Thursday, 26 July 2012

Sshhhhh! It's Still Sunny!

Hello blog lovers.

Can you believe it. Britain, England, London, and it's still sunny! I just love it. I'm not one for sitting outside in the sunshine, baking up like a prune! I try, I get bored, and hot, and burnt, and end up looking like a purple lobster!

So this evening the Old Boy said he wanted to go on a pleasure ride. Up to Halstead, through the lanes and a stop off at the Greyhound, in Keston.

Well as you all know by know, I hate hills! This route is a hilly route. This route, for me, is a workout. Ok, so not as hard going as yesterdays ride, but it is a longer ride, and it is still a steady uphill route!

We noticed that there were signs up at Halstead. Lap 1 turn left, lap 2 straight up. We saw some cyclists with the weird streamlined 'go faster' hats. Which means that they have just come up the road that I have just cycled very slowly up! At speed! because I believe these are time trials going on! Not only that, I also think they have been coming up from Cudham north lane as well! I take my own hat off to these guy....and girls!

We cycled up to Halstead, and to Knockholt. I just kept going at my pace. No stopping. I still find it tough going, and I know when each hill is going to be. I think that is why the Old Boy chooses this route, to help me practise the whole 'getting up hills' in the right gear!

Going up Grays Road now, I feel as if that is the end of the hard riding! It's virtually free wheeling, even though there are hills! And going down from Biggin Hill, well, what can I say, virtually putting your feet up on the peddles and relaxing!

The pint at the Greyhound was most welcoming. It had been a warm and hard ride for me, where as the Old Boy hardly broke a sweat! In fact, he said he was feeling quite chilled sitting outside drinking our pints!.

The ride home from here though, and I did feel the change of temperature, I may have even got a few goose bumps!

A very good workout ride for me, and nice pleasure ride for the Old boy.

Geeky stats for you.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Summer Evening Ride!

Hello blog lovers.

Do you remember the summer evenings, when you could sit outside garden  enjoying the last of the hours sunshine before night falls. Well today was like that! No rain, it has been such a warm, nay, hot day. A rather pleasant day at Christmas tree farm with my grandson and other small squishy characters from my toddler group!

It was very warm when we set off, and very muggy. An evening when you though 'Hmm, it looks as it could be a stormy night!" But there was no way I was going to take my rain jacket! I didn't want to tempt fate! The Old Boy told me the direction of which we were going to be heading and off we went. up the A21 and then......Cudham North Lane!

Just in case it did decided to rain, we were going to keep it a tad shorter, but still get a good workout while we cycled.  The Old boy flew ahead of me and I plodded along. I knew he was going to meet me by the Shampan, it was just a mater of how long I would keep him waiting! 

I tried very hard to keep going. I did take a quick breather by the Blacksmiths Arms. the aroma smelled so good from the open doorway of the pub. I jealously looked in and then reached from my water bottle, which by now was quite warm, and dust covered. Not the same as a nice long, ice cold Forsters! But this is not where my prize was going to be. It was either The Greyhound or the George. The Old Boy left me to decided which pub we should collect our 'trophy glass' of amber nectar.

I did my own pace up the rest of of Cudham North lane, I kept thinking I had missed the turning, Grays Road. It seemed such a long, long way from the Blacksmiths Arms! I felt sure it was a lot closer. Either that of it just seemed closer after having a 'proper drink' from here, rather than my luke warm plastic tasting water.

Eventually I turned right onto Grays road. At the end of this upward grind the Old Boy would be waiting for me. How far had he got, how long will he be waiting? Will he go and get an onion bhaji from the Shampan, eat it and not tell me about it? These thoughts was going through my mind as I cycled up to the end.

Just as promised the OB was there, waiting. He had been there for about 20 minuets by the time that I had got to him, apparently! But after that the OB had to have a free ride home for the rest of the way, by staying behind me as we free wheeled our way down.

I did tell the OB that we should stop at the Greyhound, but it was such a nice evening i told him to push on till The George, and there we can receive our 'trophies'

All in all a nice pleasant evening ride, a pint and olives with the OB to celebrate!

Here is the geeky stats!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Lunch At Yalding! The Hilly Way!

Hello Blog Lovers.

The sun was shining, the day was warm. Its Saturday, and its going to be a long ride. Put them miles on the bike! That was our plan. I didn't know where we were going to go though. At first the Old boy thought maybe putting the bikes on the rack and taking the car  and go to the seaside. 

