Sunday, 23 December 2012

Lets Get The Bikes Out Again!

Hello blog lovers.

I just had to go out. Mind you, the Old Boy had to be make the suggestion to get out, I could have quite easily have just sat on my backside watching Christmas movies until it was time for sleep! But I was quite glad about getting out and enjoying the remarkably warmer December evening!

I have bought myself some glove liners, recommended by a friend. It was certainly cheaper than other options, and considering I have spent quite enough on gloves this year, I thought it would make my bank balance a lot happier too. But of course with the unusually warm evening I really didn't need my thermal liners! But I did want to see how they felt in my waterproof gloves.

Our route is really only a very leisurely ride around town, with a couple of stops for a pint, well it is Christmas you know! We went up Faringdon to head on through the park at the top of the hill.  It felt good to be out, I felt sure I was going to enjoy my little cycle around. I have missed my riding, and I am definitely going to substitute one of my running days for a riding day, and also have Saturdays as a riding day, but Saturdays will be all pleasure riding days! (Weather permitting of course!) 

Our first stop is going to be the Red Lion at Bromley North. For beer lovers, so the Old Boy tells me, the IPA is certainly recommended, I had my usual pint of Forsters! We sat outside the pub, yes that right, out side the pub! It really was that 'warm' this evening, reminiscence of last year, when we were virtually never in during the evening!

Then it was through Bromley, but we avoided the high street today, because of all the shoppers that would be about, and also we wanted to go down Hayes lane to see the 'famous' Hayes Lane lights! They are just amazing, and such a delight to see. And just so much better than the high streets these days!

I remember, when I lived in Lambeth, it used to be a treat to go up Oxford Street and Regents Street to see the lights and the displays in the windows. All the shops put on wonderful displays in their windows, Christmas scenes, all moving. Disney characters, and Santa Claus and his elves, all in Christmassy situations. They just don't do that anymore. They give you a few lights strung over the roads, and then bombard your eyesight with the goods they have for sale in store.

After looking at the lights, and walking through the 'private' garden of the chap that puts the lights up, we headed for our second stop. The Greyhound at Keston. Just before I leave this thread of Hayes lights I just have to say this. While I was looking at the lights I heard a lady say to her friend/partner/dad/brother or whoever it was "Come and look inside the porch, its lovely, and maybe they will let you use their loo!" Now, I know the people who do the lights are very kind enough to let the public wander through their front garden, lean on their fence and walls to look at the display of lights there, but using their own personal bathroom, letting complete strangers into their home! I think maybe that will be a little too much to expect. Maybe the lady could ask if they sell souvenirs!

The Ride up to Keston was, well, quite a shock to the system. It's uphill, (always a shock to this Old Girls system!) but the shock was in ........ well there is no other way to say this..... but it was in the ass department! My ass has gone back to being a pedestrians ass! I was feeling every bump and lump on the way up. It felt like I was sitting on a concrete saddle! Fortunately for me the hill was doing wonders to take my mind off that! 

I struggled like a newbie up the hills again, my legs started to feel the burn! I wanted to stop, "Easy!" I shouted to the Old boy as I slowed down. I could feel my face grimacing as I pedalled up towards the pub. I looked up and saw the traffic lights, and I just kept on pedalling, hoping that they will be red or just turning red by the time I get there. "Go on, if you pedal hard enough you can make those lights" said the Old Boy. Well, I knew 'if' I could, then I would, but there was no way I could have done, I even slowed down a tad, just to make sure that they were definitely going to be on red when I got there. They was!

Just the last bit of road up to the pub and I was so pleased to pull in and enjoy a pint and a packet of poppadoms!  After our drinks, however, The Old Boy said that we were going to continue up towards the fishponds before heading home! Well, its a lovely evening, so why not! Onwards and upwards, as always!

We turned left in to Fishponds Road, stopped to spot the ducks with our headlights, and then rode to the end and turned left. A great ride, or coast down to Keston Mark, and then turned right to go up to Locksbottom. Not far to go now, just a little bump up to Crofton and then all downhills again. Can you tell that I am a totally hill dodger?!

As we were nearing our home we came across Big Son. The Old Boy was just a little ahead of me, and was chatting to our son. When I pulled up besides them the Old Boy said, "Jump on the back of mine I shall give you a backie, and let Big Son ride yours home" Well, I can't remember ever having a 'backie' and thought it would be fun to relax the rest of the way home, me being the hill dodger and all.

Well, now, I did tell you that my ass has become 'pedestianised' again, (and no, it dosen't mean it gets walked least I don't think so) It just means it's become soft again! Not used to being in the saddle. Take that in mind, and the fact that the Old Boys seat is not designed for women, plus (I hate to say this) but my ass is not as small as the Old Boys, the last couple of roads we rode down were the most uncomfortable, painful, and probably totally noisest roads ever! The bumps felt like I was being pummelled with a sledge hammer, and the seat......well, I don't want to talk about that, I am just going to make an appointment with my therapist tomorrow!

