Monday, 18 April 2016

Look - I'm not 'Billy No Mates'

Hi blog readers!

Yay!  Look at me, riding with the fast girls again!  Ok, so they all had a pretty busy weekend, and PoshTotty was coming back from injury, but here I am!  Not only that! Not. Only. That! I was 'ride leader' (notice I didn't use capitol letters there!).    But today there was, me (of course) then PoshTotty (Old girl, you are stating the obvious now!) then we had Karen and Jo, but also we had a newbie, Alex, a friend of Yogabear!

I arrived at the shop exactly at 10, and there was no one there!  I was afraid I had missed them all, as they all so fast!  But I waited a couple of minutes and then they all arrived.  First Alex, followed by Karen, Jo and Poshtotty.  We are missing all the others, but I am sure we will all be riding together again soon.

As Posh was wanting a nice gentle ride it seemed that Downe Village was the destination.  Of course, for the ladies, this is a gentle one, for me is eyeballs out puffing out my backside, but it's a good training route for me!  I will get to their standard, if it kills me I will!  So I lead the way, and I was immediately in a dilemma.  Do I go really fast as I can, just so the girls don't get too bored, or just poodle along, nice conversational pace (for me that is), hmmm.  A difficult one.  From where we start, wherever we go it's all uphill!  I just know I can't pace as fast as the girls on the hills!  Give me a down hill and I'm there!

So it just left me just trying to do something in between.  We were heading up hill and I was going as best as I could.  Their girls came along side and chatted to me, when it was safe to do so of course.  And then Alex said she would take up the lead for a while!  I had just realised, they were all slip streaming!  I was doing all the hard work!  Of course I am jesting, we were not going that fast to cause a slipstream!

Once we were on the road that leads to Downe the girls all went before me "See you at the top" they said, apart from Posh, she was still behind me "I right here" she said.  So I kept on pedalling all the way to the top!  The others were waiting there for us, and as usual, photo time!  This is them, looking lovely,
Jo, Alex, Karen and PoshTotty (Mary-Anne)

and this is me, looking blimmin knackered!

Me......having a kip!

Oh, and this PoshTotty, always good to get a selfie!
You need to do a selfie!!

We carried on along Single Street.  Today, as there were five of us, there was no need for me to do the nasty little hill, you know the one, the one that defeated me last week!  As there were plenty of them to tackle the hill it only left me to ride on the hard bit.  The skinny path way, with the dangers of the barbed wire fence and the fear that another cyclist might come in the other direction!  Someone had to do, and I felt it was my duty, as a Panagua lady to tackle this difficult part!

I always feel so much better once we are all back together and riding up Berrys Green Hill.  I can do this road, even though it's uphill.  It's still uphill, and I seemed to ride up it easier, shall we say, than the hills so far.  Maybe its psychological, maybe I know that at the top of this road is the wonderful undulations (mostly down hills) and then Cudham Lane!  The long down hill!  It certainly does put a smile on my face and energy into my boots.

We took a break at the Shampan, and Karen shared her snack.  Absolutely delicious it was too!  Some sort of coconut thing with chocolate! Tasted far to delicious for looking like a healthy snack!  Then it was time to do the next bit!  Down and up the undulations.  I was really enjoying the longest part of the down hill along Grays Road, until I was faced with a car coming through on my green light!  They had temporary lights set up as they were busy tree cutting, or whatever it is they are doing there.  But it was totally obvious the car coming through had jumped the lights on the other side!.  I had to pull up at the bottom of the hill, so losing the momentum of getting back up the other side! Tut, I was not pleased!

And so it was time for Cudham Lane!  "Go on then Old Girl" they said, get going.  They all know I love a down hill.  I set off, I picked the pace up as much as I could.  I was so enjoying the flat bits and the slight uphills and then it was the downhills all the way to the bottom.  I was just so enjoying it, "Come on then!" said Posh as she sped past me!  Now she has certainly conquered her fear of the down hills and was just flying out in front!

We got to the bottom and turned around, just a few seconds more and then other three came down and joined us!  Brilliant, you gotta love a down hill!  And now, we go back up! Up to Farnborough Village!  Boy do I hate hills!!  But at the top of this one is a lovely cafe!  Look, this is what we had...... although Karens arrived a little late........and she sat there and waited patiently too!

Ok, so we started it before I captured it on camera!

After our coffee and munchies we went home.  A great ride, a toughie for me, but so nice to be riding with the girls again!

Geeky stats......with a bit missing, nothing has changed there then!  Ooops, I just remembered why there is a bit missing!  My Garmin stopped after I bent my wrist and accidently turned it off!  And why did I accidently turn it off....I hear you ask?  Well, here's the thing.  I was tired, I was getting up this last hill, turning left and trying to continue to get up the hill!  Before turning left I unclipped my shoes, just in case I need to put a foot down, but I must have clipped back in again and didn't realise.  Now, remember I was tired, it was a hill and I struggled to get up it!

I turned my handlebars into the kerb, and it hit, I tried to put a foot down but of course it was stuck.  Cue one large pink lady falling slowly (thankfully) to the left onto the soft grass (again thankfully).  I giggled, I looked around to see if I was seen and the got up quickly and walked up the rest of the hill! Hmmmm, next time, make blimmin sure it's unclipped!

Monday, 11 April 2016

Downe and Back!

Hello blog lovers.

