|My bike with her new 'shoes'|
after a clean up!
It's Monday, and it looked quite nice out there this morning. of course that can only mean one thing! Get on me bike and meet up with the Panagua Ladies! I wasn't sure how I was going to do today, as I ordered some new 'shoes' (pedals) for the Bi-atch. I thought it was about time I bought myself some more 'grown up' pedals for my Spesh. I had hoped to have already tried them out before my ride today, but time just flew through the weekend, but I managed to get a little practice clipping in and out of them in my kitchen before I left this morning! I must admit, it felt more difficult to clip in, and I had trouble 'finding' the right place to get my cleats in.
It didn't seem to get any easier even after I had loosened them so I decided, I would just ride on down to Hayes, to the Panagua Shop, and let the girls know that I will just poodle around Normans Park today and practice clipping in and out. But when I got out, it was so much easier to get into my pedals, I had obviously needed to be on the road! I was riding along, clipping in and out of them like a pro! I even did an 'emergency' clip out of both of them at the same time! Perfect. So I will be going with the girls after all!
But then on the way there, just as I got to Barnet Wood Lane, the rain started! Oh poo! If there is one thing I really hate is riding in the rain! Not only because I look completely twaty riding in the rain with dark sunglasses, (I have clear glasses but I didn't bring them!) but also the rain gets all over the lenses, I have no ass-savers (which I just found out this morning exists) and I just bloomin hate it!
When I got to the Village cafe Mhairi and Fiona were already sitting at a table, Mary-Anne was in the bike shop. She was having a wardrobe moment, was she going to be too hot, was she going to be too cold, maybe keep a layer on or leave it at the shop! Well, I just wished I had remembered to get my camera out, then you could see how she solved the problem. I am sure the guy eating his breakfast would have agreed with her choice of cycling attire! We also had wait for Debbie, apparantly she was wrapped up in her duvet when she got a text about today but she was dragging herself out of her warm comfy bed to be with us (she has only just got back from holiday)!
We waited for a while, with a coffee, just so that we could see if the rain would clear up. We had such a laugh while it rained down, side splitting laughter only girls know how to do we we get together. No rain was going to make us unhappy about today! It eventually stopped raining and we quickly got on our bikes before it started up again! Our destination......well, Mhairi had mentioned the White Bear, which means HILLS! It's the same place that me and Bims went on Wednesday, only this time I have a wet ass to make me even more happy about it! (you know that I really do love riding really, just not hills!)
There were five of us today, a nice number, and of course they are all fitter than me, plus younger, and Deb's thighs are so skinny and now tanned after her holiday! The girls are a caring bunch, and they all wait for me at the top of particularly nasty inclines till I get to them! Fiona also stayed behind to chat with me. I think I managed to talk back with her using more than one word most of the time!
Going up the long, long incline, well all I can say is that I am so glad that we all have become firm friends now, and I can be as relaxed as I am when I am riding with Bims, because as Fiona will tell you, I am not particularly fond of hills, I don't like them in an shape or form, and did I say....I don't like hills, so I have my own way of pshching myself up to get to the top of them! It took a lot of psyching, let me tell you, especially in the rain!
It was like that all the way up to our 'turn around point'. We had a couple of choices once we got there. We could either head towards Botley Farm Inn (no stopping there though!) and then through Biggin Hill, or turn right and go through Addington(?) I think that is that way, you know, heading towards Wallingham. We never took either of those options, we chose the last option especially as the rain started and helped us make our minds up. We were going to go down the same way we had just come up from with just a slight deviation so that we can ride past the White Bear instead, well she did mention we will be passing it!
It felt so good, it's the sweeties at the end of a ride, it's the cheery on the top of the cake. Even in the rain I could get up a bit of speed. Mhairi did offer to stay at the back with me, but then she remembered.......I will be flying on down these roads behind her! So Mhairi took off, I past Debbie and Fiona, (she will still be staying at the back to make sure everyone takes the right road) and just took off after Mhairi! Love, love, love hills! Erm, well, the down hills of course!
The rest of the ride was just perfect, the sun even came out at some point en route! We rode along Nash Lane again and then back down Gates Green road towards Cony Hall! See, I am getting to know my way round now! It's taken a while, but I am getting there.....I think!
Just one last hill to do before we got back to the cafe! And it felt just as hard as all the climbing I had already done, the girls all of course overtook me! We got back to the cafe and it was tea, coffee, paninies, burgers and eggs! I was starving, and no I didn't eat all that lot by myself! But it did mean my camera didn't come out, although, again I wish I had, eggs on toast! Believe me you had to be there!
This picture of the profile of todays ride on Mary-Anne's Garmin looks extremely impressive, like a huge mountain that we had just climbed up! (although not so on the big stcreen!)
|The Taj Mahal?|
Geeky stats from the Old Boys Garmin.
Donnas Panagua Ladies by ACC1960 at Garmin Connect - Details