Saturday, 26 December 2009

A festive mince pie on the Beach.

While most people were basting turkeys and looking for batteries for their new must-have gadgets, we decided to get out and ride. We have been toying with the idea of a mince pie and a brew on the beach, for a while now, but never really thought it would happen as Christmas is notoriously a chaotic and stressed day where family and friends have other plans.
Anyway, as most of you already know from my constant gloating, we have an idyllic beach less than a mile away from our door. So, after opening our presents and devouring a scrummy cooked breakfast we prepared a flask of tea and packed the homemade mince pies into a Tupperware and set off, collecting my Mum en route.

We set off enjoying the unusually quiet roads but then, as I was taking the lead, I made a snap decision to take a detour and veered off onto a sweeping muddy bridleway which took us downhill to our first beach of the day. The sun was out and when we hit the rocky beach we had a brief stop to admire the views and take some photo's.

Mullerton's bike, some rocks & the Mount!

It was then back up the hill to head to beach number two – our local and favourite beach. By this time there were a number of people walking along the coast path and the novelty of cheerily calling out “Happy Christmas” to all as we rode past soon became tiresome. Baa humbug! ;-)

We broke out the mince pies and tea when we reached our destination. Unfortunately, we had forgotten to check tide times so we were unable to ride across the sand but it was still enjoyable.

Mikey's bike, a flask of tea & a mince pie.

We then packed up and took the long way home, which included a blinkin’ hard off road climb, some more up-hills and then, as if my legs weren’t already tired enough, we decided on an extra detour to take in a mile of very muddy singletrack. I kid you not the mud was deep. If you were unlucky enough to have to put a foot down, you were at risk of loosing a shoe. Was great fun though – and even funnier when Mikey, managed to fall off into the mud.

Mullerton's hairy leg (not mine)

It was then time for a quick wash (bikes & humans) and then to the local pub(s) just in time for last orders. Then back to my Mum’s for Christmas dinner.

Ahhh, what a nice way to spend Christmas – if only every year it could be that simple and relaxed. ;-)

Anyway, hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and got everything you asked Father Christmas for.

Monday, 21 December 2009

No snow in Cornwall - but still very miserable riding conditions

SNOW seems to be this weeks hot bloggin’ topic but at this end of the UK we have had only the smallest amount. It seldom snows here and even when it does it never sticks for long (I guess it is all the salty ocean air!) The air temperature has also probably been a little more bearable than elsewhere in Britain – never really dropping below zero for too long! It’s not all sunshine and ice-creams though, as it has been beyond a little chilly. And again it’s all to do with that pesky ocean breeze. Brrrrr! The wind chill factor has made temperatures unbearable, and particularly uncomfortable to ride in.

After my first really unpleasant and soul-destroying ride last week in this weather (see previous post) I was despondent. The bitter wind had destroyed my lungs and psychologically drained me. So much so, that I couldn’t bring myself to get back outside again until I had another chance to ride with Mikey. There was no way I would be able to muster up the willpower to go out and ride in these conditions alone. So, instead, I forced myself to complete another session on the Turbo Trainer mid week, to ensure I would still be on track to meet my weekly target. Predictably it was dull and I struggled - the dent the last ride had made in my confidence was playing on my mind. I needed to get back out there and beat my demons! So on Sunday, as the South West Cross Season is over, I was able to convince Mikey that he wanted to take a spin around the local lanes with me.

I wrapped up well. In fact, the neighbours probably thought I had changed religion as by the time I had covered my ears and mouth with a combination of buffs, there was little left of my face on display! I didn’t care how I looked - I had to beat this stupid weather. I was determined; I couldn’t let the suffering of the last ride keep me from riding again.
The motivation didn’t last long after I struggled to make it to the top of the first hill – a short hill that hasn’t defeated me since the start of my bicycle rediscovery. Despite a fleece "snood" over my mouth, the air that was hitting my lungs was still bitter and almost instantaneously they shrank. Saying it was "painful" wouldn’t really be close to describing how I felt. For the first 6 miles I was in agony; every extremity, despite the thick clothing, was numb from a combination of the cold and the lack of Oxygen. For those first 6 miles I was close to tears and defeat. Somehow, I dug deep and found it in me to battle on – I think it was sheer stubbornness rather than determination. Oddly by 7 miles in, the pain had slightly subsided and my lungs were working vaguely more efficiently and I nearly enjoyed the next few miles. I say “nearly” enjoyed them – it’s all comparative. I hated the first 5 or so miles and was more than ready to throw my bike in the nearest ditch, so anything that was remotely more agreeable could be classed as “enjoyable”. I got back semi-satisfied. I had done my best! I had struggled on through the pain and the dire weather. I had added 10.5 road miles to my log.

Grrr! I wanted to be chuffed, but the pain of the first few miles was playing on my mind, I was deflated. One of the main reasons that I have started riding again was to try and improve the condition of my lungs. Since having pneumonia last year, my asthma had started to affect my general health. However in the last few months, as a result of my bicycle rediscovery, there were noticeable improvements and I think it was these that had lulled me into a false sense of achievement and made me have unrealistic expectations. I guess I still have a long way to go before I can be free from inhalers and steroids for good. But for now, I will just have to keep reminding myself of the initial improvements…. I shudder to think how ghastly my lungs would be without all these recent miles under my belt.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Triumph turns to despair within just a few hours.

Last week I exceeded all my expectations when I managed to blast through my weekly target and add 11 extra miles (not a great mileage for all your seasoned athletes but remember I've only been riding again for a few months). I was also really chuffed when I realised that all my hard work was actually paying off when I discovered that now on average I was riding faster and covering longer distances with much more ease. Also, those hills that used to defeat me were now becoming easier to conquer.

Things were great. I was on a high! I planned to increase my overall monthly target. I was starting to feel like a real cyclist - not just someone who rides bikes occassionally. My dreams of entering a cyclo-cross race were starting to look achievable. Nothing could stop me now. As my previous post stated I even had plans to treat myself to a nice new bike.

That was until yesterday afternoon. It was Mikey's day off. A rare chance to ride with him. I was excited; due to the darker evenings we don’t get many chances to ride bikes together. We set off on our adventure - a road ride around the local lanes. The sun was shining and the garden thermometer read a pleasant 8degrees but despite this I had wrapped myslef up, head to toe. (My recent lurgy has left my arms and legs covered in unsightly and embarrassing scabs.) Within a few minutes on the bike I was thankful for the longer layers though, as the wind was bitter! Unfortunately, the freezing winds quickly left my lungs in a miserable state (they had shrunk to nothing with the cold) and I soon became breathless. Consequently the lack of Oxygen left my legs weak and turning the pedals was difficult.

