Category Archives: Biking

A multi day ride

With Geoff Home and my desire to do some multi-day biking with him, I was treated to a nice Topeak MTX trunk bag and rack, we decided to test it out with a weekend trip to Ipswich.

The first job was an emergency repair to my lovely Van Nicholas bike, the headset keeps coming loose, not something you would expect from a 9 month old bike.

We set off deciding to go via Maglia Rosso for lunch, where we met a group of bikers who seemed to take a great interest in my new high-vis pink socks !! These socks were bought because after watching a TT I had realised how visible these high vis socks actually are.

After 60 miles of cycling along lovely quiet country lanes we arrived in Ipswich, the route was very rolling and I was happy that the bag was very stable and apart from when getting on and off my bike I never actually noticed it was there.

After booking into our hotel, we had a walk round Ipswich, which seemed a little run down but the pub prices were cheap, a pint of Guinness and half a cider cost £5.50. 

After a good nights sleep we woke to a dull morning,a nice full cooked breakfast was enjoyed before we went to a Friends Art showing at the John Russell art gallery   by the time we left Ipswich at 1.30 pm the sun was shining so we enjoyed another great ride home via Clare, Shop  which passing through some lovely villages including Lindsey where we came across the St James’s Chapel 

We arrived home at 6.30 just in time for a quick shower and change of clothes before meeting friends for dinner at the OShop which incidentally is where my much loved specialised bike came from, so a great way to end a lovely weekend.

and now I want to do some real touring with Geoff but the question is where !!!!!!

New Year QE2 100km Audax

One of my Christmas gifts from Geoff was an Audax membership, Audax rides are something I really enjoy and as Geoff prefers these to sportive’s it something we can enjoy doing together.

So with this in mind we booked our first Audax of 2017, the New year QE2 100km from Swaffham for Jan 14th , little did we know that this weekend there would be a bad weather warning !

The sprinkling of snow which arrived early on Friday 13th was followed by strong wind and low freezing temperatures. I think it was the wind that saved the day because it dried out all the roads leaving just a few icy patches to look out for.

Thankfully the strong wind  disappeared over night leaving us with a very sunny if cold day, this sun did cause a few problems though as it was very strong and low making visibility hard at times.

The route had info points at Docking, Swanton Novers and Hulver street with a control point at Nortons cafe, where the coffee and scones were as good as ever. It was the first real outing for my Hip Flask, a christmas gift from Matthew, I filled it with home made Sloe Gin which hit the spot on this cold day.

Luck was on our side and we enjoyed a great ride, only having to take real care at a few hazardous places, unfortunately on the way to Bradenham we had to help two guys who came off on ice just behind us and I believe one has a fractured hip, it could so easily have been us but that is the risk we take.

We arrived back at Swaffham community centre 5 and a half hours after setting off ,we were greeted with Home made soup ,rolls, bread pudding and tea/coffee, which we enjoyed along with many other riders.

A great start to our Audax year, many thanks to Jonathan and all the volunteers who make these events possible and I am looking forward to riding many more especially my first 200 km Audax with Julie sometime in May when the weather should hopefully be warmer.

Cambridge Autumnal 100k Audax

The  Cambridge Autumnal 100k Audax was my 5th Audax ride this year, I so love these rides as they are far more relaxed than sportives, cost a lot less to enter and it feels like a real day out rather than a race to finish as quickly as possible and get home. The food is usually pretty good too !!

I was doing this Audax with 2 girlfriends, Jo and Gina,in fact it was Jo’s first Audax and the first one where i was in charge of the navigating, which did make me a little nervous, Unlike when walking I confess to not being able to follow the written route sheets on my bike so have to totally rely on my Garmin 1000.

The start was from Girton and a nice breakfast had been laid on for us so after booking in we enjoyed tea and toast before setting off , the organiser assured me the garmin route would be excellent but was happy to see that i also had a written route sheet just in case ,not that it would have helped me at all !!

img_4021The route was going to be  slightly undulating and take us through cambridgeshire suffolk and essex , with controls at Great Thurlow, Thaxted and Saffron waldron, then an information control at Balsham, the amazing thing is the TCX file was so good it told me at intervals how many km to control points and also told me when we had reached them and was always spot on .

It was a little hairy coming back through central Cambridge at 3pm but we made it without running over any suicidal shoppers who just walked straight out in front of you without even looking !!!

On our return we had a slap up meal consisting of vegetable chilli, cheese/ham rolls, lemon/toffee cake plus tea/coffee which we totally enjoyed while having a good  girlie chat

Next year I hope to move on to do some 200k Audaxes which I am sure Geoff will enjoy if he can stay in the country long enough !!

Biking in Mallorca

Well with a tear in my Achilles and a ban on running and any strenuous walking it was lucky for me that our next adventure was all to do with the BIKE .

p1000218.jpgIn April myself,Geoff,Gina along with Andy and his non cycling wife Kate went off to Port Pollenca for a week,where we had hired bikes for 4 days , while we biked Kate was going to enjoy the pool and do some walking.

Our trip overlapped the youngsters from SWNC by a night so we enjoyed a get together meal on our first evening, where we heard all about their adventures.

Mallorca is definitely the place to go for cycling the roads are perfect and there is something for everyone from the beginner to  the elite.

From Feb to Easter the place is swamped with bikers and when you go out the roads are just full of cycling pelotons giving it a great atmosphere.img_0080.jpg

Our first ride out was to Petra where the main square is just full of cycling cafes full of cyclist.

We then carried onto the outdoor velodrome at Sineu which I loved biking round!!

