Well what a beautiful day! Way to gorgeous to waste inside a spin class BIMS! Putting on weight, well get out here and work some hills! As you can guess Bims wasn't with us today, she is on a static bike, with blaring music, sweating in a small room with other 'wish I was out on a proper bike' people!
This morning I woke up in perfect time, even had a cup of tea and slice of toast. I got all of my stuff ready, helmet, gloves, keys, sorted out my long sleeve cycling jacket (just in case it's not as warm as it looks) and I was pretty much ready!
I left my house in plenty of time to get to the Village Cafe and rode there with a big smile on my face looking forward to my ride today. I had in mind that Mhairi probably wouldn't be heading out to Botely Farm way, and maybe even had in mind to do one of our favourite routes, Downe Village, and the Spinning Wheel. I had such a lot to do today, go shopping, bake a cake and make a lasagne! But riding my bike on a glorious Monday morning, I just couldn't resist.
As I was just getting to the cafe I saw Posh-Totty (Mary-Annes new nick name!) just pulling up some chairs for everyone, but she was the only there. I must have been really early! She had ordered herself a cup of coffee, a little pick-me-up, for the morning after the night before, on a school night too!
Deborah soon joined us and we sat and waited for our leaders. Sure enough Fiona came by, looking very lovely in her Panagua cycling gear, (I so gotta get me some club colours!) and then she told us that Mhairi was having some mechanical! Her wheel bearing is playing up and she can't ride with us. This is how dedicated she is, she sent a message back that if she could get back to hers, change bikes and meet us on route she would do!
Fiona wasn't going to be able to ride with us either as she had to get back, but she wanted to come and tell us about Mhairi. So it was just the three of us. We discussed routes, with Fiona giving some suggestions as well, but (I guess with me whinging a bit) decided to do our Spinning Wheel route! All I could think of is that beautiful long ride down hill. As long as I think of that then those hills are going to be nothing! (Yeah, right!)
We set of with Deborah leading the way, onwards and upwards towards Keston. Well, we did enjoy a short down hill first, but then it was the climb all the way to Down Village. Now, you know how I hate hills, and really am trying to love them (through gritted teeth) but these two girls just seem to thrive on them.
I feel sure that they have found a way to tap into their endorphins real quickly, while I am still searching about in this body of mine for my own endorphins! They breeze on up the hills, chatting away while I watch their skinny legs pedal up in front of me. Oh to have skinny legs, and Posh-Totty's waist seems to be shrinking too!
They were talking about weddings and wedding dresses, P-T has booked her wedding! I am quite excited for her, I just can't join in the conversation though, even if I was close enough to hear anyway! My breathing is just all over the place. I so got to work on more h..., hi..... oh you know, those blooming upside down holes!
We stopped at the usual bus stop for a catchup, of course there is only me to catchup, and that's when Deborah offered me a 'sky' of her water. See I can talk kid lingo! Just in case you haven't hear that before (or is that not the in thing to say any more, man) 'skying a drink' is when you squeeze the water into your mouth from a distance, rather that greedily sucking the life out of the bottle! (Not that I would have done that anyway). But I have done Downe Village and the Spinning Wheel with the Old Boy before, and we rarely take water, so I didn't take any. If it was a thirty miler than I might have had to take her up on her offer!
We crossed over the road and continued our way up to Downe. And now the hills get steeper, those upside down holes on the earth, torturing me, mocking me, making me watch those two girls glide like ice skaters up the hill! Oh I could so do with some ice now! The weather was just perfect, I however have come dressed as an onion! so many layers! I even put on my long pants today! I hate being cold! I would rather do a slow strip on a ride then having nothing to keep me warm.
Once we got to Downe we had another catchup, and that was when I took up the offer of a drink, as Posh-Totty offered me her bottle. Well, anything to have a slightly longer rest! We continued our ride after another chat, and this is what I love about our rides, it's one of the highs, I love riding with the Panags, well that and the lovely long down hills we have on our routes!
Getting to the Spinning Wheel seemed quicker to me somehow, I won't put the mockers on it and say I must be getting faster, bad JooJoo and all that, but it did. Unless I am just wishing the hills away as quickly as possible and I got into some kind of zone until I come to the top of hills! But there we were, just about to enter the car park of the Spinning Wheel. There was another cyclist who had come up Grays Road and he was grazing (see what I did there) on the blackberries that were growing there. A little nourishment for the rest of his ride!
Grays road, although has lots of down hills, it is a rather undulating road. I can pick up speed on the down hills but then those 'undulations' come and spoil it for me. Posh-Totty and Deborah take the lead, I did set off first but I knew they would get in front of me at the first up hill. And as we started the first up hill park so I heard the inevitable "Coming by on your right" as P-T rode passed followed by Deborah. "My time will come" I said to myself as I pedal after their skinny legs, "That long lovely road awaits me"
We soon got there and the girls let me go before them! Give me time to put a bit of distance, just in case they have been practising going fast down hills! I just flew down there, smiling all the way! Love this road, even the undulations, as long as I can get the momentum I don't slow down too much on the ups.
Perfect! And all to quickly it was over. I waited in the car park for the other two ladies, they arrived about a minute behind me. We had another quick chat, mainly about these two now going up Old Hill, while I continue on the A21 to go back home to do all those chores I needed to do. That's when we discovered that P-T's tyre was a bit soft.
Posh got her pump off her bike, something she has yet to use and then put it over the valve and started to pump. We could hear the air coming out, and said that maybe she needed to put it on a bit tighter, Debs put the pump on and tightened a little knob over the valve and Posh again started pumping. "There is usually a lever that you move on other pumps" I said after all the pumping didn't seem to put much air in the tyre. Posh-Tottys painted fingernails were certainly getting a work out!
One more look at the pump showed the lever! It's a bit like the blind leading the blind! I know how my little gas canisters work on my bike, simply press hard on the valve and voila! Tyre up in seconds! But Posh was still pumping away after tightening the knob and the lever to try and secure the pump on valve. Posh laughed as she said "All the gear and no idea" It made me chuckle, as I looked at the three of us, all in our lyrca cycling gear, two of us on road bikes trying to get this tyre pumped up.
In the end, Posh decided that she will take a slow ride back to the station and then flutter her eyes at the loved one and get him to sort it out for her next ride! Me and Debs so wanted to have a go at changing it, which I know we could have done, but I guess I had to shoot off really and that would have meant Debs and Posh to deal with a possible puncture!
It was a great ride though, and I do hope I didn't keep the girls waiting for too long. That is always my worry when I go riding with everyone, and that is letting them all down and not being able to keep up to well. But the more I get to know these girls then I should know, they are not going to mind too much!
Oh this is a picture of Posh-Totty working on those arms of hers trying to pump up the tyre!
|Posh-Totty with the helping finger|