Argh! Enough was enough. I stopped and quickly removed my buff - which was currently keeping my ears toasty. I'd just have to have cold ears - breathing was more of a priority right now. Hopefully, with the buff as a face mask it would take the "nip" out of the air before it entered my lungs. It did give me and my lungs some sort of relief but sadly it was too late; I was pretty much physically and mentally broken. My legs were empty and I was frustrated. I didn't want to give up as we had only done just over a mile. After last weeks personal bests, I had set my standards higher. I couldn't give up! Plus, it’s so rare that I can now cycle with Mikey, so I knew I should try and make the most of it.

I struggled on, doing my best to achieve a respectable mileage, but it really hurt and we were slow. We got home 45 mins after setting off, with 7.5miles on the clock. A few months ago I would have been happy with that mileage, but now it wasn’t enough - I wanted to do more.

I am now really despondent and fed up, so my plans for a new bike are on hold. If the weather continues like this, I can’t see me physically able to keep my momentum going over the winter. Yesterdays ride has had a devastating affect on my motivation. Don't worry, I wont give up without a fight, I just need to regain some drive and determination. (I guess I shouldn't have gotten carried away with the excitement and set new goals. I should have stuck with what I know - and avoided disappointment)

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Christmas - a time for giving, a time for sharing.

As some of you are aware I have set myself a challenge to compete in next season’s cyclo-cross league. Obviously, as it's likely I am going to be rubbish, I feel I at least need to do it in style so I have hatched a plan. I need a Yeti! Trouble is, I can't find any second-hand ones in my size.

So you just may be able to help me. I can afford a spangly new frame, but don't think my minimum wage wages will be able to stretch to afford the components too. Do any of you lovely people have any unwanted bits that need a loving new home. As this will be a community project, part ownership of completed bike may be granted, obviously in accordance to size of donation. Look at this as a community project, charity** or even sponsorship, I don't mind... just please give a girl a break...

Oh and remember Sir Cliff's immortal words whilst you rummage in your garage/shed/workshop, "Christmas time, mistletoe and wine, a time for giving, a time for sharing..."

** My Mum taught me never to beg for anything so this isn't a begging letter... I am just looking for a little assistance. :-)

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Bike shop blues & comedy gold!

I love bike shops with all the shiny trinkets and gizmos but I’ve never really been a fan of buying myself things from bike shops. Why? Well, because I find them quite intimidating as they're usually staffed by males and are generally male-orientated places. I find this can be quite disconcerting – even though I often know more about the stuff than the sales assistant. It’s particularly perturbing when buying clothes as I am far from an athletic build and feel quite embarrased ordering clothes in a large or extra large. (But don’t get me started on that – I believe there is a definite flaw in the UK bike market. Grrrr… since when is a size 14 woman large?!)

Sorry, back to the tale at hand. Having a boyfriend in the bike business is great as it generally means that I don’t have to go through the faff of going into a shop to try things on, etc. The invention of internet shopping also means that buying cycling bits and bobs is much less daunting. Unfortunately there are just some things that can’t be avoided as I desperately needed some cycling shoes. I didn’t like the ones that Mikeys shop stocked and as I really wasn’t sure of what size I would need it didn’t seem appropriate to buy online… so I had to grit my teeth into a smile and venture into a bike shop.

EEK! I was a little uneasy when I realised that the only place to sit down in the shop (to try the shoes on) was a “Specialized Ass O’meter”. Argh! I knew that when I stood up the shop assistant would be able to see the size of my bottom! Dammit! Ah well… I would just make light of it… so when I sat down I jokingly uttered to the shop owner “Now, no laughing at the size of my ass when I stand up.” ;-)

His reply was unexpected but I couldn’t help but laugh at his embarrassment as he realised what he had said… “I won’t laugh, but I will check it out!” Oh how I laughed as the entire colour drained from his face. Ah well it broke the ice and his awkwardness made me no longer feel like a girly out of my depth in a male orientated world….

Monday, 7 December 2009

A rubbish week...

Last week was a rubbish week and I only managed to get outside on my bike once, earlier on in the week. This ride was an interesting trip round the local lanes with Mikey. I always enjoy the local rides as it involves seeing a lot of wildlife and the local farm animals, but this route also encompasses a field of Donkeys. I adore Donkeys! You can never be glum when you see a donkey! Unfortunately, the donkeys weren’t out - I guess they aren’t fans of bad weather! It really was dire; the wind was brutal, (we seemed to have a headwind whichever way we turned!) but at least we managed to avoid most of the rain storms.

Irritatingly, it wasn’t just the miserable weather that kept me off my bike last week. I spent Thursday, Friday and most of Saturday imprisoned at home waiting for a delivery (which incidentally didn’t arrive despite countless promises by the company involved.) Then Saturday afternoon, was written off as I had to seek medical opinion on a rash on my arms and legs. As you can imagine, as it was a weekend and as I am in Cornwall, help and advice wasn’t that easy to find. I spent a good few hours finding and then waiting to be seen by an out-of-hours GP at a “cottage hospital”. Grrr…. one of the hazards of nursing elderly and vulnerable people is that it leaves you susceptible to catching nasty bugs. Out of all the minor illnesses and infections out there, trust me to pick up a frustratingly itchy one! So once again, I was captive within the confines of my own home. Not only because of the risk of spreading my lurgy, but because a ride in the torrential rain and freezing winds was pretty much out of the question - as it would make my already raw skin, even angrier by adding a dose of wind-burn.

Consequently, as I only managed to get outside to ride once all week, I found myself a few miles short of my weekly target. So, I had to take even more steps towards the dark side and use the turbo trainer. I really do despise it! It really is mind-numbingly boring and doesn’t even slightly compare to an invigorating ride outside. The only thing that keeps me doing it, is the fact that I really don’t want to see the fitness level that I have achieved plummet back to the abysmal level I was at 4 months ago. So, I just have to grit my teeth and try and make the most of a bad situation.

