Wednesday, 28 March 2012

I love Summer!

Hello Blog lovers.

Today was a kind of rest day! And these days a rest day means a nice very leisurely ride of about 9 ish miles, with us enjoying the establishments of the local hostelry's!

It's what keeping fit is all about. Why sit in, watching the goggle box, playing silly games on the computer, stuffing your face with what ever is left over in the fridge or plates of the kids! Getting out there, on your bike, having a brilliant healthy relaxing fun time! You just cant beat it!

I did set my Garmin on the first bit of our ride this evening, but I forgot to start it after our first stop! So geeky stats are from the Old Boys Garmin at the end of this blog. Even I don't know how far yet, which is why I said about 9 ish miles! I cant wait to have a 'butchers' at it in a few minutes.

We didn't go to far, we both had exercised yesterday and on Monday. The Old Boy rode for 30 ish miles yesterday at, what I would call, break neck speed! an average of 14 mph! Way to fast for me!! And I ran with my club, very enjoyable it was too!

So this was just a relaxing 'day off' from exercises, out to enjoy the spoils of our hard earned fitness!

Yup, I think I am going to enjoy this summer, keep on running, keep on cycling and keep on blogging! The blogging is keeping me motivated!!! Reading back to my old blogs! I know that everything I am doing is working! Ok, so its a long slow progress, but it was a long slow progress that got me to 13 and half stone and size 18 clothes in the first place!

Keep on keeping on!

Geeky stats! (and remember, these are from the Old Boys Garmin and I always to to catch him up at the end of our road, so he is going to show fast pace!)

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Lets Take a Train!

Hello Blog lovers,

What a gorgeous day it was today. Blue skies, sun shining, an no wind. a perfect day to introduce Nagging sister to the joys of road riding through the country side (in preparation for L2B). Although its only a very short ride, which me and the old Boy do in a couple of hours, well the distance we do, not this particular route!

Make it an enjoyable ride, a fun day out, with lunch. The hills hopefully will fade in the memory because of what a brilliant day it was to be out in.

So after waking up and ringing Nagging Sister to get her back side at our house for 10:30, something which she didn't quite appreciated, but I did give her an hour for goodness sake, how much time does it take to sling on some clothes and jump in her care and get to mine?

She eventually got to my house at 11:00. We rode out bikes to Chislehurst Station, just under 2 miles away, and got on a train to Sevonoaks. We were chatting to a passenger on the train with her baby son, and she was saying that her husband was very much into biking, but he did all the time trials, and he was absolutely obsessed! even as afar as his diet, not eating anything but chicken and rice! And also trying to save maybe just an ounce or two of weight on the bikes but not having this or that on it! I'm so glad that me and the Old Boy are still in the having fun stage of our cycling activities.

Sevenoaks soon came and we got off our bikes. I can remember the first I did this journey and I carrie my bike up the stairs. It was my old steel framed bike, and it was heavy! This time I had no problem carrying my bike up the stairs! As soon as we were off the train NS asked me to go and say hello to one of her customers. Well, she had already made us late anyway, so the though of chatting to some strangers when I should be riding on to my lunch wasn't in my agenda! But she still went off and said hello!

Me waiting for Nagging Sister!

So after waiting for her (again) we set off on our 'epic' journey! NS, still excited about the whole 'Lets get a train to Seveonoaks' experience, we set off. The first road was down hill! Now, NS knows this area and she was expecting to go up hill straight away, but we went down hill. Just to lull her into a false sense of joy!

The the relentless up hill started, up the hill to Otford, pass Bat and Ball, another place where NS delivers her sandwiches, and up and up! Our first photo opportunity (together) will be at the road that leads to the farm. A much welcome rest spot for me last year, and again this year! I really thought that N.S. would be falling behind by now, well, I wanted her to be falling behind. But I know that she is a lot fitter that she thinks she is! And of course younger, lighter, taller!! So when she over took me I tried not to be too disappointed!

Me and NS at the farm shop.

The Old Boy was keeping us both in check, making sure we stayed together, and I just loved it when he 'buzzed' by her, especially on the hills! NS has a very competitive streak in her and I know that she would be telling her self off for not keeping up with him. And when strangers on their bikes comes passing I can imagine her getting even more frustrated, in fact just the way I do!

Now is more hard slog up the hills, but this time round for me, it was all going pass so quick. and we were soon entering Eynesford! Oh Yes, Lunch time! and a well earned pint for me!.....oh and the Old Boy and Nagging Sister.

