About Me

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Wife (to Shaun), Mother (to Danni), Dog walker of Archie the JRX, improving cyclist, reformed gym bunny, broken runner Collector of exercise DVDs & equipment. Cake is my weakness together with cider (Westons only thanks)and brandy. Noisy spectator of running & cycling events. Owner of Tribby the campervan

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Review of 2017 and goal setting for 2018

It's that time of year again!

Highlights of the year were my first New Forest sportive and wearing my newly designed cycling top, my 50th and Danni's 21st birthdays and meeting  David Millar, Vincenzo Nibali, Davina McCall and Ned Boulting at his Bikeology Tour.  Did anyone else get to see Bikeology?  Such a fun evening.

We also had a fantastic holiday in Crete.   I have no idea if we'll get away in 2018, it may only be Tribby trips this year.   We've had some nice trips away this year (again not as many as we would have liked) but we did make it back to Birmingham, Salisbury, Canterbury and the New Forest and we had a lovely long weekend with our friends Paula and Dave in deepest, darkest Kent.   I'd really like to start venturing North in 2018 but we shall see where the mood takes us!

Looking back through Strava and Garmin it's not been too bad a year on the bike (better than I thought anyway) - struggled with motivation and the weather, and there just seeming to be too many other things going on.   According to Strava I've done 502km over 45 rides (compared to 740km last year over 23 rides).   Hoping that we will be able to increase the distance again in 2018 and get some winter rides in to train for the 36 mile SRS Burgess Hill Spring Sportive I've just entered us into for mid-March.   We need to check out some more sportives for later in the year - would like to do another New Forest one, maybe even increase my longest ride.

The reading challenge wasn't too bad - I've only got a couple of books left to read again this year.  Planning on finishing my current read and then start on the new challenge for 2018.

Weightloss has been dire - and I'm currently at the heaviest I've been since pregnancy.   At least 2.5 stone to lose especially as Danni has her graduation ceremony in July - I would prefer not to be the fat momma in the photos.   Possibly back on Slimming World.

Goals for 2018

Read more
Ride more
Say no instead of yes
No sweating the small stuff
Lose weight

Hopefully lots of exciting things to come during 2018 - watch this space!

Happy New Year !

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Juneathon, Diva, Tribby trips, a purchase N+1 & the Bike Show

Not very good at keeping on top of the blogging at the moment - here's a very quick catch up.

Not long after returning from holiday Juneathon started - yes the summer version of the festival of running/exercise and excuses called Janathon.   My efforts were sketchy at best but I did manage to do something every day even if it was only to walk the dog.   June always includes the annual Davina Big Sussex Ride.   Both of us entered properly this time so Shaun could enjoy the whole experience.   I even managed to get my selfie with Davina!   A bit slower this year, probably down to trying to find Davina at the feed station, but it's always an enjoyable ride.



Me and Davina

We've had a couple of Tribby trips since we got back from Crete too - short weekends at Graffham and Crowborough Clubsites and a long weekend at Salisbury.   The weather in Salisbury wasn't brilliant but it was nice to have an extra night away in one of our favourite places.
finally got to see Old Sarum on Sunday! 
The following trip was August Bank Holiday when we met up with our friends Paula & Dave who own Bessie the motorhome.  It's all their fault we bought Tribby.   We had a lovely weekend at a Certificated Site near Marden in Kent called Far Acre Farm.   It was great fun, and just what we needed and a reminder that we don't spend nearly enough time with them.

Also in August I took ownership of Candy the Cannondale -  a lovely hybrid which I've been using for dashes to Sainsburys and Boxercise classes as well as a couple of longer rides.
It's a lovely ride - thanks to hubby's employer's Cycle to Work scheme.  The plan is to use Candy for winter rides.   It has meant I had to sell my beautiful Dawes, my first road bike but it has gone to a lovely new home where I know she'll get lots of use, so not much N plus 1 but N minus one plus one.

A couple of weeks ago we returned to Birmingham for the bike show.  Much improved this year as we got the chance to meet Vincenzo Nibali as well as buy some new kit - to be unveiled later - and "enjoy" the VIP lounge. 
I'm not a massive Nibali fan - he's done some really dodgy things during races and has been DQd from stages and even thrown off races.  However, he is an amazing cyclist and having listened to his interview with Ned Boulting at the show I have gained some respect for him.  He admitted he's done some really stupid things and he is truly sorry for them.  My next cycling scalp is Ned Boulting - we're off to see his show next weekend at Brighton - watch this space!

