Cabin Fever, Triggerpoint Therapy and Clothes…

I’m just a little hacked off that I failed 30 days of biking. Well a LOT actually! Most of you probably think I’m being a right wuss about a silly sprained wrist, but if you have to ride racehorses every day, plus do every thing else with that hand (mucking out, sweeping, cleaning tack, holding horses etc) then you’d soon know about it!
Ok, the pain has gone, and this week I haven’t been far at all due to the weather, and me not really having the correct gear to ride in the wet (and cold).

So the question is: with very little money, what sort of wet weather gear should I buy? Is it any good? Would I be better off buying mens jackets (why oh why are they cheaper than a womans??!!??)? I would love some answers!
I currently have Muddy Fox tights and shorts, a Dare2B cyclocross t-shirt (actually that is brilliant!) another cheap cyclocross t-shirty thing, a showerproof jacket (Altura Night Vision) and a yellow Endura bib. Oh, and a pair of baggy cyclocross shorts.

Now I bet you’re laughing – she has a road bike, but cyclocross gear! What a t**t!

Does it actually matter? I’m not racing (yet). I want to be comfortable and I don’t have the money to spend on it!

I’ve been looking round the net – trying to save myself from cabin fever – and trying to find decent gear at low prices, but it’s not happening! Any suggestions would be welcome!

So, triggerpoint therapy – yes it does hurt, but I reap the benefits afterwards! I tend to get very tight, sore shoulders, and my dad does triggerpoint therapy. It’s brilliant! Although at the moment it feels like somebody has jabbed an icepick in my left shoulder blade and left it there, I know in the morning I’ll feel a lot looser and better. I’ve been a ‘guinea pig’ since I was about 7 years old, and it’s awesome how this can help. Although dad combines it with massage, sports therapy and zentherapy, it really does wonders!
Having had the same spot in my shoulder worked on sunday (it felt bruised after), it was actually a million times better today.

I may get out for a decent ride on the bike tomorrow…

Keep smiling… 🙂

A winner, a broken down horsebox and a surprise…

I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already! Firstly my apologies for not blogging the last 2 days, but I have good reasons.

Monday – wow – what wet weather, and thank God for waterproofs! I did my usual job, riding out a couple of horses and stayed dry, not even wet socks. Then it was off to the races at Chepstow with a little filly I look after. It rained pretty hard the whole way there, and all day as far as I know, but it’s nothing new to me 🙂
My little filly won! Even though she was sooo muddy I could barely recognise her as she galloped past the winning post. WOW. Bless her!
It was only as we left the racecourse that the problems started, the driver had left both her phones in the canteen, so after driving a couple of miles up the road, we had to turn back. On the bright side, at least they had both been handed in, and we left for the second time, knowing we were going to get caught in Bank Holiday traffic, and in the roadworks on the M4. To start with it was just a question of when we would get home, I had already planned a very short ride round the block in my waterproofs – if it wasn’t too dark. If it was darkish, then I was going to stay on the footpath and go up and down the hill a few times.
The the petrol gauge decided to stop working – again on the bright side, at least the box driver knew we had enough petrol.
Then as we hit the stop start traffic on the English side on the Severn Bridge did the trouble start. Revving the lorry, only to go kangarooing forward (think of a learner in a car). Plenty of swearing. Phone calls. Then a little sign on the dashboard lit up – FR. I looked it up in the lorry manual.
Drive Control.
Uh oh.
Cue more frantic phone calls, we weren’t sure if the lorry would break down, or we could keep going. Next services 20 miles away (Leigh Delemere). We hoped we could make it! Then some slight relief, another racing yard coming back in our direction could take me, the horse and our gear home, if we could make it to the services.
See if a horsebox breaks down on the motorway and a horse has to be taken off, the police have to be called, and the motorway shut in both directions. I never knew that until Monday! Now I do 🙂

