Saturday, 31 May 2014

Surfs Up!

Hello blog lovers.

Ok, so the surf wasn't up in fact the sea looked remarkably tranquil, but the sun was up, and both me and the Old Boy are slowly getting over these silly colds that keep on finding us which means we are off out!  So after a bit of a tidy up in the garden, and meetings and other 'stuff' that needed doing we packed out bikes into the car and headed off to ride along some of the Viking way!

It wasn't going to be a long ride, it was going to be just to get out and enjoy cycling along the sea front!  Virtually traffic free, with the rest of the afternoon that we have left!  I think next weekend we are going to do the whole of the Viking Way!  It really is a lovely route.  And with just a couple of bumps to negotiate too, it's my kind of cycling!

We arrived at Reculver and quickly got the bikes out, and we got changed into our cycling gear!  The sun was shining brightly at the seaside too.  I was very glad of that!  The air felt slightly cool with the breeze bringing up goose bumps on my arms, but I knew that I would warm up as we set off.  There were quite a few cars with bike racks hanging off them or strapped on top!  I would imagine the cycle route will be quite busy.

Just before we went through the first gate I noticed this contraption where you can fit at least 6 to 8 people on it and each has pedals to use!  Fantastic!  That really is social riding or maybe even a family of cycling enthusiasts!  I am going to have to look out for something like that to have a go on, maybe even a girls night out! Just the front two riders need to be the 'designated' riders the rest can have a couple of bevys!!

The ride towards Margate a nice and easy paced ride, even though the Old Boy wanted to go a bit faster! I like to enjoy the surroundings, look around, listen to the birds and the sea and the kids enjoying the waves 'coming for them' on the beaches or slipways! 

We stopped for a coffee and cake about 2 miles out from Margate, it looked like it was a very popular place.  Underneath the walkway there were chaps with telescopes, trained towards the sea.  There were quite a few of them  I think they were star gazers who were there to promote star gazing I guess!

It didn't take long after that to get to Margate.  It all seems to have changed there, their council seems to have spent some money on the place its has some lovely looking pavements and pedestrian bits! After doing the usual seaside things, eating cockles and sharing a portion of chips, we head back the way we came.

It is quicker and easier on the way back!  Strangely enough, although we are on the edge of Britain, right next to the sea we seem to be cycling down hill!  Is that at all possible?! Getting to Margate, seems to be a little bit more effort, what do you know, eh!? Strange.

Anyway, after the lovely 'easier' ride back to Reculver we stopped at The King Ethelbert for a most refreshing and much needed drink!

No Garmis, no timings, it really was a very pleasant ride, no one knew how fast we were cycling, or how slowly, so no one can nag or moan, which ever the case may be!  Great fun, and I am looking forward to doing the whole route very soon.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Back Up Downe!

Hello blog lovers.

Well today, as I have no kiddiwinks till 3 ish I decided to go for another bike ride.  But this time Nagging Sister was coming with me. She was talking yesterday, on facebook about if its raining, and stuff like that, maybe not go.  But then I started saying things like, if she is not careful then I will take her up Cudham North Lane!  Do you know what? She took me up on my offer! "Bring it on" she said.

So that's what we did!  I was thinking, "What on earth was I thinking, I have a stupid cold effecting my lungs, and I'm heading up CNL"  I don't like riding along the A21, so I used the backstreets to get to the bottom of Cudham North lane, at Green Street Green.  After a quick breather we started up the darn hill.  "Why did you write that" I was thinking as the incline started.  I just knew there is about 5 miles of no stop inclines!  Oh well, the thought of lunch at the Queens Head is always inspiration!

The couple of little hills that we had to climb up are all forgotten now as the hill in front of me fills my thoughts and works my thighs......calfs, hams, lungs! The snot fairies were working overtime, and my headache seem to intensify as I breathed in.  But I had no intention of heading back down now!  Even if I have to stop, I will not be going back. 

I believe I got up to the Blacksmiths in about '3 moves'. We had a 'scheduled breather there and were ready for the next part and that is to Grays Road, and then to the Shampan.  All non stop too.  Well, this part of the ride is not too bad, I know I can do it.  Although my lungs were busting, and my head was hurting, I was still enjoying being out.  I was going to take Nagging Sister down the other country road and then get to Jail Lane all the way to Downe Village.  At least that was the plan!

After reaching The Shampan, instead of going down the main road, we went down Buckhurst road, a nice little country road. There is a turning down here that will take us to another road which then will take us up to Jail Lane, and Single Street! Perfect! But no, I missed a turning which took us all the way down the hill, and then all the up, up, up to, wait for it, The Blacksmiths Arms!

It would have been easier to have had our lunch there. But not what did I decided to do! I still want to go to Downe Village, down Church street, but then up up up to Downe! Crazy woman!

We eventually got there, here's the proof! Lunch, me with my usual bacon and brie baguette and N.S. with her....soup! Whatever takes your fancy! But for a drink she gets herself a nice little Pinot Grigio and I have a diet pepsi!  Still, the diet needs to be kept too! 

My lunch!

But when she goes ahead and orders herself this, well, I just had to have just a little taster!  How I didn't order myself one, I never know, it was delicious! 


It was so good!

But I need to lose these extra pounds so I just have to get on with it!  Just the ride back through to Pettswood to do now, and we went down to Shire Lane, and then across the field like me and Charlene did last week!

All in all a very nice ride, even if it did take forever, what with some more 'Gift Collecting' again for the tribute run that I am organising!  By the way, if I've given the impression that I rode up all of the hills, well, it didn't happen!  Nagging Sister, however did brilliantly!  She only stopped and took breathers on Cudham Road, (another hill that I walked up)

Geeky stats.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Up Downe!

Hello blog lovers.

