Monday, 28 May 2012

Monday Moan!

Hello blog lovers.

For some reason I am feeling a little on edge! No idea why, the weather is gorgeous, the kids were not too bad today, my son.....well, he is what he is! But I was itching to get going. The Old Boy feels its because I got my new 'profesional look', my new jersey and new cycling shorts! It could be, but I was still itching to get out.

The OB said he wasn't feeling in the best of moods himself and we will just got for a plod around, somewhere local. By the time we were changed the 'somewhere local' was up at Downe Village! I can do that, these days, a piece of..... what am I talking about! It's gonna hurt! But hills are good for you, so the Old Boy keeps telling me "we don't live in a flat country" he keeps telling me "no matter where you go there will be some hills!"

I will just have to do what the OB has done, embrace the hills, love the hills, challenge the hills, hurt myself on the hills!....Yeah right! I will moan like anything on each and every one, but just try my best to deal with each and every one!

I started up the hill to Downe village "Now the hard work starts" I said to the OB. It seems the small, less steep hills of the A21 are just a minor nuisance to me now, for me to be able to say that!  I thought I was doing really well, non stop peddling, fairly steady pace going, not stopping.  Downe village was soon in sight! People standing outside the local pub enjoying their pint, but we rode straight on through. I did notice that we got there in under 40 mins, I am not sure if that is a PB on, I shall have to check!

After this we headed for Biggin Hill, with a view to heading towards Hayes! It's a route we have only done in the car, which in turn we only did to check it out for a cycle ride! The only thing I can say about that is that I wasn't paying attention when I was in the car!

We rode on down into the Vally, very nice you say, as we normally ride down after we have emerged from Grays lane at the Spinning wheel. But....... we don't ride down and down and down. We normally stop just by the airport to admire the valley below us before we continue our way home!

There we were, at the bottom of the valley, we now have to go up again. There was one hill stretching upwards just like Ditchling Beacon, it had a sign on it saying 15%!!! The other way didn't look as steep, but it still going up and up!! But we didn't know if this is the way we needed.  A kind lady, who had stopped at the junction next to us, said that we could always hang on to the tail of her car as she drove up the less steeper of the hills. But she also told us this is the way that we needed to go to get to Hayes! I was so relieved, not that we actually took up her offer of holding on to her car, but that we needed the less 'steeper looking' of the hills.

But after we climbed just about ten yards of it I just failed! Miserably! The OB managed to cycle the whole of the hugely steep hill while I walked up it! I was not a happy bunny!

Hill training! Yuck! Is it really necessary, just to get to Brighton! Is it necessary to get fit! Is it necessary to beat Nagging Sister up Fooking Hill! Well, so far I seem to be doing ok! I hate Hills!!!

Geeky stats, oh, we managed to get to Hayes, and the the George, where I again failed miserably (at my diet) and had a pint, shared some  crisps and a bowl of olives!

By the way, the hill we took was a 15% as well! It wasn't any less steep! it was just hidden by the trees. The picture above is of the actually junction that we stopped at and looked at the right and then the left. We chose the left, and that is the hill you can see stretching up!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Sunday Bloomin Sunday!

Hello bloggers!

It's Sunday, the Old Boy had already been out 'loosening the legs' while I was at church, thanking Him above for .....well everything!  So I wasn't really expecting to go out out for any sort of mileage today, well nothing to write about.

When the Old Boy said he fancied at pint, after his 16-17 miles this morning and mowing the lawn, I didn't even bother getting changed into cycling attire. I only changed my shoes, I thought sparkly sandals would be slightly cumbersome on a bike, not very helpful or indeed safe!  He did mention just popping off to the George, 2.5 miles at the most away, hardly worth changing for.

As it happened, we ended up at a pub even closer to home! The Chequers!, and then after that we rode on into Bromely! We happened to ride past the Giant bike store, which was still opened! I couldn't help but pop in, after all, I was wearing a non cycling top, (very girly girly, lacy edged thing, see yesterdays blog for photo) and jeans. Jeans are not very cycle friendly. they don't let you get on your bike, at least mine don't, they are too tight fitting. They also don't stretch while you peddling your bike!

I was only going to look, maybe try on for size, but I ended up buying a new cycle jersey, (mens one, cos I just liked it!) and some new cycling shorts, (womens shorets, and women cyclist will know why!) After, we rode on to the Red Lion. I had on my new jersey, with snazzy numbers down the sleeve, I look like a proper cyclist now (well apart from the jeans!) If I didn't have silly socks on I would have had my cycle shorts on as well! It was so, so, so hot out!

After here though, to make it worth while writing a blog, we rode on to Hayes, stopped for half and then came home to a delicious roast beef and salad dinner!

No geeky stats today, but, does it matter! He has given us a glorious day to enjoy, the sun is warm, the sky is blue, I have my Old Boy! Perfect!