But as you will see from geeky stats, that didn't happen. We set off from our house, we might as well take full advantage of the lovely sunshine! I still not sure where we were going to be heading for, I just listened out for directions from the Old Boy. The first one though, was easy, head for Halstead! So that's where I went.

When we got to the roundabout at Halstead, the next instructions was to go straight on! Down Pollhill. Now thats the sort of cycling I like, well, with the occasional flat bit. But in the back of my mind is the thought that all down hills means I have to go up hills to get back home! And the down hill was very short lived. The hill started more or less as soon as we got to the bottom of Pollhill! Riding up towards Riverhead. Boy was that some hill, we are going to Sevenoaks. I remembered mine and the Old boys first 'long ride out' was to Sevenoaks. We took the train there. I still had my old Raleigh bike then, and had to carry it up the stairs to get out of the station. That was before I knew there was a lift!

It was a tough hill to say the least! I was so pleased I got up there, in only two stages! I just had about a minute breather half way up! Then it was down hill again.  A long down hill! I really did enjoy that. And it was fairly flat ish ride after that, apart from another little bump at West Peckham. After 25 miles already, it felt a lot higher than a little bump!

It was around here somewhere, the Old boy said to me 'I think you know where you are going now, don't you" Well, I still had no clue. I just kept listening out for the instructions and directions from the old boy.

I eventually guessed where we were going, only after I passed by the train station, Yalding! I am sure the Old Boy will stop fro a pint there now! And it was where he was heading! I was gagging for a pint now, but when we arrived there, the little bridge across the river was raising up! So we couldn't get over and had to wait! I was seriously thinking about taking my bike over the walking bridge, up and down the stairs, but I just didn't think my legs would take it. We waited it out, all 7 mins of it!

We ordered a sandwich as well as a pint of lager, it was a while coming. Anyone would have thought we ordered some out of the ordinary! But all to soon it was back in the saddle for the return journey! This time going to East Peckham, and also a little stop at a pub that we like, just for half a lager! It's call the Man of Kent. A lovely little pub, right along side the River Bourne, with a huge amount of big fish waiting for some food!

Now the really hard work started. We were going back the same way, up to Hildenborough! And after 30 miles already it was going to hurt! The psychology the OB tried to use on me last trip out, i.e. the up hills are really down, was not working at all. So for the rest of the ride I was singing, #1, 2, 3, mother caught a flea, she put it the teapot and made a cup of tea. The flea jumped out, mother gave a shout and in cam father with his shirt hanging out# Why that particular ditty was on my mind I have no idea! But the whole 1, 2, 3 was very useful counting!

The next two hills I walked up some of the way! I tried and tried, and tried again! But I just didn't have it in me to get up them. I was looking forward to getting to Shoreham, there the OB promised me a pint! And I was in desperate need then.

Of course there is a decision to make here. Go back up the hill and go to Eynsford, which means 'Foo Kin Hill' but also another hill when we get to Orpington, or go to Halstead again. That way its only about another 10 miles riding. Yes there is that huge hill to climb, but I knew I would be walking some of that too! So I opted for the shorter route, up to Halstead, and then directly home. The hills from Halstead are nothing compared with  Poverest, plus the extra miles! I was looking forward to getting home now, and think about having a curry for my dinner!

I was right about the hill, I walked it, in fact I think I walked most of it! My little legs just refused to push down on the peddles anymore! The Old Boy still had tons of energy left and cycled on up.  He was waiting for me at the top. I was surprised he was only waiting for about 7 mins though!

There was no more stopping for me from here till I got home.

It was a tough ride today, and I feel as if it challenged me quite a bit. Watching the Tour de France on the telly, as they hit those hills and still go flying up, or as Mark Cavendish did yesterday, after riding for 138 miles and then flying past to win the 18th stage, I just have to admire those guys and girls who can ride like that!

So my geeky stats for you, and don't forget to check out those hills! Huge or what?

Thursday, 19 July 2012

The Phenomenon has Happened Again!

Hello Blog lovers.

Today I was thinking of having a rest day, just chilling, play scrabble on line, chat to peoples on Facebook, you know, the kind of socialising that happens now days. But that big bright orb thing was high in the sky again today!

