Saturday, 30 June 2012

Going To The Seaside!

Hello Blog lovers!

I promised you a different blog report today, and this is it. Ok, it's a long blog, nothing different there, its just the type of adventure I had. Me and the Old Boy was asked if we would like to ride with a bunch of other people on a nice 'Genteel' over night ride to the coast, organised by the FNRTTC, a great bunch of people!

Always up for a challenge. (Well it is a challenge!) I know I have ridden to the coast a couple of times now, but this will be over night. Starting from London, Hyde Park Corner, at midnight, and riding at a 'conversational' pace of an average  12.0 mph, to Southend! When I say 'starting from London, really I should say 'Starting from Bromley, because me and the Old Boy met up with one the 'Frdays' so that he can 'drag' us to London to get there on time!

We met 'Big E' along the A21 at around 10 o'clock last night (Friday) and we set off towards London.  I was a bit apprehensive about todays ride, the people that go on these rides are, well what can I say? You know they call people who totally love fast cars 'Petrol Heads' well these guys are 'Ped Heads' (they love their peddles) They love riding, they love their bikes and they love all the 'bling' that goes with it. Well I can understand about the bling, as I am slowly building up my stock pile of cycling gear!  but to be truthful I know nothing about bikes, and the frames, and gears, brakes and de-railers! A 'Boardman' bike, to me looks like a 'Specialized' (I know I am going to get such a comeback on that statement) I mean, I bought my bike because it was white, and it had a name 'Escape' on it, (an idea I liked) and it was tons lighter than my old bike!

Big E took the lead, the OB was behind me, so he could keep an eye on me if I couldn't keep up! But I managed to stay with him, even though Big E said that he 'plodded' along knowing that I had to keep up with him! Well if that was his plodding along! But I wasn't going to complain! I knew that this is the sort of pace I am going to have to get used to over then next 8 or so hours, to get to our destination at Southend.

Through London we rode, passing old familiar places as we were getting nearer to London. I was coping quite well with it so far, and I started to relax. If this is the sort of pace that I am to expect then I really have no worries! I think the only worry for me would be if I start to feel tired. I love my sleep! I love drifting off to dream world, snuggled up in my bed! This would be my challenge today, staying awake! I was looking forward to seeing the sun rise over Southend in a few hours time. We picked up a couple of other of Big E's mates and continued our journey.

We arrived at Hyde Park Corner and there were just a a couple of other riders there. 'Blimey, where is everyone' Says Big E, and then he checked his watch, We were at at least half an hour earlier to what the Ride Organiser told us to be there. "I bet you thought I would be a bit slower in getting here?" I said to Big E, then a smile spread across his face as he realised that I had rumbled him. He did think he would have to drag my ass a little harder than he did, "Tell him, Old Girl" said the OB "Tell him that you're only a woose, and not a double woose"

Eventually  a large number of bikes and riders where huddled together under the arch at HPC. After a briefing and safety instructions we headed off towards the Thames to ride parallel all the way to the seaside! An array of bikes and people made their way out of the arch, there were quite a few 'Bromptons' (probably one of the only bikes that I would be able to recognise) and people in 'Fancy dress'. Because it was described as a 'Genteel ride' Some brave and crazy people arrived wearing dinner jackets and bow ties! One chap in particular, who was also riding a Brompton, wore the whole  suit, complete with shiny black shoes! While another chap only had the top half well dressed, and completed his ensemble with cycling shorts!

Riding pass the sights of London at night is amazing. It took me back to when me and the Old Boy were courting (that's dating, if there is any slight chance of young people reading this) We spent many a nights wondering around London, and drinking and eating.  Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, The London Eye, Tower of London, anyone would think we were on Skye Ride!

Then through Mile End road, and the Olympic stadium. coming into view, I do live near a fantastic City! If it wasn't for all the cars creating their nasty pollution...... (oooo, I sound like a proper cyclist now!)  I was managing to keep up with the first group! Because of all the traffic lights, there are little pockets of cyclists. But it did look good when we stopped for regrouping, All the twinkling lights, one bike in particular had lights wrapped around the frame plus had these really cool lights attached to his wheels!