Saturday, 26 May 2012

A Tale of Two Starts! - Featuring Duff Man!

Hello bloggers.

What a glorious day! Its days like this, that you thank the good Lord above for being healthy and able to do what we can do! The sun was well up in the sky and wanting to do as much shining as it could. Now here is the two starts part explanation.

The Old Boy wanted to do a long hilly ride, but we had said that we would go riding with Nagging Sister, depending on weather! Well the weather, was fantastic, but the OB still wanted to do a hilly route, so he decided to go first thing in the morning and we would meet him at a pre arranged pub for lunch. and then carry on for a few more miles together.

So he went off, I turned over in the now empty bed for another few more 'winks'.  Then I texted NS to make sure that she was still coming.

Me and NS met along the A21 and then headed in the direction of Greenstreet Green and beyond! The place we were meeting the OB was in Shoreham village. A lovely little pub called the Kings Arms, where we will have lunch before hitting the roads again.  We arranged to meet that at 12. I wanted to beat the OB there, so me and NS left our respective homes about 10:30 ish to make sure we were there in plenty of time.

What I wasn't planning (but should have) is that is, hot, it's Saturday and it's a 'pleasure; ride. So of course it wasn't go to be a fast ride up to Halstead!  When we got to the top, at the roundabout. we had a quick stop for a glug of water and a breather and then we took the second left towards Shoreham.

There were some pretty good down hill sections, which NS was very appreciate off. I just took my brakes off and flew down each one! I almost missed the turning for Shorham! Riding through the village I was trying to remember where we were going to meet the OB. I ended up asking someone (because that what us women do!) and we soon came across the pub. The Old Boy was sitting outside, looking very warm and very thirsty.  "Why you not got a pint in front of you" I said, trying to hide my disappointment that we didn't beat him, although if he doesn't have a pint in front of him, he could only just have got here! "The pub don't open for another 5 mins" he said!!  He had been there for a bout 15 mins!

Here is us at the pub

Lunch over and done with, which was very nice by the way, and we made our way through the village and stopping to take pictures at the river. Here they are, such a lovely pretty place to be.

And now for the 'Duff man' explanation.  You will notice in the top picture of me and Nagging sister that I am wearing a rather fetching 'bum bag'. As we were meeting the OB on route I had to make sure that I was fully 'road worthy' i.e. puncture outfit, tyre levers, and gas pump. Also I had my train ticket and phone and hair brush all packed in there, oh and a lippy of course!  The OB thought I looked like 'Duff man from 'The Simpsons!' So that is what he called me for the rest of the day!

We decided to take NS to Eynsoford Castle as she has never seen it before. So onwards and upwards. It is not that far from where we had stopped actually, and we we there before I even got into full moan mode!  NS took herself for a walk around the castle while me and the OB just stretched out on the grass to wait for her.  The he mentioned next stop for a pint!  "Whey hey," I thought, "The Plough he we come!" But then he said "The Tigers in Chislehurst" Sigh, hills before thrills then!

NS has renamed Crocken Hill Lane, 'Foo King Hill, after we took her up it the first time. When she saw it I could hear her joy as she called out the new name very loudly!  Last time we were on here, NS was well in front of me, and the only way I could get past her was while the OB was giving me a push! But this afternoon, and after a very nice lunch, I managed to pass her. "Bi-atch" she called after me.

But not only that, by the time we got to the bridge over the motorway me and the OB were having to wait for her to get to us. It definitely is working, all this exercise!

We got to Chislehurst to find the pub really busy! No place for us to sit down! But fortunately there are several pubs in this area and we went over to the next one!

After our refreshments we decided to go into Bromley, I desperately need some new summer cycling gear, and there is a bike shop there. Not only that but we can drop NS off en route as she was meeting friends in a couple of hours.  But I wasn't so lucky on the clothing front. We decided to try one more shop. In Hayes!  Of course while we were there, we couldn't help but visit the George for one last drink before we go home.

We noticed that we both only had about 3 miles to go before I reached 30 miles for the day and the OB reaches 60 miles. We headed up towards Keston and then turn to go to Locksbottom. That should do the trick!

So here is my geeky stats, and a few more pictures off our day. The last two is of me and the OB, don't we scrub up well :-)

Thursday, 24 May 2012

A Nice Pleasant 20 miler

Hello blog lovers.

What a gorgeous day today. It just called out for a nice pleasant, easy paced (i.e. my pace) ride through the lanes. I am still suffering for the quick blast from Monday! my legs are aching! I have even been dreaming about my legs, which I know sounds weird, but I just remember dreaming about my legs. I wish I knew what I was dreaming about! It's weird when you know you had a dream about something but cant remember details!

Anyway I digress, as usual. As I am still on the ridiculous diet, with just a couple of mishaps so far, yesterday (and today!) I didn't think I would have enough energy really to give it a good blast. But we took to the roads and headed up to Halstead.  I knew it was a lot slower than it was on Monday, but that is only to be expected. I was trying to keep a steady pace going, if not in speed then at least keeping the legs going at a steady pace, and would you believe the song that I was singing while riding up to the roundabout in Halstead. It was the ABC song!

