Sunday, 26 June 2011

Back on track

Yay, after writing my last post, I gained some much needed motivation to get my lazy butt back onto the saddle. No sooner as I published it, I ran upstairs, got into my cycling kit and rode to meet Mikey from work. The weather was pretty dull but the suprise pressie that arrived that afternoon also gave me an extra incentive to ride; a smashing new longsleeved Craft base layer. Thanks Mikey! It is just what I needed - It's far too warm and muggy to wear a coat but just too windy to go out with bare arms. As always the wind was evil - a headwind all the way to Penzance, but thankfully that meant I would get a little help on the way back home (Which is predominantly uphill).  That first ride was quite enjoyable and gave me 12.1 miles on the clock -  a nice start to my target.

Wish the same could have been said about the next ride.  Fridays weather was miserable. It was cold and very wet and need I tell you how windy it was? It was painful - the wind felt more brutal than ever with the icy rain feeling like hail hitting you in the face.  I couldn't believe it was the first day of summer. There was a low sea mist everywhere and limited visibility, making it feel like the middle of winter. Awww well, I somehow made it; soaked to the bone and cold to my core, but happy to add 11 miles on to my total.

Saturdays ride was much more bearable.  The only problem was my only pair of three quater length tights were still wet.  The weather wasn't quite as miserable as the previous few days but I needed some knee coverage as that Cornish wind was still cold and strong.  Hehehe... with Mikey at work, I borrowed his knee warmers and then set off to meet him. 11.5 miles added.

As for todays ride, with the temperature soaring to 28degrees out came the flesh; shortsleeves and shorts.  I dont think I've exposed so much flesh since back in France. Phewph! It was hot hot hotOf course the wind was strong, but with the heat it was much appreciated. It was a really enjoable ride and I even pushed myself to do a hill I had always avoided before.  Since my rediscovery I have pretty much said NO every time Michael suggested it, but today I shocked him by suggesting I try it. I knew I wouldn't be able to do it in one go, but there's no harm in stopping half way up for a breath or two.  Unfortunaly, I was about a third of the way up when a car spooked me (The road is a tight country lane so there was little room for it to pass)  and with its engine revving nehind me - as it was struggling up the now 12% hill - I basically threw myself into the hedgerow.  After a quick drink I set back off. Mikey was practically near the top (obviously he isn't intimidated by cars

With about 100metres to go, the road reared up even more - to 17%. I tried to keep pushing but I was getting so slow - I was going to fall off or start rolling backwards. Damn! I had to put my foot down. I was gutted. This was the first hill to defeat me in a long time - Mainly due to my avoidance of anything to this scale.  I really wish I could have continued as trying to start agin was torture - I kept trying to mount my bike, but the climb was too steep and I just couldnt get any momentum going. I was zigzagging across the road just trying to get back onto the saddle and my feet on the pedals.  After a few failed attempts I finally managed to gain some momentum and get going again. Eek! In less than 0.5km we had climbed 50m. I was broken at the top but this was where the fun started...... weeeeeeeeee....  I was back at the bottom, in a fraction of the time it had taken to climb!  A few more climbs and we got home with 15.4 miles on the clock.

So, for those of you that didn't do the maths, despite my lack of interest during the first half of the week I met my weekly target and now I have refound my mojo.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

A week off the bike!

I started a new job 3 weeks ago. I am still at my old job, but another team was struggling to cover maternity leave so I offered to help them out - one day a week. Unfortunately, it means squeezing my usual 5 days work at the old place into the 4 remaining days. Which doesn't seem so bad until you realise that I am already stretched to my limit; as I work a full time job in part time hours.

The first week of doing two jobs left me pretty exhausted and I was just too tired to ride so sadly by that Saturday I was a whole 40 miles off my target.  With a concerted effort I somehow managed to do it, but it practically killed off my already wilting body.

So last week I decided to give myself a week off riding. My body needed some rest. Trouble was, the in-laws decided to drop down for the week and entertaining them most evenings left me still feeling drained.  Then there was Mountain Mayhem. OK, I didn't ride but I had very little sleep that weekend - we set off at 05.00am Saturday morning and then I got approx 2hrs sleep Saturday night before the long (5hr) drive back to Cornwall Sunday afternoon.