Now I know the forecasters have been saying something about the jet stream moving on now, bringing in warmer weather, but, there was always that 'Michael Fish' mishap! So me and the Old Boy took advantage of the warm dry weather now!

We went straight up the A21, yup the usual route, up into Halstead, but we took the second left at the round about. We rode on up to Shoreham Village. A great little pub at this village, the Kingshead. Me and the Old Boy occasionally go here for our relaxing Friday nights, I drink the pints of lager, him on the diet cokes! But he does get a packet of crisps as well.

In fact, for several weeks I was asking for Quavers, I love Quavers, and the Landlord had them there a couple of times. but for several weeks he just didn't buy them, apparently they  didn't go quick enough, but he said to me, "The next time you come in I will have some Quavers for your" We hadn't been there for a few weeks, so when I went in to buy a pint for me and the OB today, he remembered, and guess what, there was Quavers behind the bar!! What a landlord!

I digress, as always when it comes to beer and food! It was about 9 and half miles since we left our house, but I knew where the OB wanted to go! Up to Eynsford and then up 'Foo kin hill lane' I don't like hills. From here the Old Boy tried to do the whole reverse psychology, "Try thinking of the up hills as down hills" he said "Come on, race you to the bottom of the hill" I did try, I tried very hard to think of these hills rising up in front of me as an actually down hill section. It didn't work! the aching in my legs, the slowness of my pace, told me, in fact, screamed at me that I was going up hill!

I didn't stop though, I didn't not stop! I kept on going, right to the bridge that crosses over the M25. And I only stopped there because the Old Boy needed to .......... well, lets just say, he nearly had to say, "Oh please don't look at me!" as a couple of cyclists came past!

Our next official stop was at 'The Tigers Head' in Chislehurst. Non stop from here, up more hills, and I wasn't happy. The Old Boy was behind me, talking to me. He was like Norman Collier, I could only get a few words at a time as he was constantly chatting away to me. "" Sometimes it was due to the cars passing by that I couldn't hear him, and sometimes it was because we were on a down hill section, a real downhill section, that I couldn't him because I was speeding down. And sometimes it was because I just didn't want to listen to him! His cheeriness, and his whistling, while I was constantly struggling with these blooming hills.

All the way up the by pass, he was constantly chatting, and again as we turned left to head for Chislehurst. I decided to sing to myself, to drown out his constant chatting. How can he chat when I am barely able to to breathe let alone to string two words together!  The song helped, it went on the lines of #I can't push it any more, this is all i bloomin got# a line which I sang over and over and over, until I got to the road where we turn to go to the pub!

We had another pint of lager here and some lovely Olives! The weather was still really nice, I had worked up quite a 'Glow' and was ready for my next drink! 11 miles from the Kings Head, to here, non stop (apart from his wee stop) I was exhausted!

It was getting quite late, and we decided not to cook dinner when we got home and just grab a takeaway. We rode on to Pettswood after our pint, picked up some cash from the machine and went to Mapings for fish and chips! Lovely.

I forgot to start my Garmin when I left the tigers head, so you will see the geeky stats jump from one place to another! I didn't fly! honest! So here's today geeky stats.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Shall We, Shall we not?

hello blog lovers.

Guess What? Its raining, again! Now I am really getting fed up now. It's really, well, I'm gonna say it, its really pissing me off! The rain that is! Its just so hard to get the motivation to go out cycling! And I am loving my cycling at the mo, I was even seen looking at new racing styles bikes for myself! Low down on the handlebars, nice light weight, my size! That's about all I can remember of the bike! But it was cute! But this blooming rain! It's getting me angry now!

Trying to get the Old Boy out and motivated as well is a job in itself too. He is still remembering the soaking that he got a week ago. He took off his clothes and threw them over the chest freezer where they dripped and made a huge puddle, on my floor, by the time I got in from my club run! Men! But we did go out, just a short one, and staying fairly local as well, just in case it really came down hard!

By the time we set off  it actually wasn't raining! There was a lull in the wet stuff coming down. This could be a nice ride after all. The OB left me to do the navigating, he said something about having a pint in the 'Old Jail' so that is where I headed for. Up the A21 and through to Farnborough, and up to Downe Village! I still find that totally ironic that 'Downe Village' is actually up! And boy is it a tough way up!