The cycling and Tribbying has taken a back seat for now while we sell our home of 30 years and look for somewhere to buy.  I'm hoping this period of extreme stress will help with weightloss and in 2018 I can start again with the cycling and set some new goals.  In the meantime it's time to concentrate on the reading challenge (two more books to read) and attempt to keep my house spotless for viewing.  I'm still doing boxercise and spin, need those for stress relief.

I'll be back soon to let you know the latest but it's Ciao for now.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Sometimes a break does you good

Decided to have a bit of a break from blogging after we got back from Crete in May.  No particular reason but I just didn't feel like it, and couldn't come up with the words I wanted to write - a bad case of bloggers block I'd guess you'd say.  

Our holiday in Crete was amazing despite the rain for the first few days.  We'd treated ourselves to an upgraded room - one with our own swimming pool.  Our hotel, the Solimar Aquamarine was beautiful having just had a lot of money spent on refurbishing it.   Our room was enormous just for the two of us, a huge double bed, a walk in shower and a bath and of course the pool outside.
Our pool

the hotel pool
Before we'd left we'd booked a cycle tour with Hellas Bikes and had picked out some other trips we wanted to book through our travel company (First Choice).   Unfortunately because we hadn't been able to contact our rep we missed a Gorge Walk but luckily managed to book a trip to the Palace of Knossos which is on the other side of the island.   Whilst the hotel food was good we did venture out to enjoy proper Greek food at local tavernas.  We've decided we won't go All Inclusive in Greece again, you lose the atmosphere.

We found a great way of getting around Chania - the Little Fun Train provided a number of mini tours including the one we chose - a ride up through the Gorge to a small village in the mountains where we could have lunch and a cold beer or visit a local museum set up to show the German occupation during WW2.  It wasn't very expensive either just 19 euros each - a great way of spending 3 hours, and a lot cheaper than some of the excursions being offered by tour operators.

Wish we'd known about it before we left for Crete - there was so many other trips we could've done.

Our trip to visit Heraklion and the Palace of Knossos meant a very early start and a never ending 3 hour coach ride.  It was well worth it, the Palace was amazing, I've got a zillion photos, far too many to share on one blog.

Our bike tour was brilliant.  Our guides took us up into the mountains and we cycled back down, stopping off at various points to learn something of the life of the Chanian people, their religion and their ancient past history.  We stopped off for coffee and cake soon after setting off.
Coffee & cake stop

it was mainly downhill but there were some small inclines too!

Our finish line - the beach at Maleme

me on my "flower bike"

If we go back to the Chania area we'll definitely do another tour with them.  They picked us up from the hotel at the time we'd arranged and made sure we were safe the whole time.  We even thought we'd hire bikes from them too, getting around seemed quite simple.

We even braved the local bus service and went to Chania for a few hours.   The bus stop was right outside the hotel so we just waited until it came along - no timetable available - it wasn't very expensive and well worth the trip - Chania is a beautiful Venetian port.  Lots to look at and you can just sit on the harbour and get ripped off for food and drink - 17 euros for a beer and a sprite!  Lesson learned - lunch was bought away from the harbour.

All in all a lovely 10 days, despite the weather and First Choice attempting to make our lives a misery! Absolutely couldn't have done without our own pool - it felt a bit unsociable but we still managed to get to know other holidaymakers.  

Lots more to come - including a new bike and a couple of Tribby trips and a sportive!

Monday, 17 April 2017

The Big Five Zero & Easter

I've been waiting ages for my Christmas present from Danni & Joel and the first opportunity was Wednesday  after we got back from the New Forest - done and dusted now

Quite cute I think!

Thursday saw the arrival of the big 5 zero birthday - no idea what I was doing or where I was going but it was soon revealed that Shaun, Danni and I were going on the Brighton i360 and then having lunch after in the Bellevue which is underneath the i.

Some lovely presents including a night away with a meal, a couple of afternoon teas and a voucher for beauty treatments at a local salon, a cycling related poster and some cash to spend, and some pretty flowers.

Didn't do much Thursday evening and on Friday we headed to Shaun's sisters for a barbecue to celebrate father in law's birthday.  It was lovely to catch up with his side of the family - not something we do very often.

Friday night Shaun said we were going for a 40 mile bike ride the next morning so when I got up on Saturday and didn't feel up to it I decided to have a duvet day and catch up with some of the telly we'd recorded.  At mid-day Shaun told me to get ready to go out because he was bored and wanted to go out, whilst I was getting ready Danni arrived with Joel - wasn't expecting to see them at all!  We drove out of Newhaven and finally arrived at the Green Man at Ringmer, didn't spot my brother's car parked next to us but there they were - mum, dad, Steve and Jo waiting for us to turn up with the table all decorated - what a lovely surprise.  Think I gave everyone heart failure when I posted on FB that I was having a duvet day and watching 10 hours of NCIS LA.