So as you can probably imagine, this Monday I was still just as shattered and consequently unmotivated to get out and ride.  I knew I shouldn't have given myself time off the bike. Now all the guilt that I used to feel if I didn't ride has vanished and I just can't be bothered getting back on. 

Yesterday the sun was out, but I made every excuse not to ride. Arggh! Please don't let me become a lazy-bum again. I've done too much to fail now. I like not having pathetic lungs and things are much easier now I have shed some weight.

... Today, I shall ride. I must!

Watch this space....

Friday, 17 June 2011


Here's another post that has been waiting for publishing - the PC is running so slowly, taking about 10 mins just to start up and constantly freezing, so I don't really bother finishing anything.

Anyway, in the grand scheme of things, not much has changed, I'm still riding 50miles a week. Since France though, it has taken a while to start enjoying riding in Cornwall again. The first ride after arriving back was torture; why, oh why, are the British such aggressive car drivers, whizzing by far too close and much too fast?  And why do we have to put up with so many potholes? On the bright side though, the rubbish riding conditions here will make any future riding holidays much MUCH more fun.

As for the wind... it is BRUTAL - with wind speeds of 25mph being the norm it has been a struggle. Talking of which, one day last week I was bravely fighting my way through a savage headwind down the Marazion by-pass.  Half way along I noticed I had been joined by a fellow cyclist. I battled on, thinking that this athletic looking guy would probably just sit behind me until he could pass and then I'd attempt to sit on his tail for as long as I could.  Minutes rolled by and he still didn't pass. I was pushing hard; I didn't want to look weak so I kept the pace high. He was bound to pass me soon. He was an fit looking fella and probably didn't want to let an overweight female beat him. Hmmm... weird, he didn't seem to want to pass. He just stuck to my back wheel like glue. Surely he would pass soon? At a major roundabout we had to stop, I turned to say Hi, he grunted back, looking a little tired.  Miserable sod.

Ah well, I hoped he wouldn't be taking the same exit, as I was now shattered after pushing myself so hard. Damn! He followed me. I tried to keep up the pace but I was drained, my speed started to slowly drop but he still didn't pass. The headwind was vicious, my speed was plummeting to 15mph but he continued to sit on my back wheel. 13mph and no signs of him overtaking. WTF? I was pushing as hard as I could but the wind and my previous efforts had started to take its toll. I was broke. I turned - he was still there, safely sheltered behind me. I started to say "This wind is hell" but I hadn't even finished the sentence when he accelerated past and dropped me like a sack of spuds.

GIT!  I'd practically taken him the last three miles and protected him from the hellish headwind. He knew I was broke, yet he let me do all the work, whilst he recovered enough to accelerate off at probably over 20mph. Someone needs to teach him some cycling etiquette. Whatever happened to helping out fellow riders?

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Rose tinted glasses

Ooops. I gotta stop starting posts and then not finishing them or publishing them. This one was started back in May.

Remember the sunglasses ebay fiasco? (BTW a very belated thanks to those that emailed or commented with suggestions). Well anyway, as you probably remember, I was pretty disappointed when the fakes turned up, but I gotta say that the seller was pretty good and returned the money as soon as he got the glasses back and then Mikey pulled out all the stops to get me some Oakley radars before we went off to France.

Sadly the trouble, didn't end at ebay though, We ordered another similar pair, from a reputable online seller. I had looked at them before but the price had previously put me off, but by that time I was desperate, so we decided to order them anyway. Wooohooo! They would be dispatched the following day. The next day I was excited - until I found an email apologising that they didn't have any in stock. 

Things were starting to look bad, but then Mikey took it upon himself to order another similar pair. He started to ring around and finally found a dealer who actually had them in stock. They would send them out on next day delivery. (That would mean they would arrive a day before we were due to cross to France) Woooooppeee! An order was placed. They arrived. They were ace!

With a pinky black iridium lens the world now looked great. I wore them every day in France and for every ride since. In fact I don't know how I ever coped without sunglasses. They are definitely the bee's knees.

I don't know if it was just due to the excitement of finally getting some sunglasses after all the trouble we had getting them, but I was now looking at the world with rose tinted glasses and my goodness it looks super!