I made sure I didn't stop though, even though I was quite tired. I have been doing some form of exercise since Sunday, so today's little ride is definitely at my pace!  Eventually getting to Downe Village, I was pleased with my effort. It was a a slow plod up the hill, but there was no stopping!

We turned right and  then left to head for Jail lane. The rain, or heavy mist as we like to call it, when it's not torrential, started as we headed ever more upward. By the time we got to The Old Jail, it was coming down pretty steadily, and I had forgotten to bring the bike lock along. So we decided to push on through and just keep going.  We were over taken by some other cyclists, they just looked as if they were just breezing along! As the Fridays call it, conversational pace. I thought I was pushing quite hard up the hills, yet there they were, chatting away, and saying good evening to us as the passed on by, by looks of it, hardly breaking a sweat!

We arrived at Biggin hill, the rain coming down even more, and we decided that we would hold up at Keston, until we finish a pint of lager at least! So our destination was there. I can get quite a speed on down this road, and we soon arrived at the Greyhound, a bit wet, you might say, but it was great to see joggers out, and the cyclists out. I can imagine them all saying, "Stuff the weather, I'm doing it anyway!"

After our pint we rode directly home more or less, with a quick stop and the local supermarket!

Geeky stats for this evenings short ride!

Monday, 16 July 2012

The Inbetweens!

Hello blog lovers.

What a summer we are having! It really is a case of getting our in between the showers, and if you are lucky then you can get back before it starts up again.

After I had finished work, and the Old Boy had finished work, the inevitable happened, the rain started. "It's just heavy mist" says the OB. But when I saw the wind blowing that heavy mist sideways and back again, I just had to correct him.

I think we finally got out just after seven this evening. We had decided to just do a very local short 10 miles, and if it really came down hard again then we won't be that far from home.  The Old Boy led the way, we were going to go to Bromley, I followed him up Southborough, then Blackbrook, but then he turned right instead of left! Oh no! Summer Hill!

I did say to him a few days ago, "I think I can probably get up this hill now days" He had remembered that, and as the weather was still with us, he decided against going to Bromley and head for Chislehurst instead!  What can I say......the bloomin hill beat me again. But I did get just over half way up this time, and I didn't walk. Well, I had to just walk past the pinch zone I had stopped at! I didn't want to get killed trying to get going again!

It was about now that I was wishing I had my Garmin with me! I am getting quite blaze` about when I take my Garmin on a bike ride, anything 10 and under, I don't consider exercise, its more like a pleasure ride! But now trying to get up this hill! I wanted to see if I had improved from the last time I went up it on the bike!

I thought as its only a short ride, a stop at the Tigers head was on the cards, but he rode on straight past it. Not only that but he carried on up the road, past Pettswood, heading for Orptington! "Oh no!" I thought "Its going to be knoll rise, or Perry hall lane" But again, he surprised me, we carried on straight, through the High Street and heading for Greenstreet Green!  "Ah, its going to be the A21 then home" Just a short ride.

Nope! from the roundabout at Greenstreet Green we turned left and headed for the turn off for Halstead. We were doing our Biggin Hill Route! We had already rode an extra 4 or 5 miles, up hill, and now he wants me to ride up to Halstead then to Biggin Hill. "Darn you weather, if you were typical summer weather we would not have done the Chislehurst loop bit"

So there you go, not a ten mile in between the showers ride today, it was about 26 to 27 miles! We did get back rather late, mind, as we left so late anyway.

I shall get the geeky stats off the Old Boy later to add here. Just for the route, and the miles, not the speed. He was racing up the hills in front of me!

Thursday, 5 July 2012

The Bromley Boys And Girls V Chavs

Hello blog lovers.

Yesterday me and the Old Boy thought we would go and introduce ourselves properly to the boys and girls of our own Bromley Cyclists. After all they do seem to do the same sort of cycling as me and OB do anyway.

We met them out side Bromley South train station, around 7:30 in the evening. We were a tad early and there was no one there!  But soon the 'bikers' came. Spencer, Eve and Steve arrived first. Steve was on a trike. Not the sort the kiddies ride, but a laid back recumbent style trike! complimented with a rainbow flag flying proudly from the long pole attached to the back. He said he didn't know the connotation's when he bought his rainbow flag!