The following day we had a nice hilly ride up to the Monastery at Lluc ,of course what goes up must come down, it was a fun but scary descent in strong gusty wind, at one point it felt like I was not moving anywhere !!

Andy showed us all how the descents are meant to be tackled bombing down like a pro and making it all look so easy !!

img_1672.jpgThe Lighthouse ride is one not to be missed a long slow Climb all the way up taking in fabulous views and at this time is year no buses full of tourists cluttering up the roads.

As well as the biking we enjoyed some fabulous meals out in the evenings,the highlight was going to Tolo’s the cyclist restaurant and one where Barry Wiggins has his bikes on display.

A fabulous holiday enjoyed by all and one I hope we get to do again and again as who would not want to be biking in the sunshine !!

2015

Well  2015 was an amazing year for me I kept myself injury free and I finally ran not one but 3 half marathons

DSCF7741In total I ran just over 500 miles and biked over 4000 miles.

2016 is going to be an interesting year with Matthew joining the army , also I have plenty of events lined up including my first Audax ride.

If all goes to plan the first  3 months I have running events , then biking events through the summer , ending the year with more running events.

I have decided to give up my running club for the summer and go on the SWNC training rides as I really want to try and improve my average speed .

There will also be biking holidays with Geoff  in Tenerife and Mallorca then back to the Cotswolds with SWNC in October.

An exciting year ahead … I think 2016 is going to be all about the bike !!!!!

Swapping running shoes for 2 wheels

First week in November and I spent 5 days in the Cotswolds with biking friends from SWNC. We stayed in a fabulous lodge on the Lower Mill Estate near Cirencester, our lodge even had its own hot tub on the balcony

I was worried about this trip as it involved biking up hills, when it comes to hills I lack confidence and fail mentally but I was hoping this trip would help me overcome these fears !!

imageTuesday we were going to head North to the hills riding through plenty of typical Cotswolds villages.

Wednesday an easier flatish ride leaving time to enjoy the spa.

Thursday drive over the Severn bridge and ride into the Wye valley by Tintern valley and Monmouth

The weather was damp but warm and we managed 2 of the planned rides , happy to say I coped with the hills far better than expected. On the third day we decided it was too wet to risk the ride especially with all the wet slippery leaves about.

We didn’t waste the day though spending it in the Spa and generally having fun, I even tried the outdoor plunge pool .

This was a totally fabulous week spent with great friends having lots of fun and laughs  ,so good that we have booked to go again next year and certain people have promised to join me in the plunge pool.

and I may be starting to fall in love with those hills at last !!!!

Cycle Together Sandringham

Much to my disappointment I had to miss Cycle Together Sandringham in 2014 so it was top of my list for 2015.

Its a great family day out with routes of 10,20, 50 and 100 miles so something for everyone and every penny raised goes to Park house hotel for the disabled.

I was going to ride this with the sandringham and west norfolk cyclist and it was also going to be my first 100 ride of 2015 but as I decided to ride from home it would make it around 116 miles, my longest ride to date.

10171728_10153074990488152_6507144964771980927_n (1)As I left home it was drizzling with rain but by the time we set off from Sandringham although still dull there was no drizzle !!

A large group of us set off together we then split down into smaller groups depending on speed.

I settled into a nice little group of 5 and we rode together to the first feed stop at Holkham ,avg speed was 17 mph and at that time I wondered how I would ever manage the 100 miles.

This is where the route split and we lost 2 from our group who went on to ride the 50 while Myself, Paulette and Lorraine carried on to do the 100 miles.

We then headed out to Holt for the next feed station,we rode together really well taking it in turns at the front for a mile at a time,it was the first time I have experienced such great riding team work, it pushed me hard and I loved it !!

From Holt it was back to Holkham with the challenging Bard hill at salthouse on the way ,I think the 100 route took in every hill in Norfolk.11427703_10153074990763152_640031407545965868_n

Then before we knew it we were crossing the finishing line with big smiles and cheers from fellow riders.

We then received a lovely goody bag , had coffee and pasta before returning home.

A  fabulous ride out with 3 great ,well stocked, feed stations, ran by friendly cheerful encouraging volunteers. The route signage was also very good and clear to follow and the actual 100 mile route was fantastic to ride.

Thanks to Paulette and Lorraine it was well worth waiting a year to do and I loved it.

and I was so happy that I didn’t need a lift home !!

Pedal Norfolk

Pedal Norfolk was the second event Gina and I was doing over the B/H weekend.

IMG_2949Pedal Norfolk is a 3 day biking event at Holkham Hall,organised by Fatbirds of Hunstanton and offering various lengths of rides over the 3 days.

We did the 50 mile “hilly” on the B/H Monday.

Its the first time we had done this event as it always clashes with the GEAR run and I never thought I was fit enough to do both !!

Luckily the torrential rain from Sunday had been replaced with a nice sunny day , perfect for biking.

We arrived nice and early because at the last min and much to my delight Geoff had decided to ride, so needed to register. It was good to see a group of other SWNC riders there so we all started together then split into our own riding groups along the way.

It was a great route to ride heading away from Hunstanton towards Stiffkey and Morston on many roads I had not ridden on before up the famous Salthouse hill towards Binham where you had a grand view of the priory.IMG_2953

The feed station was simple but offered excellent refueling and the best flapjacks I have ever tasted!!

The route back to Holkham was just as enjoyable and what a delight when you spotted the sea on the horizon coming into Titchwell, then back into the Holkham estate with the Obelisk in view and that great finish.

It was one of the best Sportive Routes we have ever ridden and the lovely festival atmosphere at the end was well enjoyed with food drink and chat with fellow riders…….

So enjoyed that next year we may not run the GEAR but ride the 100 mile scenic Saturday route!!