Archive for May 2010

The June 100 Challenge

May 28, 2010

Friend Phill blogged about how he had set himself the goal of cycling 100 miles in the fat cycly bloggers went, pee was taken and jokes were made and now Friend Phill has 9 other cyclists waiting for him to come in under (whoops, meant to write support and coerce him to achieve, honest). And now here we are, with a special spreadsheet and a set of very strict rules to shout about. (look: Phills Burblings ) off the fat cycly bloggers went, pee was taken and jokes were made and now Friend Phill has 9 other cyclists waiting for him to come in under (whoops, meant to write support and coerce him, honest). And now here we are, with a special spreadsheet and a set of very strict rules .

You know that due to necessity and also because it’s one of the few things that can stave off the black days I do ride a fair few miles. This week I vowed that at least for the duration I would ride no further than 30 miles a day. So far I’ve been out twice, cyclemeter says I wasn’t very fast but taking into consideration traffic and top speeds compared to my perceived exertion I am pretty pleased with it. Anyway I had a point here somewhere. Oh yeah, despite being taunted with talk of a trophy (really!!) I’m actually aiming not to hit a hundred miles, that would be silly, getting to the shops and on the Clubs Saturday ride would do that in one week. What I want to go for is to shave 100 miles from my monthly average. Stupid it may be and I can’t wait to see some of the silly miles we will be putting in just cos there’s online spreadsheet for all the world to see. So, anyone think they can cram in hundreds of miles and best the lot of us? Go on, it’ll be fun. Just mosey on over to friend Phills blog ( The list and spreadsheet) and stick your name down.


A Man Walks Into a Bar

May 27, 2010

I can’t get off the sofa. I barely want to leave the house. Last night I went for a pint with And. It helped being out of the house but I couldn’t speak most of the time. I feel so boring right now. I have an appointment with the community psychiatric service early next month. I wish I could make you see what this is like. I look fine, nothing is bleeding, nothing is dropping off. I’m ok, I keep saying I’m ok but I feel just a bit nothing. I don’t have the words to fully explain it, my brain doesn’t work as fast as it usually would and I cannot find anything to say about much of anything I’m just waiting for it to pass and it will.

Thanks for asking about me, I know it’s unusual for me to have nothing to say.

Has Nothing To Say

May 25, 2010

Go on, get the jokes in.

Hooked On A Feeling

May 24, 2010

Ten miles over the last two days. How’s that for working hard? My body feels fine but the mind ain’t great. It is getting better but it is what it is. So this week I’m giving myself a ban on big rides. Nope. I’m not giving myself the week off, that would be horrible! Instead I have a loop in mind and I’m going to take myself round it daily just because I can. Add the loop to the usual round of shopping and such and I plan on riding less than thirty miles in any one day.

Which is the other thing. I do cycle because I enjoy it but I am also by choice and circumstance not a driver. A few people have commented on the big miles I ride and they are right. It is a lot. Can those of you who drive help me out and tell me how many miles you drive to get to work and shopping and so on please?

Do I Have To?

May 23, 2010

I don’t even feel like talking about yesterdays ride. I woke up. That’s pretty much it. Not really, I remember sitting with tears in my eyes thinking of a 60 mile day, its the getting into Ponteland that I find tedious and it seemed like an insurmountable obstacle. I spent every single mile of the ride in forcing myself not to turn back. I couldn’t pedal, couldn’t even hold a line. I was all over the road, it was horrible. Feeling like that in the glorious sunshine with the wonderful scenery amongst some wonderful people. Super Al and Andy met me at Stannington Station and escorted me in. I don’t know if I would have made it to Ponteland or not otherwise.

The ride, led by Champion Dan, went up to Meldon Park which is pretty close to Morpeth. I was crawling, just no words can describe that feeling when your body just doesn’t work. It’s like the mirror image of that feeling you get when you’re flying along but worse. Don’t turn back, it will be ok, you will feel better eventually. I kept thinking “why not just go straight home from here?” but I’m a glutton for punishment and I keep telling myself that just because something is hard that isn’t a good reason to give up.

There was one shining moment. The nasty hill near Hartburn (?) for the second time in my life I climbed it without stopping.

Leaving the cafe stop I opted for taking the scenic route with the two Glorious Old Rays and And. Coming up Mitford Stead I had a tough decision to make. Do I go back to Ponteland and have the same nasty ride back or do I cut my losses and go straight home? I turned left to Morpeth. Home it was, surprisingly Glorious Old Ray Luckett who lives a few towns over from me escorted me all the way back to Choppington. I hope when I reach his age (43 :p ) I’m as fit as him.

