Addicted!?

So I’ve been back to work since Monday – racehorses don’t feed/exercise/water themselves (unfortunately). I thought I’d give myself a day off the bike yesterday as although my legs were fine, I was shattered! So hope all of you that get the Bank Holiday off had a great time 🙂 Oh, did it rain? 😛

I posted on Twitter to ask if anyone is doing the sportif at Reading http://www.evanscycles.com/ride-it/reading-10th-june-2012
I’m going to have a go at the 30 miler – although that does mean I need to get some miles into my legs this week! And no I haven’t gone out today!

It doesn’t matter if I don’t know anyone doing it – it would just be nice to go around with someone, seen as this will only be my second sportif and on roads I don’t know! Hmm, hopefully someone will come through!

I got a surprise this morning when my dad text me and said he’d bought me some bib shorts (and in my size)!
 http://www.wiggle.co.uk/wiggle-ladies-magnificat-cycling-bib-shorts/
I’m unbelievably pleased!

I also know it’s going to be hard to find time to go out on the bike – but I enjoy it sooo much, that TdF planning is having to wait until its late/dark.

So any suggestions for the next sportif? I don’t really want to be doing anything in excess of 30 miles for a couple of months. I can’t afford to travel far either!

And next Tuesday I get to meet up with some fellow Twitter friends and go for a ride around the area I grew up in (Oh god, white Horse Hill!?!?!). Yes I do have a couple of days off work 😉

Cheers!!

 

One week in France!

Some of our trip is sorted. I’m picking Melissa up from Paris on  Sunday 15th, and driving down towards Pau. It’s some long drive!
We have hotel rooms booked in Pau (the last one we could find on the Monday night, and one of only a couple remaining on the Tuesday). If we ever do this again, we need to book EARLY for more choice and cheaper rooms.

So thats Stage 15 (on the Monday) and 16 (on the Wednesday) sorted out.

We can see the stage finish on the Monday, have a mosey (wander) around on the rest day on the Tuesday, and see the Stage start on the Wednesday.

Wednesday night isn’t clear, or Thusday or Friday. We’ll either be sleeping in the car or in the tent!

I’ve been advised (via a friend on facebook) to go for the feedzones on at least 2 of the days for musettes and bottles.

We’ll be taking chalk! @BevSmerklo will get her hashtag (#thatmanbernie) made famous! And mine will be on the roads as #twitterarti.

Oh yeah, we are going to have some fun!

Saturday and Sunday we are staying in the same hotel in Paris, only a shortish walk to the Champes Elysses, and to the Team Sky Fan Parties.

I’ll be posting more as soon as i know the details.

If anyone else is planning doing this next year, its knackering! Can’t believe how much it takes out of me just trying to plan a route!

Keep smiling!!

🙂 🙂 😉 🙂 🙂

Not a typical weekend!

Saturday morning, I once again joined up with https://www.facebook.com/breezingstoke (part of the Breeze network). Meeting in the War Memorial Park at 8.45, one of the ladies informed us that there was part of the cycle path cordoned off by police. This happened to be the way we were going, so we duly set off to investigate. No, we were not allowed through, and I still don’t know what had happened, but there was a police car and it was certainly off limits. We were redirected back past the tennis centre to rejoin the cycle path further down with much wondering what had happened!
Did I also mention there was a Park Run on? Ah, yeah, there was people EVERYWHERE!!
This was only a social ride, and road bikes probably shouldn’t be used going up through Crabtree plantation (far too gravelly really!) but I survived! A short run sort of around Old Basing and back via Eastrop Park (where Breeze leader Ruth took a lovely piccy of us ladies!).
On the smoothest, loveliest piece of road I switched to a higher gear and my sodding chain came off – cue mortification!
Honestly the weather and company was perfect for a short ride! I thoroughly enjoyed it, but once home I was soon bored!

After a quick wander around town, I decided to take my bike over to my parents (Kingston Lisle in Oxfordshire) and go for a short ride around there. Dad wondered whether to join me on his Eddy Merckx but he’d already been out for a long ride in the morning, so I thought that @v_girlracer might like to join me! She did an it was a lovely easy ride until we got to Common Hill.

Common Hill. Yep, for two not very fit people, it is a bast**d of a hill to climb as it’s steep enough, it twists and turns and the road surface isn’t great, but we both managed to stay on our bikes and get up it! Needless to say I was pretty damn pleased with myself. Thank god once up Common Hill we were back in Kingston Lisle, and only a short ride back to my parents.

Then still in lycra we decided to play tennis (although ‘play’ wouldn’t describe it as there was certainly no scoring – unless you count hitting miscellaneous objects as points). We had a whale of a time, even if the odd ‘Oiiii’ from mum (yeah we might have hit the window ;S ) made us calm down a bit.

So back to Basingstoke and Sunday morning meant putting together a flat pack (fabric) wardrobe, set of shelves and a bedside cabinet. And not doing any TdF planning (unless you included talking)!

Ciao
🙂

 

We bought a tent!

After looking at a fair few tents online, I decided http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/ was the best place to go and have a look, seen as Basingstoke has one just up the road from me. It also has a tent showroom, which was brilliant when we wanted to compare how the tents looked, and the space we had in them. We were never going to but 2 one person tents – as it’s much easier to just have the one tent to put up. A 2 person tent was never going to be big enough – they look tiny to me! So we started looking at the 3 person tents. We only had about £25 each, so we found 2 in our price range that looked ok. We settled on this one http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/hi-gear-nucleus-3-tent-p194450 as it looked bigger and felt more roomy than the one next to it (I cant remember what the one next to it was!). Unfortunatley they were out of stock. Damn. So I asked if we could have the one on show, Nope. But they took me over and compared what tents they had that were similar. Why did I want the Hi-Gear Nucleus 3? It was slightly more waterproof, and it seemed more spacious. After several minutes talk, we settled on the http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/hi-gear-proton-3-tent-p194454 which was sold to us at the same price as the one we had originally wanted. Brilliant!

