Archive for January 2010

What Do You See?

January 29, 2010

Now you see me…

 Taken 12th Sept 2009












Now you still see me.. the second one was taken during a turbo session on the 27th January 2010. It’s just wow. I rarely look at photos of me, I’ve never really liked having my photo taken but I can see a big difference, there is a difference eh? It’s not just me. I’d love to start a photo diary. I think I might.


Like a hole in the heid

January 28, 2010

 So I pootled off to pick up the boy from school without picking up my hat, he rammed me, I fell, tiny hole in the back of my head pouring with blood, giant lump. Nice nurse gave me pain killers then glued me back together. Yay what fun.

Dont bother telling me off, I already know. I will apologise for any typos or inappropriate comments though. ( or at least blame the painkillers).

Oh well, no bones broken. I live, I learn. I could get used to the floaty painkillers too….


Pictures added 30 January 2010 by popular request.. It’s a lot cleaner than it was thanks to my compulsive picking. Thats the glue you can see.

Short, Sweet and Barely Bike Related.

January 28, 2010

Am I a one subject girl? Faced with house work, homework and worrying if I’m still mental and just too mental to notice, do you know how many people have said to me “go for a bike ride” cheers. You are a bad influence on me. If they paid me to ride then I certainly would be pouring myself into lycra and flying out of that door but I have to do other stuff too sometimes sadly. How do you find the right balance? How do you force yourself to do the other stuff when you suddenly start eat sleep breathing exercise? that can’t be healthy and I have to balance.

It’s funny, I never wanted to be the woman with nothing more to talk about than the kid I spawned and I fear I am that crashing bore only its bikes not kids.

Who Hatez Progress?

January 26, 2010

How do you measure progress?

 I, like a lot of the larger people, have an issue with gravity. It pursues us relentlessly making hill climbing hard. How do I know I’m getting better? What do I use to mark the march of fitness?

Well, I could weigh myself every day (which I do, and record so I can see a general trend even with the natural day to day fluctuations) or I could use a cycle computer to measure my average speed and I could use a heart rate monitor to measure exertion or do all sorts of weird and wonderful increasingly more complex and expensive things but I can’t afford to right now. I’ve been without even a cycle computer for a couple of weeks and during a short hill hunting foray today I wondered, how do I measure my progress? 

I am a lalala-head when I’m pedalling alone and pedalling along talking to myself I realised that not one jot of a ride has been measured since last year. How do I know how far I’ve come, if anywhere? Truthfully I don’t and I don’t feel disheartened. I’ve been on a hillhunt today, just a little one-Short steep ones, long shallow ones and a combination of both and I made it up to the top and carried on to the next still smiling. Yes, one of those was that special nemesis of mine Bothal (count with me, that’s 1 of the 3, see my goals in this post here

This is how I measure progress; That I actively sought the dreaded UP and enjoyed each moment of it, that I am not collapsed in a heap on the sofa, that I can see my body changing, tightening. That I am happy and comfortable in my skin. That I miss my bloody cycle computer anyway, best go fit the new one.

Do You Remember Your First Hell Yeah?

January 25, 2010

Two pounds gone. Two stone three pounds to go this year. Can I get a hell yeah?


Right, now that’s out of the way let me tell you a tale which seems so far away but isn’t really far at all:


My first Vags ride. It was late September early October I think. I knew about the Vags Saturday ride through my husband, who’s a Wansbeck CC rider and also from the 22 stone cyclists blog (go see, this man deserves applause). I’d started cycling in July 09 and as well as only just managing my first 30 mile ride that month I had stopped smoking the Tuesday before the ride.


I wasn’t sure club riding was for me, I went mostly out of curiosity and to make Simon, a few of his cycling buddies and James shut up. The night before I forced my husband to drive through to Ponteland so I knew where I was going and in the morning I set off at around half past eight (in the car, I wasn’t that fit). After driving by Anna’s two or three times with my heart stotting round my chest I went and parked in the leisure centre car park an hour early. And I sat, and panicked, and sat, and panicked and considered going back home. I get really nervous in new situations and feel very uncomfortable meeting new people like that. Then cars started pulling up and bits of bikes came out of boots. Screwing my courage to the wall I got out of my car and went and said Hi. One of the gentlemen I spoke to also said he was a first timer, I wish I could remember who he was (that’s how nervous I was).