I have to admit though, that during the recent ‘real’ ride, I was quite chuffed as I found that my sessions on the rollers had not only maintained my fitness level but had helped to improve my overall stamina. I was delighted when I conquered a steep and long hill. Yeah OK I did have to stop once for a moment halfway to catch my breath but the last time I attempted this hill, I had to stop 3 times, so there’s a definite improvement. I guess I will have to keep this in mind next time I have to suffer more monotonous miles on the trainer!

Argh! ... but the weatherman is forecasting more of the same. I really don’t know how much more of the "trainer tedium" I can endure. I guess living so close to the sea does have it’s downside after all - those evil coastal winds! Ah well, winters in this neck of the woods aren't as long as those we are used to up North so spring will be here soon! ;-)

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Another milestone in my cycling re-discovery.

Just a quick update to share my news. As most of you know, my monthly target is to ride 100 miles (or more). Yeah ok, that, probably doesn’t seem that much to all you seasoned cyclists out there, but as I have gone from doing nothing for many years, I think it’s a pretty realistic goal.

Anyway, I’m waffling and I’d planned to make this brief… But first I think I need a drumroll please … as November marked another milestone in my cycling rediscovery.

Not only did I achieve my monthly target for November, but more significantly the few miles extra I rode in both November and October have bought my grand total up to 400 miles in the last 4 months. I am chuffed to bits - as I was really disappointed back in September when a nasty saddle sore stopped me from riding for two weeks, so making up those missing miles is great and has given me a boost.

YAY!!! Whouda funked it? Four months ago, I would never have thought I could have achieved so much and if i'm honest, I had half expected to loose my momentum by now. Amazingly, I am really enjoying it and each time I meet one of these small milestones it drives me on. I keep setting myself targets. Some easier, some more difficult; but when I reach them my confidence grows. And of course, when I achieve some of the bigger goals, I treat myself (or get Mikey to treat me) to something new - bike related of course!

[BTW I still plan on raising the bar and increasing my monthly target at some point but for now, with the miserable & unpredictable weather I will leave the goal as it is - as I’m guessing that there will be days/weeks where I wont be able to venture outside… and I can’t face many more than a few monotonous sessions on the turbo-trainer each week.]

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Music makes the pedals go round.

I have currently hit a wall. I want to ride my bike but the weather is so unpleasant that I don’t want to go out. It would be down-right miserable and uncomfortable to ride in. I have started to lack motivation. Hmmm. Maybe, if I had a more extensive winter cycling wardrobe I would be able to tolerate the elements more. *Sigh* Maybe, if I don’t have to clean and dry my only pair of trainers after every ride I would be more motivated. *Even bigger sigh* Maybe, if I had a riding buddy I’d be more inspired... when every ride is just you and the wet/cold elements the fun is non existent. What’s the point of finding the biggest puddle or deepest mud if there’s no one to enjoy it with?

I’m mentally broke and loathed to go outside. So this week I have taken more steps towards the darker side of obsession by using the turbo trainer to achieve my mileage target. It isn’t the most desirable option but it’s definitely better than watching my fitness levels plummet from the level that I have recently worked so hard to achieve.

As I previously blogged, my introduction to the turbo trainer was interesting – wrong size bike, wrong size shoes, wrong everything! However, my 2nd session was marginally better - Mikey set my own bike up on the rollers so it was much easier and with Mikey offering encouragement I managed 9 miles towards my goal. Miserably, the 3rd session was mind-numbingly monotonous. It reminded me of all the reasons I had previously loathed Turbo-Trainers.

Damn! I needed to get out and ride somewhere exciting, but the weatherman was forecasting more heavy rain and strong coastal winds. Argh! I still had 10miles left to meet my weekly target. Could I really endure another tedious session on the Trainer?

I needed inspiration. I needed structure. Hmmm. I hatched a cunning plan! I chose 10 of my favourite songs that would motivate me and enhance my mood; songs that had different beats, styles and intensities; songs that had strong rhythms with power surges to accelerate my effort. I then devised a playlist; 10 songs = 10 stages. By stringing the songs together I made a structured workout. Track 1 to warm up. Track 2 to take the intensity up a level. Track 3 to accelerate my efforts into a climb. Track 4 - an easier recovery period. And so on…

(I won’t scare you by revealing my track-list, but for those that don’t know me I will tell you that I my taste in music is quite diverse. I love rock, grunge, punk and old-school hip hop. But I also have a very odd passion for cheesy pop. There’s nothing quite like New Kids on the Block to evoke great memories of my misspent musical youth.)

And I have to admit it worked wonders…. I got through my whole session without the need to stop. My legs were tired but at no point was I wishing that the whole ordeal was over. I sailed through my playlist. I was enjoying myself and was very surprised when I got to the last song. So surprised, that I restarted the playlist and did a couple of extra miles. I had obviously underestimated my abilities. Next time I will increase my overall speed, I had decided to not over do it as I didn’t want to fail first time, so for 8 of the 10 stages I never really exceeded 16mph. Oh yeah, and I will also find some longer songs - best dig out my old Queen records.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Cycling Addicts Anonymous

Today I suddenly realised I was addicted when I took my cycling to an all new level.

This week has been pretty miserable and although I have managed two short rides earlier on in the week my bereavement and then the trauma surrounding Mike’s dental surgery and the post-op complications left me unable to muster up any motivation to face the miserable weather to ride. So, unfortunately, yesterday I found I was still 7 miles short of my weekly target.

In a sudden brainless moment I had a ludicrous plan to get those miles…. the turbo trainer! Due to the torrential rain and stormy winds, Mullerton had put his bike on his trainer to keep up his momentum between cross races. Ironically, since he set it up it has just sat unused in the back room…. That is until today when I went over to the dark side of obsession.

The turbo trainer was the best & driest option to complete my mileage and it seemed like a good idea to just hop on Mikey’s bike rather than faffing to set my bike up on it. So that’s what I did - after all it was only 7 miles. It seemed like a good plan at the time! What’s the worst that could happen? ... This would be fun!

As I am quite a few inches shorter than Mullerton, I soon realised I hadn’t really thought things through when I hit Problem Number 1. The already too tall frame was impossible to straddle as it had gained a few more inches by being on the trainer. Using a dining chair as a booster step it still took some effort, but I finally got on to the saddle.

Opps… now I hit another little snag. Problem Number 2 - The bike was fitted with clip-less pedals and my slippers weren’t cutting the mustard. I would have to wear "his" cycling shoes. Hmm... Who’s silly idea was this? Mikey’s feet are considerably bigger than mine, so it was hard to tell where the cleat should be in relation to my foot in his HUGE shoe. Turns out I was using my toes to pedal! LOL! What a rubbish introduction to spuds!

