Wessex League CX. Reading

I had a bit of a crash on the road on the 6th October, bike was fine, luckily. I was ok. Well. Lost a bit of skin here and there, stitches in my knee, separated shoulder and torn ligaments around my thumb. Rather annoyed to be honest, especially when I figured out (after having been told) that I couldn’t ride a bike. Or go jogging. Or get the stitches wet. Mutinous at home, cranky wasn’t the word, hence why I headed off to Derby to see the National Trophy Round 1 on the 9th!

Anyway. I took my own stitches out in the end. Determined to get back to jogging, they were rather uncomfortable. But get back I did. Not very far the first time, but I felt so much better for it. Then on my bike, figuring out that bumpy terrain wasn’t an issue, but lifting it might be! It was getting better day by day, but I found myself apologising and getting annoyed with myself at work more than anything. Believe me, hefting turbo trainers around just did not happen. Or anything over approximately 1 kilo. Well, for a time, it might have been half a kilo!

I knew Reading was on, and it was a fair bit closer than the LCCA round, so thinking my coach Caroline would be there, I headed off prepared for the rain forecast most of the morning.


What I didn’t expect was Caroline to not be there (she was ill), and the hardest course I’d yet faced. Whilst not totally on my own – the only person I knew there to start with was the photographer Graham Robins – I was at a bit of a loss. Eventually I hopped on the course for a warm up. Some nice twisty bits after the pits, all beautifully slick and slippy, around into some twisty bits in the trees (still slick but a decent covering of grass), over a mucky hill and into some lovely wet grassy parkland. I followed the course, paying more attention to the bits about ten foot in front of me, than looking around. Then a marshal warning me about the hill ahead. I looked at him, raised an eyebrow and went around the corner. I did stop fairly quickly. Extremley slick, and already starting to get muddy, it was long and steep. I watched a couple of guys ride it and both came off in different places. More worried about my shoulder than anthing, I edged down it on my feet. Then the climb back up. My god. Steep and very muddy. Ten minutes later after I’d climbed it stopped yakking to the marshalls, I rode the last bit of singletrack and back out into the stunning sunshine and the start area.

I’ll just say, I didn’t do too well. Worried about crashing on an already injured shoulder, I was probably overly cautious. But do you know what? I absolutely bloody love it!


Seniors eventual winner Mike Cotty in the middle


I’m just over a third of the way down this hill


Leg warmers, shorts and wellies. Best combo ever

I just wanted to get back into it! I left feeling a bit frustrated, but at least I’ve got a better idea of where I stand now

Plus points…. I carried my bike like a pro. And I’m off to Abergavenny next weekend. Race Saturday, pitting Sunday.

#keepsmiling #tougherthanilook


Club ride with Dorking CC

Yep. I finally went for my first club ride with DCC on Sunday. I decided to take the bike up in the car and looking back it was a good idea although I could have cycled up.

I honestly can’t remember who I first spoke to, but was taken inside the sports club to talk to Jennie (club secretary) and to sign some bits if paper.
They asked what sort of speed I was doing and told me I could go with the D1’s (beginners as such about 11mph) or D2’s (averageing 12 – 15).
Now I’ve always been told to go with a slightly faster group, and decided on the D2’s.
Flic(k) was to be ride leader, and with 2 other ladies I thought I’d be ok!
So we set off on the cycle path up towards west Humble and turned to go up Ranmore Commen road – with everyone wondering why there were so many sportive riders out riding toward us. King of the Downs (Evans Ride It) I told them 🙂
Gradually more and more from my group overtook me until I rode up next to Flick (not sure how she spells her name!) and had a bit of a chat with her.
We had a right laugh shouting ‘morning!!’ to these very very serious sportive riders and seeing how many we could get to reply (not that many 3 out of every 10 I’d guess). Then we started up Ranmore and I was alright for a while managing to hang in until just before the hairpin. Then I died a death (could neither breath or push those sodding pedals round!) And yes I got off and walked until just after the hairpin (feeling a twat!) Then back on and I caught up with Flick before we got to the others. Cue a few sympathetic smiles!!

Now I’m not sure exactly where we went after that, I was fine hanging on near the back until we hit proper hills. Then I struggled! A nice run downhill – thank god someone said there was a t junction at the bottom. Then off again. The next time we stopped (at another t junction) we had Kingston Wheelers in the opposite side of the road waiting/resting (someone had come off I think) and the sportive riders coming up the hill next to us! Slight chaos! Chatted to a couple of lads, as we waited for Flick. Then we heard she had a puncture and someone suggested waiting at the bottom of the hill by the A25 to ease the congestion!