I do remember saying, "Let me walk, let me walk!" and the Old Boy saying "We're nearly there" I could hear Big Son almost crying with laughter behind me! Never again, never again will I have a backie!

So, geeky stats for you.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Sore Toe, And? Lets Go For A Bike Ride!

Hello Blog lovers.

As my regular readers will know, I did a turkey run yesterday, over 10k, in old money that is approximately 6.5 miles. But I did have war wounds from the run. My toe on my left foot was hurting like anything. If felt as if someone had stepped on it with their hobnail boots!

So the Old Boy suggested a bit of cross training today. Now, I love my bike, I love cycling! So much so that I am going to get a road bike, a bit more of a grown up bike, which I am really excited about. But the thing I do not like is the cold. I am still in the learning stages of what to wear, how many layers do I put on. Do I need to spend loads more money on base layers, liners for my already blooming expensive gloves, more thermal socks, hats, buffs, and everything else that will keep me warm.

I took my time getting ready. Thermal socks, my cycling pants, which did say that were thermal, then I noticed that the Old Boy bought same brand, same design, (boys pants of course), but they were called winter cruisers. Why are mine not called winter cruisers!? My nice warm winter running top, my lighter cycling jacket and my outer waterproof jacket! Woolly hat, and lights a blazing from all angles!

I looked a complete (almost) full kit nutter, (the shoes are specialised, and the hat is a karimoor) But I didn't care, I don't do cold! I turned the light off from the utility room and then the Old Boy said to me, "Are you forgetting something?" I looked a bit puzzled and then I remembered "Oh, yes, my bike" I said with an amused smile.

The route is just our usual one, up to Halstead, through the lanes, up to Biggin hill, quick stop at the pub! (I know, bloody freezing, but still) and then back home!  Now it seems to me that I have become weaker again on the bike. I have been concentrating on my running, with good reason, and getting up to Halstead took forever it seems. It could be the cold that is slowing me down, I know that the cold does zap your energy, so maybe its that. But at least I didn't feel as cold as I thought. We stopped by the roundabout to put on our headlamps to go through the lanes.

These headlamps are brilliant, they light up like car head lights. They work so well that I have to let the Old Boy stay quite a bit in front of me because his reflective panels are quite blinding otherwise, and I cant see the road, the bushes or even cars coming the other way! Just goes to show you how brilliant it is to have reflective gear on!

As we were going through the lanes the Old Boy told me how long we had been out, and also that he would have been in Keston or Hayes if I wasn't here! Well, all I can say to that is "*rassssspppberrrrry*" I just keep saying to my self, "You're out here Old girl, and not glued to the soaps on the telly" I can't even tell you who runs the Queen Vic now, or if Emerdale has had its festive disaster yet!

I just plodded along at my own pace. I was quite pleased to get to Cudham North Lane. I thought that if we went down there instead of going up Grays Road I could be home a lot quicker. Fortunately I pulled myself together and told myself to 'man up' and get on with it. We turned left and then the first right on to Grays Road. "Get the feck up there Old Girl" I said, quite loudly! The Old Boy thought I was talking to him "No, I'm just talking to myself" I said as I pushed hard again on the peddles.

Now this road is not as bad as some of the hills. As Big E said about Ditchling Beacon, there are flat bits. And they are better flat bits that Ditchling. Also there are some down hill little pieces as well.  I like riding up this road. At the top of it is an Indian Restaurant. Lit up like a Hollywood Premier film showing. But that is at the very top. When you reach that you know that there is all the down hill section left before you get home, with just a couple of little bumps. But I just love they way you can see the glow from the lights around it, you just know its just around the cornner.

The best bit now.  All down hill, pass the airport, and the (fiber glass) spitfires. Now I was starting to feel the cold. No buildings to keep up the temperatures or bushes to keep the cold wind from us. Brrrrr.

As I said earlier, we stopped off for a pint. But I was so cold, we smashed the pint down so quickly the barmaid might as well just poured the pint straight from the pump down our throats! We quickly got ready to go on the last couple of roads to get home.  My hands started to freeze. My hands hurt! my feet were numb! Memories of my last FNRttC came flooding back. But fortunately I only have about a mile to go before I am in the warm, and eating my dinner.

Winter wardrobe needs sorting! A look at Wiggle later, Christmas wish list  to be written, and then to be left somewhere to be found. So any more experienced cyclists reading this, please let me know, HOW DO I STAY WARM!  BRRRRRRR!!

Geeky stats for you (oh and due to be blooming frozen, I forgot to turn off my Garmin at re re-hydrating station (as one of my fellow runners calls them, which I kinda like) and the fact that my fingers didn't work when I got into my house, there is extra minutes of sitting in re-hydration station, and wondering room to to room in my house!