Damn! I started to pedal and found a new problem! Problem Number 3. The length of Mikey’s bike! Just reaching the top of the drop handlebars meant overstretching. Thankfully, I didn’t need to use the brakes or gears as if I’d have needed to - my nose would have probably met with the stem with a bang.

The problems continued… Problem Number 4 - the saddle was at the wrong angle and it hurt when in an upright position and it cut me in half when I overstretched to reach the handlebars. Problem Number 5 – I had stupidly got on wearing my normal clothes (jeans & tee). Ouch! How I missed my padded shorts! Problem Number 6oh nevermind... just let me tell you the problems kept coming - yet somehow I kept pedalling.

I suddenly started to realise I was like a drug/alcohol addict; ignoring all the obstacles just to get my fix! The only way for me now would be mugging a little old lady for her Werthers Originals.

It also suddenly dawned on me, I had reached an all new low. I used to laugh at people for using turbo-trainers when they could go outside for a fun-filled adventure. Eek! I have taken my dedication to an all new level… obsession.

Argh! I need help!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Postponed until next year - Annual Birthday ride to the beach.

A homemade birthday cake
Originally uploaded by kittykins!
... A Birthday ride to the beach was the plan for today... it was supposed to be the start of a new annual birthday event! Sadly Mullerton was too "weak" (some would say pathetic!) from his recent (dental) op and the resulting complications.

Anyway, I just didn't have the heart to leave him in his sick-bed and go without him, so the new tradition had to be postponed until next next year.

Until then, I am just as happy with all the nice goodies I recieved, including this yummy home-made birthday cake and loads of great pressies.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Sooooooo windy!

So, do you remember me waffling last month about attempting to ride across the local coastal path but being stopped dead in my tracks by the howling winds? Since that ride I have done the same route on a number of occasions, sometimes pretty effortlessly but this week that wind was back... with a vengeance. It wasn't just windy near the oceans edge - it was pretty much a headwind or crosswind all the way from our front door to our destination. The only thing that kept me going was the thought of the yummy chips on the harbour and knowing that it really couldn't be this hard riding home.

Normally, I am now able to make pretty short work of the draggy hill out of our village and then I usually enjoy the speedy descent into the next village. However, this time the wind was against me. The downhill that I normally whizz down without any effort, required constant hard pedalling just to keep moving forward.

Things still weren't looking good through the next village -my overall speed was slow. It was such hard work! I was battered! Pfft! That was before we had even reached the coast path - who knows what the wind would be like there; coming straight off the ocean.

Again, the weather had pretty much left the normally full coast path deserted - actually that's probably not the whole truth... I should really mention that a large section has been closed due to subsidence caused by the stormy weather. As the signs had blown away, we carried on none-the-wiser. Like last time, I had very little control of my bike if I stopped pedalling. Thankfully, this time I had Mullerton with me for moral support. Somehow, we managed to get to our destination, despite a moment of doubt on my behalf when we first got on to the coastal path. The memory of that first gale-force-encounter was just too great and it took me a while to shake it off.

The chips were worth the struggle and I enjoyed every mouthful before we set back on our adventure. Ahhhhhhh... the bliss of having the wind with you. The first leg back on the coast path was easy, averaging 18mph without any effort. Weeeeeeeeeeee! This was great! That is until we hit the village before ours. A big turn in the road meant we suddenly hit a wall of wind - face on! Oh my! My speed suddenly fell as I struggled against the wind and it took what seemed like hours to ride only a few hundred metres. Phewph.... the road turned and we had the wind behind us again. Next was a big hill that I have never managed to complete without stopping for a breather (or two - sometimes three). This time I made it up the first (and hardest stretch) without stopping. Whoopeee! Thank you wind! I then managed to complete the next draggy section without too much of a struggle.

I made it home, happy! If my lungs could survive those winds, they can survive anything. It just shows how much fitter I have become! A few months ago, my lungs would have shrunk to the size of peas the moment that cold ocean wind hit them. If my determination ever starts to falter at least I can remind myself of that!

Sunday, 15 November 2009

More muddy adventures.

The weather has been pretty abysmal here in Cornwall over the last few weeks but by Friday it culminated in torrential rain and storm-force winds. Yeah yeah, I know that the weather has been miserable everywhere, but I demand my money back. When we moved to Cornwall we were under the impression that we would have lovely weather all year long. Pfft! How wrong could one girl who is always right be? Living so close to the ocean we get the harshest winds and the wettest rain too - I kid you not - we have wet rain! ;-) Within minutes of a downpour you are soaked right through to your knickers! Anyway, that's enough of my weather woes, for more on the South West's weather see our local BBC weather reporter - creepy David.

As you can imagine the recent weather has left everywhere very soggy and there is plenty of mud and lots of localised flooding. Hehehe... Yay! All this makes for a good ride on the local singletrack. So, yesterday, I decided to don my wet weather gear and take myself off on my Cindercone and ride through as much mud as I could find. It was great fun but exhausting, so after just a few miles I opted for the easier option and took to the marginally dryer farm-tracks and country lanes. I had a jolly nice time and saw tonnes of wildlife including the ubiquitous bunnies, a cliche Robin on a spade handle and a spectacularly huge Buzzard, sat only 1ometres away from me on a low fence post. Irritatingly, I do not have any photos of it, as by the time I'd got my phone out it had decided enough was enough and had taken off over my head. I then found myself a temporary trail hound when a local dog decided to follow me for 200 metres. After a while I decided I best send it back, but as I motioned for it to go home it took great offence and started barking at me, like a scorned teenager .

Anyway, I managed to get in a fair few miles without breaking a sweat but headed home before the night drew in. Also my gears started to play silly beggars by ghost shifting, which was quite annoying.

This morning, after a quick fettle and a new gear cable I was ready for the off, as I'd promised to ride off-road with Mikey. Unfortunately I'd forgotten to tell my legs that they too needed to be ready. They were empty and despite trying to ignore them by frolicking through loads of puddles and mud I struggled. Despite the pain I was enjoying myself but then the first climb broke me completely and I hit a mental block. I was angry with my lungs! I was angry with my legs! I was angry with the nasty head wind that was taunting me. All I wanted to do was go home... but there were more evil hills between me and my sofa. Argh! We slowed the pace and somehow I mustered up the energy to get through the last bit of singletrack and up the chattery rock-strewn hills. Phewph! I made it. Mmm... and how I celebrated with a nice piece of cake and a hot cuppa.

