Category Archives: Personal

Lap of Anglia 2017

Finally it was here,16th August,

A day I have been waiting for all year, the start of the Lap of Anglia I was nervous and excited all at the same time, and still wondered if I could actually manage to ride over 400 miles in 4 days.

The meeting point was at the QEH, packing the van, greeting everyone and sorting last minute problems did not take long so just after 8 am 45 riders gathered on the helipad, a few photos were taken and then a peloton of Red jerseys set off on a 4-day adventure.

First stop of the day was just down the road at Sandringham for another photo shoot and to gather ourselves together after the great send off, we then split down into smaller riding groups making it easier and safer on the roads.

We continued along the coast stopping at Holkham, Sheringham, and Walcot, where they served the most delicious Salted Caramel Ice cream before ending the day In Norwich after riding 97 miles.

Lap of Anglia

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The Holiday Inn provided great accommodation even allowing us to take our bikes to our rooms, where some I believe even washed their bikes in the shower, tut, tut !!!!

After a fabulous breakfast, and a few laughs and jokes with fellow riders we set off in the rain for another day of riding, sticking close to the coast, we called in at Wroxham, Great Yarmouth, Leiston, Melford, and finished in Ipswich after 109 miles. luckily by the time, we arrived in Great Yarmouth the rain had stopped and the sun came out to help us on our way.

You never had to think about how many miles you were covering in a day, as each stretch was never longer than 29 miles, then the magic support van would always appear and you could mingle and chat with the other riders as well as refuel before setting off on your travels again.

The third day was the day I was most looking forward to and dreading at the same time, riding mainly in the flatlands I wasn’t sure how I would cope with the climbing but this was my chance to find out. Same routine, stopping every 20/25 miles calling in at Acton, Ridgewell, Saffron Waldron, Letchworth and finishing at Luton after 99 miles. A total of 5.190 feet of climbing and I was happy, even the few rain showers didn’t bother me some people mentioned the wind but, to be honest, I hardly noticed it as my mind was on the hills

Untitled Far too quickly it was the fourth and final day, I really did not want this adventure to end, it was going to be the longest day with 110 miles to cover but after the hilly start, we would hit the flatlands with a tail wind. We called in at Flitwick, where Tesco supplied us with Bananas, then Catworth and Stanground by then you could feel the excitement rising as we realized that we were going to make it !! Geoff surprised us with a visit too, catching us eating and drinking at the Woolpack pub. Next stop was at Parson Drove, where a children’s karaoke party was in full swing. Then we all gathered at the bank house in Kings Lynn for the victory ride back to the QEH.

Damien led us the last mile down the bypass back to QEH it was amazing, 45 riders all in Red Jerseys one after the other like a long train, the atmosphere was electric, then over the roundabout you could hear all the family and friends shouting, clapping and cheering us, a totally fabulous ending to a totally fabulous event.

I feel very proud to have been a part of such a fabulous well-organized event, I met some awesome people,had some great laughs and realized I can achieve more than I think I can and the answer to the question most people want to know is…. No, I wasn’t too sore or tired, in fact, I went out with SWNC the following day on the 100-mile ride to Cromer.

Lap Of Anglia

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Some Hills and A Swarm

I had been looking forward to the first weekend in July for many months.

Untitled While away walking in Portugal we had booked up the Norwich Cycle swarm with Gina, deciding on the 100-mile route, an event I had wanted to do for a few years but had never managed to fit in !!

The route would cover some roads that we had never ridden on before so I was looking forward to some new scenery and a chatty ride with Gina.

Then SWNC decided that our yearly trip to Rutland to ride the hills would be on the Saturday before the Swarm, this we could not miss!

I had done this ride in 2014 but then missed out last year when I suddenly got afraid of hills !! Now I feel stronger on my bike I was eager to go and face my fear of hills!!

The route included 2 great stops, tea and cake at The Windmill then lunch at cafe Ventoux.Untitled

Happy to say I loved this ride, coping far better with the Rutland hills than I expected too, it was a huge SWNC turn out for an away day ride which just proves what a great social biking group it is.

Amazingly the Flying Scotsman even made an appearance just us !!

