Wednesday, 28 April 2010

33mile bike ride training week6 (6ish weeks to go)

I didn't get out last weekend, so I made a promise to myself that I'd get myself out during the week, yes seriously, and yes after work.

I initially thought about doing a timed ride, that is to say, go out for an hours ride regardless of distance. However, the problem for me is that I'm still not sure where to go, so instead I picked a few places that I'd been before and decided to that.

So, my route:
Monkseaton Drive, Coast, St Marys Lighthouse, Delaval Arms, Holywell Dene, Waggonways, Monkseaton Drive.

I anticipated 5 miles, but clocked up 7.5miles instead.

I fell off
There's a tricky little off-road, uphill bit as you turn off the main road from Old Hartley, on the 2 other occasions I've done it I stopped half way up (because Carl fell off half-way), the other time I reached the top trouble-free and whooped loudly (pleased with myself). And tonight I got half way, lost my balance and fell off sideways into a fence & nettles. I felt so mortified (I knew someone was close behind me) I grabbed my bike and pushed it to the top swearing under my breath. Oddly, the person I thought was behind me, wasn't, I don't know where he went.

My leg is still stinging & tingly with nettle stings :(

I'm using this free app Endomondo for my phone to track my ride too, it's quite cool. View the full ride, route, timings & hilly bits.

Northern Rock Cyclone 2010
Saturday 12th June 2010, 33miles
Raising money for the RNLI, please sponsor me!

Friday, 23 April 2010

Free samples of Kelloggs Krave (my review)

There were people giving these away today on Northumberland Street (NE1) & I got 2 boxes. On reflection, I wish I hadn't wasted my energy.

They're small, smaller than I'd expected, and resemble a scampi fry. The crispy outter isn't great I detect a slight saltiness about them which doesn't work with the chocolate/nut filling (which is basically nutella).
I wouldn't buy them and don't recommend them & will be putting the rest of them in the bin (I'll recycle the box).

Monday, 19 April 2010

Icelandic volcano shenanigans, my thoughts on the matter

On Thursday 15th/Friday 16th April 2010 it all kicked off, flights were cancelled, folk were stranded abroad, and it was all caused by a volcano in Iceland (not the supermarket, the country).

The science behind it was, plane flies through cloud of volcanic ash, ash clogs up jet engines, planes crash, people die. (This isn't the official science,this is my interpretation of the science. The official science is here.)

So most of Northern Europe airspace was closed and everyone sat twiddling their thumbs waiting for the wind of change, that is to say, the volcanic ash blows in another direction and they can open up the airspace.

How did it affect me?
Well it didn't directly, I have friends due to go on holiday, who couldn't and friends on holiday and stuck in San Francisco.

So, who's benefited from this?
The cost of closing the airspace has probably benefited the planet by at least 50years, normally lost through pollution.

Estate agents with properties located around the major airports will probably have sold one or two homes "Number 23, Heathrow-Airport View?, Oh yes it's a lovely quiet little neighbourhood"

And then there's all of those hotels, train companies, hire-car companies and ferry companies, who'll be cashing in on those stranded. I hate people like that. Cashing in on other people's misfortunes. The thieving little....

Sunday, 18 April 2010

33mile bike ride training week 6 (8 weeks to go)

Saturday was a gorgeous day, but I was visiting family, so couldn't get out on the bike, Sportacus/Mr Lisa cycled from Whitley Bay to Northallerton (keeping off the busy roads), 62 miles!

Today I headed out to do a repeat of last week's 18mile ride, plus a bit more if I felt up to it and I did! I clocked up 20miles.

The first 10miles, I was on my own, just me The Chemical Brothers Exit Planet Dust and The Prodigy Invaders Must Die. Then I met up with Mr Lisa along the seafront at Whitley Bay and we carried on another 10miles.

I've now reached my 20mile target (a week early).

Northern Rock Cyclone 2010
Saturday 12th June 2010, 33miles
Raising money for the RNLI, please sponsor me!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

33mile bike ride training week5 (9 weeks to go)

Ahh the weekend again, I'd planned another bike ride, and the forecast promised good weather: bright, sunny, dry and little breeze.

I had decided that this weekend I'd do a local ride, and aim for somewhere between 15-20 miles. Mr Lisa had planned the route (he knows these like the back of his hand) and we set off early, 11.30am (that is early for me!)

Mr Lisa wears this GPS thing which tracks the route and planned the route via this GPS tracking website, it's a handy site, as you can see I've added the route-map to this blog post.

So, in brief the route took us: Earsdon, Shiremoor, Silverlink, Percy Main, Royal Quays, North Shields Fish Quay, Tynemouth (up that hill), along to Cullercoats, Whitley Bay, St Marys Lighthouse and up to The Delaval Arms (Seaton Sluice), Holywell-ish, Monkseaton Drive.

The paths were a lot dryer and easier to cycle, I didn't have to get off and push, and got home feeling really pleased with myself again.

My body doesn't hurt, I'm not tired (physically), my thighs ache a little, and my undercarriage isn't sore either.

According to the Training Plan I should be doing 20 miles by the end of April, I think I'm on track! Geddit?? :)

Northern Rock Cyclone 2010
Saturday 12th June 2010, 33miles
Raising money for the RNLI, please sponsor me!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

"We're off, we're off, we're off in a bumper car"

We're off, we're off, we're off in a bumper car
Sixty cops are after us, and we don't know where we are
Turning round the corner, eatin' apple pie
The cop sez 'give us a bit' and I chucked it in his eye
I went to tell me mum, me mother wasn't in
I went to tell me dad and he chucked me in the bin!

