Sunday, 27 February 2011

Pedal Pushers Party!

Well its all official now, my lovely daughter has got me organised and we're all set to go on April 2nd for our fabulous fundraiser in London - sounds like fun to me! I'm off to London next weekend for a spot of planning and to firm up the route, which looks ok on good old google maps but I feel the need to check it out properly before I lead a number of cyclists astray. Praying that the sun shines for us, but at least we've planned the picnic indoors to be on the safe side. Now all I have to do is find some nifty pedal pushers to wear, bake a few cakes, organise a few games and then enjoy the day!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

To put things in perspective...

...I might be bricking it over the impending 550 miles coming up, but here's a family that are whooping with delight at 'only' 950k to go! I love these guys and I'm going to miss their blog so much - hoping a book will follow. What I particularly love is their attitude of just getting on with things, rarely a grumble and copious celebration of the things in life that really matter. I take my hat off to them, I'll be thinking of Nancy when I'm slogging up those little hills in Nova Scotia.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Café riding is the way to go

Very happy today - my training plan instructed me to do no more than 1 hour 15 mins on a 'café ride' - that's where you don't do anything too strenuous and make it enjoyable - hence the café. So I donned denim skirt and boots, hitched up my panniers for the first time and set off to Usk, a moderate 7 miles along back lanes with a few gentle slopes which I tootled up in baby gears. I have been meaning to visit the farmers market in Usk for ages, which I was reminded of by that chap on the telly with a camper van this week, so instead of finding a café I found the market and had a happy half hour wondering if I needed such delights as alpaca bed socks and orange and ginger marmalade - I bought the latter as it's pretty much a necessity, the socks will have to wait. I also bought some lime pickle. a huge piece of welsh black beef, some proper carrots with mud and green tops - then I remembered I needed real necessities such as loo paper, tea bags and milk so scooted off to the local Spar. Feeling rather pleased with my neatly packed panniers but a bit worried about the weight, I headed home and was delighted to note that it didn't actually seem too much of a struggle - although had there been any proper hills it would have been a different matter. Still, one ridiculously small step closer to 550 miles on a fully laden bike.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Cycling in style

I have decided, after catching myself in the mirror post Sunday ride - not a pretty sight, let me tell you - that as soon as this big long sweaty bike ride is done, I am going to:
- ride my bike at a pace that makes me glow in a radiant fashion, not sweat like a skivvy
- always take a picnic
- only partake in trips where a pub, café or suchlike is the main objective
- wear pretty clothes - see pic of my intended cycling shoes.
I will dress in floaty shifts and rumpled shirts from Jo Browns and get some pretty panniers (for carrying cupcakes and a flask of tea of course). My only concession to functionality will be a helmet, I might try one of these. I'm done with what was once an exciting new wardrobe of lycra and technical sweat wicking fabric - bring on stylish cycling!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The NEW training plan

After some ups and downs with my patchwork training plan, which has been somewhat cobbled together and left me unsure whether I am doing too much / too little or am just plain past it, I am giddy with excitement as I now have a training plan (thanks for the tip Paulo!) which a) tells me exactly what to do, b) takes me right through the next 14 weeks to the Big Event and c) has rest days built in and easy to understand advice on how not to over train. So I have a lovely new spreadsheet all ready to tick off as the days go by. And I'm even - get this - going to take my bike with me when I go away for weekends and find somewhere to ride while I am away, so I'm checking out some routes in Hastings, London and Suffolk to do while I am off visiting friends and family. I have discovered that I quite like exploring on my bike, so this is all good stuff. I will be a Cycling Superwoman, oh yes I will....

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Big hills and a castle

Gorgeous spring day after a few days of rain, out on my bike today round the back lanes to Abergavenny and then off on route 46 towards Hereford - I was't intending to go all the way as a) didn't set off until gone 11am and b) I'm a wimp. However I did manage to crack all the hills, albeit VERY slowly. Stopped for lunch (tomato and basil soup, mmm) in a sunshiny corner where I was visited by some curious sheep, scared a few horses and said hello to some alpacas. Decided after lunch that if I carried on for another 5 miles or so I would make Grosmont which was well worth the effort, a pretty village with a nice looking pub (I resisted) and a lovely castle ruin where I stopped and took some pics and sat in the sun enjoying the view for a while. The ride home was hard work and I slogged up the last (tiny) hill chanting 'Bakewell Tart, Bakewell Tart' - which I wolfed down with a cuppa the minute I got home - fabulous. Am kind of reassured that I can do a respectable 30+ miles with some proper hills thrown in, but just a teensy bit worried about how exhausted I feel at the end - how will I cope with no hot bath, cosy sofa, and the thought of doing it all again the next day, and the next...? Hmmm.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Pedal, Picnic, Party

Our next little warm up fundraiser is in the pipeline! London, April 2nd - that's the plan, only in the early stages - 30 mile ride, picnic/pub then DJs dancing and drinking - who could resist?! Well... we'll see - but I'm counting on my London based kids to rally some troops. Watch this space...

In the meantime, must get on my bike this weekend - forecast says sunny and mild on Saturday so fingers crossed that's the day. Hmmm - where to go? Early doors to Llanthony and beyond? Or pastures new? Off to google some routes from my armchair - I like a spot of planning.