Don't get me wrong, overall I did enjoy the ride; there's nothing I love more than splashing through puddles and sloshing through mud... but today I was spent! I just wish I'd had the legs for it as it coulda been great!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Mud, mud, glorious VeloCake!

Recently, I have been predominantly riding my hybrid, in the hope that the mudguards keep me slightly cleaner and drier, but at the beginning of the month I ventured out on my MTB with Mikey. We had decided sloshing through puddles would be marginally easier than facing the strong winds blowing off the ocean, as we could tuck in behind trees and shrubs on the local singletrack. It was great! I don’t think I have ever seen such deep mud – it was quite something (knee deep in places). I wouldn’t have been surprised if we had stumbled across a hippo wallowing in it. We returned home filthy and it took quite some time to clean and dry out my beloved white Adidas shelltoes!

(I really need to invest in some cycling shoes, but I am in quandary, as I don't know if I should finally throw caution to the wind and get some clipless ones. I know all the benefits of clipless pedals, but I keep pondering if a leisure rider like myself really needs them? I have only just regained my cycling ability… and I’m guessing these would set my confidence back again. Saying that it would be great not to have my shins covered in bruises from evil heavy pedals. Hmm… yet another decision that I need to make.)

Talking of mud, there was plenty of it, during the last Team VeloCake race outing (see for a full race review). Thankfully Mikey insisted I took my wellies. I may have looked and felt like an inbred yokel but I remained mud-free and had dry feet – unlike fellow VC supporter, Alan, who killed a perfectly nice pair of white adidas (it really isn’t a good month to be a white pair of Adidas).

The VeloCakeFest proved to be a great weekend of frivolity despite the irratic weather. It was really ace showing Simon some of the local sights. He even got to see the choas that is Mikey's work and take part in our Saturday tradition of "pizza night". More importantly, we took him to our local beach and VeloCaker's fave beach café and sample their cakey delights. He seemed to enjoy the beach/café trip despite the picnic-table parasol violently collapsing on top of our heads, under the weight of the wind & rain! I just hope that the awful weather doesn't put him off another visit!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Another new month... Another new hope...

Woop woop! My cycling momentum is continuing and I am already well on my way to meeting this months target. The last few weeks have been great and have involved lots of cycling. Last week I took a ride into Penzance to meet Mikey at work for his lunch. It involved riding down the notoriously windy coast path – but thankfully, despite a strong headwind the weather didn’t compare to the last time I attempted it and I managed to get to my destination without any problems. When I got there Michael treated us to a tray of chips to share and we sat on the harbour watching the little boats bobbing along before I cycled home. It was lovely!

As Mikey now doesn’t get home until past dark I am doing more lone rides during my days off. It has actually suprised me as I am really enjoying them and loving the freedom and sense of adventure you get when riding alone - It's great not always having to worry about holding anyone up or wondering what route they would prefer.

This month, I have also been on my first night-time ride since my "rediscovery". It wasn't a planned nightride - just a badly timed ride! I had gone out by myself for a quick spin at about 4pm and lost track of time. Thankfully, I had gone out on my hybrid so I had some lights, but unfortunately, I found that my lovely front dynamo light – which makes me highly visible to traffic gives little road illumination. Consequently, I had to make a number of comical emergency stops/skids to avoid dogs, walkers and wildlife. It all added to the fun, but when I have some extra money I will definately invest in a brighter and better front light. Mmmm, I’d love a Busch and Muller Cyo... hey, a girl can dream can’t she? 'Suppose I could always ask Father Christmas for one but until then I will just limit my riding to daytime or dusk.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Web Address Change...

Just a quicky to say I've changed the web address of this blog.*

(* sorry for any inconvenience)

Thursday, 29 October 2009

A ride to the beach café

Since my rediscovery of bicycles my Mum has decided that she too wants to get a little fitter, so yesterday she and I decided to go on a leisurely pootle to the beach and to visit the beach café for a slice of one of the best fruit flapjacks ever.

[Photo of the worlds best flapjack taken during
a previous trip to the café]
So off we trundled, taking the long way round to enjoy the scenery and some tricky off-road. All went to plan, until we finally got to the beach to discover the tide was in, so all we could do was sit on the slipway and watch the waves (and laugh at a woman dodging waves to try and clean poop off her child’s wellington boot with a very short stick and the seawater – surely it would have been easier if she’d made her son go and walk in the water – it was a waterproof welly after all! Some people are silly!)

[Resting on the slipway]

After a bit more people watching, we went up to the beach café to treat ourselves to the worlds best homemade flapjack EVER. Sounds great; but I was soon faced with a dilemma. I should point out that although the café always serves numerous other tempting cake options, I always have their date flapjack, as it is gorgeous. Today however, they were truely testing my devotion by placing some scrumptious looking chocolate Brownies on the counter. Mmm! It looked so moist and mouth-watering that I couldn’t take my eyes off it. It was luring me in and trying to break me. STOP! I always have flapjack from here. NO! This can’t be, I can’t change my mind, the flapjack is always to die for! ARGH! The fruit in the flapjack makes it a marginally healthier option, despite all that sugar and syrup. OH MY! ... the Brownie just looked soooo tempting. EEK!

The decision was too much to handle so after much debating Ma bought us both a piece of the legend-wait-for-it-ary flapjack and a piece of Brownie to share. Hey and let me tell you… that enticing brownie was even scrummier than it looked (Sorry there’s no picture, but I couldn’t waste time photographing it… it needed to be eaten and enjoyed!)

After our satisfying pit stop we decided to continue our adventure and rode down an interesting bit of coastal bridleway. In the past I have always enjoyed this route as there are usually some very friendly pigs, hens and geese that you can chatter too and pet!

[A friendly pig]

Sadly yesterday, things didn’t look quite so bright for my feathered and curly tailed friends. Stuck on their gates were big posters advertising "Christmas Pork" and "Christmas Geese". I was somewhat mortified! Don’t get me wrong I am not naive enough to not know that pigs are only bred for meat, but this blatant marketing seemed somewhat cruel! I am sure that the Pigs and Geese didn’t need constant reminders of their fate, every time someone passes, reads the sign and then stands there discussing which one looks the tastiest or fattest. I couldn’t bring myself to pet them this time – it just seemed mean, I didn't want to encourage them to trust human beings. I want them to revolt and turn against the humans! Just imagine – George Orwell would be so proud!

