Training for the Next Ride

I have had Doris for almost a year, We’ve trained in Thanet, but have done a few longer rides too, what a great way to see the best of Kent. Sadly the driving rain and the cloud of today was not the way to do it. So if you visited Kent today for the Viking Ride, and did the whole course or just part of it, well done you, if you dropped out like me, I hope you got to see some of sights. Anyway here are a few pictures from the the Viking ride on a sunny day, when it looks quite different.

L2B posterLondon_to_Brighton_Bike_Ride_2013-_London_to_Brighton_Bike_Ride_2013-7132313_DSC_9770Inspirational DorrisFilling up, Thanet Cauliflower
Original London to Brighton PosterStop on brow of hillStop on brow of hillTshirt Painting
London_to_Brighton_Bike_Ride_2013-_London_to_Brighton_Bike_Ride_2013-7133323_DSC_6875 - Version 2
After the action, PizzaDoris gets TLCDoris makes it home to MargateFCBT2096-cp20x30-53437-952Y3miles to Canterbury9.15 start time,
Doris, a set on Flickr.

Post ride preparation, Viking Ride

I havent really done much preparation for the Viking Ride tomorrow, normally I’m re-searching route maps, elevation detail and planning pit stops about every 25 miles.

Getting to the official start of an organised ride, with bike and without excess-luggage is often more of a challenge than actually doing the ride, this will be an exceptionally easy ride for me tomorrow, with a late start time of 10am, and a start just 4.5 miles from home, most of which is down hill and if you ask me a quite a good pre-ride, warm up.

Starting at the Viking ship, and straight into the ship to summit (where if there are not too many people, and weather allows, I hope to beat a personal best, and improve my position from 213th on the leader board, or a much more respectable 9th if you only look at the women!)  We will have a steady climb up from the coast at Ramsgate, a few short but steep hills through Broadstairs, a climb up from Ramsgate, and  after that there is a long downhill section through Margate and Westbrook, and along to Minnis Bay, and an even longer costal flat path,  almost all the way to Whitstable.  The climb into Canterbury might need a it of preparation, it would be smart to plan a food stop somewhere before then – Maybe a few Oysters, which would make a change form the normal banana and jelly babies, or perhaps I’ll just keep going.

Crab and Winkle route marker

The six mile Crab and Winkle way, which was an old railway line, has a bit of a hill, into Canterbury but not too bad and very easily do-able, and then the advantage of living at sea level, it’s always downhill home!

Recently I have been plagued with punctures, seriously I need to by a new tyre, as my rear on has a nasty glass cut in it, and the tubes get damaged, not ridden since recently fixed again, so I’m just hoping it holds out and I’m not fixing flats at the side of the road.

It’s not too late, you too can sign up for tomorrow’s ride,  or you can compete agains me in on Strava, if you dare?

Weekend of cycling

Friday kicked off with and early ride on London’s cycle super-highway (CS3) out to ExCel, to visit the Prudential Ride London Expo.  Waiting early in the morning with a coffee for the exhibition hall to open, wow, so many suntanned, brown armed men, with strong legs, and in Britain!  If any woman needs an excuse to start cycling, the eye candy is certainly something to consider.  As good as any ski- instructor, a few were even in lycra!

Saturday, I set of early to join the traffic free roads of central London, with the plan to cycle the route 12.5 times.  Unfortunately I had underestimated the numbers of people, this was a family day with loads of little kids and the average pace was very slow.   Time restrictions, and crowds made this unrealistic, still it was great to see so many out on their bikes and enjoying the fun and carnival atmosphere.   A lot of kids will be sleeping well on Saturday night, and many will be watching the big event on Sunday with extreem enthusiasm for the sport, having cycled some of the route and on The Mall  without traffic themselves.

Having picked up unofficial souvenir, a bit of road rash, due to a pile up,  we were all able to get up and carry on for another twenty miles or so, before calling it a day. Lunchtime, it was getting very busy, time for an ice-cream and look around the festival zone, soaking up the sun and the fun, before watching  the ladies, pro race on the big screen lying on the grass in Green Park

I wish all those who were in the wipeouts, a speedy recovery.  One thing is for sure, the fitter you are, the quicker you recover and a few bumps and scrapes is not a reason to give up on the benefits of Cycling, we just have to make the roads safer for everyone.