I took at break at the top. I needed it. And fortunately the Old Boy bought some water along! A huge glug of water, if only to rinse out the bugs, and then it was all go again. the waggon at Keston! Yup, it's a warm evening, and the call of Mr. Forsters is just too much!

After we got through Halstead, we were on the road that takes us to Cudham North Lane.  Coming in the opposite direction were quite a few cyclists with numbers on their backs, weird head wear and wearing all their 'colours! They are obviously on some sort of time trial competition.  All were totally focused and no doubt relieved to be going down hill for a bit.  I am presuming they are all coming up from that dreaded hill!

When we go to Cudham North/South Lane we waiting for a while to see how many other cyclist were going to be coming through.  We saw number 36 then number 38. We waited a bit longer and then left. Maybe that was all that was doing this competition.

Up the road now, heading towards the Spinning Wheel and then down to Biggin hill.  The sun was still in the sky but it was starting to set, a lovly golden ball glowing in the sky!  I am sure that it will look stunning as it sinks behind our landscape, I just hope we get to somewhere nice before it does. Over the Valley maybe. A stunning view there, but when I got there, the sun was still not setting and it was on the right hand side of the Valley, I was never any good at geography and stuff like that!  But we did stop to watch a small jet take off from Biggin Hill airport!

Now for the last bit to Keston.  This bit of the journey used to really bother me! There are a few lumps and bumps still to do, but nothing like what I have already done!  I smiled as I remember last week when Nagging Sister came up this part of our trip out, and the way she was moaning and groaning, and saying this like 'I thought you said there were no more hills!" and "Argghh I hate hills, who made these hills" Yes, that was me some time last year! Now I know that I am getting stronger and faster, even if I don't feel it!

A stop off at Keston, the Greyhound, where I fall of the waggon again! Even having a packet of popadums! Oh wow, did they taste soooo good!

Geeky stats for you, oh, and I did forget to start my Garmin after my refreshing visit with Mr. Forsters! but its only a couple of miles or so back to my house from there!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

A Rest Day!

Hello blog lovers.

Now I wasn't going to write a blog today, considering this evenings ride is only going to be a very short, under ten miles, stretch of the legs, just because the sun is shining ride. But...... when we cycled on through Bromley  we came across the 'Wednesday Weekly Mauraders' as the Old boy called them. I had to gently let him know that they were the Bromley cyclists out on their 'Wednesday Weekly Wander'. Only this evening they were all on shiny clean bikes, togged up in their finery, make up, hairdos, and that was just the chaps! As they were having a photo shoot!

It was absolutely lovely meeting up with this group, and if we didn't have an agenda then we would certainly have joined in with their photo shoot, (well only after I had my hair done, make up and complete new wardrobe) What a great bunch of people they are. From the very young, well, at secondary school age, but then I am never good at guessing ages, to the, mmmm ..... ok, my aged group, the Old Girl and the Old Boy!

And the range of different bikes as well, was quite interesting. I noticed this 'frame with small wheels' being used, in fact there were two! (not two wheels, two bikes) a kind of green colour and a pink one! I was informed by one of the young dudes that these were called 'Bromptons', I hope I have spelt that right. 

Me and the Old Boy have made a definite decision to join these guys for a 'Maurading session' one Wednesday evening, and maybe even join in on one of the long rides! Eve did mention the 'Viking Way' a route that me and the Old Boy have decided to take Nagging sister on soon!

Keep up the good work in promoting bike riding Bromley cyclists! These guys can be found on the 'tinternet'  When I get permission, I will ask,  I will add one of the pictures to this blog! They do make a lovely picture!

Oh by the way, the agenda was with a 'Mr. Fosters' at the Red Lion, broke my diet  at the end of day 3!

No geeky stats, well, the Old Boy had his Garmin going, which told us that we rode for 9 miles at and avg pace of 9 miles an hour or so.

Monday, 21 May 2012

20 miles Spin!

Hello blog lovers.

Serious training again today, although, I wouldn't call last Saturdays ride a walk in the park!  For this week only its a non stopping cycle ride out! Abstaining from alcohol until at least Friday! Lots of prayers needed to keep me out of the pubs!

Todays ride was going up the A21, the Old Boys fav route I think! And then turn right to go to Halstead.  I was thinking, (which I know I shouldn't do) that we were going to go to Biggin Hill. All those lovely down hills. I know there is a long up hill, but some how I seem to manage this ok (ish) maybe its because of the undulating nature of this road. Its not a constant up hill as I have already done. But we didn't go that way, we turned left at the roundabout.