It's Monday, and usually it's Panagua Ladies day.  I noticed on our Facebook page that some of the ladies went on long rides yesterday, 44 miles, 33 miles and I do think there were some hills in there.  So when I saw that they were planning on just a nice easy gentle ride I thought I would just rock up there and surprise them.  It's been so long since I been riding with the ladies and I have missed my riding buddies.

After I dropped off the child to school I came back and got myself ready for my ride.  Out of my house and then got to the gate and realised I had left my sun glasses, so back in to collect them.  Locked the door again and then realised I had forgotten my helmet!  So eventually riding along to Hayes to meet the others!  I was feeling really excited!

I got to Panagua Bikes with about 15 minutes to spare so I popped into the shop to see the nice young man to just raise my saddle a bit. I tried myself to undo the bolt thingy but I could do it! (such a pathetic girly excuse right!).  With that done I went to the cafe and ordered a coffee to wait for the others.  It was while I was drinking my coffee, sat at the table that I decided to look Facebook and noticed that no one was going to be here!  Mary-Anne  had some problem with her knee and decided to rest up which meant that Karen didn't come along, as she didn't know that I was going to be there!  I should so have checked it sooner!

So now I had a decision, either got back to mine and then ride the loops for an hour, meh! Or just ride to Downe, the gentle ride(!)  as the ladies would call it!  I took the bull by the horns, or at least my bike by the handlebars and rode up to Downe!  I was just going to see how I did.  At least there is no pressure on me to keep up, no fear of letting anyone down as they have to wait for me.  I will use this a 'lets just see how well I do' ride to Downe!

I went along the exact way that we usually go when I'm with the Pangua's, and I was just riding along as best as I could.  My Geeky stats a missing bits as I had forgotten to start my Garmin, and then I had remembered that I had taken off the Auto-pause, when I was running with the beginners!  My head was deffo somewhere else this morning!  So I think there is at least 4 miles or so missing from my stats.  Not sure why I've added that bit of info here, but I think my brain is still not focused!

Riding around the loops as quick as I can is slightly different than riding up long blimmin hills!  I was hoping that my legs would 'remember' that it is getting easier and quicker now.  But my goodness it was still hurting.  I was also doubting myself again that I am still not quite up to what the girls have been doing of late!  I was pleased that my brother had called me along by Fishponds Road just so I had an excuse to stop and answer my phone!  But then I did cycle on past the bus stop where we usually just have a breather!

Riding up to Downe I noticed there were some really stupid drivers again.  When there are more of us they tend to give plenty of room, maybe because we look bloody gorgeous, all of us lovely ladies on bikes, but with just little old me,  I just think they took advantage!  It's not as if they couldn't see me, I am a big pink bird perched on a a bike, I think by then my face was glowing too!  I took a picture of me and my bike, I guess it looks a bit like 'billy no mates' but it's something I would have done anyway, (mainly to have a little break!)

I was seriously think that I could just ride down the other side of Downe Village, towards Shire Lane and then go home, but I had a firm talking too and pushed on up Single Street!  "You're out Old Girl, you're at Downe, hard bit all done, now go find the sweeties, that lovely long fast descent of Cudham Lane!"  Or words like that!  So I pushed on to where we would have gone had the others been here.

When I got to the place where the ladies turn left and then go down down the steep hill, sharp right turn and then back up, and I usually ride along the footpath, I decided to follow the ladies example and ride the road!  Blimey, what a cheeky little fecker of a hill that is.  Going down it is just as hard, as it's quite bendy, and I knew I had to turn right just a short way down.  But then turning onto Berrys Green Road and being faced with the hill up was quite daunting!  I was totally in the wrong gear, I could hear cars behind me and I just lost confidence.  I had to stop and let the cars go by, but then I couldn't get started again, especially as on of the cars was just up ahead and pulled into a house!  Oh well, get off and walk then Old Girl!

I did ride up some of it, I got back on my bike before the place where I would normally join the ladies, I felt a bit better.  I find this part of the ride a little easier for some reason,  I think it's because we are mostly as high as we get on this route, with just some little ups and down, or it could be that I know just at the end of this is the Shampan, and then ....that road!  Nearly at the 'sweeties' road, fast riding all the way down!

Again along this road another plonker driver decided to drive past me just that tad to close!  It was on the widest part of the road too!  Why would he do that, he was in a white van, maybe it's part of White van drivers test!  But anyway, I was so pleased to see the Shampan.  and I took another opportunity for a photo!

The next road was exciting, but not as exciting as Cudham Lane,  I was so going to enjoy flying down there.  I was just praying there wasn't going to be any stupid drivers that will spoil my enjoyment of this road. It seemed my prayers were answered!  Look at this!

 It felt so good, I even called out "Woo Hoooo!" as loud as I could while I rode on down there!  A big smile on my face met any drivers coming up the other way!  Better than they scowl most of the drivers have had to deal with from me so far!

I couldn't believe how quickly that bit of the route went!  It was so much fun!  Oh well, I continued with the route that we would have taken if all the others had been there, and that included stopping off at the Cafe in Farnborouh Village.  I took this picture especially for Mhairi! ;-)

It was most delicious
(and they were warmed up too!)

So that was my solo Panagua Ladies ride today.  Here's the geeky stats, and I think the other bit is on my Garmin site too, where I messed up a bit, so I think I covered about 20 miles today.  Still not as fast as the group, but I am going to work hard to get there!  This is me, after I got in, still looking blooming pink!