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

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

National Cycle to Work Day & Home Again !

I have wanted to cycle to work for ages but it all seemed a bit too much involved.   Coupled with that and the fact my workplace isn't very cycle friendly (no showers and not particularly secure bike storage).   One of my colleagues (a confirmed non-cyclist) suddenly decided in April she was getting an e-bike on the firm's cycle to work scheme and she wasn't going to be using public transport for the whole summer - she's done brilliantly and I'm so impressed by her determination - she even cycles in on the most disgusting weather days, not that we had many during June and July. 

My other excuses include :-

  • the hill out of town is horrible and I have to join it at it's steepest without warming up my legs!
  • I have to get back for the dog when Shaun's at work
  • I don't want to be at work whilst I'm a fat, sweaty mess.
But, today is National Cycle to Work Day - Shaun is on a rest day and the weather is ok and of course I love a challenge (who knew?)

Shaun, bless him, having only got to bed at midnight got up early and took the dog out for a quick walk round the block, loaded Candy into the car and drove me to Saltdean where I could set off in relative ease from on the Undercliff path which runs into Brighton Marina.   It was a very pleasant ride, a ridiculous headwind which was confirmed by my colleague when we compared notes, but yes, a lovely ride. 

What did I learn today ?

  • Planning is key 
  • I should've taken most of my stuff into work the day before
  • a few baby wipes in selected areas worked just as well as a full shower (which I had when I got up this morning)
I had a lovely ride home, albeit the cycle path and Undercliff path were a bit busier than they were at 7.30am.   I didn't really save myself any time cycling to and from, and as I get a staff pass for the buses I certainly don't gain financially.   What I do gain though is a very smug feeling at the end of the day as I've had a good workout instead of sitting on my bum looking at my phone!  Wish I'd stopped for some photos now.

Will I do it again?


Maybe not every day - you still can't convince me that riding to work in hefting rain is good for me! 

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

And there went July !

Quite a busy month all in all - as well as our 8 day Tribby trip we've had a weekend trip back to Graffham which ended in going to Haslemere for Donaldson Day with my parents.    It was a horrible wet weekend, the only one in the whole of July! 

The mobile fish & chip van was back so no need to cook on Friday night which was a bonus.

We were originally put on pitch 42 - a not very nice pitch as even the chocks didn't help with the level so as soon as 43 next door became vacant Shaun went to the site office to ask if we could move.   We had a window of opportunity on the Saturday to get moved so quick unplug and move Tribby and we were in a much nicer spot - a pitch number to jot down and remember for future requests.

a rare moment of sunshine through the trees

View from the door on Saturday morning!

The weather was a bit inclement but it was nice just to get away and relax properly for a couple of days.

On the Sunday we woke to rain so dismantled the bed, showered in Tribby and got ready without opening the door - no mean feat with 2 adults and a dog inside.  Shaun took Archie for a quick walk after and disconnected us from the electric and I stayed in the dry!

We headed into Haslemere to have breakfast with mum and dad at Hemingways and then headed to the Town Hall for the service of remembrance.    This is the second Donaldson Day I've done, so proud of my parents for what they've found out about my brave 3x great grandfather William and to be able to say I'm a living descendant.    The occasion is always well attended by the local councillors and Mayor (although this year we had the Deputy Mayor), a representative from Surrey Police and this year the Police Chaplain attended and gave a prayer.   Mum had made a beautiful flower arrangement which was placed by one of the plaques.  Our walk 3 times around the Town Hall was a soggy affair and it was great to get back inside to listen to presentations from the Chaplain, the police representative and Dad's latest additions to the story of William and his wife Janet.

I left mum and dad to it as we needed to get home and get unpacked ready for work the next day, and have lunch.

During July I also took part in Cycle for MIND, a cycle challenge set up by Challenge the Norm.   I had to pledge a distance to cycle during July, pay £20 entry fee and for this I received a medal and a neck scarf.   I pledged to ride 190 miles, which could be completed on the road and also a spin bike.   I thought I'd easily be able to complete the challenge with 2 spin classes a week and cycle to and from the class and add some additional miles during the month.   Taking the bikes on holiday helped as I completed 30 miles during the week.  I actually ended up cycling over 200 so could have probably pushed on to complete the 250.   During the month I also won a draw to receive any item of clothing from the site which I chose a top and wore it to spin, and a couple of days ago my medal arrived.