We made the services in the windy rainy weather, successfully changed onto the other horsebox, and eventually at half past eight got into the stables where I work. And it was still raining heavy!
I thought I’d be home by half nine at the latest, but no, thanks to Bank Holiday traffic, lasing windy and a massive dowpour I didn’t get home until gone half 11.
I didn’t go out on my bike – I had to be up at half 5, and by then I was knackered! Sorry 30 days of biking, I failed 😦

So on to Tuesday…
Even with it being a bit windy, with the occasional shower, I thought going up to Hatch Warren, then up to Farleigh would have some amazing views of the weather scooting past us. I even planned to take my camera and get some pictures if it didn’t rain too hard. I had that planned at half 6 in the morning, by about half 9, that wasn’t going to happen. I had done the stupidest thing ever, well even the most surprising… sprained my wrist. It would be very complicated to explain exactly how, but needless to say I had the use of one had the rest of the day (and I’m not Flecha from Sky, who rode Paris – Roubaix with a broken hand). No chance of me going out on the bike! Talk about being frustrated!

Needless to say, I would have loved to go out today, and the weather was perfect when I got home, but I tried squeezing the breaks on the bike (admittedly indoors), and the pain it sent up my arm was unreal.

Sorry to say I’ve failed 30 days of biking, but I’ll get back on as soon as I can!
My poor forlorn looking bike 😦

Keep smiling, even through gritted teeth…

I don’t ‘do’ hangovers…

I didn’t blog yesterday, as only cycled down the hill and back (not even worth a mention really) but I still managed to get out on the bike – 30 days of biking! Alright it was quite frankly pathetic, oh well!

I haven’t gone out yet today, as decided to have a couple of drinks last night, and in all honesty I was too tired! I have never had a hangover from drinking, well at least not any headaches, but I didn’t think it would be a good idea to go out on the bike if I was still a bit tipsy!

I knew the track worlds were on in Australia so I had great fun watching that, wow Chris Hoy, but even more WOW Anna Mears! Both were amazing! By that point I was switching between Eurosport and Eurosport HD but gave up and watched my favourite race – Paris Roubaix on HD.
The cobbles, the crashes, punctures, mechanicals makes for the most spectacular race I’ve ever watched, and following the teams on Twitter makes it even more fascinating. Actually watching my timeline on Twitter explode is pretty cool too! Trying to tweet about the race, and watch it and read what other people are saying gets a bit confusing sometimes! But I really enjoy it anyway!
Don’t ask me why I tweet names, I really have no idea!
Pipo (spelt in various ways)
I would be a pain at a footy match I’m sure!

But today, Tom Boonen was FANTASTIC, I was watching it praying they would catch him, and hoping that he could do it alone. I couldn’t make my mind up!
It’s almost a pity it didn’t rain… It’s a damn shame Cancellara was injured…. but still it was fabulous viewing of a brilliant race.

If my chain rattled that much, I’m sure it’d be off in seconds!

So, a short ride on the bike planned – and I might even blog a second post later!

Off to twatter away now 😉
Have fun…..

Quiet Friday… yeah really!

Good Friday isn’t a day off for me, it’s still work as usual, although for the afternoon we do start an hour later. I even fell asleep in my car at lunchtime – I can’t really go home and go back again as it’s a 30 minute drive! One day, maybe, I’ll bike to work – probably best avoided as the quickest route would be through Overton and Whitchurch – extremely busy ‘rat runs’ at the best of times, or down the A303, and believe me that’s NOT going to happen!

I still got home at the same time as usual, only to get a text from a friend of mine. Did I want to go for a ‘wee’ ride on the bike? Yep, too right! Now I can’t tell you exactly where we went, but it involved the War Memorial park cycle route, Old Basing, across the A30 by the Hatch pub, through Mapledurwell, er somewhere, somewhere, back across the A30, somewhere somewhere, Lychpit, back through Eastrop Park, then we parted ways and I hit the one way system at the top of town. Er, yeah, ok might sound like a load of gobbledgook, but I could cycle it again without a map!! And even though the weather wasn’t warm, there wasn’t much wind, just very cloudy.