I had forgotten to take a picture of our lunch, me and the Old Boy opted for the lighter side, a seared tuna steak with salad, I though leaves would be less heavier! I know that hill is coming next! Nagging sister went for the pasta, being a veggie and none fish lover, but I didn't want to spoil her lunch by telling her about it.

Anyway, we did enjoy these with our lunch!

So after our lunch, we were back on our bikes, and just to warm up a bit before the hill we rode on through to the roman villa that is there. This part the of the countryside is just splendid, and someone else also thought so too as he was out here painting. I took a picture of him painting the splendid view, with his permission of course, and a promise to him that I would give him a mention in today's blog along with his website, so Mr Graham Davies,, I have kept my promise.

And here he is.

Here is a couple more pictures of us near the river by the roman villa

Now is the time to tackle that hill! The hill that I negleted to tell NS about, the hill when if first came accross it I had 'filled up' at and was feeling totally bloated, the hill that had me off my bike and walking! Although now days I can manage to get up it, albeit very slowly!

NS has decided to rename this hill from Crockenhill to Foo keen hill, I am just guessing is some ancient chinese 'Confucius' type of guy that she has found to help out cyclists. It seems to go on for ages and NS was behind me, I was rather miffed that she found some strength some where to over take me! But I just kept on plodding away, at my own speed and pace. The Old Boy slowed down and got in behind me where all off a sudden I felt a hand in the small of my back and the OB pushing me up the hill. I was gaining on nagging sister! I was quite pleased about this. And then again, I felt his hand pushing me along, I was giggling now as I was right on the back wheel of NS and I over took her! I will tell her later that I was given a hand!

Another couple of cyclists overtook as as we were nearing the Fruiterers Pub, with a very polite 'Good afternoon' as they rode on passed, with not even the slightest look of discomfort, sweat or anything about them! We wanted to do about 20 miles today so from the end of Crockenhill we were heading up to Chislehurst, just to enjoy a last pint of the day, and then ride on home from there through the woods.

A very pleasant ride today. Wonderful weather, and we were back in time to babysit our grandson for the evening while hi mummy enjoys a well deserved night out with her friends.

My geeky stats, and as usual when I'm cycling I forgot to start it up again after I had lunch! so there is a couple of miles missing, I think I am going to get myself one of the auto stop Garmins!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Where Do I Blog!

Hello blog lovers,

Well I have been having a good day today, and I am.. (and I shall shay this very quietly) feeling tons better. I was reminded by text this morning that I promised to go out for a short jog with Smarty pants. I'm sure some of you will remember her from 2010 running blogs.

So although I still got the cough, even my neighbours have noticed!, I thought I would be able to keep up with Smarty pants for a 2 mile jog at a very comfortable pace. She has only just stated to get back into the jogging, but I think she will come true to form and will soon be blasting out 10k in no time at all!

The first mile came and my chest was hurting, I couldn't even cough because,I don't know, too weak, to out of breath, too lazy! But I carried on running. there was a short 'get my breath, and head together, and then ran on home from there. I found it quite a struggle really, with my lungs trying to keep up with my legs and all that was going on inside, but I was glad to be back out and running, and running with Smarty pants again, (She don't nag me!)

so geeky stats for this bit.

And now the cycling bit. I wrote it on the cycling blog as I had done more miles!

I had the day off, which is how I came to be out running with Smarty Pants earlier, and the Old Boy was home at a reasonable time, so we prepared our dinner, when I say 'we' I off course mean 'he' and then I went off to put on my second set of cloths for today, and that's my cycling tights.

We had no particular plan, just head off while the sun shines and get there at a reasonable time. 'Straight up the A21' He tells me, "And then on through to Halstead" Well that means a load of hills, its a good job I managed to clear my lungs a little earlier this morning!!

So off up A21 and to the turn off that takes us to Halsted. We normally have a rest here by the OB says, "Keep on going, round the round about to take the last exit" My legs were really jelly like now, but I pulled up at the round about, looked for my right of way and pulled into the roundabout and stayed to the right, not tight against the raised roundabout mind. Just then the Old Boys front wheel touched mine, and he is moaning like..... whatever that I should be over to the right more, blah blah blah, and why did I cut him up, etc etc etc. I really hate him riding so close to me! I don't know what he does it! It's just as well that its not a busy little roundabout.

