Monday, 31 October 2016

Panaguas!! Hello!

Hello blog lovers.

Look at this, two riding blogs in a row!  And boy, does a certain part of my anatomy knows about it!  I had no children here with me, I didn't need to be waiting in for packages, I had the key to be able to put the dog in his house and my bike is in perfect condition, just waiting to be ridden!  I finally can get out with the Panagua Ladies!  It has been a long while!

I know my cycling fitness has dropped off quite a lot, months of not being on a bike regularly will do that!  But I didn't let  that put me off meeting up with my pals.  Mhairi was going to be there, she hasn't been along for a Panagua ride for a while and so it was just so good meeting up with them all.  We had a big turnout today, 7 of us including Carmel, she is new to the Panagua's and this is her first ride.  We had YogaBear, Lynn, Karen and LongJoJo.  They are all pretty fast, fit riders!  They just love a climb!  Where as I just love a descent!  I am like the chalk to their cheese, but what a welcome back I got along with SpeedyMhairi, I have just come up with her new nickname!  We just need PoshTotty, Linda and Bims back and we will have all the first members of Panaguas!

So, after dropping off little dude to school, coming back, taking the dog to his house, via a short walk, and then getting my stuff ready I still managed to get to the Panagua Ladies at the cafe on time!  I think!  They were still there which was good!  After the introductions to Carmel we were soon off.  They usual route for me, the girls were being kind!  I was feeling a little nervous, I didn't want to slow them down too much, but I so want to be able to keep on riding with them.  I will have to do some loops or something, to get my legs stronger.

Getting to Downe is an uphill struggle all the way, from the moment  we take our first right turn its up and up.  But I took in a big breath and got on with it!  Lynne was in front with me next and then rest of the ladies behind. I think they wanted to keep an eye on how fast.....slow I had become!  Lynne kept checking that I was still near her.  Mind you she said to me "Can you chat and ride Old Girl?" When I told her "Yes" she said good we can go a bit faster!  That is the sort of thing I say to Tracy when I am running along with her!  It's all good training!

We rode on through Keston to the A233 and I so enjoyed that little bit of down hill to our next left turn that will take us to Downe Village.  The girls by now had all gone ahead of me, Mhairi had stayed behind to encourage me all the way up to top, our usual photo stop!  And this is it!  YogaBear took this picture, it was a pity there wasn't a random about so that we could all get in the picture!
Karen, LongJoJo, Camel, Lyne
me and Mhairi!

Although it is still all uphill it does feel a little better. I have decided it's because I have now become numb when I get to this point!  Almost delirious, in fact if you told me to hop on one leg clucking like a chicken I would probably do that!  We took the path to Berrys Green road, when I say 'We', it was me and SpeedyMhairi.  The rest of the ladies went down the road to climb up the cheeky steep bit first!  See what I mean about them loving a climb!  SpeedyMhairi came with me as she didn't like anyone to go by themselves anywhere.  But then she could see how much loss of confidence I have as I try and cycle along the narrow path!  It has given her ideas again of getting us to go along to a Velodrome!  Something that I am really thinking about now, even if I do it once!  I am sure it will be a great experience! "Keep you eyes in front Old Girl" she said to me as I kept looking down at the path!

Out of the path and I decided to just keep on going, no stopping till we get to the Shampan.  The girls had waited a little further up for me but I rode on by.  It's still up hill so they will and did pass me by again.  Again I didn't want to stop, not until we get to the Shampan! That was my next 'rest'  The girls normally stop here and have snacks and stuff.  I never remember to bring stuff like that!  But I think I may start getting an energy drink, just to give me a little bit of energy!

From here we discussed which way to get to the A21.  You know me, I love a down hill, and Cudham North Lane is 5 miles of downhill!  I wanted to ride down here, I love riding down here!  Not everyone likes riding down here, so we were going to go into two groups once we got there. One lot going to Knockholt and me and Karen going down Cudham.  But once we did get to the 'seperatation' point everybody had decided to ride Cudham!