What a lovely day it was this morning!  And a super day to go for a cycle ride.  It seems that my aging sister had forgotten about me and I was planning on doing a solo ride.  But with one quick upload to Facebook I managed to get a cycling buddy to come along.

Charlene is keen to go cycling and has been riding locally, she is young, tons younger than me and so well up for the ride to Downe Village for a lemonade and a sarnie!  I arrived at her place and she was all set, keen as anything to get going!  "It's a bit of a challenging ride" I told her, "Have you been to Downe before?"  She said she had, and what mum hasn't, with Christmas tree farm just a little bit further up the road from the village itself.

Well the first hill was a lungbuster, Hollingworth, just to get us in the mood, ok, it's a tiny little one, but it still gets you puffing and prepared for the hills to come, just a little warm up for the long, but not very steep ride up to Downe.

I wasn't quite sure how Charlene copes with main roads so I kept to the little side roads, before crossing over the A21 to get to Farnborough.  Our first proper bit of resting! Well, it is a rather nice ride down to Shire lane from there!  There's hardly any traffic either with is always a lot nicer than getting a lung full of fumes!

Just to keep off the road a little more we went in through the gate on Shire Lane to High Elms Country Park, and then we popped out on to the long, long road up!  I remember the first time I attempted this road, I did it in three!

Charlene was doing really well, but it was a hot day, and if you're not used to challenging roads it can be quite a thirsty thing, not to mention getting your heart rate pumping!  Here is Charelene,
Charlene.. Thirsty work!

 Now days it just takes me a while, but I can do it. But Charlene hasn't done this ride before, and it is quite a challenge for fresh legs!  So we took it easy!  I don't want her to not like cycling!  That's not what its all about.  So we walked some, we biked some, and we screamed at  some!

When we got to the Village we went straight to The Queens Head and had a very welcomed non alcoholic drink, with a sarnie!!  Most enjoyable!

A well earned Lemonade

My lunch!! Yum

Suitable refreshed and energised I decided to head back home the same way, out and back.  But to make Church Hill a little easier we went through a little path that was just opposite the road we came down from Downe.  A bit of 'off-roading' which is the kind of cycling that Charlene has been doing!  Heres some pictures of  the field we went through!

Sound Of Music moment!

Just can't wait to get back on that bike!

Yoo hoo, is that snake there!

Quick, I'm sure there is a snake!

After this I think she started to remember the down hill sections of our ride as she said "Oh, shoot!, we got to go up there now"

But all in all a great ride and at least Charlene was still smiling at the end of it, and she wants to come again on another ride! Maybe I shall try and choose one a little less challenging next time though, after all I want to keep it fun for everyone!

And Geeky stats, well, sort of!  I forgot to start my silly Garmin up on a couple of occasions!  Brain like a sieve!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Back On My Bike!

Here we are just
before we set off
Hello blog Lovers.

It's been quite a while since I have been on my bike!  But Tuesday I just needed to get back out there and do some riding.  Nagging Sister also wants to do some more riding, so we have decided that at least one day during the week we will go for a bike ride!  While I have free time then it just makes sense!

So after a particularly bad start to the morning, namely me finding myself double booked to be in two places at the same time, I eventually got out of bed to get ready for the bike ride.  Nagging Sister had already been on at me to get ready, the 09:00 start was way, way late!

We only wanted to do round about 10 miles together, and because of the upset I had that morning I hadn't even planned a route, we were just going to have to 'wing it'  So I just set off towards Pettswood.  I had in mind to do at least a couple of hills, just to try and get us used to cycling, get us stronger and fitter.

The hill I had in mind I kept to myself! I didn't want to tell her too soon, I didn't want to spoil the ride.  But the first undulating road was the one up to Chislehurst Road, and by the time we got there I think Nagging Sister had an idea of what hill I had in mind!

We turned left and then she realised that I was heading for Summer Hill!  But I did tell her about the little cheeky left turn that we can take, which will take us up a slightly less steeper way to get to Thornet wood Lane.  She hadn't know about this little road and was intrigued by it, and so that is where we shall go!  So the other end of Summer Hill will have to wait!

On our way there, however, we bumped into Nagging Sisters pal, in fact she used to run with us, had also had a nick name!  But do you think I can remember it at this moment!  This is how long she hasn't ran with us!  Because after she had stopped to just say hi and to catch up a bit on the old gossip, she some how managed to agree to at least two times a week running with Nagging Sister!  So no you can understand how and why Nagging Sister has her nickname!

After we said our goodbyes to Yvonne we headed for Summer Hill!  Just before we went down it I stopped at the top of the hill to check everything on my bike. I am sure I can hear a rattle that I have not heard before, so I wanted to make sure that I will be able to apply my brakes as I made my descent down the hill.  It had to be a nice slowish ride down as I didn't want to be whizzing past the left turn that we need to take!

Totally satisfied that my bike was just fine and dandy, and Nagging Sister checked hers as well we headed on down.  A nice controlled ride down to the bottom of the 'valley' and just before we headed up the hill we made our left turn.

Now this road is an unmade road.  Cars use it for a carpark as it's near the train station.  We had to twist and turn our bike around the big pit holes of the road.  Nagging Neighbour still wasn't quite sure where it will come out but I knew that as soon as we got to the tarmacked road she will know where she is.

After that we headed up Barfields Road and turned left to go through Jubilee Park.  When we got to Tent Peg Lane it was only 5 miles in distance!  "Well lets do it again" says Nagging Sister "Ok" I said, but this time we are going to go straight up and down Summer Hill, no turning through the unmade hill"  "Done" she said

So we did the whole loop again!  this time finishing at Bread and Butter for a coffee and a cake! Then I just rode with her to Blackbrook Lane, she went home one way, and I went home the other!

A great little ride, it felt good to be on my bike again!

Geeky stats for you.