The Norwich Cycle Swarm is an annual mass participation cycling event that starts from Norwich City Football Club.The routes head out of Norwich through Wroxham then along the coast through Happisburgh and Bacton then turning inland at Mundesley, the coast road was very scenic and windy !!

It was all I expected it to be although I thought the feed stations were very poor but as we are used to doing Audax rides we just stopped at a cafe along the coast.

Although Gina had decided not to join us on the ride we did meet up for dinner so a perfect ending to a busy weekend.

A walking and riding weekend.

Another active weekend was had on 17th/18th June.

Untitled Since I fell in love with Biking I don’t do as much walking but I do still enjoy walking and would walk more if I could get to the mountains !!!   As for local walks, I try to do the LDWA challenge walks

 This weekend started with the LDWA  Poppyline walk, which we almost missed out on as it filled up quicker than expected, but lucky for us I know the right people !!!

This time Jayne was able to join Gina Jo and myself, so on the hottest day of the year so far we found ourselves walking 18 miles from Sheringham.

As usual, the route did not disappoint with sea views and parkland.

We have now done all 3 LDWA challenge walks.

Poppyline took 6 hours 34

Daffodil dawdle 6 hours 09

Flower of Suffolk 6 hours 50

Many people run walk these events and it’s something I would like to try sometime in the future.

Then on the Sunday Geoff and I did the Cycle together Sandringham ride, I like to support this ride as it’s local and all money goes to Parkhouse at Sandringham

Once again it was another very hot day and for once I was happy that we had decided to do the shorter route of 50 miles although riding from home made it 65 miles.Untitled

There was a huge gathering of SWNC riders at the start, then we all split down into our little groups.

Although we ride these roads regular on our Sunday social rides I never tire of them

After the very hot but enjoyable ride, we gathered with other riders in Parkhouse garden enjoying ice cream, hot dogs and shandy before a gentle ride home.

Norfolk Special Audax

No sooner was Geoff back from his travels and I had him out on a 200km Audax  strike while the iron is hot was my plan.

It was the Norfolk Special from Lound near Lowestoft, it’s quite a drive for an early start so we decided to stay over in Lowestoft.

Now we have done quite a few Audax it’s nice to see familiar faces on these rides.

I had already done one 200km Audax but this was to be Geoffs first, I knew he was perfectly capable of doing it, it’s just a matter of pacing yourself, something Geoff is not too good at. He starts off quickly trying to keep up with the fast boys then runs out of steam before the finish, whereas I go out slower and have energy at the end.

The route was described as offering a bit of everything that is nice about Norfolk – the Broads, the hillier and scenic north Norfolk, and the North Norfolk coastal village of Stiffkey and attractive market towns, finishing on gentle terrain along the flatter but still pleasant and quiet lanes of South Norfolk

As always the route did not disappoint us, we were lucky with the weather, the route had plenty of info points and 2 cafe stops, one in Wymondham where our friend Jayne lives, so we arranged to meet her there for a coffee which was nice.

Doing these rides has taught me that there is more to riding than bombing round the countryside as fast as possible which means I enjoy the more relaxed riding an Audax offers.

So another fab day out on our bikes Geoff said never again but I have other plans !!!!!!

A busy few months

While Geoff has been away touring around South Korea and Japan, I have been filling my time doing the things I love….. running, biking and walking.

First It was the LDWA Daffodil Dawdle, Gina and I have walked the Daffodil Dawdle before from Kirtling, in unforgettable conditions which included a lot of Mud, Rain and Snow, last year we gave it a miss opting to do the Flowers of Suffolk later in the year instead where Jo and Jayne joined us too. We enjoyed that walk so much that we decided to risk the Daffodil Dawdle again.This year it was from Stradbroke and luckily we were blessed with a lovely sunny day and a beautiful route. Many people run or run/walk these events and we were inspired by these people and have decided that a challenge for next year will be to run/walk the 18 miles

Easter and a 4-day break for me, I usually hate Bank Holidays when Geoff is away but thanks to Parkrun and SWNC I had a fab Easter break, filled with running biking and fun.