The safety notices were well heeded as whenever there were pot holes, debris and bumps in the road you could hear a 'mexican wave' of 'Hole!' ripple back to let all other rides know. I was really enjoying it. Ok so we are still in London, and the conversational pace is governed by the traffic, but it really was just a great atmosphere. It was like the Led Ride into London when me and Big Son did the Skye ride. But being part of this ride, was brilliant! Although there are no children, no marshaling as such, and no stopping traffic. We are 'road users' and have to abide by all traffic signals and be totally aware of traffic! The regular 'Fridays' did keep us riding in the right direction, At each junction there was always someone there pointing the way to go, plus keeping us safe from the broken class, AND also on hand if we needed help with punctures and the such! Great organisation!

Around 1 o'clock (I think) we had another regroup, People were still wandering the streets, there were shops open, there were also people very drunk, making their way home or to parties!  But amongst this were a group of people with blue shirts on, with the words 'Street Pastors' written on the back. Among all of this, people were doing God's Work! At this time of night! Fantastic! Now that did make me smile!

I was wondering when the pace was going to pick up. I thought I was cycling at my own pace and soon these guys will kick into 'professional mode' and then I will have to pick it up a bit. But they just kept on going, at MY PACE!

Before I realised it, we were half way to Southend, nearing our 'cup of tea and sandwich' stop! Just as the rain started! Well, its Britain, and it is summer, and its Wimbledon fortnight  (ok, so they not actually playing at this time of night!) Everyone was pulling over and donning their brightly coloured rain jackets, and then carried on riding up the road. I was glad that I bought mine along.

I was glad to see the service station where we are going to stop. Can you imagine, over 60 bikers, all taking their wet bikes into the building, where, thankfully, there is a place to grab a coffee! The queue had started to build by the time I had come back from visiting the ladies. Just a quick anecdote, the ladies were all trying to dry various bits and pieces of themselves not just their hands! I had a yucky wet bottom, and I was trying try it under the hand dryer, but me, being short, the hand dryer kept turning off, as I wasn't close enough to it to keep it going!. It did look quite funny!  Several of the girls, had their legs up to the dryers trying to try their cycling pants, or holding out the wet shirts!

We sat there with our coffee, and our really expensive, tiny chocolate biscuit, and waited for the rain to go. We sat there longer than the ride leader planned to let the rain do it's thing. Well, there were quite a few 'first timers' on this ride, and he had to keep us all happy, and wanting to do it again.!

Eventually it did stop, but now the sun had started to wake up! the sky was getting brighter, I doubt very, very much if we would see the sun rise over Southend! Still, there is breakfast to look forward to! And already I was hungry!

We continued on our way, the ride leader doing an excellent job of keeping everybody together with just enough stops for regrouping, but not too many that it became frustrating. OOO, hark at me! Thinking that I'm one of the 'Elites' already! Mind you, not to brag about it too much,  I was doing quite well!, I was even overtaking some cyclists because they, well, they were just a tad to slow! Both men and women! It seems all that hill training that the Old Boy puts me through really is paying off!

The rain kept starting and then stopping, All the riders kept starting and stopping, putting jackets on, then taking them off! But some how we all kept together. Then it came! Bread and Cheese happened! "Oh, how very civilised" I can hear you all thinking, but let me assure you, it wasn't! It wasn't very civilised at all! Bread and cheese is a cafe or pub, or whatever AT THE TOP OF A VERY STEEP HILL! The ride leader did warn us about it, both in the email before we even decided to do the ride and again at HPC, but it was still a nasty little thing to face after riding for so many miles. I had told the OB and Big E that I will be walking. Its a forgone conclusion. Both the men told me not to be so negative, and not to think negative thoughts! But I just know me, and I know how my body feels right now!

