It's Monday, the kids are all back at school and I'm free!! It's been a long 6 weeks, I've missed the ladies, and I've been getting very jealous of their Monday rides without me! But I expect they have been doing some great speedy rides while I've not been there!
Charlene was joining us for the first time today, she has been off her bike after a rather nasty fall involving tree stumps and mountain bikes! That whole mountain biking thing is not for me, but Charlene loves it! But this will be a good ride for her to test her legs on!
The Panagua Ladies were meeting up early today, as Mary-Anne needs just that little bit more time to get home and do stuff! We all met up at the Village Cafe in Hayes, Charlene needed to pump her tyres, and.....we had to wait for Mary-Ann, her train was running late! Oh well, nice to have a chat with everyone while we waited, she did let us all know that she would be late though!
On todays ride there was me, Bims, Charlene, Mhairi, Sian, Linda and Mary-Anne! A nice size group really, and even though I say it myself, we are a stunningly gorgeous group of ladies! All of us blond, so Mhairi pointed out! As soon as we were all ready we headed out on one of our usual routes. There are several very good reasons why we are heading out on the same route today, and that is, 1) There's a few of us who have had less saddle time than some of the others, 2) It's Charlene's fist time out with us, 3) just in case people want to zip along on a faster ride, at least we all know where we all need to head for! Mhairi will be zipping between the faster riders and the the slower rides (for slower riders read... Old Girl, ie ME)
So our destination is Downe village, then on to the Shampan. Both lovely places, and apparantly there is a new coffee shop at Downe, and the Shampan is a lovely Curry house, but we will not be sampling their wares on this ride! No, us ladies don't know the meaning of 'stopping!' not until we get to the end of our ride! Ok, well, we do stop for a photo shoot, and we do stop for hydration and cereal bars that we bought along when we get to the Shampan! But only then! And maybe a couple of catchup points, but no more!
I was way behind the ladies (as usual) as we were riding to Down Village, and I started to beat myself up a bit. Mhairi came to the back to check up on us, (for us read me!) and she was exactly what I needed right then! She really put me in my place! There is no way I should be beating myself up, as she said, "We all have off days" and then she started to tell me there are all sorts of reasons why we feel less energetic on some days. There are hormonal changes, the menopause, and other unmentionable things that only female comedians speak about in public, and that's just to mention a few! Of course she is right, the fact that I am out here desperately riding after all the other ladies, following, as they effortlessly fly up the hills, with their thin thighs, skinny waistlines and chiseled cheek bones, is all that needs to be said! I am here, I am doing it, I am riding!
So, after our photo shoot, heres the picture,
|Charlene, Mary-Anne, Sian, Me, Bims, Linda and Mhairi|
After that it's the steady but not so steep climb to the top, where the Shampan is. That will be our next catchup point. The other girls had gone ahead, me and Charlene were just pedalling along, nice and steady! But Charlene was starting to struggle a little bit now, it was a rather nasty crash she had, even her knees came a cropper! Talk about bruises, and they were only half as bad as her 'boat race!' Anyway, we don't dwell on that, we dwell on the fact that we are and will get stronger, fitter and better!
Mhairi came back down the road and she said she would ride with Charlene while I carried on riding up the hill! Smug mode coming up now. Here is this (cuddly) 50 something year old (thats me, just in case you hadn't realised), riding a rather lovely black and pink Specialized road bike, up a (slight) incline towards the Shampan ahead of the abs sporting (ok, she has been injured) 20 something year old (and yes her knees were very, very badly bruised, stop making me feel bad for smug mode!) who was riding a rather lovely white and purple 'really heavy' mountain bike, with almost tractor like tyres! But I still got in front of her, for the first time on this ride!
Ok, now smug mode over, but I won't delete above paragraph! This next bit of the ride is my favourite! 'I feel the need...for speed'! It's the fast bit, it's a straight road all the way to Cudham North Lane, and I said to Charlene, I shall see her at the end! It's not the fastest part of the ride, but we are getting close to it! It's the undulations of Grays Road.
The first half of this road has been very nicely retarmacked, and it's a dream to ride on. Sian, Mary-Anne and Bims were in front of me, with Linda, Mhairi and Charlene at the back. We just rode all the way to the end of the road. There were some fast bits, some slow bits, but so much easier than what we have been doing! When we got to the end we waited for the others to get to us.
Once we were all there it was time for the most bestest bits of the ride! Cudham North Lane, and we won't be turning right to go off somewhere else, missing this fantastic down hill section either! Mary-Anne, Sian and Bims were all in front of me, and we started on the down hill towards the A21! Oh, it was sheer heaven! But then I kept having to put my brakes on a bit as I got closer to Bims, there was only one thing for it "Coming past on your right" I said, and Bims, let me fly by, and so did Sian and Mary-Anne! Fantastic. All the way down to the bottom of the hill!
If only I could fly up hills too! Anyway, once we all got to the bottom we made up way back, up the A21 then turned left to go to Farnborough Village! We had coffee, tea, cakes scones and bacon sandwiches! Of course, we only had one thing each! After all it was only 20 miles (at least it will be by the time I get home) A great ride today, the weather was perfect, the company was perfect and I just so enjoyed it!
Here is the remnants of our coffee stop! I aways forget to get pictures of the before!
Here is the geeky stats. it's on the Old Boys Garmin, but do notice that 'top speed'! I am sure that I didn't reach that, but I did take a peak at one point and saw that I was travelling at 27 mph! Crazy Old Girl!!
Bromley Common and Keston Ward Cycling by ACC1960 at Garmin Connect - Details