up hills!!! NOT, but it's always good to challenge yourselves, stop staying in the comfort zone, as the OB always tell me. But he did say "enjoy it, low gear, take your time, look around you". And that is exactly what I did. I wasn't going to push myself hard today, as I have ..... gulp...... organised with Nagging Sister, and maybe Mr. S to do the PWR Train Run. More on that tomorrow!

It flipping knackers me out getting up that hill, but it is a personal challenge to ride it all in one go, no getting off the bike to walk it. This is where I asked the question, "Why did God make hills!) Up, up and up, that's all I seem to have done. Keep on peddling, that's what I was saying, and I'm sure the Old boy said it to me as well. I have ridden it several times, so I felt quite secure in the fact that I will do it again. Me being smug now! Have I spoke to soon? I wonder.

From Downe Village, avoiding popping into the two pubs that are there! we turned right, then left into Single Street which turns into Jail Lane. I remember years ago getting Nagging Sister to take me here in her car to collect my wayward dog from Foal Farm! Boy was I pleased to see him, even burst into tears when I saw him, the daft mutt!.....Er that's the dog and not me that's the mutt! I even think NS had a teary eye as well.

Then there were more yet more hills as we headed up towards Biggin Hill. For a pleasure ride it really was quite challenging for me! But I still totally had fun. I had nice warm hands with my new cycling gloves, I'm hoping that they will sustain me through the winter, but being as they are light weight ones, (I can't stand big chunky gloves while I'm riding my bike) then I'm not sure.

Yet more hills once we get to the Spinning Wheel, and I did have a very short breather here, sniffing the air to try and smell the curry cooking, but I couldn't smell anything! More undulating roads to keep me fit, then I notice the fields, and the birds, and how beautiful it all is, even in the winter, with no leaves on the trees, and I start to think. "Actually, He made the hills because that way, we can see more of this gorgeous world of ours, not a flat boring expanse, where you cant see what is growing on there, or what animals or birds inhabit this place where we live." Yes, that is why God made the hills............... and it's a good way to keep us fit as well!

Not far now, just down the road now and we can stop for a refreshing drink, sitting next to a warming log burner! Oh, yes, and we have deciding that the end of the month stopped last night! But I may still keep to the no dairy and cheese thing, with the odd cup of tea without the guilts!

Heading on home, I thought we were going to go straight down Cudham Lane, but the OB put yet another challenge to me, ride to Downe Village again and then on to Keston. I took the bait!! Can you believe little old hill dodger me decided to ride down Downe Road, the beginning is a very steep curvy hill, but the other side, oh my goodness!! it's a long steep hill going up. I did something that I haven't done for ages and that's get off my bike and push it up the hill!! I know!! Shame on me.

Going through the village again and heading on to Keston. and the OB gave me another choice, Keston for a pint and a packet of poppadoms with the heaters, or the George in Hayes for a pint and some olives. Well, the heaters won! Of course they won! It's darn freezing out there!!

Then home! A lovely piece of steak, home cooked chips and salad. Can't beat it.

Geeky stats

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Beat The Weather!

Hello blog lovers.

Easing my way back to the fitness trail. Still feeling tons better, well maybe just a little achy from yesterday's run, but still, feeling good is good! So just to beat the weather we are only doing a short ride and sticking local as well. Just in case we need to cut it even shorter.

It had this, hmm ...... well I can only describe it as a slight dusting of rain. Not enough to even notice really, it's just that I caught sight of it in my headlight.

We set off down the path towards the A21 and our route was going to take us up to Coney Hall and then through to Bromley. So a very local short ride indeed. But it's still good getting out. I did get tooted at today. From an impatient driver. Now I am under the impression that on the "pinch zones" i.e. through those bollards, only one vehicle can fit through at a time. Ok so I don't have an engine, but I am a road user! A healthy and green road user, but I am sure I am entitled to the same courtesy, so why do blooming van drivers try a squeeze past me, it's not as if I take forever to go through said obstacles! Or maybe I should be riding up close and personal to kerbs, with a danger of catching my peddles in high kerbs or verges, or feeling every single drain, (maybe that is why padded cycling tights were invented) or riding through all the debris that seems to collect in those places. Tell me, am I wrong!

There rant over, I know I should ride defensively, after all, there is only skin protecting me. It was still a lovely ride though, and the rain held off. It did get a little windier and we had a short stop at the Red Lion. And now here is my confession, I did fall from the wagon and indulged in a pint of lager today, but it's still not a bad month off from alcohol! I had to write this on my iPhone again, as the desk top is updating stuff! But hopefully it will all be done now so that I can add my geeky stats.

