Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Target exceeded - against all odds!

Woooppppeeee! I am chuffed to say that I have actually managed to exceed my monthly target despite having to take a week off the bike after the nasty tooth operation that left me in excruciating pain. As most of you know, my target is currently 100miles a month. (Which, I will officially increase soon, because since December, I have been achieving 130-150 miles a month anyway.)

This month I have done just short of 120, which I am very happy about considering I had to take a week off.  Also, after a few calculations, I discovered that I have done 400miles in the last 3 months - which is a total of 100miles OVER my target so I am doubly happy. (This time last year I was a complete slob, but at this rate I will be able to call myself a cyclist soon)

In Ted related news. I have now got a shiny set of multi-release cleats attached to my shoes.  Unfortunately despite a successful trial on the turbo trainer, I am still yet to ride with them, as Mikey has been unavailable to ride with and I cant pluck up the courage to go out by myself for the first attempt.  (If I'm gonna make a complete fool of myself I would rather have company to help me laugh it off).... Stay posted to see how my first adventure with Spudley's goes. =D

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

100% all mine!

YAY! Ted is now 100% all mine!

As you may have read at the end of the last post, a shiny new pair of Easton wheels are now mine and on Thursday night after a quick fettle, Ted was re-ready to roll and I could return the "borrowed" wheels to their rightful owner! (LOL! I didn't like them anyway as their red nipples clashed with the turquoise!) ;-)

Surprisingly, a new pair of carbon cross forks also arrived last week. As Mikey had ordered them without consulting with me, I had thought they were for him - to replace the ones I had stolen, but apparently he had bought them so he could have his original ones back. I was a little disappointed as I had gotten used to them, but now the new ones are on and so Ted is 100% mine
Woopeee!... No more loans!

Yay! So now he is practically complete and practically my dream machine. I say "practically" as he currently has some ugly cheap plastic pedals that were found lying around (probably discarded at the bottom of a bin). Unfortunately, I just can't find any decent (road specific) flats. There are some out there, but they cost more than I am willing to pay and as I still intend (one day) to graduate to "grown-up pedals", I don't want to spend too much. So then I keep thinking, as I am unable to find flats, should I just bite the bullet and go for Spuds now? I've been "umming and arring" for ages. I know that I should just do it! The amount of times I have made the decision to just go for it but then suddenly another obstacle pops into my head, for example, I have limited movement in my left ankle, so would I be able to disengage? I'm also not psychologically ready for them... even though I know they will improve my riding.

So then it's back to getting half decent flats... but there aren't any affordable ones. So should I just get SPDs now? Instead of waiting until I am a more confident rider.... but there are numerous (psychological and physical) obstacles in my way... so it's back to flats.... then clipless and so on it goes. I just keep going round in circles.

What should a girl do? I'm in such a quandary!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

The ride of horses (on foot)

As I have had a rubbish week of feeling very sore then very weak (due to copious amounts of painkillers that don't agree with me and lack of real "solid" food) we were unable to go out on the traditional Wednesday Bike Ride. So instead, we decided to venture out on foot and enjoy some fresh air and amble around our usual riding haunt; the "Ride of Horses" with a pocket full of carrots. (The route name is due to the fact that we pass dozens of horses along our way and as the "simple soul" that I am, I just have to call out "Hello Horses" to all those we pass.)

Anyway, as I am really bored of daytime TV and as nothing else exciting has happened in the last 5 days, I thought I'd bore anyone silly enough to read this entire entry with a run down of some of my fave local horses.

First up and just around the corner from home are Bugsy and Ginger. Bugsy is a normal sized horse and Ginger is some sort of miniature pony. They are a cute pair who are inseparable. They also share their paddock with two comical goats; Rosie and Horlicks. Whenever we pass them they rarely fail in making us smile, but due to hedging and fences we are rarely able to give them a pat/tickle.

In the next field over is one of my fave horses, Donald. Donald is a stunning and friendly horse with beautiful hairy feet (I think that horsey people would call it feathering, I just think he has "shire horse feet.") Last time we went by his field he cantered across his field for a tickle and practically knocked me off my feet, but yesterday he had his nose firmly stuck in his hay bag. :-( Around a few corners and we went past two little horses (unfortunately there is no way to reach them to give them a tickle, so as usual I just shouted "hello little horses" and we continued).

On the opposite side of the road from the little horses lives Kelly. Kelly always looks a little miserable - I think she wants a companion. Anyway, after a few tickles and some tasty carrot she perked up. :-)

A little further up and onto the next field, where there is usually another pair of horses - but they must have gone for a ride or be having a very early night. *Sigh* They always looked very interested when we ride by so I thought it would have been nice to say hello properly. Ah well, maybe next time....


