Monday, 18 June 2012

100 km round london at night!

I did complete last week's challenge with 102 miles But I started this week with a biggie, this weekend i cycled 74 miles! On Saturday night my son had worked out the route and was the event leader and i was the participant! we cycled 100 kn round London overnight. Two days later and I am still quite tired, I think that is the effect of doing it at night as my legs etc feel fine and not aching at all. I managed to cycle 5 miles back to Marylebone after 5 hours sleep with no difficulty. All of this is amazing for me and I still feel its a bit like a dream! There are some substantial hills in London and they all seem to be close together! We had a climb over Streatham Common and then on up to Crystal Palace, which was our southern most point. Then it was fairly downhill or flat to the Cutty Sark, which looks great lit up, easy riding round to Tower Bridge, through the city and out to Canary Wharf. Docklands is a weird place, sort of bright and shiny and unreal somehow! There a strong wind that hit us in this area, which the buildings sometimes sheltered us from and sometimes seemed to tunnel the full force straight at us!! We saw quite a lot of urban foxes, mainly in the very built up areas, one even in the underpass to Canary wharf!! We continued on through Hackney and Dalston, which had quite a selection of fruit and veg shops open at 3am! Do late night clubbers do their shopping on the way home? through Highbury and on to the next batch of hills, definitely the hardest, mainly because I was so tired by then! we got up tp Alexandra Palace about 3:30am, this is a long slow climb and I made with a couple of stops on the way, then a quick whizz down to the bottom to traffic lights and a right turn straight back up Muswell Hill. This I'm afraid defeated me, I managed about half way then walked the rest, I was now feeling tiredness more than anything, and I had an annoying tickly cough caused I think by the Plane Tree spores. We were now heading in to Hampstead and around The Heath, we stopped at traffic lights with 2 downhill roads and one ahead going straight up to Spaniards Lane and my son saw how tired I asked him if that was our direction! Past the Heath and then left downhill all the way to Camden Town! It was now around 4am and the sun was coming up, the sky was a lovely purpley colour. Dawn is not something I have seen very often in my lifetime!! Onwards round Regents park and up Euston road, turning down Russells square and going down to the river, viewing the land marks south of the river that we had cycled past a few hours earlier! We got to Big Ben as it chimed 4:30am. Up Whitehall to Trafalgar Square and it is daylight now, The Mall was shut so along Pall Mall, up St James' and past the Ritz on Picadilly. We crossed Hyde park corner and Will offered me a choice, we had done 90km and we could go straight home but if we wanted to make it 100km we had to do a loop around Hyde park. I bravely said 100km is what we set out to do, so let's get round that park. It was quite eerie cycling round a park totally on our own in broad daylight! then it down Old Brompton Road and home to Fulham finishing at 5:25am and just as the GPS clicked to dead on 100 km!! Will's wonderful girlfriend had made up my bed and I fell straight in and slept for 5 hours! then back on the bike after a delicious bacon buttie! I cycled back through Hyde Park in the sunshine but this time crowded with people!! It was definitely early to bed and i was snoring by 9pm and didn't stir till this morning1

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Week 2

Week two started last saturday, with a ride to Stratford So all packed and ready for the off, the sky was grey but it was dry so I packed my waterproof but didn't wear it! Just lately this is an event in itself!! I started my ride by going to Chaddesley Corbett, a pretty village with a great teashop, where they make the most magnificent scones and the best poached eggs on toast that I have ever tasted!! However, I'm attempting to stick to a diet so I resisted, which as you will discover is a major achievement in itself!! This village and those close by are full of lovely chocolate box cottages like this one. My cycling is becoming more fun each time I go out, as my fitness increases I'm getting such a buzz when I can cycle up hills that had me feeling like a heart attack on legs only a little while ago! Please don't get any ideas about me being some great athlete, I do get up the hills but at speeds that I would be overtaken by the average jogger, and my bike computer can't always record the speed because I'm going so slowly!! I'm doing a 5 day ride from Newcastle to Edinburgh later in the year and that involves a section through the borders across The Moorfoot Hills, and the road is going uphill for 10 miles!!!! So every time I get up a hill I have that in mind. This next picture will give you some idea of the amount of rain we've had lately I had to cycle through it, I was slightly nervous, with my record for falling off as I was quite a long way from home and didn't fancy the rest of the day soaking wet. I got to Stratford in just under 4 hours cycling time and it was 42 miles so a good start for this weeks target. I didn't go out on Sunday but Monday I took the bike on the train to work and cycled home, so clocked up 10 miles. My family always laugh when work and I get into the same sentence, and I must admit this is one of the best jobs I have ever had, I teach knitting and they pay me! Most of the ladies in the group are good knitters so I really provide ideas and sometimes I teach them a trick or two and sometimes they teach me!! The challenge worked really well yesterday as I had lots of small jobs to do and I was out all afternoon, pre 100M/WC cycling would not have happened, but I got up early baked a cake, then went out on my bike and clocked up another 13 miles! Today I have had a short ride of 5 miles and it is lovely and sunny but sadly some time must be spent on the mundane, like food shopping, cooking etc. So I opted to go to a supermarket a few miles away and over a hill, which got the shopping done and I got some exercise. Back home and I made weight watcher jam, milk jellies both very good for my diet and then choc chip and nut cookies! We're visiting friends this evening and I will take the cookies there and no tasting before I go. Running total for the week is 70 miles and 2 days to go to do another 30 miles, hopefully the sun will be with us tomorrow as I plan to do a 35 mile ride, which goes up a very steep hill that shares properties with a cliff face! I've just checked this post on preview and for some reason blogger has ignored all the paragraphs and it is coming out in one lump, I do apologise for this and hopefully I will work out how to change that before the next post.