I've also set up a just giving page if anyone fancies supporting this great charity - TIA.   I love doing these sorts of challenges, it's certainly motivates me to get out on the bike, and it's a great way to support charities!  I'm now looking for another challenge - any ideas, please let me know.  I've got another sportive on 8th September - I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

8 days in Tribby

Wow, weather remains just about perfect (for me anyway).

Second week of July Shaun and I with Archie tribbyed (not sure that's a word but who cares) over to the Isle of Wight.  We were a bit worried about Archie on the boat (disgracing himself) but he was fine.  We were instructed to take a bag on board with everything we might in case of accidents - it was worse than taking a baby on board as we trundled to the "dog deck" with a bag filled with bottles of water, kitchen towel, dog poo bags and disinfectant.

We managed to get onto a slightly earlier sailing which meant we arrived at Adgestone Campsite early, but the staff were lovely and allowed us to pitch on arrival.

Because it wasn't busy we had a choice of pitches and so plumped for one under a silver birch tree for some lovely shade.

The site is lovely and very "Isle of Wight" in that it hasn't been updated for a while.  It has great facilities though, including a swimming pool and I think if we hadn't had the dog we would have used it to cool down. 

We also took the road bikes with us - although it did mean going out separately it worked quite well.   Shaun would go out first thing in the morning and he found me a lovely trail to follow which meant I was away from the roads and no chance of getting lost.  I went for a recce ride that night along the Red Squirrel Trail to see what it was like - got to 5 miles when I had to turn back as the trail turned into gravel.   I'd love to get up into Newport and see what the rest of the trail is like.

On Sunday Shaun headed out on his bike for an hour and when he got back we had brunch of smoked salmon & eggs!    In the afternoon we got a bit fidgety so walked the other half of the Red Squirrel Trail into Sandown - it was a bit warm for Archie but we did check the pavements and made sure we had water for him.  We walked along the esplanade to Browns Golf and had a knickerbocker glory!

Archie was desperate to get on the beach - but no dogs allowed
On the Monday Shaun headed out on his bike to find St Boniface Down and I walked Archie - he did find a road and a cafe

when he got back we went to the onsite cafe - Ginger Tom's - for a full English breakfast and proper coffee.   It was a very nice breakfast and set us up properly for the rest of the day.    A bit later we walked down the Red Squirrel Trail to Pedallers, a local tea room and had some cake.

When we got back I got changed and re-rode the Trail on Doris.

Pedallers was closed
 On Tuesday we took the "bone rattler" train from Sandown to Shanklin as we wanted to visit the Chine.   We had a lovely walk from the bottom up to the waterfall and back down again!

bottom of the waterfall

We walked on the beachfront to see if there was anything decent for lunch but couldn't find anything - we needed somewhere with shade for Archie.   Having given up we took the lift from the beach to the town and then walked along the cliff top and found the Hideaway - perfect, hidden gem!

We stopped off at the Co-Op for provisions and then took the bone rattler back to Sandown.

Wednesday we woke up to grey skies so Shaun headed out on the bike and Archie and I snuggled up in bed.   When Shaun got back we went for another breakfast at Ginger Tom's.

At lunchtime we walked up to the Adgestone Vineyard - just a mile from the campsite.  We were going to do the Tour but it was getting a bit warm so we sat on the veranda and had wine and a cream tea. 

Quick bike ride after while Shaun prepared dinner.

On Thursday we were up early to pack and relocate to the New Forest.   We took the ferry from Yarmouth to Lymington for a change.

We arrived at Rushcroft Farm, Sway and were lead to our pitch.   We stayed at Rushcroft a few years ago but it's changed quite a bit.   Not sure if it's for the better with an extra 50 or so pitches.   It certainly made for some decent people watching. 

It's at this point we realised we should have stayed on the IOW for the whole week!

We didn't do much on Friday - a short walk on the Forest as it was so hot and humid and on Saturday we took the train from Sway to Brockenhurst.

dog waiting for a train
We bought some food for dinner and some cake! 

After dinner we started packing up - Shaun wanted to be on the road before it got too hot.   So, not only did we wish we'd stayed on the IOW for longer, we also wish we'd had two weeks away instead of one.   The island is definitely well set up for touring by bike - there's lots of trails and routes to follow so we'll definitely be back, maybe without Archie.