We had a lovely lunch - bit too much food!

On Easter Sunday we actually made it out for a ride - not far just 17 miles!   It was very chilly with no arm and knee warmers - no idea why I thought that was a good idea, first time ever I've been cold on the bike and won't make that mistake again.  The roads were very busy, a couple of scary moments so we stopped at the YHA at Southease for a coffee and cake and then rode the Egrets Way to Piddinghoe instead of the road.
No idea why he was doing the grumpy face
I haven't done much today apart from washing, sorting out my winter to summer clothes ready for work and a MASSIVE pile of ironing whilst watching the first episode of the new series of Dr Who and 4 episodes of the current series of Line of Duty.
Told you it was MASSIVE
Back to work for 4 days - Operation Greek Goddess is a go, back to classes too and back to the weightloss.  Going to take it easy with the classes though, no doubling up until I'm sure the rib is going to behave itself.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

New Forest Spring Sportive and a Tribby Trip

Following on from the last post last Saturday Shaun and I headed to Verwood Camping & Caravan Club Site for a few days on the New Forest and to take part in the New Forest Spring Sportive.   We'd both entered the 66 mile standard ride as had our friend Steve Hyne (@mountainhiker59 on Twitter).  I'd more or less decided on Friday I wasn't going to ride at all and leave Shaun & Steve to ride together.  I'd had a bit of a problem with my asthma meds during the week and was a bit scared to put my lungs and heart under any unnecessary strain.  Shaun had decided that Doris and my kit was going to the New Forest anyway even if I only went for a short ride on the Monday.   During a chat with Steve on Saturday evening it was agreed that if I got a decent nights sleep I would ride the 29 mile short sportive with Shaun and Steve would ride the 66 miles alone, provided we met before and after at the start.  So glad we made the decision.
All set up

Fish & chip dinner
 The next morning we got up early with an aim to be off site at 7am as soon as the gates were opened and drive the short distance to Somerley House for the start and meet Steve.   Once we'd met up and sent Steve on his way, we headed to registration and then back to Tribby to get the bikes ready.

Ready to go #TeamGRN
We were soon being set off through the start gate and out on to the Forest.  It actually felt great to be on the bike, I hadn't had time to be nervous about the ride itself and what was ahead, I just had to ride and enjoy it.   After 12 miles we arrived at the first feed station - tables laden with flapjack, hot cross buns, chocolate mini eggs, cola bottles (apparently but I missed them), the usual PowerBar nutrition and sports drinks.  Quick comfort visit and we were off again.   17 miles later and we were heading back into the grounds of Somerley House - 2 hours 10 mins moving time.   I was extremely happy with the ride.  Don't think I would've managed the 66 miles but I still got a medal and a finishers tshirt so I was happy.  

Bling & tshirt
We took the bikes back to Tribby and got changed and then headed back to the finish to wait for Steve who came in another couple of hours after us.   There was a lovely atmosphere at the finish with a band playing, food and coffee stands.  While we waited we had a cup of coffee and sat in the sunshine - it was a lovely day!

Reunited with Steve we headed to a pub in Ringwood for some lunch.  Unfortunately being such a lovely day the pub was really busy and the wait for food was getting longer, so we had a drink and a catch up and then went our separate ways.  We headed to Lidl to buy some food - we hadn't catered for Sunday night!

We hadn't really planned anything for Monday other than a lie in and maybe a recovery ride.  To be honest the road running alongside the campsite was so busy I didn't fancy cycling on it.  We could've driven Tribby on to the forest and ridden from there but neither of us really had the energy so after brunch we headed to Burley to stock up on cider and Brockenhurst for a coffee and cream tea and buy a new table in the amazing camping shop in the village.

While we were in Brockenhurst we said hello to the donkeys

Dinner on Monday night was the Pork Ragu & Veg I'd planned for Saturday with some prosecco and some rose wine (we seem to have drunk quite a bit of prosecco over the weekend)

On Tuesday we headed home, picking up the dog from my parents on the way.  Time to download finisher's times, Garmin and photos.   Official time was 2 hours 20 minutes and the photos were brilliant.

I think we'll definitely do this sportive again, or at least more rides on the Forest.  A great event.