Sunday, 30 July 2017

Pint, Pee and Puncture! - Ride London(ish)

Hello blog lovers

I heard there was to be some sort of bike thing happening in London yesterday, DiscoRich told me that he and IllustriousLeader would be going, they would be taking the train and then they will be riding around London, traffic free! Before some other race that was happening I think! Anyway, the Old Boy had plans to do stuff and then take off for fishing, so I asked NaggyNeighbour if she fancied a ride out to London, spot of lunch, and then ride through the city. Well, who do you know that would say no, especially when they have a brand new bike to test out! So we made plans.

After parkrun in the morning we both went home, I had to do some housewifey stuff, tidy, push the shark around (that's my fabulous new vacuum by the way) and then get myself ready. I think it was about 12:30 by the time I went over the green to Naggy's house.  "I'm not entirely sure of the nice quieter roads to Cator Park" I told her, "Don't worry, I know how to get to Beckenham and then between the two of us we will remember the rest" she said.  I was pretty sure that once we were on the roads we will remember them and which way to turn.

We set off for Cator Park, Naggy in front of me with me following closely behind.  We made our way, twisting and turning through the quieter roads of Bromley and Beckenham and we managed to get to Cator Park with no problems at.  From here I know exactly where to go.  We followed the WaterWay Link.  Oh I forgot to say, it had started to rain!  It started to rain when we were down Southborough lane, so very close to home that if it had been cold as well I am sure that we would both have called it a day, but actually at that time it felt quite refreshing, just a soft gently smattering of rain, but we still put on our jackets.  Fortunately the Old Boy told me to take his pocket rocket, as I wasn't even going to take one! 

The rain didn't last too long, in fact Naggy had shed her jacket when she waited for me as I had to negotiate traffic.  I took mine of once we had got to Cator Park and we continued with our ride to London.  We started chatting once we were on the WWL as there was no traffic to think about and were talking about things she will need for her bike, like a bike wedgie, full of stuff, like tubes, CO2 and bike leavers! An essential little pack actually!  As we were heading for the Moby Dick for lunch we thought a quick ride over to Decathlon would be ideal timing actually.

The ride into London went smoothly, well, there was one tiny little hiccup, when we took the wrong road, but we soon got back to where we needed to be! At least the rain was just about holding off!  I was think we were pretty lucky actually, it could have been so much worse.  We found out way to the pub and chained our bikes up to the railings outside.  Naggy had remembered to get a chunky lock for her bike, deffo an important part of cycling, especially when lunch is involved.  We both ordered a sandwich and had a drink while we waited.  A nice glass of coke for me, went down a blimmin treat, and then I ordered a beer!  Seafarers it was, well, we was in the Moby Dick! 

After our lunch we looked outside, there were hundreds of tiny little ripples in the river!  Yup, we hadn't escaped the rain after all, we just beat it to London!  So, the best thing to do.......have another drink, hope that it is just another passing shower! It didn't pass, it hung around and got worse! Back on with the coats it was and we headed home, we can do the bike shopping another time, and the ride around London, well, we shall have to try that again next year!  Again Naggy was in the front with me behind.  I was staying close to her, slip streaming, I am not sure it works with just one, although I wasn't right on her wheel, I don't like it when someone is that close to my back wheel so I make sure I am not that close to anyone in front of me. I had to have my usual 'comfort break' at the pub we pass by.  I am sure it's in my psyche, because I hadn't even thought of it until I realised we were close by. I am just glad it's there! I guess it could  We were about 2 miles away from Catford, where the Halfords is, and then the noise started on Naggys bike, a kind of flump, flump' noise.  Yup, she had got a flat tyre! The 'P' word was never mentioned, but we did talk about getting all the bits and bobs that would be needed if the 'P' word occurred! She looked at her tyre and there was a piece of glass embedded in her tyre!  