Yeah! desk top working, kind of, albeit slow, but here are the geeky stats.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Still Not Well!

Hello blog lovers.

I really wasn't feeling too good this evening. After yesterdays ride out I thought I would be getting better, but about 4 o'clock this evening I started to feel very tired and the cold like symptoms were well and truly back! But I thought maybe once I am out I shall feel so much better.

"We shall only go for another plod" the OB said, "It's not cold out, and I shall keep it flat" he continued. "Ok, I'm going, I'll go and get changed" I was soon ready, and it was quite late when we left as well, at least 7:15 by the time we got out of the door.

We headed on up the newly tarmacked road, boy does it feel so so good! No pot holes, no splits in the road, not even any debris! if only all roads were like this. We were going to stay local, no going up to Biggin hill or through the lanes because actually it was a little chilly out, and the wind had picked up as well. But again, we only going for about 10 miles, and its not going to take that long.

I did feel a little better as we rode along, but I knew that I could still only manage a short one today, and besides it is quite late really. I was looking forward to getting home really. And the stuff coming from my nose and lungs is not good. Maybe I was too eager to get out and stop being a couch potato.

Now in the area that I live, there really is no such thing as a flat route, there is always a hill that you have to go down and of course if you go down then you got to go up again. You can't odds it really, well, not doing a 10 miler anyway. I guess I could go round and round the park somewhere, but whats the point in that!

We did stop for a glass of diet coke, and I really did chill down quite quickly, and I really wanted to be back home under my blanket with a nice coffee (because I am trying so hard not to have dairy products this month as well, not too good on that one though) and to eat my dinner, hopefully cooked by the Old Boy!

SO from the Greyhound in Keston we rode up to the ponds, yet aonther hill, and then we were going to ride through to Locksbottom and them home. Of course when I say home, we have to go through Pettswood, then through Jubilee Park and then home.

Today I had my Garmin, and today I started it off, so I have my geeky stats with you, and you will notice that it wasn't 10 miles, or even 11 or 12, it was 15 and half miles today.

Geeky stats

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Bloomin' Cold Virus!

Hello blog lovers.

After having almost a week off from doing any for of exercise due to 'kids disease', (I'm sure its the little darlings that I look after that keep giving me their colds!) I was really looking for to just getting out for a 'plod' as the Old Boy calls it. I am feeling better than I have done this week, but still the virus is in my body. I am just going to try and kill it with some gentle exercise.

I told the OB that I will only ride for about 10 miles today, I didn't want to push myself and probably make myself sick! so we stuck to the Old faithful route around Bromley. I had thought I had started by Garmin but when we got to the Red Lion I noticed that I hadn't actually started it at all! I was disappointed but then I do have the OB's Garmin stats to get all the details from.

I can't believe this weather we having today! Having a glass of diet coke in January was definitely on the cards this evening. But what I didn't expect was to go to Chislehurst to have another glass at the Tigers! Of course there is a hill involved getting up there, even though I had said to the OB that I could probably manage a nice easy, flat route. There is no flat route to get to Chislehurst, well none that I know of, nor the OB, because I'm sure he would have taken me that way.

I decided to try Yester Hill again, and feeling the way I was, I knew I wouldn't make it up to the top, but I tried my hardest. I tried not to think about it, and just plodded along. My bike was feeling bloody good since the OB did that thing that guys do, oh yes, maintenance, that's what its called, on my bike. New brake pads for a start!! Boy I didn't realise how bad they were, plus he oiled, cleaned lubed and generally gave my bike some TLC and it feels like I just ridden it out of the shop. Is that a word 'ridden' funny, it don't sound right. Hey ho.

I did the hill in three stages. I didn't walk the hill this time. I just took a ten to twenty second breather before starting again, and then rode the rest of the way to the Tigers, for my fav plate of olives.

So geeky stats, copied from the OB's Garmin

Distance 11.89 miles
Moving time 1 hour 20 mins
Avg Speed 8.82
Calories 634

What my max speed is I don't know, but coming down the hill I was going some, and on the flat the Old Boy said I was doing about 20 miles an hour

So all together not too bad consider I am still got this stupid cold.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

A Plod He Calls It, Exercise I call it!

Hello Blog readers.

Two blogs again today! I'm on a roll, I'm back to my running, and I'm keeping up with my cycling.

A change of attire, well, I changed my jog pants to my cycle pants, and I was ready to go. I wasn't expecting to do the route we did today. A nice easy route, maybe up to Greenstreet Green and the head on to Chislehurst, maybe pop into the Tigers for a class of diet coke and some diet olives. But the old boy had a different agenda. He took us up to Downe Village!