This can only mean one thing! Crittals Corner! It's not my favourite hill.........hmmmm, I have a favourite hill? No, no I don't think I do! But once we get there it was just a short ride to Chislehurst, we used to head for the Tigers Head, with their lovely olives! But for this week it's heading straight for home, and my egg salad dinner, with grapefruit for afterwards.

It was tough going, the Old Boy behind me telling me to keep on going. You can tell I was getting tired. I saw his wheel at the corner of my eye as I looked down, and I yelled at him to get back. By this stage we were heading up the steep bit towards flyover! I am on the path, not the road, and I am wobbling a bit, from side to side. I have this fear that I will crash into anyone next to me! Especially after last year when Big son and me had a crash because I was overtaking him! It hurts!!  "Get back, or get in front" I yelled at him!" And we had this 'conversation', me yelling at him, him not listening and telling me to save my energy for getting up the hill! Both of us talking over one another!  Typical husband and wife double act!

It was a tough ride, did I already say that! From Chislehurst we went directly to Pettswood, and then through the high street and to the local mini-supermarket. We just needed some extra bits for a salad  for when we got home.  This little stop didn't stop the Old Boy from nagging me once we had our shopping. "As fast as you can not Old Girl, till we get home"  I am sure I heard him say, as we were going through the local park, that we were above average mph! I was feeling a little tired, but I dug deep, as the OB kept telling me to do so and rode as fast as I could to get home.

As we were putting the bikes in the back gate, for the first time in ages, the OB says "I think you put in a bit of a effort there Old Girl" High praise indeed!

Now, wheres me dinner?!

oh, yes, geeky stats

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Saturday, Sun, and Sea Fish!

Hello blog lovers.

After an early morning mist, the sun burnt  through and gave us a lovely morning.  "Lets do some miles today" says the Old Boy, "with a nice stop for lunch, maybe a bit of seared tuna"

Well there is only one place, so far, that does a lovely bit of seared tuna and that is Eynsford.  Last time I was there having seared tuna was when I was with Nagging Sister and the Old Boy, and that time we took the train to Sevenoaks and rode to Eynsford to get home!

This time there was no train tickets, there was no bike rack, it was just me, the Old Boy and the roads! I wasn't sure of the route and which way he was going to be taking us.  But it started off with the A21! Not only that but it took in Cudham North Lane! I was not expecting that so early in the morning. But I did think about the lovely place where we will have our lunch. But until then, it is a hard, long slog!

We set off, me with my non breathable, wet coat, just in case, and the OB with his 12 quid Karimor rain jacket! Just as the ride before I had to remove my jacket as we took on Cudham North Lane! It's like a bloomin sauna! Is there anything out there on the market, which is perfect for wet weather, and is breathable, and is a windproof jacket. more or less exactly what was said on the labels! But that's beside the way, one mistake is allowed, surely! This time though, we didn't turn left to go to Halstead, or turn right to go to Biggin hill. We carried on straight up the road. Then a lovely down hill section.

Now on this road, this Cudham North Lane, there were many cyclists, but it appeared that so far, there were only two complete nutters going up it. All very friendly people, flying past us, going down hill. But now, as we are riding the rest of the road, it changes its name to Cudham South Lane! We are riding down hill. All those cyclists have already 'done their hill' and they were having the pleasure of cruising down the other side!

Along here I took a stop! Thats right, I took a stop to just take a look at the view! It looked just so lovely. I just had to photograph it, so here are some shots, of course I am in the pictures, just to add prospective.

After here it was heading down towards Brasted, with the promise of a cup of tea! It was still quite a ride to get there! With a few hilly 'lumps' just to let me know that we don't live on a boring flat Island! The tea, which actually turned out to be a latte with a delish chocolate cookie was a very welcome refreshment. But the place we had our coffee was obviously a place where cyclists hand out after riding up and down the hills around here. A lovely cafe, called Ninetysix degrees!

We left there about 11:30 I am sure the Old Boy said we would be in .Eynsford for about 12:00, but I must have missed heard him.  As you will see from the geeky stats, its a bloomin long, long road just to get to Seal, and then we still had a few more miles to go after that! And Its all hilly! Do I not love hills! The OB did say that he had cut out one particular nasty bit of hill, apparently I always moan about it!  I was looking forward to my lunch!

I was just happy and relieved to see the signs for Eynsford! I knew then that I could relax a bit, take the weight of my posterior! Rest these old knees! Plus get sub delicious food inside me with a lovely pint of lager!

And it was delicious too, here take a look

A very healthy meal, and yes, there are some chips on there, well, we do need our carbs! 

We decided to take a look around, have a look in the river at the fish. I have these polarised sunglasses and I could see directly through the water at the fish, the Old Boy had on ordinary sun glasses. He asked to borrow mine so that he could look into the river at the fish.  As we swapped sunglasses I dropped his! Straight into the river!  He did managed to fish them out again though!

We also took a look around at Eynsford Castle.  I didn't even know there was a castle here until last year. But today we thought we would take a look around here. Here are some pictures.