Friday, 8 June 2012

End of week one

The challenge to myself is working! This morning it was raining again and I had other stuff to do but was still a few miles short of the 100 mile target. Normally I would have thought oh we'll I'll miss today and do a longer ride tomorrow but then when tomorrow gets here resolve weakens! With the challenge in mind, and especially as I have made it public here and on Facebook, I had to be organised, so I was up early, sorted the dogs (they were off for a cut and blo-dry) and just after 9am me and my trusty bicycle were on the road! I did 13 miles, and that takes my total for the week to 104 miles. At least 60 of them were done in the rain! The weather tomorrow is looking better so I'm planning a long ride, from here to Stratford which is 45-50 miles, then the train back. I'll take the camera and try and remember to take pictures!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

The 100 mile per week cycle challenge

So I'm on the last few months countdown to Cycle India. I have done well so far in getting fitter and can now cycle further than I ever imagined I would. BUT I need to push myself a bit more so I have decided to challenge myself to ride a minimum of 100 miles per week. The distance is not really an issue, it's 5x 20 mile ride and that is well within my capabilities now, but the discipline of getting that often is what I need to do. I was really good at going 4 times a week when I first started but as I have been able to cope with longer rides I have not been that strict with myself and now I want to be! So this challenge needs some rules, though not too many because I'm not really a rule kind of person! 1. A minimum of 100 miles to be cycled each week. 2. The week starts on Saturday. 3. No carrying over miles to the next week, counter starts at zero every Saturday morning! That will do 3 is a good number! This week I have done 91 miles and 51 of those were done in the pouring rain, so you can see this is hard core stuff! Tomorrow is also forecast to be wet but I will get out there and do some more miles! Just to remind you all, I am 54 yrs old and about 3 1/2 stone overweight so if you are little Lycra whippet, this blog will not float your boat as they say! However, if, like me, middle age is approaching, let me encourage you it is possible to get fitter and enjoy it. In the process of doing this I have raised over £3000 for women v cancer, so it's a win win situation for everyone. I have enjoyed it so much that I'm planning to cycle Cuba in 2013!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Happy New Year

So like many of you, I'm sure, as it is the beginning of a New Year, I'm making some resolutions! Most of them have been made before but let's try again!

Fitness and weight come top of the list, as ever, yesterday I joined weight watchers, and today I went out for the first bike ride of 2012, so a start has been made on both of those!

Use up some of my stash and get back to some of the principles I practised when Wardrobe Refashion was going strong. I have also made a start at this. Over Christmas and the New Year, I knitted Leisl by Ysolda Teague in Flirt, I had bought this yarn for another garment but that is the joy of using stash yarn, it has several 'lives' before it actually becomes a garment!

Last year I have made a good start at making and selling bags, the impetus for that has been raising money for Women v Cancer, but I'd like to keep it going after I have raised the money for my bike ride in India.

The last one is to get up earlier! I'm much more likely to get a training ride done if I get up earlier, and if I don't sleep in the day maybe I'll sleep in the night!

My bike ride today was beautiful, lovely crisp sunny day, bit chilly but I was well wrapped up in new merino top bought by my lovely son for Christmas! I'm not really one of life's exercisers as I may have mentioned before, but when I do get out on my bike I so enjoy it! I was pleased because although I haven't been out for a month or so I was able to get up the hills,even Cemetery Hill, which is right at the start of
my ride and quite long and steep! While it was lovely and peaceful along by the canal it was very muddy and I had a skid moment, which makes me a bit nervous by such a large body of dirty water, which I'm sure is very cold. With my history of falling off I think it may be better to find a less watery route until the paths dry up a bit!

My lovely husband bought me a new bike for Christmas, it's very splendid, has front suspicion and is all black and shiny, very pretty, or was before I splashed through the puddles this morning! It is wonderful to ride a bike where the gears actually work! I do think my old bike was quite good for training as so few of the gears worked! But I must say I'm enjoying the help from the new bike gears! At least this one doesn't creak at every bump, I was always a bit scared something vital would break on the old bike when I was furthest from home!

So I'm all set up for the new year's resolutions and I think this time I might keep them well at least for January! How about you?

Monday, 30 May 2011

Bags for sale

So last week I managed to get some sewing done and I have managed to sell some of the bags already and got an order for some more so thanks to my supporters. I will be putting the rest on my folksy page today so pop over and check them out.

So here are some ipod socks, they are made of black jersey and each have a little embroidery on them.

Then here are three different designs of bags.

And lastly a coin purse

Today I have plans to continue my training but its pouring with rain!! I have been doing some walking as well as cycling and today I had planned a 10.5 mile trip on the bike along the canal but I find I'm a fair weather exerciser!! If I plan to continue training I probably need to get over this as I live in England!!

So I shall get on with more sewing as I wait for the rain to stop.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Hair ok, biking started

Just in case anyone was worried, my roots didn't rot so I still have hair!! Colour hasn't lifted brilliantly but no grey so got to be good.

Went for the first training bike ride this morning, I did 4 miles in about 25 minutes which doesn't sound very fast to me. However, my legs did not turn to total jelly and I could still breathe and hold a conversation when I paid for my milk and paper. I'm going to check the map and make it 5 miles, I was kind of guessing and following my nose today. Stourbridge is going to be very good for training because everywhere you go there are hills!! And as I have often found on a bike there are more ups than downs!! I have now set up my just giving page so if you want to encourage me, click the link and add to the fund!!

Well I'm off to sew now, I'll post some pics and be putting stuff on my folksy page later in the week, all proceeds towards women v cancer.