"What size is your tyre?" I said to Naggy, "Um, I don't know!"  So I rang the Old Boy to check it out on google!  Of course it's there on the tyre, and the tube that I had would fit no problem.  I got out all my bits and bobs, tyre leavers, Co2 and thingy for Co2 canister.  I only had the one cannister and one tube!  We will not be mentioning the 'p' word again until we get home.  So upended the bike and struggled to get the wheel off, thankfully she has quick release wheels, but I wasn't sure about the brake thingy, she has disc brakes and mine don't so wasn't sure if you had to 'loosen' the brakes.  and of course it happened to be the back wheel too!  So we had gears to sort out!

While we were trying to get the wheel off a cyclist came by "Are you ok there" he said. He looked a bit worried "Can you change a tyre" I said to him, "Well, I'm not sure really"  and now I know why he looked worried, he though we might ask him to do it!  "Don't worry, we got this" I said to him, and Naggy proceeded to leaver off the tyre like a professional! We changed the tube and then tried to blow the thing up!  No gas!  "Oh no, I've bought out an empty canister" I said to her!  I took the little thing off and looked at the canister, it's fine, I realised that I had just handed it to Naggy and she just screwed it on but not tightly, to pierce the canister! Phew!  Eventually we were all set to go, tyre changed in the pouring rain, and we needed no man, we can do this, we're cyclists! By then, however, the damp and chill seemed to affect my bladder, and I needed to pee again!  I won't tell you where I eventually found a place to go but I was near a river!
Wheels off!

We continued on our way and decided that we would skip Halfords and just keep on going, we I felt sure we would be fine.  It was around this time that my headache had started, it was really bad, I am sure that all I needed was water and maybe I was just dehydrated!  But the headache stayed with me for the rest of the ride.

Me and Naggy have done this route before, with Bims, and we met DiscoRich at the Moby Dick.  On that occasion I noticed that When I was behind Naggy on the way to the Moby Dick I was right behind her all the time, even having to slow down so as not to get too close, but on the way back she was just way ahead.  And yesterday wasn't any different!  She just seemed to find her cycle legs and was blazing in front.  I struggled to keep up with her, seriously, she was just so far in front of me.  She said that she finds the journey home seems quicker!  Quicker? Quicker?  For a start we are heading upwards, all the time, right up to Southborough Lane, it think then it flattens out just a bit!  Ok so it's not huge big steep climb out of London but there is pressure on your legs all the time!

We started to get a little fed up with the rain by the time we got to Shortlands, it wasn't feeling very pleasant, I was totally thankful for hot flushes.....I mean my power surges that kept my temperature up.  I think Naggy was warmed up to, from when we had left the pub she had really cooled down.  Nearly home, we took the back streets to get to Hayes Lane and then on to the A21 from there.  

I was pleased to get home, and if it wasn't for that headache I would have felt terrific for doing a nice bike ride!  Love my bike, and I will deffo try and do tons more!

Here's our geeky stats.

<iframe src='' title='Bike ride to London ' width='465' height='500' frameborder='0'></iframe>

Monday, 17 July 2017

Going Loopy Is Paying Off!

Hello blog lovers.

I finished my day early so I thought I would get in and ready straight away to go for a bike ride, before I even sat on my chair to relax!  It's quite easy to get home, sit down and not do anything!  I need to get out there and find my cycling mojo!  It's out there, I know, along with my cycling fitness!  It's going to take an awful lot of dedication, perseverance and determination, which at the moment seems to elude me, all three of them!

At least today I am out here, I am on my bike and ready to do the loops again.  I need to try and beat my latest loop time which was over an hour.  I know I can do it because I have done it before, just got to get back there and then do better! I guess that is the determination, I just got to find the other two necessary items!

I really wasn't feeling, it, I thought I would get that in right now, the ride up the little hills to Petts Wood felt tough, my legs felt like lead, so with that on my mind I just thought to myself  "Oh well, 11 miles on a bike is better than no miles on a bike"  as it's always said, exercise is better than just sitting on your back side. So I decided to do as best as I could.  I got to the beginning of the first loop and looked up at the hill I needed to get to and then just went for it.  Give it as much as I could on the down hill and then push hard on the way up, it sounds easy, don't it!  Well that first one wasn't as bad as I thought, maybe I had warmed up enough on the way here.  I got to the top of Petts Wood road and then turned left at the roundabout and then left again down BirchWood road.  The two hills along here should warm me up for the second loop.