But now the hard work begins. All up hill now until the Spinning Wheel. I was just going to take it at my pace. Not kill myself trying to beat any records, this ride was just like my run this morning, just getting back out there after my recent cold virus!

It was about 3 quarters of the way down this road that we had to put our lights on, and pulled into the 'Tally Ho' pub car park to sort that out. I really thought we may have stopped for a pint as well, but we just discussed where we would be going from here. And that was to Hayes, and then time for a refreshing glass of something, with a bowl of olives! That seemed miles away to me, but it was mainly down hill from here so it shouldn't take too long.

I do like it when we reach the spinning wheel, because then every mile after that is taking us home. We flew down here, no other major incidents to report, but when we got to I think it was near the airport, he told me to pull up and to take a look to the left of us. Then I saw what he saw, The North Downs! shrouded in mist. It was getting dark by then, but you can still quite clearly make out the hills and the trees and the valley below! It makes it all the worth while riding a bike when you can see views like that! Later in the year I shall take a picture, when we still have daylight to take a decent picture of it.

Straight down here now, still going down hill, with just a very few up hill sections, and some were quite steep! After relaxing going down hill to suddenly have to use my legs again, it felt quite hard.

The turn off from Keston and Hayes was a welcome sight, and we turned left and carried on still going down hill, we covered quite a lot of ground. We decided to pop into the George at Hayes, and stopped for a pint of lager and my olives!

We chilled down quite a bit and realised that the aire temperature was getting very chilly indeed we were planning on going a little further into Bromley, and maybe doing another 10 miles, but again, we were not quite dressed for it. Even though I had my gloves on, I really wanted to have my wind cheater, so we both decided to ride on home after this.

So another 20 miles or so, and a fairly reasonable pace of 10.50 mph, perfect time for a decent time to get to Brighton for my record breaking time!

Geeky stats and again I shall up load mine from my running watch and the Old boys from his bike Garmin, his has the auto stop thingy

and Old Boys geeky stats, and as he was riding behind me, evething relataes to me as well.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Just A Short Ride

hello bloggers.

My cold seems to have come back again today, why I don't know, I was feeling pretty good yesterday! Today, however, my face is flushed and energy levels back down in my boots.

So after parents evening I was just planning on snuggling under my blanket and watching the telly. I was sure the Old Boy would have left the house for his bike ride by the time I came back, so you can imagine my surprise when he was still here. I told him that I wasn't feeling very good, (and he informed my my face was looking rather pink!) he suggested just going for a very short ride to Hayes and back.

I knew I could do that, its only two miles away, and the promise of a pint and olives was all the more reason to get in the saddle. So I went up stairs and just changed into my cycling tights.

Off into the chilling air of the evening, towards Hayes, it was then that he informed me that he needed to get to a cash, so we needed to go through to the high street first!

Well, being out in the open does have a strange affect on you, it really makes you think that you are well enough, (apart from the coughing episodes that remind me I'm still fighting a battle with the cold) and so I was ok with that, evening though we had to go passed the pub, down the hill, which of course means coming back up! So after getting the cash, we carried on up the high street to go up the shorter but steeper hill. So I thought I would use this fairly quiet-ish road to practice my 'Getting my ass of the saddle and riding the peddles' maneuver. I was surprised how well I did this, and, I shall say this fairly quietly so the OB don't hear, easier than I thought it would be. Exactly what the OB has been telling for the past year and a bit! But I knew that I needed to be a little stronger in my legs to be able to these types of hills like that! Not bad for a 'cold suffering nanny' is it?

We went the long way home, well we was out, and I was thinking I should have taken my Garmin, but I am glad that I went out. The Old Boy took his Garmin, so geeky stats for you from his device.

And, just for a little extra info, yesterdays geeky stats from the OB device as well it shows an average pace of 10.8 miles an hour, which is what I was doing as he was behind me. so I am quite plesed about that.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Sun Tan and Frost Bite!

Hello blog lovers!

My first twenty miles for a long time! But I thoroughly enjoyed it! After waking up this morning and feeling almost normal (the cough is still hanging around some what) and the sun shining, I felt like it was going to be a good day.

The sun tan bit, well that was this morning! What a lovely day it was this morning. The after a quick check up at the docs I was back home and looking after my little grandson. I had ordered a new toy for all the kids to play in, its a garden pop up tent, and what a day to try it out on. The little dude loved it! I was outside watching him play in the new 'mansion' with Woody and Buzz!