A few more people arrived, Nev riding a rather fetching pink Brompton,but he rode it like it was a BMX, bunny hopping over pavements and humps! Not so pink now, are you Brompton! And Mellisa, who promotes cycling in Bromley, and does training to all the little darlings for cycle proficiency, or as it is now known, Bikeability.  And then Paul arrived, not from the left hand side, and not from the right hand side, but from the middle! Straight out of the rail station! He said he was busy at work and didn't want to be late meeting up, so the train took the strain. So with, as Spencer said, a rather smaller group, and a group photo (because apparently there were some 'celebs' riding with them today,....Moosh, the Old Boy and Mellisa!) We set off.

I knew where the final 'resting place' will be, and its not that far, so I was quite intrigued to find out how we are going to get there, what route and roads will we use. I mean, these guys love to cycle as well, like the 'Fridays' do. I was looking forward to it. But I also know there are some hills involved to get the, resting place.

We rode straight down pass the railway lines heading towards Nagging Sisters house. If I knew that she was in I would have called her to get on her bike and join us, but she does her Badminton on Wednesdays. We rode up the hill, which I used to think was quite a feat back in the old days, but I seemed to have managed it without really much effort! We turned right and then stopped outside the LBS. all the guys we drooling over some bike that was in the there! They wanted Steve to see it, but he was way behind. We were waiting to see the rainbow flag appear.

When he got there, he started drooling over this bike, it's a motor bike, (I think) a BSA wing thing, I'm sure one of the guys will put me right on that.  It so happened that the owner of the shop arrived and Steve had asked him if it was for sale, and the reply was no! Just as well, because how he would have got it home I don't know.

From here we were heading to Jubilee park.  It is not trike friendly! They have the way open for the bikes, and the gates for the walkers, but the trike will have to be man handled over the posts. By the way, I still cant ride through these, I watched as all the others just had the right side peddle up and rode on through, but I just can't do it. For some reason I panic, put the right peddle down, and have to get off my saddle and walk through! I need to practise getting through tight places I think.

We rode on through Petts wood, and then up St Johns road, another tiny hill, (the hill training is definitely working) and then over the rail bridge to go through the park. We had lost Steve again, Spencer did go back to find him, and he said he was behind him. We waited but know rainbow flag! He does know the route that we are going to take, and maybe he just didn't like this bit of path, so would meet us at the other end.

We rode for a little bit more and then stopped outside someones home. Spencer knocked on the door. We looked like big kids "Can Steve come out and play?" was the cry from the 'gang'. Steve did come out and play (another Steve, apparently there are a few Steves among the group)

On wards and upwards. I knew that the  hill still had to be done, I just didn't know how we were going to get there. Before long we were riding on Eves new path that she had found. It was through the woods. The Old Boy was on his road bike, I bet he wished he had his Giant! And how that trike thing was going to cope with it I don't know! It was a bit sticky in places!

We popped out near this, hut thing. There were some people sat on the steps. "I'll give you 50 quid for the pink bike" said one of the chavettes. We sat there waiting for Steve, with the trike Steve, to emerge from the woods. "I wouldn't stay there too long" says the girls, "They will have your wheels off before you can blink" "How do you think we got them" says a quick thinking Spencer.

Steve did appear, but again, not from the path where we were waiting for him! He was further up the road. I didn't have a clue as to where we were. I was still waiting for the likes of Starts Hill to ride up, because I knew we were not too far from the pub. Then I suddenly recognised where I was! The A21! The pub is not that far, and there is no more hills to climb! Wow, way to flatten a route guys!

We ended up at the Woodman, sat outside under the awning on a lovely summers evening, sampling Orangeboom (it's a lager not  tune!)

Another great evening ride, one of their shortest rides though, but still great fun. We were all chatting about bikes and rides we had done, and some of the others had a go of the trike thing, and Spencer had a 'trip' on it too, litterally! He tripped over it knocking a full pint of beer over himself, Paul and Steve! Yup, I think me and the Old Boy will fit in nicely with these guys and girls!

Here is some pictures of yesterdays ride. And I'm sure I will be able to ask Spencer for the group shot outside Bromley Station!  Oh, and the geeky stats as well.

This is Eve, The Old boy, Spencer in red and Steve, who we collected on the way!

This is Mellisa, Steve with the trike Steve, and Nev in the green, who rode the pink bike.

Eve help me 'tidy up' our mess, its a thing that I just have to do!