We swapped bikes in the War Memorial park, I got on his ‘Soft tail’ mountain bike, and he had a go on my Trek Lexa. It’s a good job we a roughly the same height, although I felt like a kid on a Chopper with a raised seat.

‘How do the gears work?’ We both asked each other, ‘Where’s the bloody brakes?’ He asked me.
I was laughing so much I could barely peddle to catch up. Both of us agreed we prefer our own bikes, and duly swapped back before we left the park.

Now that time of night on any day of the week would usually result in endless cars cutting through on their rat runs home, but it was sooooo quiet. It was unbelievably quiet, needless to say I would be a bit wary of cycling that way on a normal weeknight, especially on my own.

It was great to ride with someone else, even if they do snigger at me puffing up the little hills! And it was great that the roads were so very quiet. However my knees didn’t like me much when I carried the bike up the stairs into the flat, but they seem to be ok now.

So 30 days of biking is turning out to be better than I thought! I did 13.3 miles in 1 hour 7mins, although in all honesty it was a leisurely ride as both of us were chatting away, although I still had a good sweat because I was wearing too many layers!!

Ciao for now 🙂

It’s not windy!

Now a certain event at work just proved that I’m slowly getting fitter. We have a circular gallop, which today we went round four times. When we stop I’m usually blowing pretty hard, but today, nothing. I wasn’t even out of breath! HAHAHA result! I was ridiculously pleased with myself…

It’s been pretty nippy outside all day, so again wearing four layers of clothes (on my top half!) I set off down the hill and along Winchester road. I had aimed to start around my usual block, but then go a bit further, so feeling pretty good, I pushed up to the top of the slight hill past B&Q and turned left. Mistake, BIG mistake. Headwind – quite a blustery headwind. Christ I was not liking this one bit, but I persevered, all the way to the next roundabout, then uphill again, and I almost made it to the next roundabout, but realised I wouldn’t have the strength to nip across there like usual. I got on the pavement, and tiredly made my way under and through to the other side. Feeling a bit better by then, I decided to hit the one way system at the top of town, and drop down Sarum Hill, then up past BCOT and back through the houses. That part went fine, and feeling ok I turned up the hill to home….. straight into the headwind…..

I made it up the hill in lowest gear……

Actually driving home, I hadn’t even noticed the wind, and looking out the window now, it just appears as if there is a slight breeze.

Just goes to show – whatever stage of fitness you are at, wind does NOT help! Thats also why they called off Stage 2 of the ToB (Tour of Britain) last year….

Keep smiling 😉

Cycle routes, glass and the road.

I wasn’t sure where to ride tonight, as again it seemed I was dodging imminent rain showers. It was definitely chilly out so wearing four layers, I decided to head up what has become my favourite route on day four of 30 Days of Biking.

This involves part of National Cycle route 23, which is great! Well sort of. On the road it’s actually very good, but I decided to follow the parts on the pavement for a while – especially when I’m slow going uphill. The part that’s not great is the debris. Glass, sharp twigs, stones. Now I’m happy enough with a decent riding surface, but swerving around the debris – look, I’m sorry, I don’t want punctures! – meant also swerving around pedestrians, fellow cyclists, joggers and kids. It also means slowing down, even outright stopping in places, whereas I prefer to keep going at a steady pace.

On the way home I stuck to the road so I could keep up a decent speed going downhill. I got beeped at, sworn at and a couple of tired grins from fellow cyclists heading in the opposite direction. Naturally I would rather be safe than sorry, but I don’t think riding on/ through that much debris on the cycle route is any good to anyone!

Anyway needless to say, I’m loving it. I successfully dodged ALL the showers, I didn’t get a puncture and I had a longer ride than yesterday. I did 7.6 miles in 41 mins – not overly rubbish (alright, please don’t laugh too much!).

So should I stick to the road, or ride on the cycle path?

Still can’t believe I missed the rain….. 🙂