Wednesday, 15 April 2015

What A Lovely Day!

Hello Blog lovers

You will notice, if you are not as unobservant as I am, that this is my cycling blog!  One of the hottest days of 2015 so far requires the necessity of donning the Lycra padded shorts and cycling jersey! Normally I would be glued to the telly watching Hollyoaks, just love that programme, its the only English soap I watch these days!

But anyway.  The weather was just perfect for a spin on the bike, not too hot, deffo not cold.  And as I am in training, with just over a week and a half to go for D day, then a nice amble up to Downe Village and back home again via Jail Lane, Keston, stop off for a well deserved refreshment and then home again!

There were so many cyclists out this evening.  There is a certain camaraderie between cyclists, it's a bit like all those Porche drivers, except they acknowledge all those on two wheels no matter who made the bike!

I have noticed though that I have deffo lost my cycling fitness.  Whilst I have been concentrating on my running, and of course the dismal winter months where I just have not felt motivated to go out, has caused the loss!  Long live summer, I say!

Bims has discovered 'spinning' classes.  During those dismal cold awful weeks I have accompanied her on some of the classes.  Blimey, they are tough!  And I guess it's a good way to 'try' and practise getting up on your pedals while going up hill!  You would think that, wouldn't you? But let me tell you, being on a static bike is, of course, completely different to being on a REAL bike!  When you go up on your pedals at the gym you don't have to worry about losing balance, cars coming past or even looking where you are going!

Needless to say, I didn't get out of my seat going up to Downe Village, but I did cycle all the way!  No stopping, not even when we got to Downe Village itself!  Downe was just our turnaround point!  We, that's me and the Old Boy by the way, rode down Jail Lane, and then to Biggin Hill.  Just love that ride down there!  Easy on the legs!  With just those little undulations towards the turn off for Keston.

Those hills used to make me almost cry back when we first done this route.  After that lovely down hill section to go into those hills afterwards, by quads used to cry out to just give up!   I even had to pull over at the bus stop to recover a bit.  Today, I still found it tough, but I had enough energy to just keep going, slowly until the Keston turn off.

All the way down to the Greyhound, pint of lager (great carb loading for the VLM!) and then home!  Lovely ride, done at my speed!  I don't think I could have gone faster even if I wanted to anyway!

Geeky stats for tonights ride!

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Monday, 6 April 2015

Easter Monday Plod Out

Hello blog lovers

Oh my goodness! Has it really been that long since I have been on my bike for a plod out!? Well, at least I know I can still ride!  My bum's sore though!  My saddle ass has definitely disappeared, probably replaced by this wide load one!

But anyway, I nice ride on a bank holiday Easter Monday to Eynsford and back home again.  I wasn't sure how I was going to do, I have been concentrating so much on my running for the marathon, my cycling has gone by the by.  Although I was thinking I could put cycling in as crosstraining, it just doesn't seem to have worked out!

The route was up the A21 to the Halstead Turn off and then right up up up to the roundabout.  From there it was the second exit to Shoreham..... ooops sorry was going into sat nav mode then!  But we did turn down the Shoreham turn off.  This route so far, has mostly been climbing, and considering I haven't been on my bike for ages, well apart from the odd trip to the rec to do the beginners running course, then I think I haven't done too badly. At least I haven't yet got off my bike and walked it yet.

While we was riding through the village of Shoreham we passed a pack of cyclists..... group, cluster, muster, gang.....what would you call loads of cyclists together?  It was the crew (another name!) from Bromley Cyclists, the Wednesday  Weekly Wanderers, yet today they were the Monday Marauders!, Meanderers, Members, out for a bank holiday ride.  There were loads of them, from youngsters, to not so youngsters! They were heading in the opposite direction to where we were going.  I could only imagine them going up that hill that I had just cycled down!  I wasn't envying them at all! Still it was nice to see them all!

Now before we to to Shoreham, I hadn't switched gear on my left hand, just changing the right hand gears.  With this ride today  I planned to not get off and walk on any part, and so far all has gone to plan. Although I may have flicked it once going up to Shacklands road, and didn't really realise that nothing changed!  I was just concentrating on going up the hill!  I had flicked it back into the middle gear, and carried on pedalling.

It wasn't until we started to go up the hill to the Tea Rooms, just by Shoreham station that the Old Boy had noticed that I could still drop a gear!  When I told him that the indicator on my handlebars was telling me that I was already in the lowest gear then we noticed that actually my derailer had stopped, it was stuck, there was no moving it! Well not with the cables anyway.  I decided to keep it in the middle cog, (I have a treble, but I expect you guessed that) and headed my way up to Eynsford.  I was looking forward to my a nice little stop over at the Plough!

Eynsford was soon in sight, The incline up wasn't too bad, I have normally done this part of the route in middle gear anyway, with of course switching to top gear when the hills were in my favour!   When we got to the ford we saw the Bromley Cyclists again!  They had gone up some of the hill that me and the Old Boy had previously come down, but then  they cut across to ride along past Lullingstone Castle and the Roman Villa!  Of course when you get to the little river it is almost impossible not to go and check out the ford.  And so that is where we bumped into them again!  Eve, and Steve, and Helena, and all the rest of the gang.

I just thought then that maybe just maybe someone may have some 'oil' on them, a can of WD40, but the only suggestion that was coming across was horse poo!  I didn't fancy trying that out.  Instead, the only lubricant that I was fancying at that time was a pint of Amstel at the plough!

After being suitably refreshed, we headed up Crockenhill Lane!  My legs were hurting!  I am not sure that the stop was a good idea!  The Old Boy suggested we 'hand moved' my derailer into the easier gear, just to get my up the hill.  Once at the top I can change it back into the middle ring.  I was determined not to walk any of this route though.  I know it is supposed to be a nice pleasure ride, and I even said that if I needed to walk any of it then I would do it!

I was so pleased that did it without getting of my bike or in fact even stopping, well not until I got to the bridge over the M25!  Which is where I got the Old Boy to again man handle my derailer again.  It is getting easier.  I think all the months that I haven't used it, and it's been in the shed, it has just seized up a bit, a bit of muck stuck!  A bit of TLC to do on my bike, me thinks!

We turned left and rode all the way down and up, to Orpington, we were going to tackle Poverest Hill.  Again I was determined to do the whole lot in one go. But by now my legs hurt, and my bum hurt!  My sit bones were complaining big time!  But guess what!  I did it! I rode up that blooming hill, slowly, but all the way in one go!  And then carried on till we got to Petts Wood.  With a quick stop there before going off home!

A lovely ride, I had fun, and I am glad I didn't get off and walk on any of this ride, or even just stop half way up the hills to get a breath, (just at the top of them!)  And it was really nice bumping into all the Bromley lads and lasses! Keep on cycling!

Geeky stats.

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