I still attempted it though, after all, over night rides to the coast are not for the feint hearted. I was behind a lady in red and she was behind one of the chaps that Big E had arranged to meet on the way to HPC, I was just willing her to get off her bike! I had it in mind, if she got off then I will get off! They both stopped together and dismounted! Oh yes! I said something on the lines of "Oh, I am so very pleased that they got off their bikes!" or words like it!

I walked up! It flattened out and I got back on and started riding again, only to find it rising even more. "I can't get back off!" I thought to myself, I just had to keep going. Its a flat ride the leader had said, its a flat ride! Surely this is nothing like Bitchling Deacon. I was so pleased to see everybody at the top, waiting! The end was there! At the top the cafe, pub or whatever it is, Closed! But the name, clearly in view, Bread and Cheese!

We hadn't far to go now! I could feel it  (my tummy, it was rumbling!) The rain  kept stopping and starting, I decided to keep my jacket on until we got to the cafe now, I wanted to be one of the first in the queue, (is that being greedy or hungry?) 

And then another nasty little blighter of a hill. Sugar! The Old Boy was ahead of me, he knew we didn't have far to go, so felt he didn't have to babysit me anymore. Big E was riding next to me. He heard what I thought of this hill "You can do it, its only short, that's the top up there" So, gear down, I stood up on my peddles, uh oh jelly legs, but I tried and tried and pushed and pushed. One of Big E's mates had got off and walked up it, others were getting off walking up, but Big E kept urging me to get to the top, others coming up from behind, joining in the chanting! Breakfast was not in front of my mind at that particular moment! All I wanted to do was to not woose out on this hill! I could see it, the little round about, I'm swearing my head off with each peddle! Yes! I done it! What I forgotten to do, was to apologies to all around me for my language! But blow me! I was feeling good right then!

Just a very short ride along the sea front to the end, to breakfast! Yup, a very, very pleasant way to spend the night with 65 complete strangers!

Big E and a few of his mates were riding back to their homes from here! Me and the OB, we were getting the train!

Back in London we took a very short tourist walk and ride from Liverpool street to London Bridge. I used to work near Liverpool Street when I was a different person! When I wasn't a mum! How it has all changed! I came across my old building where I worked as a telex operator. We took some pictures here. We rode to London Bridge and seeing the Shard, tower above was totally awesome! The sun was shining on it. I just had to take some pictures.

One more thing! Thanks to Simon, the ride leader,and Big E, Great fun, pity about the rain though!

All the pictures are at the end of todays blog, along with the geeky stats from the OB's garmin, (I had forgotten to start mine up after stopping it at HPC and again from the service station!)

 This one is looking away from the Arch.

and this one is of me, excuse the sexy pose! but my reflective strips were playing havoc with the flash!

This is me outside the building where I worked, years and years ago. No longer the same business though!

And this is the Shard. If you look carefully you can see some guys doing maintenance!
Geeky stats This is a video of the ride, you can see me and the Old boy around 1.30 and again at 2.13 with Big E as well!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Very Short Ride Out, Very Short Blog!

Hello blog readers!

It really is a very short blog, honest. The Old Boy can't believe that I am writing a blog about todays little ride. But as I said to him, if its exerise then there's blogging!

We are kind of winding down for a different kind of weekend ride, which I am really looking forward to! And I will be giving a full account of the ride after we have done it, as usual! So today it was just plodding out to Belgos to enjoy a pint and some muscles and frites!

A very leisurely ride into Bromley, have dinner and then look at some bikes in the LBS. The OB is looking for yet more wheels, or at least to 'trade in' one of the other bikes for a new set of wheels! He will be wanting cleats and lycra next!

Over all this evening it was about 7 or eight miles, a very pleasant way to spend a couple of hours!

Monday, 25 June 2012

'Special' Shoes!

Hello blog lovers!

Second day out for my new shoes! And so far I am loving them. Even though the Old Boy thinks that its all in my head, and that I am a sucker for a sales line and a gadget! I am sure they are going to be good.

Just another little saunter out today, 26 miles this evening, with a couple of pub stops just because the weather was holding, it was warm and, darn it, we were feeling pretty good! 