And now for the journey home!  Nagging Sister had noticed my 'check in' on facebook, and she was quite disappointed in not being here with us. The OB told us that our trip today would finish at Hayes, so that is where we arranged to meet Nagging sister.  We still had a nasty little hill to do, Foo King Hill as Nagging Sister affectionately calls it.

I struggled up here, and I was pleased that I didn't have a huge lunch inside of me, because going up here then I believe my lunch would have ended up on the road as well!

We finally reached the end, and we had choices to make, left or right. I chose left.  I was thinking that maybe there were fewer hills this way to get to Hayes! Going right meant going up to Chislehurst, and then Summer Hill!  What I didn't bank on was Shire Lane!

This hill almost had me. This hill almost made me get off my bike and walk.  The OB was behind me, encouraging me, nagging me, trying to get me to push harder up the hill. I was hating this hill. But I was determined not to get off my bike! I am not walking up hills, not today. The tears were brimming at my eyes, I was puffing and yelling and cursing the hill.  I finally got to the top, turned right and took a short breather.

As I looked back at the road we just came up and silently said to myself  "You done it Old Girl, you done it!"

There was just one more hill to negotiate, the one just before the left hand turn towards Keston, and Hayes! 

We made it to the George, just as Nagging Sister, her daughter and a daughters friend arrived as well!  Another great piece of timing from us all, and a well deserved pint to end our day.

Geeky stats.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Just A Short One!

Hello Blog lovers!

Just a short ride......yesterday! Which was just under 10 miles. We kept it short as we wanted to go out to a new fav restaurant, Uskudar in Pettswood. It was quite a flat type of route, apart from one hill, a hill that I have always flew down and never actually rode up it. Well yesterday the Old Boy led me that way!  I was quite surprised actually, that the whole laborious hill went quite quickly! I was up the top before the first 'When is this bloomin hill gonna finish!" escaped from my lips.  The Old Boy even said "Well done Old Girl"

But todays ride, talk about two extremes! He said we are going up Cudham North Lane, as he has not been up that way for a while. I said "But we was up here last Saturday" and then he said "No you did the hill, I came from the other end" Guess what,? We rode up the hill.

I was rather over dressed, I had on my new super duper bright orange rainproof, breathable (NOT) jacket on, my running wick the sweat away long sleeve top, and a fleece! Not in that order obviously! So just after we got to Cudham North Lane I had to stop about 10 15 metres to take of my jacket. But that time the moisture really had built up!

From there though there was no stopping. All the way to the top and the left turn towards halstead.  Towards the end of this little hilly section a bus heading in the opposite direction pulled behind a parked car to let me and the OB get passed, without having to break our pace, just as two Lycra clad cyclists 'buzzed' us and said "Hello" as they rode passed me, the OB  and the bus.  The Old Boy was in his element then, he had his little race ahead of him and he took off after the two dudes! As I slowly crept by the bus, blowing at from every orifice, the driver came me great encouragement with a cherrie "Go on, keep going!"

The Old Boy was just a bit ahead of me. Well, I couldn't see him on the few twists and turns that there was left to do. In fact, I was actually wondering if I had missed the turning altogether, because I felt sure it wasn't that far from the Blacksmiths, where me and Nagging sister met the Old Boy on Saturday!

I kept on going. If I had gone to far ahead then the OB would be flying up behind me, laughing and telling me to go back. But there he was, just up ahead waiting for me, "Did you manage to catch up to those cycling dudes" I said "I kept up with them" he said with a little smile on his face!

We turned left to go to Knockholt and Halstead, and then we were going through to Orpington and the by pass. And all this without stopping! It had just started to rain slightly and I put on my new jacket, its a fairly downhill part of our route so it was good to put it back on just for the wind chill factor. 

We rode quite quickly through the next sections, the rain just about holding off, just a little drizzle. we did have a refreshment stop, all the way to Chislehurst and the Tigers!

A nice little 20+ mile route today, hilly, very challenging, but enjoyable!

Monday, 14 May 2012

20 miles or so! Smug Look!

Hello blog lovers.

Just a little spin out today.  On the Old Boys Garmin it shows just under 22 miles. On mine it shows 18 ish.  I forgot to start my Garmin after our pit stop before home!

It was raining all this afternoon, and weathermen predicted it was going to be the same all day,  so it was some what of a bonus to get out for a bike ride! I was half expecting the Old Boy to say, if it was raining, to go for a run of about 3 miles!

It was still a tad chilly, so I put my fleece under my new, water proof, breathable (NOT!) orange super duper, expensive! jacket, full gloves on and my hat, and we set off. We were going to do the, now, normal route, up to Halstead via the A21 and on through to Biggin Hill and on to Keston.

There was no stopping on this route, just straight through to Keston. Oh actually, tell a lie (or two) we stopped at the Spinning wheel to switch our lights on and then another stop in Biggin hill, the Off license, to get something to eat, I was feeling a little fatigued!