A few feet on and it was time for the main attraction. Winnie/Winston! Winnie is another of my faves. He always winnys when we go past - hence our nickname for him. His real name is apparently Swallow - but I much prefer Winston. He didn't fail to entertain us and enjoyed his handful of carrot before we continued on our walk.

We then took a slight detour and meet a few new horses. We met a young friendly pair (shown in the top pic) and further along a very daft white horse, who practically climbed through hedging and wire to greet us.

Sorry to bore y'all, but that practically all I have done all week - so not much to tell...

In the only other news, a pair of lovely Easton wheels are on their way to me this evening. Once I have put them on him, Ted will be 100% mine (No more loans from Mullerton). A new pair of forks also recently arrived - but I think that Mikey intends to put them on his new stead, so I can keep the ones that I borrowed/stole earlier. Whoopeee. Ted is now all mine!!

Monday, 15 March 2010

Likely to fail....

I'm not looking forward to the next few weeks as I'm likely to fail my weekly mileage targets.

Stupidly, last week was supposed to be a good week - a week of riding - as we had both booked some annual leave, but unfortunately I then found out that I had an appointment for the extraction of all 4 wisdom teeth on the Friday. Ouch!

I wasn't best pleased about the prospect of this, as I haven't had any sort of surgery since being a small child and I was a little nervous of having a general anaesthetic - particularly after Mullerton's bad reaction to it last year. Ah well, whats the worst that could happen....

(Ironically, the only other surgery I have ever had is the extraction of some of my milk teeth as a small child. "I should be used to it then", I hear you all cry.... but this didn't ease my anxiety as during this op the surgeons had removed the wrong teeth. EEK!)

By Friday I was a bag of nerves. We got to Penzance hospital and after meeting my surgeon I started to get slightly more anxious as he stated that they would only be removing two of my wisdom teeth - as he didn't fancy his chances at being able to remove all four without causing any nerve damage. I was a tad frustrated though, as I felt it would have been better to do them all now to get it over with; as after one surgery I just know that I wont go back again for more.... EVER! Plus, it seemed silly only doing the two - as the ones he planned on removing were on opposite sides so I was going to have pain on both sides and be unable to eat anyway.

Eek! It was soon time to gown up (I was first on the list) and before I knew it I was waking up post-op! I woke a tad confused as I hadn't realised that the meds that had been administered whilst we discussed the merits of my local village pubs, had been the general anaesthetic - I thought they were pre-op pain relief - so when I next opened my eyes again and found myself in a different room with a different face looking down at me and a big glaring spotlight over me - I thought I had woken during the procedure. Thankfully, I quickly realised it was over.

Woooppppeeee! If I hadn't been feeling so groggy I would have jumped for joy. I'd made it! Phase One was complete!

Some would say that I had made it through the worst, but I knew that once the drugs started wearing off a new nightmare would start. Ouch! I wasn't wrong. The pain was excruciating and despite a previous intolerance to Codeine I knew it was my only option as the Paracetamol weren't working. Since then things have been a little easier - possibly due to the fact that I feel constantly drunk!

Unfortunately, I am still unable to open my mouth much. Talking is painful but much to everyone's dismay I can still manage to moan and groan. The biggest problem is that I am unable to eat anything solid. I can bearly open my jaw enough to fit anything in (to give you an idea of how little I can open my mouth, it hurts attempting to put half a Malteaser in) , so it's soft or pureed food for me.

I have even had to take today and tomorrow off work as I dont think it would be responisble of me to drive to and from patients houses, whilst under the influence of pain meds and it wouldn't be very fair on my patients, if I turned up unable to speak and looking like the elephant man! (My face is more swollen than I could ever have imagined!)

Ah well, I just hope I will be back on my bike sometime soon. *BIG sigh*

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

A mini CX adventure.

Today, was the first day of our short holiday from work. So we knew we just had to take advantage of it and planned a fun and longer ride than usual. Also with my impending (dental) surgery - on Friday - I really needed to get some mileage in and do a big blow out ride whilst I still could. (I doubt with the loss of all four wisdom teeth I will feel in the mood or free-from-pain-enough to ride in the next few days.)

So, as I was still yet to do any "real" off-roading on Ted and as Mikey is now also the proud owner of a new CX stead it was time for a real adventure, it was time to do some off road miles.

Our adventure started after a short drive to Portreath's LBS - The Bike Barn - and a natter with the very nice staff. One of whom, seemed genuinely very impressed and slightly envious of my bike (and coincidentally has a girlf called Kate who has a Yeti too).

Anyway, we left the car in their car park and then set off on our mini adventure. We haven't done this route since last early October and that was on MTBs at a much slower pace riding with my auntie and uncle, so I was excited to see what I could do on the lovely Yeti and Mullerton was looking forward to thrashing around on his Trek.