Now the shoes, oh, how I am enjoying my shoes. Yes of course I love gadgets, for goodness sake, I couldn't wait to upgrade my philip sagem handset to a sanyo whatever handset after five years, and getting a laptop rather than the oldd desk top is just so much more convenient. As for getting a dishwasher after 25 years of marriage, well!!! But my shoes, I am sure they are going to be very beneficial to me. Getting up in my saddle and peddling up the hill I did notice that my feet didn't cramp up and I felt as if I could have pushed harder. But I shall wait a little bit to really test them out and push harder with them!

I am breaking them in slowly, I have a nice ride planned for the end of the week, which I will tell you all about on Saturday morning!

Todays ride was great though, we did the same rout that we did on Saturday, and I got to Halstead  at the same time, moving time that is, as Saturday! I did stop at the bottom of the road just after we left the A21 to take of my jacket! It was a pretty warm evening! Still, I was pleased with the timing.

We were heading for the George at Hayes. Onwards and upwards. no more stopping until the George. Well, there was no need, was there? There are a few hills, but they don't last long, and I knew when the flat bits were coming. I guess thats the best bits of doing the same route, you know the best bits, but its also the worst bits, because you know whats coming!

We got to the George in about and hour and half, not speedy gonzales mode, but neither was it total laid back and chillaxing!

Yep, I really enjoyed todays little ride, and I like all my cycling gear, its all in pink!!

Geeky stats.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Saturday Morning Lay In?!

Hello blog lovers.

Gone are the days when we have a lay in! How can I possible do that when the sun is up and shining, I have new shoes to break in, and it just feels so darn good to be alive!

I know it has taken me a while to write up this blog, but yesterday was my other sisters birthday party, so I couldn't write it up as I was having a brill time with her and the rest of the motley crew!

We were only going to do a short ride today, as the weather forecasters did promise rain in the afternoon, but even a 18-20 miler is just too good to miss while the sun is out!. We had a route in mind, but on the way down the A21 the Old Boy changed his mind, "Lets go up though the lanes". We are going to go to Down Village!, I think he must be enjoying being out. I was too, but that weather up there does look at little threatening. Mind you, if we listen all the time to weather forecasters then we wouldn't even bother getting out of bed!

The new route was up the A21 to turn to go to Halstead. And then after that to go though the lanes via Shoreham.  I was flagging a bit getting to the roundabout at Halstead, and I coudn't understand why! But the I remember, I had just been getting over a nasty little tummy bug!! Thats was bound to be supping energy from me!

We got to the round about and I asked the OB time we actually got there. 38 mins and 7 seconds! Well I was impressed. Just slighly slower than my all time pb for getting to that point. I think it must be my new cycling shoes! Oh, did I mention my new cycling shoes!, Here take a look.

I am hoping that these shoes will help with a few little problems, numbness, cramping in my feet and riding technique! Hopefully the riding technique  will then improve my speed! Which in turn will please the OB, and maybe he will stop calling our rides out together 'plod abouts'

Anyway, enough of my new shoes, although they are pretty nice, with pink in them as well, and also if I get really into my cycling I can get some cleats on them!  We had already changed our route again, we were not going to Shoreham, we were going up up and up some more to Biggin Hill, then down down down to Keson and through to Hayes for a coffee and toast.

I took it easier on the next bit from Halstead, after remembering my recent bout of illness, I thought it would be better that way! Well that was my excuse. This route is quite popular with cyclist, I think they must come up from Cudham north Lane and then down the way we had come up. Lots of riders in their lycra and club colours!

I kept on 'plodding on' though up Grays Road, and looking forward to the down hill section from Biggin Hill and a nice cup of coffee and toast. Oh and by the way, my new shoes, I am sure the technique was a slight improvement, maybe, or maybe I should ask someone in the know about a the efficient way of spinning!

The cafe that is at Hayes is a favourite with cyclists. There is always ....hmmmm, what do you call a bunch of cyclist? A gaggle, herd, club? But there is usually at least 10 to 20 of them having tea, coffee and some even have the full english!