It felt so good riding down there, I was in front, of course that didn't last too long.  Even though I just let go there are a couple of spots on this road that I take just a little slower.  YogaBear then overtook me and she was just sitting a few feet in front of me.  Then a couple of miles down SpeedyMhairi can riding on past us and starting to pull away from us.  This is why I decided on her Nickname!  She just flew past, all tucked in, down on her bars looking like the professional cyclists!  I was impressed that's for sure!

SpeedyMhairi got there first, then YogaBear and then me.  We waited just a few more minutes before everyone else joined us.  The next stop will be the cafe at Hayes, where we started from, so up the A21 and then turn left into Farnborough to face that horrible hill.  This one is always a toughie!  Usually tired and in need of sustenance!

We rode through Farnborough, the cafe that we use normally if we are coming this way and made our way to Hayes.  I was so looking forward to a bite to eat!  Nearly two hours after I had set off from home I was back at the cafe enjoying my burger and coke!  And a great catch up with the ladies!  A fabulous ride and such a perfect sunny morning too!

Geeky stats, way slower than what a Panagua Ladies ride should be, I have a lot of training to do!

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Sunday, 30 October 2016

Support Crew!

Hello blog lovers.

Yup I was on my bike today, as support crew for NaggyNeighbour!  She has decided that she is going to do an ultra marathon and I had promised her that I would ride along next to her on one of her long runs! Today was that day!  Thirteen miles of a nice slow ride!  It felt nice to get some saddle time in, no matter how slow I went!  But that didn't mean I didn't work hard!  Oh no!  Naggy likes to challenge herself with a few hills!  Well, actually, if you want to do a nice route, that doesn't take you around and around, driving you crazy on a long run, then hills will feature in your run, quite a lot!

The first hill was up the A21.  This is where I found that I can't ride slow up the hills.  I now understand why the Panagua ladies all zoom past me when we get to the hills. I wasn't as fast as they usually go, but I still needed to put a bit of power up on the hill!  I waited for her to get to me when I got to the flat bit!  She was still running!

At the top of the next hill we turned left to run down Locksbottom towards crofton.  A nice flat part of the route.  Naggy is running nice and steady, quite fast....deffo faster than I would be at this point if I was running!  We were chatting away, she is deciding about her nutrition on this run, whether to have gels first then the foody drink.  Last time she did it the other way around.  When you are doing ultra marathons keeping your energy levels is extremely important, and it's best to sort this out before the big day!  But she was still running!

I was her support crew, I had to bottles on my bike to hand over to her when she needed it, one with the 'food' in and one just plain water, I had visions of grabbing out the bottles from the bike cages and handing it over like they do on Tour de France!  No stopping, just keep on moving!  But I can't do that!  I need to stay focused on the road ahead and traffic behind me and blimmin plebs  getting blimmin close to me on my side! Why do drivers do that! Ok so I am riding a little slower than I normally do, but there is still no need to get that close!

We ran/cycled all the way down Crofton Road and into Petts Wood. Our next bit is going through Jubilee Park.  At least this will be traffic free, no more idiots wanting to see what perfume I was wearing! Well, when I say no more traffic, there were people! Lots of them.  Naggy just slipped by them I had to manoeuvre my bike through the gate and around the people!  Is there no where I don't have to dodge people!  Once past the gate though I caught up with Naggy!  Who was still running!

Up and over the bridge on Blackbrook lane, our next little hill is Plaistow Lane!  I remember this hill used to terrify me! Just before we go there though, Naggy swapped bottles, so she had her energy drink with her now! I know I can do this hill, but I will have to go a bit faster than what I have been doing!  So I rode on up and waited for Naggy to get to me! She ran the whole way!  I was so impressed!  I was feeling a tad guilty, thinking that I was keeping the pace a little fast for her as she tried to keep up with me, but she looked so comfortabe, still chatting too!

We ran through to Bromley North, and then I had to hit the pavements to stay behind her.  I wasn't quite sure which way she was going.  We headed over Kentish way and then took the back street to get to Norman Park.  This is where Naggy usually fades.  But looking at her now, there is no fading at all!  She was looking strong!  I on the other hand was feeling a little sore!  It's been a while since I've been on my bike, I need to do a few more miles to get my saddle ass back! We entered the park and she was looking good, she was chatting away and had no intention of going straight home.  Nope!  This time she will be doing the loop around the park!  Just the one! And then head on home!