[Not quite as friendly but very inquisative]

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

The cruel twist of fate….

After such a remarkable start to the month… things took a turn for the worst. No sooner as I had posted my last celebratory blog entry, I got a nasty cold!

I blame Mikey, he’d had a cold the previous week! But me being me, and always having to go one step further, got a truly stinking strain of it:- a permanent headache, a sore throat that felt like I’d swallowed a shed load of carpet tacks, a soaring temperature, aching joints and a barrel load of snot! Interestingly, when I entered my symptoms to they said I had the dreaded swine flu – what a bunch of scare-mongering! What’s wrong with just having a good old fashioned cold?

Anyway, whatever it is, it left me too poorly sick to go out on my bike. More annoyingly though, despite my best efforts to keep the infection off my chest, it has left my lungs in a sad old state! Grrr! I had hoped that the last few months getting fit would have helped more. Guess I shouldn't grumble though, as things probably could have been worse so I won’t let it damper my enthusiasm.
Miserably though, all this means that I still haven’t made it much past my 100mile target and also even sadder still; I haven’t had another opportunity to ride in my spiffy new hi-vis jacket! Pfft!

Thankfully, I am starting to feel slightly better now and am itching to get out on my bike. Just can’t decide if I should wait for my lungs to completely clear or go for a ride and let the wind blast it all out!

Hmmm... decisions decisons...

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

A week of seconds

The last few days have yet again been pretty good in the world of “Katie being on a bicycle” and it has also been a week of “seconds” (which will make sense if you aren’t already too bored to carry on reading)!

Firstly I have already cycled my target of 100miles this month. OK, for some of you reading this, it may not be that impressive to you, but for me it is quite a milestone and only the 2nd time I have achieved this target since starting out on my bike again. Yay me!

I’m also really chuffed as my lovely new yellow high visibility jacket arrived – so now I don’t have any excuses to not ride during the winter months. I wore it out for the first time yesterday and surprisingly I didn’t feel like a complete clown wearing it.

Talking of yesterday, it was my 2nd time venturing out alone. I decided to ride my equipped Globe and meet Mikey at work and then ride back with him (this way I can get some miles in before it gets too dark). I made short work of the draggy hill out of the village and then enjoyed the speed of the downhill through the next town, despite a howling crosswind. It wasn’t until I got out of there that I actually realised just how windy it was. The waves were lapping over the coast path and there was a treacherous wind coming off the ocean. Ah well, this was all part of the excitement and even though the thought did cross my mind to stop, I continued to pedal. After riding a very slow and difficult mile I suddenly realised that I actually had very little control of my bike – which I discovered when I stopped pedalling for a millisecond and was aggressively blown off the track. I was suddenly scared!

The normally full coast path was deserted – obviously anyone with any sense was at home, as unlike me they had heard the coastal weather warnings. I felt isolated and very vulnerable to the elements. Argh! What could I do? I was not even halfway but could see that the ocean was getting considerably rougher further along the path. Sadly I realised the only sensible option (for a novice like myself) was to go back the way I’d come, as I knew that even if I did manage to get to my destination I would be too exhausted to make it back again. Thing was, I wasn’t actually sure I would even make it back the way I came, as the sudden realisation of the wind’s power had stripped me of any confidence. Amazingly, I made it back to a where I could wait for Mikey - which itself was actually pretty hair-raising when a strong gust of wind threw me in the path of an oncoming car. Minutes later Mikey rolled up looking a little bedraggled and windswept. Despite my failure to make it across the coast path he seemed quite impressed I had got as far as I did as even he had struggled to maintain control over the wind. Anyway we then took the long way home through the tree’s which provided us with some shelter.

So, on to my next “2nd”… my 2nd ever puncture (this time on my MTB) and yep amusingly, you guessed it, yet again we had gone out without any spare tubes or a repair kit! Thankfully though, we were riding with my Mam, who must have been a good Girl Guide as she had everything we needed for a quick fix. Phewph! I guess, I really must invest in the bare essentials as it really is hopeless relying on Mikey! I have my eye on an Innovations Survival Canister, which I’ve seen on the internet, but being that we live in Cornwall, there appears to be no local stockists and I always like to see things to check the quality before I spend my hard earned cash!
Finally, this weekend I was able to attend the 2nd “Team VeloCake” CycloCross race where the boys excelled in their full team colours! (If you haven’t seen it already please visit for my full race review!) Kind of wished I had thought about racing myself, as it looked fun and with my new cycling skills and increased athletic ability (Oh ok, I’m not actually very fit but I am much fitter than I was 3 months ago)! I just know could have finished on the podium. Oh ok… It’s not my skill or ability that would get me a prize, it’s the fact that there was only one female entrant, so I could have been 2nd if I had made it to the end. The way I look at it, that would have been the best way to start my racing career…. And also a great way to end my racing career - as obviously I’d need to retire after getting such a great result!

In other VeloCake related news, I want to say a BIG thank you to a certain someone (I wont name them for fear of repercussions and poaching accusations!) who has cyc-logged ( their miles for Team VeloCake and taken us way up the leader board and into a much more respectable position. If you’re reading this, you know who you are, so a BIG thanks you from me.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Ridin’ with the rellies – a gentle pootle with some gentle folk!

...Wow! My 2nd post in a week!


As me and Mullerton were both off work this week we had planned to ride do the Coast to Coast Mineral Tramways Trail that takes you off-road from Portreath to Devoran.

In a bizarre twist of fate my visiting Aunt & Uncle had also planned to hire some bikes and attempt a route that they had seen Julia Bradbury walk on the tellywinky. Obviously, we decided it would be nice to do this ride as a family so we packed up Gary (My Kona CinderCone) and Spot (Spot by name, Spot by nature) and rendezvoused at a place ingeniously named, the Bike Barn.

To my amazement the place didn’t offer any safety lids with each hire bicycle but the bikes were of half decent standard and I guess as the route is quite gentle and rarely near any traffic helmets weren’t seen as vital.

