Ride through the garden of England.

A wonderful morning out cycling with new friends.  A few hills and the Beautiful Garden of Kent with orchards of pear and apple, ready for harvesting we rode out to Ash where we stopped for lunch.  The ride also took in some of the best of Thanet’s  beaches and sunshine.

No matter where I cycle all road’s seem to lead to Sandwich – not really somewhere I know,  just somewhere and somehow, I always seem to end up, we stopped at Pegwell Bay before the climb up from the Viking Ship and a few hills around the coast from Ramsgate and Broadstairs to clock up a few kilometres, before heading home.

It was great riding out with new friends, to have a bit of motivation, a push to go further, and a bit of competition on a few of the Strava segments.  Shelly who is lives around the corner,  is a bit of a geek, a fellow Strava user too, which helps to improve speeds along a few of the Strava segments.   Today we both picked up a few digital trophies.

I’m rather proud Tivoli Sprint section, only because I’m at the top of the leader-board, well until I get beaten  (Scroll down to the women’s leader-board and take a look!) My friends had better watch out, because I plan to beat you on some of the hills too!

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