My Next adventure was a 200km Audax, something I have wanted to do for a while, so when the opportunity came up to join a couple of friends I jumped at the chance. It was an awesome day, starting from Seething, riding on lovely country lanes and roads, the route took us out to the Maglia Rosso cafe near Bury St Edmunds then we headed to the coast via Framingham, Saxmundham and Southwold before returning back to Seething. The miles just seemed to fly by and I returned home eager to book another 200km Audax with Geoff.

Amazingly my next big event was running Parkrun number 100, not such a big achievement when many have run 200 but for me it was huge as I was the person that was never going to do Parkrun, why would I want to set my alarm clock on a Saturday I told everyone but it took just one Parkrun and I was hooked, now I cannot imagine a weekend without a Parkrun

 

Then to top it all off there was the 10k GEAR run, I have done this run many times but had to miss it last year due to injury, so it was nice to be back running a home event with many lovely friends and Ladybirds. This year it was being run by the Asda foundation and as a runner, I can say it was very well organised with a great medal, T-shirt and goodie bag. There was also the most amazing amount of support around the route, which provided a magic atmosphere.Due to not running for 10 days and doing 250 plus miles on my bike I didn’t expect to run a good time, but my legs had other ideas, a great time of 56.53 missing out on a P/B by 10 seconds !! After the run we all went to the pub, enjoying food, drink and of course lots of chatting and it really did feel like I just about knew everyone.

Now Geoff is home for the summer and I have lots of exciting things planned for him !!!!!!

A taste of Portugal

As Geoff was going to be home for around 10 days between his 2 big cycling trips to Sri Lanka and South Korea/Japan, I thought it would be a good Idea to do some multi day hiking again.

The plan was to go to Portugal and walk the Fisherman’s Trail BUT before we even left cambridge we realised that to do this we should be flying to Lisbon not Faro, so we changed our plans.

The new plan was to start our walking in Sagres and make our way along the coast using the GR13 and GR11 trails,another mistake we made was expecting it to be warm,at times the strong winds made it feel very cold.

Anyway we managed 6 days of walking and covered around 80 miles, we even had a days walking along the fisherman’s trail which as expected was amazing , so although it may not have been as warm as we expected  the sun did shine , the scenery was awesome and the wild flowers were beautiful, I also loved spending a week with Geoff.

The beach’s in Portugal are also very beautiful, I think we saw them at there best, out of season and empty ! The beach at Carrapateira was especially amazing with its boarded walks, its a must visit place if you ever find yourself in Portugal as well as the beach at Praia De Monte Clerigo.

The other thing not to miss is the traditional Portuguese tart or Pastel De Nata, they are delicious and we consumed many.

Within days of being back Geoff was off on his next trip but I have things to look forward too, some multi day biking together, maybe on the North sea cycle route and a 200km Audax ,both good training for my Lap of Anglia ….. but first its the LDWA Daffodil dawdle

On the mend !!

Having spent the second half of January feeling quite out of sorts with a very annoying cough, I finally gave in and took to my bed.

The annoying sometimes killer cough led to a chest infection,so no work , no massage clients and no exercise.

Part of my half marathon training had been to run the Freethorpe 10 mile road race but unfortunately this was not to be…..

To fill my time I have been catching up with lots of tv and netflix series, the best being The Crown, I have also made a good start on knitting my socks and have made my marmalade for the year.

I am now back at work even though I was offered a sick note and I am hoping after another week with no exercise and antibiotics, I might be fit enough to get back on my bike and continue with the half marathon training.

In the mean time I have a lovely weekend to look forward too but more about that next week !!!

Blog Birthday

This Christmas my blog had its 10th birthday, it was a gift that arrived by e-mail from Geoff.

We had only known each other a few months but he thought I would enjoy / make a good blogger, I on the other hand wondered what on earth I would write about and how would I ever spell everything right !!

Armed with a dictionary I set about writing about everything that makes me happy, walking cooking, running, slimming world, to name just a few things and then massage and biking came later.

I love looking back and reading my old posts,its lovely to see how much my writing has improved,  here is my first blog post and no I have not done the Christmas day swim yet !!

I have had 5,871 comments and 282,192 spam comments, I have also met some lovely people through my blog .