After a good ten mins, we set off minus Flick (she was fine) and I managed to ride the next hill out of the saddle on the big ring without noticing! Or getting dropped (cue victory dance). I remember we turned left at the top and being asked how many was behind me. I knew the other 2 ladies were somewhere. Off I hared after the rest and glimpsed one going down the hill in front of me. By this time I knew were not far out of Shere but otherwise had no idea where we were!

The other two ladies had gone and the bloke in charge told us we had gone the wrong way!
I remember going to put my foot on the pedal and missing, thinking I had just whacked my leg on the crank, I carried on. This was to be my undoing in a mile or so!
‘Your legs bleeding’
‘Is it? Oh.’ Quick look down but I couldnt see much beside a cat 4 tat from earlier. But I was riding back up the steep hill we’d wrongly gone down, then we went down another hill (we’d missed the t junction) and clustered at the botton.
‘You alright?’

I had a proper look, I’d sliced it good and proper but it felt ok.

We carried on, but I was dropped within a minute. Stiff and sore this freaking hurt to pedal! They did wait for me, and were rather concerned.

Did I want someone to get their car?
No but thank you!

Brian then asked if I wanted to ride back to the sports center slowly. Yeah, think that would be best.

I felt like a fool but hey! We made it back – lots of lovely downhills into Dorking on the A25!!

I thanked him when we got back, and set off home…

If you want to see the pic its either on Facebook or Twitter!!

Thanks Dorking CC for looking out for me, and it was a great ride on a beautiful day! Even though I can’t climb!! I’ll be back for more pain 😉

Then I went to Eastbourne for the E/1/2/3 mens racing and met up with Lois (@ClaudAndI). What a great chilled afternoon!

Keep smiling
I’m going back to work…

Sunburn and Sorrow

Yes I have got sunburnt, during the course of work today, although whether that was from sweeping the cobbles (yes, really!) or from sitting in the sun whilst I cleaned headcollars and brushes – I’m not too sure! That’ll teach me for wearing a vest top and shorts. My lovely baggy mountain bike shorts, that I bought from Halfords and absolutely adore, they are also equally suitable for work, maybe I’ll buy more….

As for what the sorrow is? The sportif I was due to ride this Sunday has been cancelled due to insurance issues, however it is being held in August instead. Maybe I’ll join @BevSmerklo this time and do the 50 mile ride – who knows, I just might be fit enough by then!

So just a short post, I hope you all enjoy the Mediterranean sunshine we are going to have for the next few days!


Bugs and Oakleys

Wow, did I see sunshine?? After a hazy warmish start at work, with a cold wind (we can’t obviously have it all y’know!), I was delighted to find the sun actually shone today! Having had to go to the doctors, then drive home, I was able to get out on my Lexa. Thank God. Oh sh*t. Well that’ll teach me not to get on the bike for a couple of weeks!

I didn’t go far, round the Bounty cricket/footy pitch, onto route 23, into the War Memorial park and out down through Eastrop Park (I really wish they would try and maintain this route better as in parts it’s categorically sh*te. Yes I am trying not to swear! From there I have no idea which roads/footpaths I followed, but I came back into Eastrop and back up the same route home. Now I feel great for being out, but I really am unfit (note to self – cut out the cakes!!!) and puffing going up the hills (snigger – small upward slope would describe it better) has reminded me to get out more.

I just hate going out on my own!

Anyway, as per usual my Oakleys (very old, 10+ years) were stored ‘pro style’ (upside down in my helmet. I flitted through the War Memorial Park and smack bang in big – massive – clouds of midges, needless to say a fair few went down my throat (bleugh!!). These black clouds of midges were a bit like cartoon clouds – I’ve actually never seen anything like it – and I persevered and got out the other side, without wearing my beloved Oakleys.

Not so on the way back – there were even more of the damn things! I nearly fell off my bike I braked that hard! Pulling my sunglasses off, about 50 dead ones fell off! Grrrrr, how dare they hit my lenses! Better idea to have my sunglasses on next time…

Funnily enough midges never bite me though and I’ve never been bothered by them when on a racehorse – horseflys though? Different story!!

Keep smiling 🙂