Anyway, off we pootled and despite an earlier downpour the skies were clear and the sun was HOT HOT HOT! The route was relatively simple – no huge hills, just undulating, twisty-turny rocky, gravelly and occasionally very muddy tracks. The scenery was spectacular and ever-changing – shady wooded areas, farmland, mining engine houses, open quarries and broad sweeping estuaries.

9 miles in and we had reached our destination – a pub that sold a nice array of food. After a satisfying meal of butties and cheesy chips (and of course local ale for the males) we were back in our saddles and homeward bound.

My poor uncle put on a brave face as he was struggling with an uncomfortable saddle, but he was still smiling and being ever the gentleman - bringing up the rear making sure no-one got left behind.

(My Auntie & Uncle)

Halfway home one of the hire bikes needed bicycle repairman’s expertise as the chain had bust a link and the gears were unresponsive. Thankfully, this time, Mikey had the required tools and we were soon off and able to complete the ride.

Oh, I forgot to mention that we also saw the infamous Beast of Portreath. In the field where we had parked, we saw a giant black creature with piercing eyes. It looked wild and rabid. Sadly my camera was in the car so I don’t have any photos. Anyway, as we continued to unpack the car we suddenly found ourselves face to face with this crazed animal. Unknown to any of us it had stealthily crossed the field and sneakily jumped into the car, sniffing at Mikey’s cycling shoes. Mikey bravely grabbed it and removed it from the boot – as the last thing I needed was feline hair on the upholstery – I am highly allergic! And no sooner as he had done it, the determined beast jumped into my Aunties’ new Mini. What a menace! I have to say though, that despite its reputation I found the encounter with this furry beast far from scary – it was a pussy cat!!

Anyway, back to the tale at hand, the ride was lovely and despite it being nearly double the mileage I'm used to, I found it really easy and enjoyable and with 19 miles added to my monthly totaliser, I’m laughing.

... I just can't wait to do it again.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Striking out alone

Last weeks “Toilet Weekly" made me grin as the letters page included a piece about dressing like a girl to make yourself more visible on a bike. Mikey often comments on how much more we are acknowledged when I am out riding with him – particularly as car drivers allow us more time and space. But never has this been more evident as last Sunday when I ventured out by myself. Just me and my trusty bike, Basil!

As “VeloCakers” are aware, last Sunday saw “Team VeloCake” doing numerous CycloCross races nationwide. Much to my dismay I was unable to be a groupie at such an event (Don’t ask why – it’s complicated!) so I decided I would participate in my own race. OK, yes I was the only entrant but at least that would mean I could win! So off I went – not too far from home – just in case of a bike emergency, as Mikey still hasn’t prepared me a cycling survival kit.

This was my first lone ride since my early 20’s and I was slightly apprehensive before I started. I hadn’t even pedalled 200yards when an elderly farmer in flat cap and wellies stopped me. Eek! Was he about to stop me for cycling down a public footpath that clearly displayed signs reading “NO BICYCLES, NO SKATEBOARDS!” at either end. I was worried - but had to laugh when I realised he had stopped me for a chat about the weather. Still laughing, I continued on my way only to be face to face with yet another walker. OMG! Had my luck run out? Would they grumble about my wheels? Nope, again they cheerily smiled and said “Hello, Nice afternoon isn’t it?” Puzzled (by this nonchalance) I quickly came to the conclusion that it was because I was still in close proximity to a public house on a Sunday afternoon. But this joviality didn’t stop there.

Halfway up my 1st hill (which happens to be a single track lane) a man in an oncoming Land Rover pulled into a lay-by to let me pass and then gave me a broad grin and cheery wave.

I suddenly felt self conscious. Did I have my helmet on backwards? Oh my God, had I forgotten to put my trousers on? Did I have odd shoes? What was with all these jolly salutations? Phewph! I was fully and sensibly dressed and contrary to the advice from cycling weekly I wasn’t even wearing a pink and frilly Laura Ashley dress!

The greetings and chatter continued. The polite driving carried on. Everyone I met seemed really happy to see me and even the local horses and woolly cows came over to say hello. I had a great time! I felt like a true local – I had been accepted into the community and beyond.

Sadly, during the next ride with Michael things returned to normal. Cars whizzed by too close for comfort, grumpy farmers and miserable dog walkers uttered no more than a grunt which loosely interpreted could mean hello.

...By 'eck, being a lassy really does have it’s perks!

Thursday, 1 October 2009

A new month.... A new hope... but what to ride?

Last month I only managed 64miles... which was a long way off my goal but with 2 weeks off for injury/recovery time I am quite happy with my overall mileage. Anyway, now we have entered a new month so my monthly totalizer has reset and I am ready to roll.

The burning question now is what to ride?

When I was in my teens and early twenties my mountain bike was my best friend. I'd ride everywhere. It went on numerous trips to Wales & the Peak District with me. Basically back then, 100+miles a month was nothing... it was easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy! Unfortunatly, since then, much has changed and my fitness level has dramatically changed to that of a 65+ old and the bout of Pneumonia last year left my already unfit/asthmatic lungs in a sad old state!

Another big change is our location. Sadly, there’s not much in the way of Mountain terrain around Cornwall. Don’t get me wrong there’s tonnes of off-road trails, but it’s very much lacking compared to what I was used to, such as N.Wales and Delamere Forest.


Which makes me wonder do I really need to have a Mountain-Bike? Would I be better with something else? Something lighter perhaps? Since my re-discovery of bicycle riding I have predominantly ridden my trusty hybrid, as I have found ridin' on the road, the best option to regain my fitness and stamina. The simplicity of riding smooth roads has drawn me in though and now I keep ponderin' if I still need a bicycle with suspension and big knobbly tyres?

Hmm? My misspent youth and the exhilaration that comes with mountain-bikin' remains embedded in my heart - I most definitely can’t ever see myself without my MTB. They're great, and have so many benefits… you get more burn on the legs, you have to be able to use your gears correctly and do more technical riding. And what about the excitement? Nothing beats that adrenaline rush of being so scared that you can’t even open your mouth to scream!

But as I said, I am currently predominantly riding on the road as I really do see it’s benefits for overall cardio and fitness. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I think I have actually caught the road riding bug. I love that all I need to do is get on the bike from home and ride. I really enjoy the speed that road ridin' offers; even as a novice rider I can see the advantage over mountain bikes on the road.

The only downside to road-riding that I see, is that sadly, it tends to get boring. Pfft… and how could I forget the other major drawback; the other roadusers - those blinkin’ loonatic car drivers!!