From there we just flew down the road. All the way the way to the Greyhound. Just a couple more bumps to get over, just ask Nagging Sister about the bumps on this supposedly, 90% all down hill section!

So my geeky stats, minus the last couple of miles home from the Greyhound. The Old Boys geeky stats read better than mine, considering he has the auto stop function on his, where as mine carried on recording when we stopped to sort out the fatigue, and for traffic lights etc.

P.s, there is no smug look on my face really, just a pained and tired look!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

New Bike For Nagging Sister!

Hello Blog lovers.

This is the second half of yesterdays blogging. First half was about my mob match, a 5k run! A PB was reached! Which I am very pleased with.

But after the park run I took Nagging Sister for breakfast at one of my fave cafes. I know! It looks a huge breakfast, but sometimes you just gotta do it!

Then I just took her along to the local bike shop, next door, just to show her what proper bikes look like, not the thing that I had to ride to her house the day before, and what is parked outside the cafe!! Her eye immediately fell on to a lovely second hand Trek. Guess what! She bought it! She rode the old one home to get some cash, while I rode home to get my car, to pick her up so that she could go and get her new bike. Once it was all ready to leave the shop then we just had to test it out.

The OB was out on his travels today, a bike ride, done at his own pace, without me keeping him from blasting up hills. I told him what NS had bought. He suggested that I meet him up at the Blacksmiths Arms! I mentioned it to NS, and she was well up for it. So as she rode her bike to my house so that I could get my bike.

That is when I told her that the Blacksmiths Arms is at the top of Cudham North Lane! She had a super duper new bike, with this  mega gear thing at the back which is supposed to help with hills, so its a baptism of fire for her. Thrown in at the deep end! And why not.

She was ahead of me as we rode down the A21, so far so good. Then it was 'THE DREADED HILL' She wasn't looked forward to it, I wasn't looking forward to it! I am a total hill dodger!  but again, she was flying up ahead of me, in fact she was so far ahead of me that I could no longer see her on the winding road. So again, as in the park run earlier, I did my own thing.  I got a tune in my head and made up some words to go with it as I struggled and pushed and puffed up the road.

Towards the top, however, I saw NS pulled over! She had her phone in her hand with the 'pretence of ringing me' to find out where I was! I just carried on past her, I didn't want to stop, and just said "Come on NS, get your legs going again" She was back on her saddle, and immediately over took me.

The pub was a welcome site. It was a very pleasant, warm afternoon, and sitting outside, looking totally bored by now, (he has been there for about an hour and twenty minutes) was the Old Boy! We had a break there, the OB looking over NS's new bike. Then it was back to it. NS was expecting to go back down the way we came! Oh if only. The Old Boy very rarely likes to take the same road twice in a ride, (apart from today, because of where we were meeting him) He told nagging sister that we are heading up again, and then shooting across to go to Biggin hill. "Where" he assures NS "its nearly 90% down hill all the way home"

Now I agreed with the Old Boy. But I have been cycling now for 16 months, and I had forgotten what it was like going up Grays road. There are a few hills, but then its all down hill. NS seemed to enjoy it more, once we reached Biggin Hill and those lovely downhill coasting sections. But then I heard her moaning, "Oh! I thought you said there were no more hills" And she moaned like that from Biggnin Hill airport, to the right turn for Keston. To be honest, I had forgotten the little hills, and slopes that was on here this particular stretch of road. They don't seem to bother me any more, apart from one that is, the last bit before the turnoff for Keston. NS moaned and swore, and lagged behind, just as I used to do. I couldn't help smiling and giggling as she reminded me so much of me, this time last year!

It's working, it's is slowly working. I am getting faster, and I am getting stronger. Ok, so the faster bit is when I'm running, but the stronger bit is definitely on the bike, I am riding up hills now, hills that I used to dread, and some of the slopes that I used to moan about, just pass by as if they were just a slight inconvenience.

Geeky stats for Saturday Ride.

And so for todays little ride. Me and NS was planning on doing a LSR today, but we thought we would do a short bike ride instead.

She rode over to me, and then we hit the trail. Well the roads anyway! I tried to keep it as a fairly flat route for her, with a stop for refreshments before going back to mine for lunch. A nice Greek salad! And it was a fairly flat nice easy paced, easy on the bum, pleasurable ride.

When we reached the Red Lion NS wanted to know how many miles we would do.  I told her it would be about 8 miles.  She wanted to do about 10. "We could always go up to....... No, no" I said and she said "Go on what?" "We could always go up to the tigers, give the OB a call to see if he is home and he could meet us there before going home for lunch" I could see she was interested in this. "That would make it about 10 miles" I said.

"Yeah, go on, lets do it" Says NS, and then I told her it would involve going up summer Hill! ARGGGGGHHHH says nagging sister!

