Hello blog lovers,
Today the weather was a lot cooler than it has been for some time, so a good day to test out the changes that have been made to my bike. Hopefully I will feel a lot more confident on it, I can apply the brakes when needed and hopefully help to sit in the right position for a darn good cycle ride today.
We left in the afternoon, I was wondering whether to take lights on or not, but I thought we would be back in plenty of time before they were needed. (I should have realised that it was me that was riding, and not Chris Froome) It was going to be a very hilly ride as well, its one of the Old Boys, 'Get fitter' routes, and one that he does after he has left me on a Tuesday, around 6:30 ish, and then meets Pettswood in time to join me for a social drink with the PWR's around 9 ish in the evening.
I was still feeling a tad apprehensive about todays ride, yes I wanted to test the bike, and yes it needed to be a fairly challenging route, but I alo didn't want it do affect my hands too much if the bike and route was just too much for my already suffering hands.
I had a lot to concentrate on, my riding position, my cleats, hands to make sure I change positions, the roads and traffic of course, and obviously to try and keep the speed going to make it as enjoyable for the Old Boy as I can..
The first test for me was going to be on Fox Hill! Going down hill has been a bit of a worry for me, with the whole applying of the brakes issue, I know I like to go fast, but I also like to know that I can slow down and stop when needed. I started down the hill, and kept the brakes going on and off, testing my hands, slowing the bike down and speeding up. I didn't feel totally comfortable, but I was glad that I could slow the bike down when I wanted to.
That hill done and now its the up hill part. The bit I need to relax on, not grip tight on the bars, relax in my saddle, keep a bend in my arms and try and get my whole core working together to make for a better, safer more efficient ride. It's a lot to remember for this Old Girl. And not only that, but also the climb up Botley Hill to do!
I think I did pretty well. Put it this way, I didn't get off and walk! It was tough climb but the Old Boy told me there is yet another nasty little blighter yet to come. It's a hill that I haven't managed to cycle up, a bit like Ditchling Beacon. A total challenge for me, one that I have failed on several occasions! I gave it a damn good go though. but I'm afraid it beat me. I was totally furious with myself, I felt like a complete fraud in my Lycra, cleated shoes and 'racing bi-atch bike'. I am afraid the Old Boy got the full force of my total failure frustration! Lucky he loves me! It took about 2 or 3 stops to get up to the top, by this time, the Old Boy was in front of me. I tried and tried to keep up, but I just plodded along about -2 miles an hour! There is a pub at the top of this hill, and that is where the Old Boy was waiting for me!
He went in and the came out with....2 packets of crisps! "What, no beer?" I said "They are having problems with the electrics" he said to me! "NOOOOOOOO!" I cried out. I looked at my orange juice sitting in my bike rack, I was just too tired to move to get it out. But just then the lovely young lady bought out our beer!
From there we went on to do a tad more hill climbing. Until we got to the most scenic scene, over looking a body of water called Bough Beach, I took a picture of it, look.
I didn't think I could do another hill, but I managed it. In fact from there on, there was not one hill that I didn't manage to get up in one on the way home! We went through Goathurst Common to Besuls Green down into Riverhead, Dunton Green and Shoreham. Shoreham was where we stopped for another refreshmet.
I knew where I was from here, 9 and half miles or so from home IF we went up towards Halstead! But I thought I need a ton more training and decided to go to Eynsford and up Foo Kin Hill! I think I must have been delirious by this time!, but really, there is only hills in the way of my home! No matter which way I went.
It took me forever to do this route, a route that normally takes the Old Boy 2 and half, but with me on board it took nigh on six hours but we did have three stops for refreshment, and to pick up a dinner, as it was getting fairly late, and I for one didn't fancy cooking!
I did take a picture of the lavender fields up near Eysnford, the smell is just gorgeous as we cycled passed the fields.
oh and he is the geeky stats, from the Old Boys garmin, he was mostly behind me, even when we reached the giddying speed of 33 miles an hour, in a 30 mile hour zone!