When I was on my second loop I heard "Good on ya Old Girl".  It was Lynne from Panagua Ladies!  I gave a call back to her.  Maybe I will see her again on another loop, I still had two more to do!  It was a little tougher on the second one but I kept the pressure on myself, well, as much as I dared without me thinking it's all a big huge chore.  I love being on my bike, really, I do.  I just know that to keep up with the Panagua ladies I am going to have to put in a bit more effort, and to do any cycling on Saturdays with the Old Boy, in the country side I am going to have to find the love of those flipping hills!  That really does seem an impossibility, especially even when I am with my running buddies I just moan and groan all the way!  On the bike it is a little harder, it's harder to stop for a start, especially if you are passing parked cars.  It's not as if you can just suddenly stop and take a breather.  I don't think the drivers behind would like that!  So I just had to keep on going.

The third lap was just as hard, but I knew that it was nearly over, I even allowed myself a little smile, "Just one more Old Girl, and then it's on the way home".  The fourth lap started, I flew down the hill and I just hoped that no cars would come out from the right to make me have to slow down, and then I saw Lynne again.  "Fourth done!" I said to her, well in my mind it was done because I was on the way up.  Unless I do a complete U Turn then there is only one way to go home and that is to finish the lap.

I was feeling ok as I got back to the corner, the start of the laps in Petts Wood, and I started my ride back home.  I didn't want to look at my Garmin, I didn't want to think that I had gone slower, or indeed see that I could get a PB if I pushed harder.  I just wanted to enjoy the ride home.  It was a great feeling being on my bike, I think my mojo is coming back slowly, but then, do I ever do anything in a rush!

Geeky stats for you.

Garmin Connect

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Still Loopy!

Hello blog lovers.

Yesterday was a cycling day again for me, more of my loops!  I am determined to get fit as the proverbial!  So as soon as I could I was out of the door in my lycra before I could even think about sitting in front of the tv.!  I really love Hollyoaks, I would've watched it. In fact I can't remember the last time I saw Hollyoaks, I am not sure if that's a good thing or bad thing!  Just an hour, that's all I needed to cycle for, the hills will be doing me good.

Again I sat on the saddle and it still felt like I was sitting on pebbles!  I am sure I will find my saddle ass soon!  Off to do my loops, I had a song in my head, I don't know what it was, but the Old Boy had played a clip of a film, Southern Comfort, where they were all having some sort of barn dance!  I don't know what the song was called, but it's in French I think!  I had the tune rolling around my head as I pedalled along to the start of my loops.

I did the first one and I felt quite good, and then I saw J.J. just getting home from work.  I stopped my Garmin to have a chat with her!  Well, I am on a mission!  I only chatted for a few minutes and I even resisted the invitation to go back for a quick drink!  Three more loops to do and then back home.  The second one went well too, maybe it was because I had that few minutes break!  So now there is no break, it's straight up for the third and fourth loop!

I was very warm, I really don't know how I did it, but determination to do well does work.  I was annoyed on the way home about how much traffic there was going along Tudor way, it will severely affect my time!  Eventually I got across the round about and made my way home!  I turned my Garmin off and then chatted to the neighbours who were in their garden.  I didn't actually look at my geeky stats until after I got back into my house and and settled down for the evening!

I was quite pleased with it, 2 minutes quicker that the last time!  Yup, I will have that!

Geeky stats.

<iframe src='' title='Petts Wood Loops' width='465' height='500' frameborder='0'></iframe>

Monday, 3 July 2017

Gone Loopy!

Hello blog lovers!

I am chasing my cycling mojo, I think I am seriously gaining on it!  Today I went out by myself on one of my loops, trying to get 'match fit' as they say, and there isn't a hidden meaning in there, just in case you were wondering.  My cycling is strictly for fun!  But I have noticed that I am slower that I used to be, so I need to build it up again.

I procrastinated for the whole day, I found things to do, things to wash, things to change, look after little Deci (when the little fellow came to see me)  but I really wanted to go.  I just knew that when I sit on that saddle it's going to hurt!  Naggy and me had only just done a 20 miler yesterday, and that was after having a week break from the 28 miler last weekend!  I was just going to have to grin and bare it!

