Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The season has started

The weather has finally turned friendlier although I should probably not mention this too soon as colder weather has been predicted for the weekend.

I took part in my first Sportive of the season by completing the Wiggle Cheshire Cat last Sunday starting from Crewe. As this is the first ride of the season, we did the 47 mile short option. During the ride I made a classic mistake of following a group of riders down a lane. After a while I glanced down to my Garmin only to notice that I am totally off the pink line which shows the route.

I didn't want to turn around immediately as just at that moment another group of riders came past  me and they were definitely part of the Wiggle. So I carried on. Hmmm.

Not good as I was carried more and more away from the route and finally decided I had indeed gone very wrong.

I cycled back like the clappers and gathered that it was about a 2 mile mistake.

Oh dear, only it wasn't as it turned out to be a whole 4.5 miles more than the route. Well, I completed the 47 mile sportive with 51.5 miles on my Garmin.

Next Sunday is another big ride on our calendar, the CTC Spring Tourist Trial which is 50 miles in total. At least I can say that my Wiggle mistake gave me the opportunity to prove that I can do a 50 miler in 4.10 including stopping time!

On the big holiday front things are falling into place. Everything has been booked and reserved apart from the train from Rotterdam to Basel. I checked today and it seems we can book that on 6 April which is around the corner.

I want to pull together a lightweight folder with all me our reservations in, some notes about distances and suggested things to see along the way and where we overnight.

I am amazed at how many places where I booked didn't bother for a deposit. In the UK it is standard practice but it seems there are much  more trust on the continent!!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

First good bike ride of the new season

Plans were made and kept. Weather forecasts checked (but really irrelevant!).

Hubby is off to Exeter and I had the resolve to go on the Fabulous Ladies monthly ride which I haven't been on for ages. Various things got in the way like National CTC Council, Church commitments and being ill.

Anyway, day looked grey but manageable and I was up, got my bike pumped up (tyres a bit low) and ready to go. First thing though was to get the new Bike Shed measured. I am SO excited! We are getting a Bike Shed (box) which will be to the right of the garage and will act as a sort of bike garage. Initially hubby wanted it in the back garden. For me this is not really practical as it is all about accessibility. If it is there, you will need to get the bike out, the back garage door open, take the car out (as the bike can't go around the car) and then you are off. If the bike shed is at the front of the house, you are off the moment you lift your bike out of the bike shed!
Practical? Off course ;)

Anyway. Bike shed measured, or rather where it will be at the front of the house, and I am off to meet the girls at Kingsway cafe. We were an impressive 19 (including one boy) and  had to split into 2 groups. Moira was leading the second group as my knowledge of East Cheshire is poor. I have cycled East Cheshire many times but I usually talking to my fellow Girls that I am not quite focussing on the road, so I was useless today to lead. I did the sweeping at the back, which is to make sure everyone is ok and still on route.

We were about 10 minutes away (in Hare Lane) when Juliet had a puncture. But she knew what she was doing so in now time were we up and away again.

The rest of the ride went very well. I was so pleased that Moira lead the way as she is definitely more familiar with the East Cheshire lanes than I am.

In no time at all we arrived at the Garden centre which had a large space reserved for us.

Refreshments done and we were on our way back to Chester. I slipped away near the A41 all along the canal and cycled through town. Garmin read 30.3 miles when I pressed stop. I am very pleased with my cycle ride today. It feels so good to be back on my bike. The afternoon was spent gardening and preparing the bike shed space. That involved taking some bulbs up and replanting them elsewhere. The last of the Christmas lights were taken off the trees and the grass was cut. Tomorrow some more gardening to finish off what I started and also to make a start at my Veg patch. I burned more than 1,300 cals today, yeah!! Another bike ride tomorrow and I will slowly get my fitness back in time for the Cheshire Cat at the end of the month as well as the Spring Tourist Trial at the start of April. Roll on 2012!!

Going over the Roman Bridges