As it happened we took a slightly different route up to the Tigers, we rode down Sundrige Avenue and then up Yester hill.  While we were riding up here, there was a female cyclists there, putting on her gloves outside her gate. She smiled at us as we struggled on up the hill! But then she was on her bike and overtaking us "Show off" Says NS jokingly to the female cyclists. I heard NS cry out in pain as she stopped. I was quite pleased she had stopped. I didn't want to be the first one to give up on this hill. We took a quick breather, no walking up, just waiting till we were ready to get on up, and then we were back at it!

We struggled up the hill only to see the female cyclist with her cycling gear, and her Specialized racing bike being pushed up the hill with her walking along!!  We did feel a tad smug as we cycled on past, and she called out to us, "Good on you girls, well done, total respect" as we both cycled on past! It was a short lived lead though as she caught us up at the very top of the road at the lights. From there her bike came into its own as she sped off with a cheery good bye!

The Tigers was not far now. We arrived before the Old boy. We sat in the Garden with the sunshine beating down on us, ok, it was shining, but still just a tad chilly when the wind blew. After a pint there we went home to the lovely salad I had prepared earlier.

A very pleasant just over 10 mile ride!

Geeky stats for todays bike ride.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Shall We, What the Heck!

Hello blog lovers.

Its wet out there, but its warm! And according to the weathermen, its gonna be raining for quite some time to come, so its either get out or veg! Guess what we did?

So, after the Old Boy showed me how to repair a puncture on my bike. acquired some time on the last bike ride, fortunately at the very end of the ride, because I hadn't noticed until we got home!  We set off for our short ride. 

Now I thought it might be quite cold out, I had my fleece on under my rain coat, and I was quite toasty all wrapped up. The Old Boy did mention something about heading up to the Tigers, but going through Jubilee park first. That only leaves one way up to the Tigers, and that's via Summer Hill!  But then the Old Boy headed towards Bromley instead. So, that's settled then, its The Red Lion!

And I know that we was going to be heading down to Hayes after, and then home. It really is not nice riding in the rain, but at least its not cold as well! In fact, again, I am cycling along feeling very good, feeling happy and smiling! It's great to be able to do this with my Old Boy!

Only cycled for about 8 miles all in all, at a very leisurely pace, I didn't even take my Garmin as this was a total pleasure ride!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Locksbottom To Hastings Motorbikes

Hello Blog lovers.

Another bank holiday, another rainy day! Typical then. But evenutually got the Old Boy to get out, put on the bike rack on the car and get out. ...... Oh, did you all think that we had gone over to the 'dark side' and got on a motor bike? Well, we didn't, not yet anyway, (the old boys 400/4 is still require delicate bike surgery)

The weather, of course, was dismal. As we were driving towards our bike ride start point the rain came. But I told the OB that this is what we was going to do anyway, no matter what, rain or shine, we were getting the bikes out for an airing!

We arrived at Bexley on Sea and the rain had stopped! Well, that was a good start, I was just hoping it was going to stay that way.  But it didn't matter to me, I was glad to be out, putting some miles on my bike.  We were going to be riding to Hastings, a route we have done before, but today, with the added number of people that will be there, its going to be a much slower ride. Just looking at all the bikes on the way will take some time!

I had forgotten about the big hill, called Gally Hill, just about 10 minutes into the ride. So I was attempting this, with cold, lazy legs and the OB's comments "Can she make it up the hill, will she be getting off her bike, is she going to be lazy" Well I shall tell you, and as the OB always says, its a blame culture we live in, because I was listening to him, and not concentrating on what I was doing, I was in totally the wrong gear, I was struggling, and it was bloody hard! So I got off my bike!

But from here it's down hill, with just another slight bump to contend with, but this time, I didn't listen to the OB and just did my own thing, and got up the hill in one.

When we got to Hastings, there were just so many motorbikes about, a few scooters, and a few trikes as well. There was one trike that looked absolutely fantastic, scary, with rats and skeletons all over it, I didn't feel as if I could take a picture, it probably wouldn't have come out anyway, the trike was called Dracula!  I was looking for the Harleys, I do love the Harley Davidsons. These bikes are just sooooo lush, they sound so lush, and if you get someone that really loves their bike, everything is chromed to the hilt!  I was quite impressed that I saw quite a few girl riding bikes, an not just your little tiny 50cc buzzy bee type machines. We saw this tiny little girl riding a ducati, about a 750!  It definitely has me thinking that maybe....... maybe, one day!

After a rather pleasant wander around in the sunshine(!) looking at the bikes, and some Harleys, we had lunch, fish and chips, again in the sunshine, we took a slow ride back. We had our pudding at the other end of the ride, in a rather nice Italian place, tiramisu, very nice. shared of course, 1 pudding, and 2 spoons.