I got my cycling gear on, got my bike out of the shed and went outside!  I looked at my saddle and I thought "This is gonna hurt!"  I sat on my bike and I could feel the pain straight away!  It's like sitting on a couple of huge peddles! Oh my goodness!  But I just have to get over it.  I know that eventually the pain will go!  Just not today!  I cycled out towards Petts Wood, I wanted to do that loop today.  I thought that maybe the roads there will be quieter, even though with my procrastinating it was home time, so there was a bit more traffic on the road that I would have hoped!

I cycled to the start of my loops, just at the top of Petts Wood Road.  The down hill bit looks good, but then there is the road that goes up!  I start cycling down hill, trying to ignore the fact that I could quiet easily coast down, I do need a bit of speed to get up the hill using momentum!  It's a good plan, and I was thinking that as I am not as light as I used to be the last time I did these loops I was hoping that it will 'flip' me right up the hill before I had to start coming down on my gears.  That was my plan.

The first loop I thought "Yeah, I got this" as I remembered our ride yesterday to Downe Village.  There was no forgetting my ride yesterday as every tiny little stone or bump in the road I was feeling! At the top of the first hill I was feeling a bit smug as I found it, well, not as much of a struggle as I thought!  This is only the first hill though, only half a loop!  I should not get so cocky just yet!

I rode along Orpington road before turning left to go down Birchwood.  A nice down hill before the undulations of Great Thrift and the other roads that I need to do before I get back to the beginning of the loop.  I felt that I did that first one ok, buy my bottom was not liking it at all! "Maybe I should just do one one and then go home" I thought, "What's the point of pushing yourself" was another thought that popped into my head!  But I continued to do the second lap.

I know I was feeling so cock sure of myself on the second loop, but I was still enjoying it!  That's good at least, I need to be able to enjoy my cycling and not find it a chore!  Oh my bum!  And I need it  be pain free too!  That is going to take time in the saddle to ease the pain!  It's just like when I practised to play guitar, my fingers used to bleed and hurt like hell, but I was loving it so I continued practising!  That's what I need to do with my cycling!

The second loop done, I was fairly happy with that and I also though that I could do the third one, and if after that I am not really feeling it at that then I will go home!  So up again Petts Wood Road! This time a bus had decided to take up the whole road, right on the down hill bit, the bit that I needed to build up some speed to get up the other side!  This one is going to hurt!  I wasn't wrong!  I had to dig deep to get to the top of the road!  A bit of a rest at the top as I ride along Orpington Road and the nice down hill.  I got back to the start of the loops and I thought "It's only one more to do, so go do it" and I took a drink and then started up for the last loop!  It was tougher, I could feel my legs hurting....and my butt.....and I still have to do those other hills!  But I was feeling good! Well I felt good when I got to the top of Petts Wood road, and I felt good after I did those other little inclines!

I was feeling really very satisfied!  I did it, I missed Hollyoaks to do it, I was still totally bruised from Sundays ride, but I did it!

Check out my geeky stats!  I was quite pleased actually! (not sure why I can't get it to do the usual map) but you can click on the link and check it out.

Garmin Connect

Sunday, 2 July 2017

A Short one!

Hello blog lovers

NaggyNeighbour seems to have enjoyed her bike ride last week, so much so that she will be getting herself a new bike at some point! We decided to go for just a shorter quicker ride today, just one of the usual routes I normally do.

After church I came home to get myself ready for our ride to Downe Village.  I really didn't know how I was going to be when we start that hill to the village square!  I had a plan of stopping off for a nice swift one at the Greyhound.  So with plans, cash cards, bikes and everything else ready we set off.

NaggyNeighbour has never been to Downe village on the bikes before and wasn't quite sure of the route we would take.  I decided to be leader from behind.  I think me and Naggy were about the same paced cyclists at the moment!  I am hoping that I will get faster because I know that she will!  But for now I am quite happy plodding along behind screaching directions "Left! Right! Straight ahead!" I chose the quieter roads to get to Farnborough village. After riding through Petts Wood and just by McCalls I called out "Left" to her.  This is the route that PWR's take too, and it's all zigzag for a few roads, so every couple of minutes I was say, "Left, Right"  I think Naggy got slightly discombobulated as she was quite sure where she was!