That said, and despite all the near-miss-accidents due to careless car-drivers, I am really enjoyin’ road ridin', but I keep asking myself would I be better off with something lighter? I love my hybrid with all its utilities (mudguards, dynamo lights, rack and - that all important - kickstand) but, oh, how the thought of something lighter and nippier keeps nagging away at my thoughts. Hmm? Again, I surely can’t get rid of my hybrid… it is far to useful with all its bit n’ bobs! Epecially for carrying stuff!

However, with Velocakes current cyclo-cross phase I now see that a cross-bike offers the best of both worlds. As quick and as efficient as road bikes, but with slightly bigger tires for those exhilarating short-cuts through granite and gravel trails that are so abundant around here.

So, I think a cyclocross bike would be my answer and as Mikey has a bike for almost every occasion… why shouldn’t I?

Maybe if I stick with this riding lark, Father Christmas will put a shiney Cross bike in my stocking!!

(Anyway, on that note I best go dig out my gel shorts its time for a whizz round the block before it gets dark.)

Friday, 25 September 2009

A long way off target!

After August's successful month riding over 100miles, September hasn't been such a good month and my mileage is way off target... in fact I am currently a whopping 60miles from my goal!

I shoulda known that the success of last month couldn't continue when the month started off so badly. On the 1st September my luck started to fail when I got my first EVER puncture! This wouldn't have been so bad if I had been out with a good "boy scout"! Who woulda thought that a keen cyclist such as Mullerton, would go on a bike ride without being prepared and taking some essential bike repairing kit? Oh OK, I'll give him some credit - he had most of what you'd expect - tyre levers, a spare inner tube and a puncture repair kit ... but hmm... what is the point if you don't have a freakin' pump!?!

LOL! Thankfully, we were only 2miles from home, so off he rode, leaving me stranded on a grass verge on a lonely country lane! Woulda been simpler if he had left me with the tyre levers, etc, but he didn't so I ended up using a few branches to help me remove the tire - good old mother nature helping out a damsel in distress! ... 'Tis a good job she did too - as none of the men in any of the cars/tractors that whizzed/rumbled by did. Pfft!

Anyway, 5 mins later Mullerton was back and we were soon back on our merry way... but I shoulda known that this turn in my luck was a sure sign of things to come.

Unfortunatly, during the first week of September I started to get saddle sore - despite my gel pad shorts and women's specific gel seat - and after a week off serious discomfort on my bike this tenderness mutated into the BIGGEST abscess I ever did see. But that's enough of that... I'm sure you don't want the details, but let me tell you it was sore! OUCH!

Thankfully, after a week off my bike the pain was subsiding and it was starting to heal... but as I didn't want it to flare up again, I decided it was probably best to let it fully heal before I got back on my bicycle.

So that was that, 2 weeks off my bike! Oh my! How bored and frustrated was I? I had got the "bike bug" back and I was itching to go.

Obviously, this has left me well and truly off my original target, 2 weeks cycling equates to 50+miles.

Thankfully, this week I have gotten back onto my saddle. I know I wont make my target but I can but try!

As Gary the Cindercone hasn't been out for a while I decided Wednesday was his turn... which was probably a bad move - I'd forgotten how to ride off-road and I had definitely forgotten how to ride a bike with suspension.

(Gary - Kona CinderCone)
It was like I had never ridden before. From the outset I felt like a fraud... I felt like I should have had a red "L" plate stuck to my back - I was a wobbling mess!
It probably didn't help matters that the initial bit of the ride was a quite tricky bit of singletrack, which I have never found easy at the best of times. Unfortunately, my already unstable riding ability was worsened by all the fallen leaves disguising the potholes, jutty tree roots and big rocks... but my god, if I had to put my foot down once I had to do it at least ten times. I even managed to hit myself where it really hurts (but I imagine if I was a boy it would have hurt much more) when I hit a huge hidden rock and my bike stopped dead but my momentum carried me forward! Ouch!!

Ah well, by the end of the ride I had found my Mojo again and it was like me and wee "Gazza" had never been apart! We weren't as fast as we had been at the beginning of the month - but I wasn't expecting miracles after 2weeks of no exercise and a terribly sweet tooth!

Anyway, I'm off out for a pootle around with my Mum in a bit - just to get some mileage in, but for those who know my Mum, you will probably know that what starts out as a leisurely activity will probably end in choas!
I'll keep you posted!
*Edit* Phewph.... by the end of the month I had made some headway towards meeting my target and managed to do a 63.50miles! Which is good, considering I had a full two weeks off!

Monday, 31 August 2009

A monumentous occassion...

This is my first blog. I usually just co-write but now it is time to expand my horizons and start my own new venture into the world of Blogging!

And now, I've finally got something to write about. I am rediscovering my passion for cycling - so here it is - My first entry...

Today was a momentous occasion for me. After deciding at the start of the month that I had to get fit, I got my lazy ass back onto my saddle after many years of abstinence. I decided that I really needed to strengthen my lungs to try and prevent my annual winter chest infections/pneumonia. So out came the Lycra and out of retirement came one of my trusty steeds!

(Basil - Specialized Globe City)

I started off doing baby steps - a few miles each ride, four times a week, but as the weeks went by my distance and average speed increased. I even invested in some waterproof pants so that I couldn't be put off by the typical British Summer weather.

It's quite nice to ride around here as we have a number of options, we can either take the quiet-ish country roads or go off-road along dirt tracks. We are so lucky, as we can pretty much just take a nice ride straight from our garage door, without the need to load everything into a car. One down side though is, despite living near the top of a hill, whichever way we turn out of the drive we pretty much have to start with a climb out of our village. In fact, being in this neck of the woods, there are just too many slow, windy and deceptively long climbs but as the stubborn fool that I am, I refuse to get off and push my bike so I am pleased to say that not one of them has defeated me as I have always made it to the top - albeit a few stops halfway up to grab some oxygen.

Anyway, all my determination - some would call it stubborn-ness - has payed off as I have reached, what I think is quite a momentous milestone which I am really chuffed about. Today I broke the 100mile barrier! Woop woop! Who woulda funked it? In less than a month I have riden over 100 miles - which is pretty much more than I have done in the last few years!! It's a great boost to achieve this after virtually no riding I just hope that I can keep up the momentum. And if I can do it, anyone can!!

Saturday, 14 February 2009