Thursday, 31 March 2011

March Round Up

Overall March has been a pretty good month, mileage and weather wise.

The month began with a very interesting ride into Penzance one Saturday lunch time to meet Michael during his lunch break and also meet one of my Internet buddies, Kim and her new husband (they were honeymooning from Scotland). It was ace to meet her finally; they were both so lovely (I knew they would be).

March saw me re-saddling my trusty Mountain bike, Gary, for three rides and despite my pretty poor ability on technical stuff I can see a vast improvement on my overall strength and stamina. Yay! The biggest problem is though, that because of all the road riding that I have done to get me through winter I'm starting to become a "Roadie." Eek! Although I still enjoy the fun and adrenaline of riding my MTB, I (currently) much prefer the easyness of riding on tarmac. Hopefully, with more practice I'll get my mojo back and with 31.7 off road miles done this month, I look forward to more singletrack in April.

Most of the rides this month averaged over 10miles, with a few around the 15mile mark. However the longest was a 19.3mile jaunt along the coast to picturesque Mousehole where we enjoyed a pasty and a piece of homemade flapjack.

Mikey begrudgingly offers me a bite of the shared pasty. ;-)
March also saw me doing the shortest ride in a long time when the ocean wind proved too much for me and I struggled to do 6miles. (This was at the start of the month when the weather was still pretty horrid and the winds were brutal.)

Anyway Spring finally has sprung so I hope that with nicer weather I will be able to take some more adventurous rides. More mountain biking is definitely on the agenda and also some longer road rides.

Finally, you'll all be relieved to hear that Ted has come back out of hibernation.  (Having only been ridden a few times over the winter.) ROFL! When everyone else is thinking of putting away their cyclocross bikes and digging out their nippier road bikes, out comes Ted whilst Paddy the road bike thinks about going into hibernation. I know I'm a tad silly and doing things backwards, but thats the way I like it - Ted's my pride and joy.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

A lay-dee on a bike

5 rides this week; 2 to meet Mikey from work, 2 other road rides and 1 off-road ride.

The 4 road rides were pretty uneventful. Just the usual idiot car drivers and some run-ins with tourists and dog walkers. The most memorable bit though was when I caught up with a youth on his MTB on the coast path. As soon as he saw me gaining on him he accelerated off but within minutes he had slowed and (without increasing my speed at all) it wasn't long till I caught him again. Another glance over his shoulder to see me and he again tried to burn me off - only to slow again 25metres along. Again (effortlessly) I caught him and then off he shot, this time barely managing 20metres before slowing. He was tiring himself out and what for? Just so he wouldn't be overtaken? Silly boy! This happened a few more times before I could see he was broken, at which point (still without trying) I glided past him with a cheery "HiYA"! He frowned. Ah stuff him and his male pride. ;-)

Today's off-road ride was good fun. The sun was out - shorts and shortsleeves weather. The usual bridleways and singletrack were much drier than last week so it was much nicer (and easier) than last time. 

Todays drier trails
 No rain all week meant that on the whole there were very few puddles. That is, apart from one! We had just swooped down some ace sweepy bridleway when we hit it. There was no way around. It looked deep and was about 10metres across. (Ducks wouldn't have looked out of place swimming on it. It was a pond!) Praying that it wasn't as deep as it looked, I was mortified when I found my feet submerged on every down pedal stroke. Yuck! My shoes now contained lots of muddy water as today's temp of 18degrees had lulled me into a false sense of security and I wasn't wearing my lovely waterproof boots. Ah well, cold and wet feet couldn't stop me from having fun in the sun. ;-)

On the last bit of bridleway heading back in to the village, we had a very amusing moment when trying to pass a family strolling and taking up the whole of the path. I called out politly and as I passed the Mum said "ooOoo look, its a lay-dee riding a bike!"  Oh the horror! What has the world come to? Not a lady on a bike? I have to say though, that I am pretty sure I look far from lady-like with so much mud splattered up my back and on my face.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Muddy Marvellous

For the last few months I have predominantly been riding my road bike (with the exception of a few jaunts down the coast path on the cross bike).  However, in my quest to keep up my mileage, I have completely over-used the easy-ish local roads so have inevitably become bored of riding. I needed to get my mojo back.

So last Wednesday, as the weather was fair, we decided that we should venture out on our Mountain Bikes and ride the local singletrack. It was great fun.

The sun was out, however after the last few months rain, the ground was muddy - in fact, some tracks resembled lakes. The muddiest parts were a tad hair-raising as I'd kinda forgotten how to ride a MTB and the greasy and deep mud was doing its best to take me out and scare me senseless. Comically, on one occasion a deep rut managed to catapult me into a hedgerow, where I got wedged on thorns whilst my bike continued without me. Just as amusingly, some puddles were so deep that whilst riding through them you suddenly found that at the lowest part of the pedal stroke, your foot was actually submerged! Thank heavens for winter boots!

It was great fun, quite an adventure and also an eyeopener.  Although, I was "technically" a bit rubbish, this ride showed how much I had improved; particularly my level of fitness -although I found it quite tiring (I'd forgotten how much of a workout your top half gets compared to road riding) I had the stamina to ride easily for ten miles.

Riding a mountain bike also showed improvements in my riding position as numerous tweaks were necessary. My seat was too low, my bars too high.  (I guess after all the riding on drop bars my back is more flexible). The only negative tweak was that I had to loosen my pedals as I was having to dab a lot to save myself flying into the gorse and brambles.
Really looking forward to my next MTB adventure. I just hope we get some dry weather soon as it would be nice to ride some drier tracks.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Rock rounders.

Driftwood/rock rounders.
Originally uploaded by VeloCakeKatie
Today we went to the beach!

After entertaining ourselves throwing pebbles into the sea followed by a game of launching stones at a target the rocky fun escalated into a game of rounders using some driftwood and some rather large stones.

This exciting new sport probably won't catch on as its a tad dangerous, but it was extremely entertaining. Well it was, until my Mum bowled a rather large boulder towards Michael, which on contact, destroyed the driftwood bat.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder

Wooopppeee! I did it A full month without chocolate!

For some stupid reason, on the 31st January, I set myself a goal to abstain for the whole month of February - just to prove that this chocoholic doesn't really "need" it.

So on 1st of February my challenge started. No Chocolate in any shape of form for a whole 28days. No chocolate bars, no choc biscuits and no chocolate ice-cream!

It was  pretty tough and the tub of Ben & Jerrys Phish Food in the freezer, a giant tube of Smarties in the cupboard and 2 pieces of Lindt Chocolate Excellence on the shelf, really tested my will-power. As for my patients, they were just taunting me by offering me chocolaty treats. ;-)

Somehow, I managed to refrain though.  I even trained the staff in the local shop not to serve me any choc. Don't worry - they didn't lose out on my custom though as I just substituted my cravings for plain biscuits...

Yes. I know. It was a bit of a cop-out, but this girl needs sugar and I'm willing to bet that it also helped Michael to survive too. Without it, I would have been like a bear that had been stung on the nose by a bee. 

The trouble with biscuits though, is that, unlike chocolate bars they come in packets of more than one and ... well, who can stop at one biscuit when there is a whole packet waiting to be enjoyed? ;-)

Anyway, the point is though, that I did it! I went a whole 4 weeks without any chocolate passing my lips.  It wasn't easy, but I did it and I tell you something... I really REALLY enjoyed those 2 pieces of Lindt Dark Choc with Chili this afternoon. Mmmm. Yum!