Monthly Archives: February 2013

My First big fall!!!

So training has been going great!! We have been upping our distance and speed gradually & feeling very confident. On Sunday we did a nice 21 mile cycle with my Dad, who is also a keen cyclist. He is a lot better than Jay and I right now so it was good training for us trying to keep up with him! It was a great ride.. and being the flattest route we have ever done we found we were making good time. I cant believe I’m actually gonna say this but I think I prefer a route with a few hills!! Crazy right!! But the problem with a flat course is that your legs never get a break. You constantly have to keep your legs moving in order to keep the speed up. It ends up being a bit of a slog! Also roads that when driving seem to be flat are actually not! Usually they are small gradients but miles long! This is knackering on the legs! At least with an up hill down hill course your legs get a break on the down hills!!! Anyway the best part of the ride was as we pulled up on the drive.. I came to a stop & unclipped my left cleat.. somehow managed to clip myself straight back in again.. And what happens to someone who is clipped in on a bike & not moving.. You tip over & off you go! Luckily I landed on a nice, soft bit of grass and that was it.. The giggles set in & I couldn’t stop! Jay & my Dad also found this very funny wishing they had it on video to send to You’ve been framed!!!

My next fall wasn’t so funny! We decided to cycle into Croydon, doing the same route that Jay is planning to cycle to work. Wasnt my best ride for sure! Almost getting hit by a stupid car cutting me up & getting a bit stressed on the very busy main roads, I was struggling to keep up with Jay. However I knew we were close to our destination which meant a stop break was coming up! A very misleading ‘No Cycling’ sign meant we couldnt go the way we wanted (we have now looked further into this & the sign is pointing to a footpath not the road but this was unclear) so we had to go onto a main road with tram lines on it. Now if anyone has ever cycled before, you will know its VERY bad news if you manage to get your tyre caught in a tram line! Well this is exactly what happened to me :-(
I flew straight over my handle bars and went smack onto the floor!

Its amazing how instinct completely takes over in this situation because I knew even though I was in a lot of shock & hurt everywhere I needed to get off the road! I grabbed my bike & ran off the road & into Jays arms where I completely broke down! My amazing hubby did such a good job in calming me down & alot of nice pedestrians came running over to see if I was ok!

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The most disappointing part of this story was the next bit..  I had taken few layers of skin off of my hand, and my knee was a mess – I’d torn my leggings and blood was pouring out, it was visible there was alot of dirt and stones in the cut as I’d had fallen off on the road.  A lady could see how much pain I was in, so ran to the local doctors surgery (less that 60yards away) to try and get some help. Jay cleaned my knee the best he could with water, (or as much as I would let him) as the lady returned to say that nobody from the doctors would come. Not only would they not come, they wouldn’t give us any cleaning wipes or anything which would have been useful. Why? Because “they are not insured to treat anyone outside of the surgery”. We also checked if we could maybe go inside so they could just check me over – to which the reply was – “if she’s hurt, get her an ambulance to hospital.” Why? Because they “aren’t insured to treat anyone without a prior booked appointment”. We ended up walking (&hopping) to the station and getting a taxi home. Thankfully my wounds don’t seem to be serious or infected.

This isn’t a slam of the NHS as a whole, more so the society that means people aren’t allowed to help people for fear or being found in the wrong. The fact that I was in tears and losing blood from a deep and dirty wound, and that somebody sitting 60 yards away who may have been willing, was apparently not allowed to help.. I find disturbing!

Anyway I eventually did my myself checked out the next day no lasting damage or infection! Just a very sore, swollen & bruised knee, a bruised & cut hand, very sore shoulders & body where I jarred them.. plus an extremely bruised ego!! It could have been much worse! As soon as I can bend & use my knee again I will get back on the bike! I dont want to lose my confidence & let this effect my cycling!

Thanks for taking the time to read about my nasty experience & fingers crossed our next post will be happier one :-)

 

 

Our idea of a Romantic Getaway

So I decided to take my lovely hubby away for the weekend for an early Valentines Day surprise. As we don’t usually celebrate Valentines Day I was determined to make this weekend as romantic & perfect as possible :-)

So I picked this place in Westerham called The Grasshopper Inn. A gorgeous place, lovely building in a lovely little village, but more to the point, a great cycle route just down the road (what more could you want). The cycle route promised quiet roads, a couple of honest hills, nothing too painful & great scenery to keep you entertained while cycling.