Oh and by the way, I still had numbness in my feet, could that be because they are new shoes!

Geeky stats for you, and these are from the Old Boy Garmin as I had forgotten mine again, but he was behind me all the way!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Post L2B Ride Around

Hello blog Lovers.

On Monday I just went out for a nice paced, leg loosening ride around with the Old Boy. But the route that we took was up to Downe Villiage! I nice little gentle ride! I know, its weird me enjoying going up hills!

I did feel every single mile though. Every signle inch going up, I could feel it in my legs. But I kept on going, I didn't stop and get off, I didn't stop and start again, I kept going, a little slow, but I still kept going!

Yup, just what was needed after riding for 8 hours the previous day! It took me half the time to cover  the same distance that I had done on the L2B!

Here is the geeky stats! If you want the geeky stats for the L2B then you can see my previous blog, I had actually fogotten to take my Garmin with me, so the stats are from the Old Boys Garmen, and we all finished the ride at the same time, in a team!

Monday, 18 June 2012

London To Brighton 2012

Hello blog Lovers!

Well what a year so far. The Jubilee year, the Queens birthday celebrations, we have the European football in progress and the Olympics to start very soon. It's all such great fun! And the weather hasn't put a dampener on our spirits, just maybe our enthusiasm to get out a do things!

But yesterday was my bike ride to the coast, with my team that I set up, The Old Boy, Nagging Sister, my daughters boyfriend Big Chris and with a superb support team from Auntie Eve and Uncle Tony, who drove us to Clapham Common and then met us down the seaside in Brighton, with Auntie Eve cheering all the riders that came in!

I was praying for a glorious day, and so was my other sister, she too was having a word with Him up there ^ just to keep our spirits high. And He didn't fail us! All the wind and the rain that has been happening for the past few weeks seems to have been forgotten about for just this one day! The sun was shining, the weather just perfect for cycling.

After my panic stations about our support team and van to get us to Clapham Common and then back from Brighton, the van pulled up outside my house. Me, the Old Boy and Big Chris were ready, more or less, to load up and go and get Nagging sister.  The two guys were in the back while I rode shotgun up front! (And to Clapham Common too!)

We were dropped off not to far from the start line, Uncle Tony (our support and driver) went off to pick up Auntie Eve. They were going down to Brighton early to make it a nice day out. I thought about using the loo before we made our way to the starting gate. But after seeing the queue I thought better of it!

Here is a couple of pictures of us just before we set off.

The going was really, really slow! I was so looking forward to doing some millage, and maybe even doing better than I did last year. But there just seems to be so many more cyclists this year, and they supposed to have limited it by about a thousand less then last year!

Just to get to Fannys Farm it took us about 2 hours! A ridiculously slow speed, even for Nagging Sister and Big Chris! who said they last time he was on a proper cycle (as apposed to a static bike) was when he was about 16!

That was about the way of the ride for the quite a huge part of the ride. There were a few accidents on route as well, unfortunately, with the paramedics being called to get through the throngs of cyclists.  things like that always make me think about the way that I am riding. Just to be more aware of the people in front of the people in front of me! as well as those by my side and for those that still insist on zipping up speedily (because there were a few clear spots about) on the inside!

It felt good to do a little bit of faster riding, but it  soon the stop and start  happened again.  The idea of getting to Brighton in under 7 hours this time round seemed to be a pipe dream.  So again, I decided to treat it just as a family fun day day! Enjoy the sites and the sounds, and the fantastic scenery whenever I could. And just looking about at the stunning scenery just made me think about His glorious creation that He did. I sent up a good few prayers to Him today, mostly thanking Him for the weather!, Looking around at our countryside just made you think. I also said prayers for the cyclists that had fallen off as well.

I was hoping that we would be stopping about halfway for a pint of the amber nectar, which would have been round about Turners Hill. Yes, that's right! the top of a very steep hill! But even Nagging sister said "No lets keep going to we reach about 40 miles" Well that would get us to about Ditchling Beacon, which I have renamed Bitchling Deacon! I couldn't remember if there was a pub here. So when we saw the sign that read 'The Bull, last stop before the Beacon' that was our 'pint of beer stop!'

