Hello blog lovers.
I saw on our page yesterday that at least Debbie was keen to go for a ride, Mhari and Posh Totty were more of a 'Lets see how I am in the morning' They had done a rather long hilly ride on Sunday! Think kids drawing of a crown, with seven little spiky things on top, well that was their ride yesterday! So you can imagine how pleased and surprised I was to see that they both said they wanted to meet up today!
I was kind of hoping that it would be cancelled. I had a rather exciting day myself yesterday, after a very successful PWR's 10k event we were celebrating in the pub afterwards! So I was feeling a little delicate. But the day looked just too perfect to let it go by the by. So I made an effort to get out there and meet up with my cycling buddies.
Bims wasn't going to be there, she was having car issues, what on earth that has to do with cycling I don't know, but I expect she had to find time to take it to the garage! So I shall let her off. I got to the cafe at Hayes to find Mhari talking to a cyclists, I think she was getting 'Mitts envy' This guy had these rather weired looking mitts attached to his drop handle bars, to keep the wind and the cold and the rain off! How cool is that!
Soon the other ladies turned up, Sian, Debbie and then Mary-Anne (Posh Totty). Mhairi was in need of a coffee before we set off, and I was so pleased about that, as I could get a bit of extra fluid inside of me. I guess several pints the previous day is somewhat dehydrating!
But we soon got under way, "Tatsfield, that's where we will go" said Mhairi. I couldn't quite think where that was, but I knew that she did say it's going to a nice slow and steady ride! Perfect for a lazy, hungover Old Girl like me!
But of course these ladies are keen cyclists, (you have to be to tackle the ridiculous hills they did yesterday and then come out today!) and this nice genteel, slow ride takes in a hill.......or two! What I didn't realise is that you get to Tatsfield from Botley Farm Inn! So it's a slow and steady climb all the way to the top! Yup, these girls love a hill!
Of course there is one good thing about going up slowly, on a nice country road is that we do chat. This is where I noticed that they really were taking it easy, as I could keep up with them on some parts of the road. We were chatting about all sorts, as usual. But we also chat about really important stuff, stuff that really you can't chat about in mixed company! So gentlemen, please skip the next paragraph or two, but I feel this needs to be out there! This really needs careful consideration!
Commando or not? Seriously, I have the same issues while running! Hungry bum! I even wrote an article for a new running magazine about this, the most intimate of problems. But now I find it needs to be spoken about, research needs to be done, unless it's done then the results need to published, and maybe even "How to use your new cycling shorts, bib and shorts, long tights etc" Because, being a lady (ahem, no giggling ladies!) I do tend to dress carefully and um fully!
But is it necessary! After all the padding in the shorts are extremely comfortable! But, I don't know, it's not a question I asked the guy and the cycling shop when I bought them! Can you imagine the question "Er excuse me, knickers or not?" Hmm. It's something I need to know the answer to!
It's these things that I ponder about as I climb steadily and slowly, watching all the skinny bottoms in front or me cycling up. It's on my mind.......so to speak! I was so pleased when we got to the top of the hill! The very top, the part where all the other times I have been here, mostly (apart from the time me and Bims had lunch at the pub) we have executed the perfect U-turn and gone flying back down the magnificent hills!
But today, with the look of expectation in the eyes of my fellow Panagua Ladies, I [willingly] said "Yes, of course, lets turn left and ride on to the round about, passing the pub, with the most delicious bacon club sandwich" The was a "Well done Old Girl" a they all encouraged me with my decision to carry on.
It wasn't until we got passed the roundabout and going down the road that Mhairi told me about the little hills that we needed to get up, after going down some rather steep twisty hills, with gravelly roads to negotiate! Well, we are here to challenge ourselves, right?
The first hill I could get up, it was tough, but the only reason I kept going is because I was going so slowly that I didn't want to stop pedalling to unclip from the pedals otherwise I would have fallen off! Oh man was that a tough 'cheeky' little hill. I think Mhairi has done this route on several occasions, but she was like the navigator in a rally car, "Ok, so the road is broken up a bit here, it bends to the right, be careful, then it rises........." and she continued to describe the whole of the road. Excellent piece of leading/guiding (as she was at the back, she doesn't like anyone to ride this bit alone) and we all got up there.
Well, I did have to get off my bike and walk! There was some horses just at the bottom of the hill, just about the place where you needed a bit of speed to use the momentum to get up some of this next hill! It really was horrendous! I virtually came to a stop almost immediately, in fact it was so immediate I forgot to shout out "Stopping" Thankfully Mhairi is experienced and managed to ride around me.
At the top of this road we came out by the Shampan! I didn't even know where we would end up! But at least now I know that it is virtually all down hill! We had the choice of going via Biggin Hill or continuing on down Grays Road and then flying down Cudham North. But I really was feeling a tad tired now, most of my water had been drunk and I was in need of a bit of sugar, the jelly babies that Mhairi had given me early had been used up just walking up that bloomin hill!
So we rode down to Biggin Hill and stopped off at Costa Coffee. A nice medium cup of coffee and some sort of crispy chocolaty thing was just what I needed. I have no idea what the distance was today, but I know the ladies had their Garmins so I shall tag those later and let you know the distance!
After we had been refreshed we rode on home, some were heading in different directions so we said our goodbyes beforehand.
It was a brilliant ride, a tough one but I was so pleased that I decided to go their 'extra mile' and head to Tatsfield. I didn't take my usual photos either. My head was deffinitely not right this morning!