Having no idea where the cycle route starts & no help from the staff in the hotel (who all think were crazy mad for going out in the cold anyway) we decide to make our own route up & cycle where we feel like cycling!

I have now decided that a rule Jay & I will stick to from now on is that if the road name or place has the word ‘HILL’ in it.. we are NOT to turn up it!!! The first 2 miles of our cycle went up ‘Surrey Hill’ which just seemed to go up & up & up! On a good note, it didnt take us long to warm up in the cold weather!! As we were trudging further up this hill I pointed out that what goes up MUST come down!! Which indeed it did! So taking what felt like a life time to get to the top of, took not that long to get back down. Getting a little more confident with down hill speeds now, we reached speeds of 32mph which seems like 100mph on a bike!

Ok so we have now given our legs a little rest & are quite happily plodding along a nice little country village called Brasted. Up ahead we see a signpost! Now this is where my ‘no Hill in the title’ rule should have applied! We see that if you turn right, it takes you to Ide Hill. We had literally been talking to my Dad about Ide Hill earlier that day because my Dad had cycled up it the day before & was telling us how painful it was!!! We surely if my 55year old Dad can cycle it.. So can we!!! If you are familiar with Ide Hill then you will understand that what we should have done is ignored the turn right signpost and kept going! Surrey Hill now looks like a stroll in the park & Ide Hill is actually Everest!!

It goes on & on & on & on! Every corner you turn makes you sob a little bit as you see that it STILL keeps going up & up & up! I saw a Quote the other day which actually came in very handy half way up the hill when your legs, hips & glutes are burning so much they may actually catch on fire! The quote was.. ‘Shut up Legs.. Im trying to cycle’!!! Haha, I love this! My legs got told to shut up a zillion times!!

But every hill eventually comes to an end! its a great feeling when the road starts to even out & you ride past a man who shouts “well done guys, you made it” Surely that means we’ve reached the top? Me & Jay both smile & feel a great sense of achievement. We stop for a drink just as it starts snowing. Its the perfect moment – see I knew they’d be some romance in this story somewhere :-)

Anyway after that we ended up cycling back up the other side of Ide hill (which is just as hard) because we got lost! Jay nearly hit a farmer who seemed to forget he was crossing a road and walked straight out in front of Jay who was flying down a hill at about 25mph! We rode on one of the bumpiest roads EVER & trust me, on road bikes your ‘saddle area’ feels EVERY single lump, bump & dip! We rode up an incredibly short but sharp hill (yes another hill), contended with idiot drivers who will literally do ANYTHING to get past you as quickly as possible, even if it means nearly knocking you off! And eventually 20 miles later we made it back to the hotel! Phewwww :-)

Thank GOD I booked a room with a bath!!! After cups of tea & hot chocolate & nice hot bubbly baths we are refreshed & ready for our dinner! Here’s the problem.. a tough, knackering bike ride + a massive 3 course meal + a bottle of wine = So Very Very tired Jay & Christie!! Another problem with this is that our bed was like a giant marshmallow! Big fluffy pillows, big fluffy duvet & a squishy, snugly mattress! Unfortunately we were in bed by 10 and asleep by about 10.02!!

Haha.. can you feel the romance yet?????   :-)

A deflating day..

So, out for a leisurely ride today, I was 15miles into a ride (about 6 miles from home at this point).. when I got a sinking feeling. Literally. A nasty rear puncture left me stranded, in cleats, a long way from home..

After a quick attempt at repair, and fingers numb from the cold, I did what any man of the world would..

Luckily, Christie wasn’t too far away, so I got a lift to the CyclesUK where they assessed the inner tube, and with it beyond repair, quickly installed another one. I’m sure this is the first of many, so we have stocked up on repair kits and are much better prepared for next time!

A romantic getaway at the weekend will give us a chance for a few 20mile odd bike rides – dedicated we are :)

New bikes… Oooo shiny…

SO over the last few weeks we have been in talks with CyclesUK, their amazing guy in the shop called Alex – who has got us a great discount on our bikes.

We have gone for Trek 1.2 Road Touring bikes, and having just got back off our first semi-substantial ride on them, we are thrilled.

Our thanks obviously go out to Alex, CyclesUK and Trek, who have saved us a lot of money and got our project off to a great start! Now its time for you to do your bit – our justgiving page is up and running at

http://www.justgiving.com/CASPA-ride

Please give generously! Its a great cause!