Thanks Boris, it was a fun day out.

London Free Cycle 12.5

I didn’t get one of the 25000 places in the Ride London 100, so what!   I can comfortably ride 70 miles, have lost a couple of dress sizes and my blood pressure is at a perfect 120/80, which it wasn’t before.

Instead I’ll be joining the expect 50,000 cyclists on the eight mile round London Free Cycle, on the 3rd of August.   Look out for me, Ride number 53437, I’ll go around twelve and a half times, just to prove a point,  I’ve trained for the 100 miles not 8!

Winning  a place in the Prudential Ride London Ballot, all the same it would have been a fitting tribute to Doris my bike,  she was purchased following the games.  My whole fitness program is a personal legacy of the London 2012, Olympic and Paralympic Games that Seb Coe, and Laura Trott could be proud of, after all its not just about the elite, but about sport in society, everyone enjoying getting involved.

Thinking back to that first ride, under ten kilometres along path to The Minnis Cafe, (local beach cafe) I glowed at the achievement and enjoyed the thrill of the wind in my hair and sun on my face. Blimey that was last September, I’ve been out, three times a week, every week hitting the road,  turning the pedals, except when it snowed., and I went to the gym, oh and the week when I twisted my knee, so I rested.
It’s been fun finding cycle paths and quiet roads that I didn’t know existed, seeing things on my door step that I must have over looked thousands of times from the car.

My speed and distances have improved week on week,  tracking my progress with an iPhone app, has motivated me to go a bit further, and a bit faster.  The Viking Coastal Trail, was natural progress, as its a circular route from right outside my door, and at about the half way point it goes right past my Mum’s too.  Then came the Crab and Winkle Way, to Whitstable and the British Heart Foundation London to Brighton, Charity ride was a 64 mile achievement to smile about, even if I did walk up the Ditching Beacon!

100 miles, yep of course I can do it.

I’ll be raising money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research 


Spin in the sun

A quick Sunday Morning ride, Stopping in the sun for a cuppa, at the half way point 15K at Recolver,  a morning quick spin was all I could do as I’m working the afternoon shift.  Beautiful day for it and I would have been happy to do a much further distance.  I’ll stop at that cafe again,  clean friendly and cheap, what more could a cyclist wish for.

My average speed went up to over 19Kph and my fastest was 25.72 which gave me a smile.  Not bad for a run on the flat.  I took a short- cut, which ended up a long-cut at the 24K mark, and gave me a bit of a incline to contend with.

Overall a wonderful couple of hours on the Thanet coast, in brilliant sunshine, mostly off road on on quiet back streets.  I have a cyclist sun tan, white hands where the mits go, and a white bits above the knee where the shorts stop. Is it time to leave the gloves at home.  Smutty guys, please forget the comments about leaving the shorts at home please  😉

Elderflower Everywhere

Getting out in the countryside yesterday, and the elderflower is everywhere.  On a bike you see things diffrently, or perhaps it was just being out in the sunshine, for when I got home, I realised that the Elderflower was also hanging over the fence between the railway lines and my allocated car parking space.

I must have jumped in the car each morning, without even seeing that natures wild larder is hanging over my bonnet just a few feet from my flat!  This afternoon I’ll be making elderflower cordial, it will make a nice addition to my bike water bottle next time I’m out for a ride in the sunshine.

Divine fragrance of elderflower and lemon fill my kitchen today 

Staycation in Margate, Kent, UK

Many of you will know my second home is on the small island of Symi in Greece,I’m a frequent traveller to those parts. With an expensive euro, the thought of national strikes out there, wonderful weather in the south of England, I’m happy to avoid the travelling and stay away from the hassle of airports, humping luggage about and rude staff at Rhodes airport.

I can think of no better place to enjoy a staycation than Margate. We have nine miles of beautiful sandy beach, many excellent beach bars and cafes, which to be frank are cheaper than the Greek counterparts, I don’t always have the time to enjoy those places, but with a week’s annual leave, I intend to top up the tan, get in some walking indulge in some photography, and enjoy myself. (expect some uploads soon)

I’m in luck as at the moment the weather is fantastic.