It was amazing to see, she ran the whole way!  I am totally inspired!  Just running a nice steady pace, not speeding up, no slowing down, just keep it going!  That is the trick!  I am going to try and do that on my next solo run, or parkrun, which ever comes first!  I was just totally impressed.  I think my Garmin must have had a hissy fit because it was reading something different to hers, so I am going by her Garmin, which read over 13 miles where as mine was under!  Whats that all about!

Any way, geeky stats!

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Monday, 3 October 2016

An Evening Meander!

Hello Blog lovers!

Back to my bike!  Not only that I was out with the Old Boy!  It's been a while since we both been out on our bikes together, I just hope that my running, with the occasional bike riding and his lack of riding lately, will be able to bring our speeds to around the same pace!

I put my long pants on, forgetting all about my 'commando' training!  Boy did I feel that!  But I still only had on my short sleeve jersey with my long sleeve autumn jersery over the top of that!  Full finger gloves and my nice cosy socks!  Where did that summer go, eh?  I just realised how much I have missed going riding on my bike, but work and other things just got in the way!  Anyway, there I was ready, dressed and eager to get out, even missing out on my favourite programme, Hollyoaks, just to enjoy some of what is left of the light! We made sure we had fully charged lights and spares, just in case.

So Downe Village it is!  I had to make a conscious effort to try and keep at a steady pace!  But I also want to keep it so that I am not struggling every second of the way, but just a nice work out!  That's what I need to do.  Steady work out.  The weather is a lot cooler, the workout will seem harder.....or maybe it will be easier....? It's been a while since I could compare the difference!  Anyway, I was hoping that I had the right attire on for the short ride.  I hate feeling cold....or too hot!

We set off up the ally way, and then along the A21 towards the Farnborough turn off.  The hills, or boy do I hate the hills!  But these one are not half as bad as High Elms Road!  But I tried not to think about that, I am way to near home.......I don't want to suddenly find myself ...quitting.....and heading off home!  No, I can do this, just keep it steady, not too fast, I got to keep it enjoyable, not too slow, the Old Boy needs to feel he is working out......just right.

It was soon time to turn off for Farnborough and then that awful hill begins at the bottom of church lane!  I was not looking forward to it.  I tried to remember where I had stopped on the last time I rode up there.  I know it was about half way.  I am not going to beat myself up if I have to stop again this time, but I will try and try and try to get all the way to the Village before I do!  That is my this evening.....but my shorter goal is to get further up before I have to stop!  I know! I am rambling now, but it's all clear in my head.

I asked the Old Boy to cycle in front of me, I just feel a lot better if I am the last rider.  I can relax a bit more, I can go at my pace and not worry if I am getting in anyone's way or slowing them down.  I don't feel half as bad making them wait at the top thought! It's probably why I say to the Panagua Ladies to "Ride on by, see you at the top", they are all way fast than me at tearing up them hills!

I did stop.  And I was a bit annoyed at myself too....after I saw how near I was to the two pubs in the centre of the village! But I will not beat myself up.....I am back at it....I am here.....I am doing it!  I am not sitting on the sofa wishing that I had been on my bike today!  That is how I am going to look at it!  

But from the here though, from this tree in the centre it was non stop!  I just kept on going, up some more undulations as we rode on towards that lovely, perfect, enjoyable down hill to Biggin hill! I am glad that I decided to start my Garmin on that up hill to Downe Village because I can now see how fast I came down that hill!  It does feel good!

There was not stopping of for a crafty pint this evening either, no, we are both determined to get back into shape and lose those extra pounds!  I have a party frock to get into!  It's my running clubs 10th anniversay this November, and the day of the party just happens to fall on my birthday!  Now if that isn't incentive enough then I should just go sit in the middle of chocolate town and weep!

Here is just some of my geeky stats!  There is about 5 miles would have been that slow slog up to Cuckoo House, (something like that anyway) where I stopped for a breather!  The Old Boy had his Garmin on, I shall check just how far we done when he uploads it!  Just looked at them, and it's not showing how fast I was going, unless you go and look on the speed thing and go along it to see!  31 mph!!

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