So there you go, home I was and feeling slightly like I’d cheated somehow, (this would be the second time that I hadn’t made it back to Ponteland. The first time was when I had only stopped vomiting and other less pleasant stuff on the Friday morning.) which is daft as 50 miles on a red hot morning is nothing to be ashamed of. I did have the lure of the JCs large paddling pool, the company of my niece and a bottle of pear cider which probably swung things a little.

This month I’ve cycled 450 miles so far. That’s about normal but it feels like I can barely push the pedals. I think another black week has crept up on me and I didn’t even see it coming. I hope it passes quickly. In the meantime I may just take it easy this week (haha, I’ve already agreed to go for a bike ride with the kids and my sister this afternoon, I’m an idiot sometimes)

Gloriousness. Captured By Keith Briggs

May 22, 2010

This sunshine is oh so pretty and I know I should be happy about that eh? Well, it had been a day of triumph and a day of mental torture and a day of streaming eyes. For a day of only 50 miles it certainly felt quite epic but I’m in my yard with wine and a paddling pool so I’ll leave you with the photo for the journal taken by fellow Vag Kieth Briggs and kindly emailed. It makes a change from the usual standing shot, do you like it?

I Have Had the Nicest Day

May 18, 2010

I have. Andy lent me his car for a couple of days so I chucked the bike in the back and drove over to return it, then I somehow miraculously found my way to Ponteland without going via Essex or somewhere. I met my bosses son in the leisure centre car park. He very bravely joined me for what I’d promised would be a gentle 10 mile loop. One of my favourite Vags, Danny had lent me a set of aero bars to try and the HC very kindly fixed them to the winter bike last night. I’d planned to scout out the route for the Vags 10 course because I am so good at getting lost and I wanted to see the route clearly.

What a sweltering day we had, the weather was gorgeous. My poor friend was rather hot but he should be proud, 10 miles on a knackered old mountain bike on a rolling route in this heat? The lad did fabulously, 12 ish miles at an average of about 11 mph. So we went to Annas for a cuppa. Here I received the best compliment. Anna said to me “oh, you’re getting so thin, I didn’t recognise you when you came in” I nearly got a sub par coffee so I’m inclined to believe her ( I’m a caffeinista ).

He went back to his car and I rolled off on my way home, coming out of Pont towards the police HQ I smiled and said afternoon to a mixed gender pair of cyclists. Whoa… I know those legs…. OY! Cakeface! What a surprise so I stopped and had a lovely chat with old Cakeface (fellow female Vag, Eileen and her superfit hotty totty Graeme). Leaving them for home I used that portion of the ride to try out those bars and work my little bum off.. sweating, wobbling (just a little; surprisingly) breathing funny, shuffling and my god that glorious weather, the only downside is the smell of that awful Rape fields and the bug collection on my legs, arms, hair, teeth etc. I stopped at Stannington Village for a chat with a random cyclist (well sometimes it just has to be done eh?) and then whump…. headwind. boooooo. I will maintain to my dying day that there is no such thing as a tailwind cos that stuffs out to get me. Still, the bars were comfortable and it was interesting seeing how they affected my riding. Just the last hill before home, its a bit of a grind coming up the Stakeford bank but I took it more easily than I usually would, I’m finding that every single time I climb it it becomes less of a doing battle situation and more of a lie down and have your tummy tickled you stupid hill, you know I can beast you kinda thing. I’m definately getting better at the up, slowly as that is. Stopping outside of my garden gate I pulled my phone out of my pocket, as the winter bike doesn’t have a computer I’d used a free app (endomondo) to track my ride. Whut Tu Fu? 11 odd mph average? No way, I was gutted, really, my legs felt like they’d put a good time in over the 17 miles home. Sad Face and long bath then I logged into the endomondo website ( ) to look at the data. Oh wait… no auto stop. So about 15 minutes chatting with the Cakeface Crew and 5 with the random cyclist that puts my ride home at just over an hour. Thank god.

Anyway, I don’t know about the club 10, I just think the route contains more up than I could do justice to. I am wary of setting myself up for failure. Garrgh.

Cheers for the nice ride out Maruf, it was a pleasure.

Cheers for the chat Cakeface Crew, it was a gorgeous interlude, how did your stats turn out?

Cheers for the bars Danny Winthorpe, good luck at the Derwentside TT.

Cheers for the sunshine weather people, but no thanks to the bloody headwind.

Cheers for the car And. I’m glad you have it back, it was too easy to be lazy.

Cheers for reading this you guys, cheers for always reading this.