So we have a tent. Now we’re going to have some fun practising pitching it! Probably later today – I’ll let you know how we get on!

When we got home we decided to start looking at where we want to go in France. I know stage starts and finishes are busy, but aiming in roughly that direction, should give us some idea when the detailed TdF route map comes out in June.

We travel to Belfort on Saturday 7th July to be ready for Sundays stage which starts there. Then when all the palava has dies down a bit, we aim to travel onto Besancon (or near there) where that is the finish town on Monday 9th July.

Ha i do wonder if we are being a bit foolhardy? As there is a rest day on the Tuesday, and I have decided to go somewhere up the Col du Grand Colombier – if we can get up there!! then travel somewhere near St Jean de Maurienne.

If that sounds complicated to you, it probably is! But I think we have got it! I’ve written directions down, and highlighted routes on the map – just in case we don’t get a Sat Nav!

I hope today we can work through the rest of the routes, sort of up to Pau (the last rest day), where we meet my TF who will probably be joining us all the way to Paris!

Time to have a coffee now

Ciao

Planning TdF…

So Sunday didn’t work out as planned, with @v_girlracer having done a 20 mile walk along the Ridgeway the day before; she had hurt her ankle. I decided to go it along and start marking out our route from Calais to Belfort. This has to be done the cheapest way possible i.e as few toll roads as possible.

Now in this day and age you’d think either the AA route map or the RAC route map (I use them in Britain all the time) would be fairly useful. Ah, well you were as wrong as me if you thought that!!!

Google eventually threw up the http://www.autoroutes.fr/en/traffic-forecast.htm a French route map. This is brilliant. Obviously put your ‘departure’ and ‘destination’ in. Then click on ‘modify the research’ then under options go for economical. This has put our toll at 2 Euros (just realised theeres no euro symbol on my keyboard!) and fuel at just over 68 Euros.  On the original one it shows the toll as 41.6 Euros, although the fuel is slightly cheaper at 63.29 Euros.

So I’d found a route (alright it’s nearly 9 hours of driving (compared to 6.45 on the shorter more expensive route) but there is two of us!). Then I had to plot it onto the massive fold out road map I have, ok it took a while, but it’s done! Then I thought I’d better plot it onto the big detailed road book of France that we have. Now THAT was EXHAUSTING!!!

No we don’t have a Sat Nav, although i’m hoping someone might have one we can borrow!!

Hmmm, what next? Well until the detailed route comes out in June, we can’t really work out where we can watch it. Yes we are going to be at the start and finish of some stages, but I have a feeling Dutch corner might be calling! I’ve also been warned that the start and finish are madly hectic and not to bother with them. Think I’m autograph hunting? Puhlease! (Alright I have Alex Dowsetts autograph, that a friend of mine sent me, but really?!? Not my scene). I’ll have my camera, my best mate, a great sense of humour and….. am i missing something? Oh possibly the bikes and riders…. 😉

We also have to think about camping, having not found anyone willing to lend us a campervan. And trying to stay somewhere near Pau on the rest day when hopefully my TF (twitter friend) is meeting us.

We have loads of other stuff to think about, but thats it for now!!

Ciao

@elzrocks

planning a TdF trip!

Hi people! I haven’t kept the blog updated recently as I couldn’t finish the #30daysofbiking last month, and being so knackered when I got home that it seemed like too much effort to write a blog!

In the meanwhile, it has been decided that me and my best friend (@v_girlracer) are going to the Tour de France (easier to refer to as TdF) from the 7th of July to the end.

Now this might interest you, or it might not. And I’ve already been told we are mad for doing it! Well no one ever described me as sane….

So, where to start?
Buy maps, one big fold out road map and a big spiral detailed map of France. Get highlighters. Green for the start and orange for the finish of each stage (from 7th July onwards!). The exact route hasn’t been confirmed yet, and we are still waiting for it to come through.

Ah forgot to say, we are doing this with very little money! We won’t be booking hotels every night, in fact probably just the last 2 nights!

Now we have highlighted stage starts and finishes – @v_girlracer is brilliant at finding them – and now we have to start our route planning. This means avoiding toll roads, as we simply don’t have the money to pay for them! So it looks like our first leg – Calais to Belfort might well take us through Brussels and Luxembourg! And according to the AA route planner, its quicker than the toll roads!

We wanted to take a campervan, so we could take our bikes, but it looks like it’s too expensive, so we will probably be leaving our bikes at home and travelling in my car. This means tents!

We’ve also looked at rules of the road in France, haven never driven abroad, and found out the stuff we have to take. Reflective jackety things (we have plenty – my Tour of Britain one might come in handy *joke*), a warning triangle (my landlady has one) etc etc.

So today, we are going to start to highlight the routes we are going to take, have a look at booking on the Eurostar, and finding a cheap twin room in Paris for the last 2 nights…. easier said than done!

I’ll probably be blogging about this from now until we get back in July! I’m madly excited to go and do this!

So I’m off out on my bike in a bit, after a coffee, then I’ll be waiting for @v_girlracer to appear. We’ll also have the #giro on, so if you follow me on twitter – @elzrocks – then I’ll be tweeting about that as well.

I’ve also been invited to guest blog on Inklings and Inklings (a wordpress blog) so look out for my tweets!

cheers

@elzrocks and @v_girlracer (best mates for 24 years!)

ciao