Then it was back to the car, strap the bikes back on the rack and head off home, via the Hay Wagon.......and the Wheatsheaf! Oh, the Wheatsheaf had their log fire burning, and sitting by it, drinking a lovely pint of numbers, and all sorts of memories were evoked! The coal men filling up our coal bunker, the funny marble effect the fire had on my skin when I sat to close, cooking crumpets, and also all the other memories of keeping warm during those winter months. Who remembers, the Esso blue song, the blue and pink paraffin? Oh those were there days, when your net curtains were frozen to the panes of class in the windows!

It was just a very short bike ride, and a very slow bike ride, but a very enjoyable day out. We rode for only about 12 miles or less, and the time, well does it matter when it was a pleasant day out?

Just a couple of pictures from todays outing.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Rest Day Was Yesterday!

Hello blog lovers.

Now, usually, I do have this thing that happens, its called a rest day. Its where I kind of chill,  after work, cook dinner, and veg in front of the t.v. Maybe even go to the pictures, see the latest films. But the Old Boy said that was yesterday. Chill day, rest day, veg in front of the t.v. day was yesterday.

The weather is not good. We are having that horrible drizzly rain, that is neither mist nor rain, just a bloomin nuisance when you are trying to ride in it. And it is quite chilly as well, I am glad that I am quite warmly wrapped up.

When the OB told me the route, the only bit that I could remember was, first stop at the Greyhound in Keston, for a pint and poppadoms. He did expect me to lead the way, just so that his geeky stats could actually apply to me. He would be riding at my pace, but with him giving careful instruction as to how fast I should be going!

Just as we were about to join the A21 we saw a girl cyclist just poodling along. "Go on, catch her, buzz her, get her on the hill" were the instructions from the Old Boy. I do like a challenge, so I got my head down and started to peddle like mad. I started to gain on her, as we were going up the hill, I was quite impressed with myself, to be fair, I didn't think I would! So you can imagine how smug I felt when I passed her!, I settled back in to a pace that I thought would be ok, we were still going up the hill, but then she rode passed me again! I expect she felt quite smug. She started to pull away from me as we were approaching Locksbottom. "Go on, do her, get passed her" he ordered. I was hoping that the traffic lights would stop her in her tracks, just so that I could catch up to her and then try again to get in front.

There was quite a lot of traffic about, and we were going up hill again, so I just stayed on her back wheel, pushing quite hard to stay there as well, she was doing really well. I wonder if she knew that I was 'racing' her. I could feel the OB wanted me to keep peddling harder, but then on the next driveway she rode onto and started to use the cycle path.  I did overtake her as I stayed on the road. I just didn't know whether she ran out of stamina, or whether she will be turning into a road soon.

We kept on the A21 up to the Halstead turn off, and rode up there.  On this bit of road we saw other cyclists zoom passed us. They all had numbers on them, and some of the had those weird shaped alien type hats on. I am not sure what their route was, but it seemed they were heading up past Polhill and then coming back down again because we saw some other riders coming back round the roundabout.

I was really feeling tired. I knew where we were going. We are going to Biggin Hill there is still more hills to do. More orders to take from the OB and more of the lactic acid thing happening in my legs! Still, From the top of Grays Road it is all down hill!

I  kept on spinning though, orders from the OB! Even on the down hills, which was nearly all the way to Keston. I was just so glad to get to the pub, I was really looking forward to my pint, I felt I had earned it!

The Old Boys geeky stats says that I was riding at an average moving speed of  12.1 and the maximum speed was 29.5 mph.

So my Geeky stats, as I  remembered to take my Garmin today.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Short and Oh so Sweet!

Hello blog readers. I know today is/was going to be a rest day, but there is just no sitting us down at the moment. The Old Boy suggest just going for a very pleasant leisurely ride, nothing strenuous, not blasting it and not that far. My kind of riding really. So Off we went. First port of call was the George in Hayes. See what I mean about a nice pleasant ride? And then on to Bromley, a nice steady pace.

The Old Boy was way ahead of me, but I just plodded along, at my own pace, singing! Yup, singing out and not under my breath. Good practise for my daughters birthday celebrations at the Karaoke Bar on Friday. We stopped again at the Red Lion, and just as we were finishing our pint the rain came down, we moved underneath the umbrella and by the time we left it was virtually over, or so I tried to kid myself.

But as we were riding to our next destination, which is the Uskudar in Pettswood, I started smiling. The rain was coming down, ok, not torrential as it has been, but still enough to warrant an umbrella, yet I was smiling, I was enjoying todays little 'Keep the legs loose' ride. I did put my Garmin on, but of course, all the stopping, I had forgotten to switch it on again.

Todays little leisurely ride was really rather pleasant, in spite of the rain, and it's evenings like this that I am really glad I weaned myself off the soaps on the telly!

Geeky stats, about 10 ish miles, at a very nice plodding along speed of about 9 miles an hour. Fantastic, oh and dinner, by the way,  was just delicious!