Now, the frost bite bit. We had decided on a 20 miler today, up to Biggin hill, cut across and through Halsted and back home! No problem, a nice gentle pace, build myself up again, get myself back on track for the London to Brighton ride.

I changed my clothers, put on my padded cycling gloves and was all set to get going! I was looking forward to it, but also a bit worried about this whole coughing thing, I don't want to have a coughing fit rolling on down the road. And I was worried how my old chest was going to hold out.

Let me tell you, there was a lot of coughing and spluttering!! Not nice! and certainly not very lady like! But I can only think that its doing me good! Get it all out, cough it up and sweat it out! Ok thats enough nasties for, you, I hope you weren't eating your breakkie/lunch/dinner while reading this!

That long hill up to Biggin hill was a tough slog for me. I really felt like I wanted to give up and just go home, and play the 'I'm still not over my cold' card, but I kept going. The sunset was absolutely gorgeous as we rode on towards Biggin Hill, so I was glad I didn't give up!

The airport was soon in view, and the sounds of jet engines landing and taking off, I was wondering who it would be, is it a celebrity arriving? Apparently Tom Hanks used this airport when he was filming one of his films!

The Old Boy was letting me know that this is not his usual pace by saying 'Are we there yet........Are we there yet..............are we there yet?" A tad annoying but I thought I would play the game and just answering him, you know, the way you do to all children when they ask questions.

But the when he asked again "Are we there yet?" I said "YES" I was just so pleased to get to the spinning wheel! It really noticed in my eager happy answer. From here its more or less a quite ride back home, just a couple of little lumps to climb up and also the promise of a pint of lager at the 'The Cock Inn'

By the time we had finished our pint however, the chilled air really started to get to me. "All the way home now" I said to the OB "Yes, thats right, via Starts Hill" he said though. Another hill that used to be one of my nemesis!

As we are riding down the A21 my hands really started to freeze. Having the sunshine earlier in the day has thrown me into a false sense of 'summer' I really did need to wrap up a little bit more warmer than I did!. My hands started to go numb, and then they started to hurt! Then they were numb and so on and so forth. Half way down I needed to pull on the brakes and my fingers refused to work! Thats when I knew I had to stop and warm my hands up, and when I say warm my hands up, I mean give the OB some doe eyes and get his lovely warm thick thermal gloves off his hands and onto mine!

As soon as I felt the blood flowing a little then we carried on. Starts Hill was coming up quickly, and I knew that I really had to put a little bit more of an effort in. But then the OB was saying that I was actually on target to get a 10 mph average (moving time) so I really did put in a little bit more effort. Up and down the last of the little humps in the road, the Old boy giving me a running commentary on me being 'running at average' or 'not running on average' I was just thinking, its not that far to go now, I can keep this up till I get home! Get home to a nice warm house, fish supper and a nice cuppa! Oh and some chocs that I didn't eat yesterday for mothers day!

So, Todays blog! and I am quite pleased with my efforts, these are my geeky stats, my Garmin, being as that its a running watch, don't do the whole auto stop thing, like the Old Boys Garmin does, (his is a cycling Garmin) while I am at traffic lights, taking a phone call, putting on gloves, and putting on headlamps (which we did when we got to the spinning wheel)

Thursday, 15 March 2012

A Very Short Meander!

Hello Bloggers.

I have been feeling very sorry for myself for the past few days, after Mondays run through the woods. That was the last time I was out doing anything healthy. I think I must have the whole saying around the wrong way, "Feed a fever, Starve a cold" where as I have been in the ilk of "Starve a fever, feed a cold" Which is it, are there any doctors out there!

Anyway, the Old Boy persuaded me that it will do me no harm to just ride out to the 'The George' for a pint and some olives, I agreed with him, and so went up to get changed while the sun was still shining. The sun always cheers me up!

I was coughing a lot, and the slight coolness of the evening was affecting my body a little More than I thought. Maybe I should have wrapped up a bit more. But we got to the pub and I was feeling ok, after our refreshments I was in the mood to do maybe just a little more, so we decided to ride on to Bromley and stop for one more in 'The Belgo'. They do gorgeous muscles there, with a selection of tempting beers. We didn't have the muscles, but was tempted to the lager of course.