Big Chris took some pictures while we were enjoying our beer.

Then it was Bitchling Beacon. Suitable anaesthetised from the lager, we all headed on up to the Beacon. The two guys up in front, going for the full on attack, me and Nagging sister just taking it as it comes, in fact, I stayed on the left, because I knew I would be walking up!

Even the walk up the Beacon is quite hard work. Having to lean a little awkwardly to push the bikes up, and the hill tormenting you're calves, it is still not easy! When you get to the top and you can hear the guy on the microphone, then you know that you are virtually at the top.  Me and Nagging sister walked! We were wondering if the guys had made it. We walked just a little further along the flat to find a spot to take some pictures and to find the guys.

We found them. Big Chris didn't make it up the hill in the saddle. He had to get off and walk. But take a look at this picture, can you guess who did manage to cycle up the hill!

From here it is all down hill. From here I had a smile on my face, and a song my heart. In fact I was singing it out loud!! I was happy. The day was a very enjoyable family fun day out. And now to meet my Auntie Eve and Uncle Tony in Brighton to have a couple more pints of lager before heading off the back of the van!

Here is a picture of the finish line

And here is a picture of our support team, Uncle Tony and Auntie Eve.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Get Some Miles In!

Hello blog lovers.

It's been two days waiting for this blog! Me and the Old Boy went out on Wednesday to try and get some more miles under the saddle in preparation for our BHF ride from London to Brighton! Thursday wasn't going to be a day to get in the saddle as we were babysitting our grandson, who would be staying over night, which means very little sleep for little old grandma here! And Friday, well Friday is generally our 'let our hair down' and enjoy an evening out.

But this is is just a short blog (as it has been two days ago, the old memory these days is not good!)  I do remember that I was aching from my club run the previous night, only because it had been a whole week of couch potatoism! We only rode for about 25 miles with a stop after 19 miles,  (and another one as we went on through to Bromley!) but it was a very good ride.

I feel sure that I rode to Halstead roundabout in record time! 37 minutes and about 30 seconds.! Deffo a PB for that route! The Old Boy did ask if I wanted to go to Eynsford as we arrived there so quick, but the thought of going up Crockenhill Lane just didn't do it for me. So up to Biggin Hill it was. I took 'my foot off the gas' a bit after getting to Halstead, and just enjoyed the rest of the ride. Even though I could hear the Old Boy behind saying 'Come on, a little bit more, 2 miles an hour more, you can do it" But I felt happy with what I had done so far.

It was good to get to The George, at Hayes, and enjoy a lovely pint of refreshment! Then afterwards we rode into Bromley to visit the Red Lion before heading off home. 25 miles done, and very enjoyable it was too, even the fast bit to Halstead!

Geeky stats.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee Ride out!

Hello blog lovers,

Well the jubilee celebration have been rained on but that didn't stop the parties from happening.  Yesterday I was dancing in the street in my raincoat to a band covered over by a gazebo with the speakers and amps in plastic bags! We are British and we will celebrate!

I am afraid I am a bit of a fair weather cyclists. I am not so bad that I don't go out in the winter, and I don't rush for cover if the rain starts while I am out riding. But the whole getting ready while the rain is coming down, well, that's a different kettle of fish.

But this morning, the sun was shining. We even set our alarm to get up early, because the forecast did say it will rain in the afternoon. We wanted to do a fairly long ride today,30 miles was the number of miles mentioned, and it seems the only time that will happen this jubilee time will be early morning!

So we were up at 7 (ok,it might not be early for some of you guys, but on a bank holiday, this is bloomin early) We had our porridge and a cuppa. The Old Boy did vaguely tell me last night the route that will be taking, but for some reason, when he mentioned Ide Hill I seemed to have glazed over and can't remember where he said. I knew we were heading for Halstead, so that's where I focused on when we were all set and out on the road.