No, I wasn't expected that! Through Farnbourough village we rode, and then down Church Road. It was pretty dark down there. I could have done with some mega lighting, even though I had my Hi vis coat on, my hi vis hat with head lamp, and my cycling tights with hi vis panels. Plus bright lights on the back and front of my bike! But I still wanted more light!

Going up to Downe village, I really felt it in my legs. It was a very slow plod up there, and I was conscious of the complete darkness, I wanted to stop, and I shouted at the Old Boy that I was preparing to stop. "You keep going, we're nearly there" And I did keep on going! It was amazing! I really wanted to stop. We did have a little rest once we got to the village and passed the pub. Then we headed on to Biggin Hill from there.

We were planning on a stop for a class of diet coke, and we decided on the Greyhound in Keston, only because it has those heaters outside. And then we were going to go through to Bromley.

It was bloomin cold through those lanes, and the stop for a coke chilled me down a bit more. But I knew I would warm up again, I was looking forward to it! We went through Bromley, and decided to have just one more diet coke, and one of our favourite pubs, The Red Lion.

From there we headed on home, direct home! No, detouring this evening. We were hungry! Even after two packets of crisps and a packet of poppadoms with mango chutney!

Geeky stats for you, these are mine from my Garmin, the Old Boys shows him going fast up the hills, how it does it, I don't know.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Is Spring Here?

Hello Blog lovers.

As promised here is the second blog of the day. So active, so fit! So not true! But I am getting there.

Riding, especially the sort of riding I did today, is such a pleasant experience. I am hoping that it is doing me some good, because it is so much fun to do! It must be, even if its just burning up calories!

I can't believe this bit of weather we are having right now. I didn't even put on my woolly gloves over my riding gloves today, although I did take them, just in case, this is Britain after all. The OB was having a few issues with his bike, so he decided to just stay local, in fact very local indeed. We rode up to the George in Hayes. Here we stopped for a........... diet coke and packet of crisps and some olives! We are still sticking to the 'no alcohol' rule for January! Although its tough going, I do enjoy a pint!

When we had settled down with our drink I had remembered to stop my Garmin, only to be disappointed that I hadn't actually started it off in the first place! Darn these contact lenses, I need to get vari-focal contacts!! Do they do these?

From here we headed up to Bromley, and did almost the usual route, with a few turns that I had never been down before. We ended up again at the Red Lion. Another great pub, and they can pull a cool pint, and the OB often partakes of the IPA here. But not today! Two more diet cokes, sitting outside the pub, enjoying the very early spring like evening!

A nice ride home from here, through our local park, just a lovely meander around around. The OB's bike issues, although still there, didn't stop him from riding!

Geeky stats.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Made In Britain! Or is that Mad In Britain?

Hello blog lovers.

How can you tell we are British? Because we go out riding for pleasure in typical wet, windy, cold conditions, for pleasure!......... or, of course, the complete opposite, in high temperatures we choose to go running or cycling!! We're British, we can 'ack it!!

Mind you, I was rather comfy on my chair, so that when the OB said "You don't want to go, do you?" It prompted me to say "Yes, yes, of course I do" with a slightly perplexed look on my face.

Have told you all, that this is a totally alcohol free and milk free four weeks for me? And all of a sudden I was Hank Marvin! But I was craving bread and butter, and cups of tea! and this just the first day! I was hoping that what I had already eaten today was enough to keep my energy levels going through today's short ride.

1 banana
3 black coffees
half carton butternut squash soup
more grapes...

I was thinking about my dinner before I had even changed into my cycling gear. Maybe that would keep me going faster. We set off, with me still thinking about dinner, and the weather wasn't too bad. I suggested to the OB that he try the route to his new offices, as he has decided that sometimes he will ride to work! So that's what we decided to do. From there, well there was only one place to head for, and that is Crittals Corner! Up that huge hill. Well, its only another hill and a short ride full of hills!

And it was from about there that the rain started. So really, not too bad a ride. But I don't like riding in the rain. Because we had decided it was only going to be a short ride I didn't put any contact lenses in and kept on my glasses, of course, they don't come with 'window wipers' Maybe I should invent something like that!

We stopped just as we got to the high street in Chislehurst to decided which way we was going to go. If we carried on straight down, there was a headwind, and of course Summer Hill, and if we turn left the at least we will be sheltered by the trees for a while. Even the OB said that we should go left! It's not nice riding in the rain, and I was chilly, and my glasses were all speckled, but at least I could see though thise new pair compared to my old ones I had back in November!

We had a bit of headwind as we headed off down to Pettswood. We would normally go through Jubilee Park before going home, you know how the OB don't normally 'do' straight home, but this evening he did! And I was so very glad of this!