Admittedly, the route we picked was a fairly flat route but it was perfect for me to practice riding on skinner tyres over lumpy bumpy and loose rocky trails, without suspension to ease the strain. Thankfully, the tracks were dusty and quiet which made for a perfect ride and we made short work of the 9miles, along the old tramways and through quarries to the south coast at Devoran.

It was an interesting ride, we rode past all sorts of sights, gigantic pigs, hairy cows, ostriches (?), mini horses, monstrous cockerels and loads of interesting birds. It was ace! ;)

Once in Devoran, it was time for lunch. The sun was now toasty warm - there wasn't a cloud in the clear blue sky. Our first stop was at the waters edge to watch the world go by and eat our cheese and pickle butties and a Tunnocks biscuit. We then migrated to the local pub beer garden to eat some cheesy chips and sample the local ale. It felt like a warm summers day. After half an hour sitting enjoying the warm sunshine and peacefulness of the quaint village we headed back.

Sadly, the wind had picked up making our ride back a little harder, especially as we both now had full bellies, but again we made pretty short work of it and we were soon back at the car. I couldn't believe how quickly we had completed the full ride and how easy I had found it...
... I must be getting fitter! =D

Saturday, 6 March 2010

More riding & Ted's 1st Solo ride

So far, this week has been another good week for mileage. I'd booked some time off work on Mikey's day off, so we planned to take a long ride out somewhere new. The plan was also to achieve a greater mileage; to take me past my comfort zone. (I am currently riding about 10-13 miles each ride so it was decided that Wednesday was the day to increase it.)

The sun was shining and there were very few clouds in sky so it looked perfect. I was eager, but no sooner as we turned the first corner to head up the first hill, we pretty much came to a halt. The wind was horrific! Argggh! The strong cold wind took all my breath away and my airways shrunk to practically nothing. Grrr! We hadn't even done a mile I couldn't give up! The only thing kept me going was sheer stubbornness. A quick change of plans... we'd stay local, as this weather could have serious implications on my asthma and I didn't want to be too far from home if the worst happened. Amazingly, we still managed 11miles. I'm really not sure how I managed to keep going as it was painful from start to finish, but I was pleased with what I achieved.

Thursday was an unplanned rest day. I'd planned to go riding after work, but I was too exhausted (that's the trouble with doing a full time job in part-time hours!). Ahhh well, there was always Friday, but when Friday rolled around, another stressful morning at work left me unmotivated. Sheer stubbornness again kicked in though, as I knew that I had to get out there. I needed to do my mileage plus I get really "twitchy" in the evenings, if I've not been out riding. So I got home and changed from uniform into my bike stuff.

I was unenthusiastic though. Obviously, I wanted to ride Ted, but I still hadn't done any rides on him without Mikey or my Mum for company, and I still feel slightly vulnerable riding him. Grrr... I wanted to ride Ted, but he doesn't have a computer so I wouldn't know how much I had done. Argh! Apathy started to set in again, but I then I hatched a plan! I would ride to meet Mikey from work, that way I would be able to accurately estimate my mileage.

The plan was confirmed with Mikey and I tried to push aside any doubts I had about riding alone down through Marazion, which is a narrow and notoriously busy stretch of road, where the traffic is bonkers and the pedestrians/tourists are even worse. Phewph! Somehow I made it! Now I had 3miles of bumpy coastal path to ride down. oooOOooo... where were my big knobbly tires when I needed them? Ouch! Suspension forks would have been a godsend here. Thank goodness, I had temporarily ruined Ted's lovely lines by adding a bell, as the sun had bought out the masses and at times it felt like a slalom.

I got to town quicker than expected so had 20 mins to kill so I decided to carry on up to the bike shop. Eek! The quietest way was up the a steep cobbled causeway/slipway. Ouch! Halfway up (and for the first time ever) I had to get off and push.

(Photo is deceptive... it IS very steep!)

I got to the shop to be greeted by a welcoming committee who were discussing stocking some bottom of the range Claude Butlers. The boss asked me my opinion, I frantically looked to Mikey for help.... Argh... what could I say? I attempted to say "oohh yeah, they look nice", but I am a rubbish liar and they all knew I was just trying to be polite. Thankfully, they soon realised the error of their ways when it was pointed out that someone who had just ridden in on a Yeti, would not see any appeal in a cheap budget bike. LOL!

Anyway, the ride home was great (although a tad scary descending that nasty cobbled hill/causeway)! We got home before dusk (which was good as I had no lights) and I was tired but chuffed. Yay! ... I had successfully done my first solo ride on Ted. Wooopeee! ... I had managed to get up that soddin' hill through Marazion - without having to stop to catch my breath.

Things were good!