We went through the ally way, I must remember not to come this way, it's just full of dogs crap! And really, it is only for pedestrians! Then straight on to the A21 and up towards Halstead. Fairly standard so far. But not as fast as I did it a few weeks ago! We reached the roundabout in about 43 minutes, five minutes later that my pb for this point! Oh well. It's not a race, I have another 23 miles to ride today, so I won't go too mad. Plus the route the OB mentioned last night was slowly filtering through, huge hills, and "You can swear all you like at me, I will forgive you" statement, from the OB. Which can only mean one thing. There is going to be one hell of a hill to climb!

The hill in question is Sundridge hill! I remember trying to ride up this one last year! It was horrendous! I must have stopped about five times and gave up and walked up it, with the Old boy giving plenty of "Get on and peddle up" Yeah right. But that was back then, and this is now! I am stronger, I am fitter, I am inches smaller (that's from my arms, bust, waist, legs and knees by the way, not in height) I should be able to at least 'give it a good go!

After the lovely long ride down the hill, my thoughts were on the next section. I know this is going to hurt! I tried my hardest. I had to stop just as we started up it, to take off my 'sauna jacket' This hill is really going to hurt! So now, head down and just get through it as best as I can. It was hard, it was bloomin hard! And it HURT. I managed only about 3 quarters of the way before I had to yell out to the OB that I was going to stop! "No, keep going, we are nearly at the top"  he yelled back. I peddled on for just a tad more before I thought enough is enough! I pulled into someones drive and just caught my breath. Yes I was disappointed in myself, but when I think about how far I have come since the last time I attempted this hill, then, actually, its not that bad!

After a few minutes I was back on my bike and continuing on the upward direction, wondering "Just how flipping long is this hill!" Then I saw it,  the view that put a smile on my face on the last visit here!. It means the top of the hill, and the loo! this is the view.

After the loo stop the Old Boy mentioned a coffee but  we continued on our way. I was thinking we were going down the hill on right, but we were actually turning left and going up more hills! I know he said hill training, but flipping Nora!! Is he trying to kill me off!

We are going to Otford, I can recall him saying that, in my hazy thoughts as I looked up the hill, then on to Shoreham. Now there is a couple of lovely pubs in Shoreham! It may be a tad early for the pubs! But there is a tea room just by the station. Maybe that is where we will grab a cuppa at least! 

It's all down hill from here, at least till Otford, then there is that nasty little blighter of a hill that catches you out! I made this hill, in fact I made all other hills, but I am jumping ahead (yes there is still more to read!)

We arrived at Shoreham to find that the tea room was closed! I suppose being as its the jubilee bank holiday, they can be forgiven! By now, however, I was getting desperate for a cuppa, after tackling that huge hill, and over twenty miles into our ride, and still another ten miles or so to cover, I was looking for some refreshment!

Onwards then to Eynsford, lets see what they have to offer! Nothing! The pub/restaurant was not quite opened! Oh no! We had a small break here, looking at the fish in the little river, then continued our journey, homeward bound now. The weather kept on threatening to rain, but so far it has been very kind to us! Lets hope it stays that way till we get home.

I only know one way home from here, and that's up 'Foo king' hill! Do I not like hills! And still no cup of tea or coffee, just a swig of water from the now dusty water bottle on the bike!  Off up the hill! I wasn't looking forward to it, I didn't even know if I could manage the whole of the hill or if I would stop and take a breather!

"Put your head down, Old Girl" I said to myself, "and just do your best" I didn't stop! I peddled on and on, until the OB said "Hang on a bit" just as we got to the bridge over the M25. We wanted to watch a hawk hovering, looking for his breakfast! I knew how it felt. The porridge I had earlier had certainly been burned up by now. Our official stop though was going to be the Tigers Head in Chislehurst! just a mere 35 miles after we set out!

When we reached the Tigers head we were still too early, it was only 11:50 a.m. We had 10 minutes before the pub opened! But we sat in the  garden and waited!  Then, A lovely thick juicy burger and a pint of lager! Rewards come to those who wait!