By the time we got to Farnborough Village she had regained her sense of direction again.  The nice down hill section now as we ride down Church road.  It was quite dark with the trees shading the entire road, my sunglasses didn't help either!  But we would soon be through this bit, it's down hill after all, we shall fly down!  Shire Lane is at the bottom of this road and sometimes it can be quite busy, and sometimes drivers use it as a race track! But this afternoon after a particular driver saw that Naggy was just ahead of me, stopped to let me get over to catch her up!  I think the driver must be a cyclist too!

So now we are on this horrible road, it's a climb all the way up to Downe Village!  It starts of just fine, and I was even thinking, "Wow, this seems relatively easy at the mo!" But it was just the beginning!  I knew just a little further up it will get steeper!  I still stayed behind Naggy, I even said to wait at the top if I am lagging behind, but we kept the same pace together, so nice chatting to take our minds of this blimmin rising road!  I started to flag a bit, I thought I was just not going to be able to do it in one go!  I saw a little bit of space on my left and I said "I think I might just stop here!" Well, that didn't go down to well!  Naggy is not called NaggyNeighbour for nothing!  "Just because we are not running, doesn't mean I won't nag you" she called out to me. Flippin Nora!  I was spitting feathers, I just need to grab a drink!  But she wasn't standing for that, "Come on, we can do this, keep on pedalling!"  And so I did!  I managed to get to the village centre and I had to go and fill my water bottle up with fresh water from the pub!  Oh my goodness, it tasted so good, so cold too! Perfect!

Next it was Single Street, it's still a slight climb, but not like the road we had just done.  It was as I was riding down here that I suddenly realised that Cudham North Lane is not the road I wanted, as that is not they way to get to the Greyhound in Keston!  So, you know it's a been a while since I've been on my bike, well apart from last weekend, and I got a little confused with my route.  I was thinking that we need to go through Biggin Hill, which is right of course, to get us to the pub. But in my confusion I had decided that we didn't need to go through the foot path and up the road to the Shampan because we are not longer down Cudham N. Lane!  We just went on through to Jail Lane and then all the way to the main road!

It wasn't until we were going through chicken farm bends that I though "Blimey we got here quick" and my other thought was "Where was Costas, did we miss it"  The realisation dawned on me then.  Oh well, we can always add a bit on after a refreshment stop instead!  We continued to head to the Keston, Naggy still in front with me 'slip streaming' behind! The Greyhound was a welcome sight, and we pulled in and treated our selves to a cool drink and a sandwich!

After our lunch we got back on our bikes and headed towards Hayes.  We were going to go through as many parks as we could between here and home!  The first one was Normans Park, when we cycle through the gates and they, just on the end of the green field was an ice cream van.  It had to be done!  We deserved an ice cream, so two 99's for us and an extortionate price of £2.00 each (and the ice cream wasn't as big as the one pictured either!) but it did feel good as it went down.

Our next park was Whitehall recreation, last Saturday there was a beer festival happening! It's only a small park so we were soon out of there and riding to our next park which was Jubilee Park.  I thought we might just head on back home from here, especially as Naggy turned left to go through Petts Wood.  Then I remembered our park!  "Let's go down to our park to get home" I said to her and so we did.

An excellent ride, perfectly paced for both of us, with a challenge of the bloody hill going to Downe thrown in!  Excellent company too!  We will get bike fitter, and I know we can get faster!  But it's all going to take time!  I've been off my bike for nearly or probably a year!  Back to to the beginning and start again.  Mind you, my first ride out was from my house was all the way to Farnborough and back!  All of 6 miles!  So I think this 19.41 miles is not bad for a second ride of getting back to bike fit!

Geeky stats I will load up when I can get them off my hubbys Garmin!  My Garmin has lost power!  I was so annoyed!  NaggyNeighbour has geeky stats too!