On the way up to the high street though, I did spot another cyclists and I head the Old boy behind me say "Go on, see if you can catch him up." Always up for a challenge, so of course I tried! But, I wasn't really ready, the cold virus is really still i me, even though the cool evening air, and the lager, was making feel better in my mind, my body was say, "Hang on Old girl, I'm busy here battling against cold bugs" and my legs just lost all energy, and I just plodded up the hill.

After 'Belgo's' we decided on our dinner, and the thought of going home and shoving in a bit of frozen fish into the oven wasn't very appealing, so for dinner, we decided to stop off for a burger, with extra side salad, not frites of course, because sometimes that is all you need!!

No geeky stats today, no Garmin, no pressure, this was just a pleasure ride, just to get out and clear the head and the lungs! About 10 or 11 miles I guess.

And now, the cold virus is taking over again!! Oh well, It was a very pleasant couple of hours of feeling well again!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

In Training!

Hello blog lovers.

This week I registered a team for the London to Brighton bike ride. I really enjoyed it last year, its a lovely day out, and I though I would share it again with some family and friends! So Team Carroll was made. (I know, but I am hoping I can change the team name later) I have already signed up some of the family members, all who are exited about riding to Brighton, just need another two people to complete the team.

Anyway, to get Nagging Sister in the mood for the ride to Brighton we went for a nice, flattish ten mile ride. A very, very easy pace, so that she can get used to the bike and get used to riding on the roads. That's right, Nagging Sister has signed up for it! We also wanted her to know that it's a very pleasant way to spend a couple of hours as well, because we even stopped for a pint and a packet of crisps!

After a little bit of teething problems, (Big sons bike needing some TLC) we finally set off for our short ride. Looking dapper in our bright yellow tops, well me and NS was, the OB had on his jog pants, we looked like a team already! Our route was going to take us off road as well as the roads, show her that its all good fun. But i remember way back in 2008 me and NS got on to our bikes and really enjoyed ourselves, cycling through the woods near us. At lease I know I did! But NS seems to have the same sort of 'bug' that I had last year, its the 'Oh wow, I'm riding to the seaside on a push bike' bug. The symptoms are that you really believe that you absolutely love the idea of riding up hills for miles and miles in one day! (although I actually do now!)

Through Hayes Common, (a place I didn't even know existed until last year!) and through the farm and pop out at Normans Park. Ride to the Hayes gate and on wards to Bromley. See How kind the Old Boy is being to Nagging Sister. So far nothing challenging in the way of hills. This really is just a plod about, introduction to training 'Old Boy' style. No better way than that.

Bromley was still busy. Its the afternoon, and the shops are still open, there are people all over the precinct so there will be no riding slowly through there today! Follow the road around and then head up to Bromley North. We know a lovely little drinking hole there!

We soon stopped for a refreshment. The flowers in pots looked gorgeous, she does do a lovely display of her flower pots. There are people sitting outside the pub, enjoying the sunshine, and in chatty moods. The sunshine always brings out the best in people.

After our refreshment we rode off into the sunshine, threatening NS with Summer hill! But we assured her that we were not going to do that. But sh knows this area, and knows that we are actually heading towards Summer Hill! Of course me and the Old Boy know that we are going to cut through and avoid the steep hill and we will pop out at Barfield Road.

"Do you fancy doing one more Woods?" the Old Boy asked Nagging Sister. Well, the sun was still up, it is still a lovely late afternoon and what have we got to hurry back too! So of course we said yes. The woods are the ones near us. The woods where the OB grew up in, virtually. He had an ulterior motive for wanted to go through here anyway. And that was to see if the paths were fairly clear, and not so muddy. He wants to get back to his running, and the woods is park of his 10k route! But while we were riding through we came across a motor cyclists who had had an accident, the ambulance men were there with him, and they had a bit of a walk through the woods to get back to the ambulance carrying their patient.

As we popped out of our woods, however, we noticed that there was a sign up to buy 55 acres of woodland. Now I though it was common land, but the OB said that it used to belong to Rookery estates, and they sold it to the council. So why are they selling it off now, I do hope not to build on it!! Maybe I should investigate, but the sale is tomorrow! I just hope that whoever buys it keeps to the law and allows the public footpaths to be just that, public. It does feel like the councils are selling of the 'family siliver'.

But it was a very good ride. A very enjoyable ride. And I am so looking forward to the summer, I really love being in the sunshine!

Geeky stats. These are from the Old Boys Garmin, I had left my garmin running for about two house after we got back!