I think that this was one of those songs you sang on the back of a bus/school trip. I don't know what triggered this memory, I just came out with it yesterday afternoon walking through Exhibition Park.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

33mile bike ride training week4 (10 weeks to go)

Easter Bank Holiday weekend, 4 days at home, an ideal time to do some serious training.

Me & Mr Lisa thought that maybe one training session away from home (pack up the car, drive somewhere & do a stint) and one closer to home (start/finish at home).

Mr Lisa checked the weather for Saturday, all looked 'fine', he mapped out a journey (approx 15mile round trip) and we headed off.

Start/End points were Ellington, about 15miles north of us, we parked in their library car park (a library? you ask. A library indeed).
The weather seemed dry (if a little dull) and no wind troubles (snigger).

Set off just after 2pm and headed out of the village, off the main road, along an uphill track towards the sea, Lynemouth over to our right. At the sea we turned left and headed along towards Cresswell, destination Druridge Bay visitor's centre (some 7 miles up the coast. As we passed by the caravan site at Creswell the rain started, and got heavier, so much for that 'fine' weather. The rain got steadily heaver as we left the road and turned onto a track, puddly in parts. Half-way across we reached a field full of cows. just through the entrance gate was a 3x3 metre patch of thick, acky, sticky mud. Mr Lisa let me through first, not sure if that was to have a good laugh if I fell off, or put my foot down. Fortunately I somehow managed to get through the gate and cross the mud without putting my foot down! The rest of the field was grassy with the odd muddy/puddly patch, then we re-joined a tarmac road, which took us to the visitors centre. It was still raining when we arrived at the centre, just stopping to use the facilities, catch our breath and decided we'd head back and enjoy a cuppa tea back at home.

We left the visitor centre, and managed to miss our intended track, and tool a slight detour up through a field, trying to cycle up the hill, my wheels grappled with the mud, marsh and puddles, the top of the hill seemed to take forever, I was in the lowest gear and my thighs were burning, I was adamant that I wasn't going to stop until I'd reached the top, and bugger me I got there. I was pretty fucked when I arrived, panting and grunting, and gulping at my water bottle, but I'd got there. Problem was, we still hadn't reached the path we needed, and had to then cycle along the other edge of the field...I managed some of it, but not all of it, I did get off an push for half of it.

When we got to the end we found our intended track, a proper tarmac track, it was nice to be back on the road again. This looped us back on to the initial road we took, the bit that joined the cow-field and the sticky mud (again). I took the lead again, cycling through the mud and negotiating the gate, without putting a foot down, I held onto the fence, pushed the gate and cycled in through the gate (phew!).

The next (and final) part of the ride took us off the main road again, ending slightly differently to how we started. Mr Lisa slowed down, pointed along towards one of the nature reserves (a flooded pit/similar) and told me that our ride went along there, and if I wanted to go that way, or continue back the way we came? I chose the track by the pond, and we cycled along, the grass-track heading uphill away from the pond and into the hedge lined route. Argghh! Bog, marsh, mud, hill. It was horrendous, too slippy, hard on my legs and so slow, new bramble growth grabbling for the wheels, spokes and legs. I got off a couple of times and pushed, when we reached a flatter, dryer patch I'd get back on, I carried on like this for what seemed like an age. The sign at the turn off said Ellington 2 miles (it seemed longer). We reached another puddle, this wasn't a quick splash type of puddle it was a long (5 metre) puddle, stretching across the path, we couldn't go around it, Mr Lisa went first, he reached half way before putting his foot down, and pushing his bike, over his ankles half-way up his calf. I watched anxiously. Shit. Once Mr Lisa was safely through, I took a deep breath and walked though it, feeling the cold water fill my trainers, over my ankles and up my legs, washing the bramble grazes from my legs. It was squishy underfoot, the bike felt heavy and grasses on the path, slithered over my legs uughh.

We hopped back on the bike and cycled further, and reached something that I can only describe as a flooded stream. It was the path, but we couldn't see the end of it, completely covered it water, god knows how deep it was. I was about to start pushing my bike though it when Mr Lisa said, come on, we'll go over the fence. He'd spotted a gap, we could climb through the brambles and chuck our bikes over the fence, we did that, and spotted a gate on the other side of the field. We pushed our bikes over towards the gate, finding ourselves back in ankle-high marshy puddles and once though the gate, I told Mr Lisa off, telling him never to give me an option like this again, taking blame for finding ourselves knee-deep in water.

The track we found ourselves on took us off-road again, not as bad as before, but puddly and uphill. I was jiggered, and got off and pushed, once off here, we joined a proper road, back in Ellington Village, I gave it one last burst, my feet still twice as heavy as when I started and legs covered in little scratch marks, when I saw the car I felt elated. I'd made it!!

Mr Lisa got the cars back into the car, I took off my sodden socks and shoes and put some trousers on, we called in at the Farm Shop by Widdrington, Mr Lisa picked up some cake and we drove home to eat it.

The ride took a good 2 hrs.
15 miles long, but bloody ages to ride.
The weather started fine, turned to rain (heavy) and then lightened up and stopped by the time we reached the car.

Jiggered. Loved it. I definitely don't want to do it again though!!

Northern Rock Cyclone 2010
Saturday 12th June 2010, 33miles
Raising money for the RNLI, please sponsor me!