Suitable refreshed and stuffed we headed on home. A nice round 40 miles today! But wait! "Do you fancy another pint down at the George" Says the Old Boy. "Before I realised what I was saying I had agreed. so another 8 miles later, and an extra pint of beer inside us we finally made it home! 45.17 miles.

Just as we were putting our bikes away the rain started! And looking out side now, it is still raining! Some fours hours later! A good day, a hard day, and the last day of our jubilee celebrations!

Geeky stats

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Pre Jubilee Celebratory 20 miler!

Hello blog lovers.

Its the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of our glorious Queen! And guess what I had to do? Fix my car! We were planning on getting up early to do some miles in the saddle, but I showed my car to the Old Boy, because of the awful fumey smell and the breather pipe had gone....again......second time in three years! So we had to sort that out today, and then we did a bit of shoe shopping. Not for running shoes or cycling shoes, but for 'hanging out' trainers.

We eventually got our gear on and went for just a short ride, just over 20 miles. But there is always a bit of hill training thrown in!  "Let's do Cudham North Lane, pop into the Blacksmiths for a pint" So that's where we headed. It was either that or up to Downe Village! So for some strange reason I agreed to Cudham North Lane.

The Old Boy has been trying to teach me to use the gears properly when on the hills, and I also read a blog about gear changing, when and where and how, to while riding! Both the article and the OB were virtually saying the same thing, so I am guessing that I have been doing it wrong all this time.

And also the OB has been saying things like "Just keep your legs 'spinning', don't push too hard" I am sure someone told me to be a 'spinner' not a 'grinder'. I think that was the terminology used. I think I am beginning to understand what he meant!

It had been overcast for the whole morning and most of the afternoon. But when the OB fixed on the new bit of pipe on my car the sun had come out. So we decided on short sleeves and shorts for our bike ride.  But when we got to the ally way, 'Bug Ally' as we call it, we noticed that it was just a tad chilly, with a chilly head wind!  Too late to go and change.

I was in the lead, its the only way the OB can stay with me, he would be halfway around by the time I get to the end of 'Bug Alley'! As I knew the route I just concentrated on the whole 'spinning' thing, up and down the small hills, practising for the long hill up to the Blacksmiths!

I think I am getting the hang of it! We were soon on Cudham Lane and I just put my head down, and did the fast on the fast bits and the slow on the slow bits, spinning my legs, trying to keep my legs spinning at the same pace all the way up the hill.  I was quite surprised to see the put come into view! 38.35 minutes from leaving the house!! I think that must be PB from my house to this point here!

After our pint we carried on up the hill to Grays Road. We were going to head for Hayes. A couple of more hills to practise the new way of peddling and gear changing!  But he wanted to go through to Jail Lane.  We took a right turn just after the Spinning wheel.  I can remember going down this road last year. We got to the bottom of the hill, at a junction, and chose the 'none hilly road' to use. Little did we know that this road was a huge hill and it took us back to the pub that we had left not half hour or so before hand!

We started up this hill, I told the OB that "I will be stopping on this hill, so don't ride to close to me" But he said, "Just keep going, you can do it, it's just a short hill" I kept going as best as I could as the hill got steeper. "I can't do it, I'm gonna stop" I cried. "Keep going, look, there is the top of the hill, I told you its just a short hill"  I was just so pleased to have got to the top without stopping.  So far on this ride there hasn't been a hill that has stopped me! I had managed to conquer every hill! By this time I knew where I was, and I also knew there were not any other hills that I couldn't manage!

A nice ride today, a little bit of hill training, and my car is all better. A successful first day of the jubilee celebrations!!  What does tomorrow hold?

Oh yes, and just because we are allowed to show these pictures now, here is a picture of me after a club run, straight into our AGM meeting where we had a lovely surprise! The Olympic Torch, which will be run through our town, was bought in for us all to be photographed with! A little bit of history in our hands!

And now for the geeky stats

Geeky stats will be added soon, as the Garmin Site is washing its hair!,  or something!