At Anna’s I introduced myself to Danny, the ride leader (I found out he’s a reformed fatty too! well done Danny) and a few other people said Hi. A special mention has to go to the lovely lady who didn’t stop chatting to me then and still doesn’t now bless her. My story from there is pretty much the same as Suzanne’s below. James started the ride with me but was soon in front and there were one or two hills I had to stop on. God, that was awful but I had some wonderful people to nurse me round. On the way back to Ponteland at Kirkley Hall we stopped to say goodbye to some of the others and one rider asked if I’d be back next week, I remember saying that I would try to find a babysitter but I was actually unsure if I would come back. It was an overwhelming experience for me and I arrived home absolutely shattered. Reflecting on it through the week I realised how much I’d learned in that one day and how much I wanted to get better. Is everyone’s first time like this?


This is how I did it. With the support of my family, my friends and the Vags weekly social ride. I’ve met so many wonderful people and now have some new friends.


Looking back on it like this it’s pretty much inconceivable how far I’ve come since then. This is what joining a club does for you.

Ride Number 2.

January 24, 2010

I think joining the Vags was the best thing I ever did. I have learned so much and think that I have become a far better cyclist for it. I love the social aspect of the Saturday ride and can see myself getting fitter, faster and better each week. I hadn’t planned on joining a club and really only went on the first club ride because my husband and friends were haranguing me. They were right but my first ride was a nerve wracking experience, what made me return was how patiently and respectfully I was treated and still am. 

There was a new face on Saturday and with this in mind I asked her how she found the club and the ride- She’s happily provided me with her view on things and I’m sharing it with you.

Ok, here’s my ride report from the my first club ride with the Tyneside Vagabonds. I found this club on the internet and was attracted to their Saturday morning leisure rides, particularly their statement that no-one gets left behind (hooray!) I emailed them on Wednesday and they said I could meet them in Ponteland at 10am on Saturday. There followed 2 days butterflies. What had I just agreed to! I’ve barely ridden my bike since last September!!!  

Anyhoo, onto the ride itself. There were about 30 people of all ages at the start, 5 were female. The lead group shot off like stink. I followed the slower group. The pace was quite quick averaging at about 15mph, and I quickly got puffed. The group splintered and I found myself in a group of 4 with Carrie, Ray and Ray The pace in our small group was a lot more comfortable and I really settled into the ride. The banter was fun and I was enjoying being out on the bike. The route we took was along traffic free country lanes, although the roads were very pot-holey after the snow.

All the different groups met up at the golf course tea shop and I had a lovely cup of tea and Carrie shared her rocky road cake with me. I met some of the other cyclists and enjoyed listening to their friendly banter.
The return ride was 7 miles back to Ponteland. I really enjoyed this ride, my slowness didn’t seem to matter and I always had someone cycling beside me chatting away. There weren’t any big hills in this ride thank goodness as I couldn’t shift down into my small chainring.

They really were a nice bunch, not sure what they really thought of me but all credit to them that no-one commented on the fact that I was wearing cleated spd shoes but riding on flat pedals.
I have been invited back next week and am looking forward to going out again.

Miles 22
Ride time 2.04 hrs
Tea shop time 1 hr
Av Spd 10.6
Max spd 26.2

I would say to anyone who likes to cycle to come along and give it a try, you have nothing to lose, so much to gain and we don’t bite.

I’ll tell you all about my first ride some other time. I’d love to hear about other peoples first time too.


A Teeny Tiny Big Thing

January 23, 2010

Every week, every day, I feel more and more like a real cyclist and less like I’m just trying to be.  Sounds like a small thing, feels like a triumph. Those who’ve been there understand, don’t you? 😀