So from Pettswood, the OB ploughed the way, ok, he had his own pace going! I had mine, and I had a stupid song going on in my head, trying to help me not to think about the now stinging little needle like rain drops hitting my face! Do you remember that song, 'Sitting in the back Seat, Hugging and a Kissing With Fred' Well that was going on in my head! and it worked, its a cheery tune, and I was singing it and humming out loud!

Only in Britain!

Geeky stats

Monday, 2 January 2012

Last Day Of Holidays!

Hello Bloggers.

I know that I have said that I am going tee total and milk and cheese free for a month, ....... but....... we are still on holiday! So the complete health freak comes out tomorrow.

Today we woke up to a nice sunny bright morning. Me and the Old Boy were feeling a bit better from the old cold germs that have kept us all snotty and chesty for the past two weeks, and we decided to do a 'bit of a ride' taking the country air, visiting a popular public house for lunch, and then see where we went from there.

I put on my new Christmas pressie, all singing, all 'lit up' cycling tights along with my new bright luminous running hat (PWR's will have the privilege of seeing this tomorrow, hopefully) The Old Boy, placed his new Garmin on his bike, and we set off!

Sun glasses on, and looking forward to our ride. The Old Boy has set his Garmin to do this auto stop, and it let him know as we stopped to say hi to a neighbour. The neighbour remarked on my luminous garb, and the Old Boy piped up "Why do you think I got the sunglasses on!" Very funny, but I feel its good to be seen, and boy can I be see. I am hoping that the cars will steer clear of me now. They do really come so close at times, so close and not so much as dinner being offered!

The first leg is really quite a slog! All up hill, on the A21. I'm sure I must be getting fitter, but it still hurts getting up there. We turn right towards Halsted, getting there it is still an upward slog, and I just keep my head down and peddle. occasionally acknowledging fellow cyclists, all, by the way, look totally comfortable and fitter than I did at that point.

The Old Boy was waiting for me at the bus stop, just by the round about! We took a five minute break there, his Garmin automatically turning off, me having to stop mine with my hand. I was quite warm at this point, and took my gloves off to ride the next leg of our outing, to Shoreham Village. But it just shows you, us townies are right softies, because it was blooming cold on my hands I had had to stop and replace my gloves.

There is a short sharp hill just as we ride on to shoreham, but for some reason, my legs and body, and head, didn't really acknowledge the hill. I was thinking, did I fall asleep, am I dreaming? But there I was, cycling up the hill, at a reasonable pace, and not puffing out of..... my ears! Had I suddenly turned into a professional cyclist? I wasn't going to mention it to the Old Boy, I just wanted to get to the top of this hill before my brain realised I was going up hill!

Shoreham village, and lunch! Lovely ham egg and chips for me, Thai fish cakes for him at the Kings Arm, affectionately called (by me and the Old Boy) the Ostler pub. After lunch we carried on our merry way, heading for Eynesford, and another pint of the amber nectar, well, its the last day of holidays, last day of alcohol for 4 weeks! so why not.

Its only about 3 miles to Eynsford from our lunch stop, and as the sun was still shining, we decided to sit outside enjoying the last of the sunshine, but I cooled down pretty quickly and suggested we go inside. "Ok" says the OB, "but try to look inconspicuous as we do", he said jokingly. Yeah right, check out my photo, how can that possibly get in anyway, be inconspicuously!

Off again, and the air temperature is falling now, and I was hoping my muscles wouldn't seize up as I have been fairly inactive for the past two weeks, but the hills of Kent could warm up a wholly mammoths muscles riding up them! But I was determined today that not one hill was going to beat me today, there was not going to be one hill that was going to get me out of my saddle, unless I kept my feet on the peddles and pushing hard up them. Not an easy thing after, ham, egg and chips, two pints of lager and a packet of crisps (so far!)

Just another 10 miles to go before we are home. And just this time last year, I wouldn't have been say 'just 10 miles' 10 miles would have been an afternoon outing for me. From my house to Greenstreet Green and back home again, including a lunch stop! So I think I am getting fitter, I must be, its only logical!

As we got to the roundabout near Pettswood the OB tempted me to just one more for the road, at the Tigers in Chislhurst, so a swing to the right and head on to the best place I know, to get the new delectable bar snacks of tasty olives!

Last leg home, and I was freezing my ass off by now. I am hoping that the thermal tights I have on are working, and that I would have frozen my ass of long before this time, and therefore a good investment. Well, there are a good investment really, because on these is emblazoned with light reflective stuff!!

Geeky stats for you :-) and some more photos.