Cycling · Fitness · Lifestyle · Uncategorized

Riding the Distance!

Distance milestones are pretty satisfying and on the 1st Sunday of June,I rode 90km (56 miles) and returned home feeling over the moon! I walked with a slight limp, but I felt great! I’ve been wanting to hit the 50 mile mark for some time now, but as with life, it’s been a case of finding the time (and to some extent the right weather!).

Such a day had come though, when both time and weather were on our side. We set off in 20 degree sunshine and enjoyed a strong start. It always takes a few miles for the legs to warm up, but even with those initial aches I found a good pace.

The first big hurdle of the ride came upon me unexpectedly, in the form of roaming cows. Now, cycling through the countryside I obviously see cows a lot – in many a field, and then semi-regularly when they’re roaming across various commons, and it’s these roaming cows that petrify me – no hedge, fence or gate for my protection! As we came across the common, there were a few cows venturing along the road, the very road we were cycling. I begged my partner not to leave me as we skimmed past the couple that had decided to stand strong and stare me down. One starting running and I came close to a weeping mess. It was a close call, but we made it out the other side. Thank the lord for the cattle grids.

Having survived the cow section it was hill time. We noted a large group from a local cycling club chilling at the bottom, and began our ascent. It was a tough little hill, and in the heat I was very thankful for the shaded sections, and then even more thankful once I’d reached the top. I heard some of the club riders coming up behind me and was quite pleased when I wasn’t overtaken! You couldn’t make up what happened next though; having made it up the hill (the difficult bit), but now being out of breath and not really concentrating, I bumped the curb with my front tyre, lost all balance (and dignity) and stacked it over onto the pavement, doing so just as the guys from the cycle club appeared – good times!  Not only did I fall, but once fallen I couldn’t unclip my right foot, so there I was, splattered out over the pavement, frantically wiggling away under my bike – a strong look. What’s a bike ride without falling off when practically stationary, that’s what I say!

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Those darn curbs that come at you out of nowhere!

With my stinging arm I trucked on, and without any further falls or near-death cow experiences, we made it to our cake stop 2.5 hours after setting off. We found a lovely pub next to a beautiful Abbey and (as always) ordered scones, adding a sandwich into the mix on this occasion. Whilst it was lovely to be off the bike for a brief rest, the first few miles after such a rest are never easy it seems. The aches came flooding back and my pace dropped. You have to re-warm up I guess – the bitter sweet result of cake!

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It was another 2 or so hours of cycling post-cake, but the route was beautiful. We cycled through country lanes lined with poppies, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. By the time we turned onto roads that marked the home stretch, I was feeling quite ready for the sofa, good old Holly Hill was my final test, and although I didn’t fly up it, I didn’t die up it – a strong win.

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So there you have it, I have finally cycled over 50 miles in one afternoon. Not that far for many, I realise, but as I’ve said previously – cycling is so much about personal goals and achievements, for me anyway, and every bit of progress is always extremely satisfying. I remember my first bike ride just over a year ago, out along the cycle path on my mountain bike – 15 miles in total and I couldn’t believe it!

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From 15 to 50, and now prepping for my charity London to Paris ride!

Bring it on.

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Riding the Distance!

  1. 50 miles is nothing to sneeze at lady, especially after a fall. I think I am more impressed with braving cattle (NEVER in all my miles has this happened) than the 50. VERY proud of you for getting up and pedaling on, many I know would not…

    Bring on Paris!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a huge accomplishment Jessica. Your arm looks so tender from your fall, and I sincerely hope it healed up okay.

    When I 1st started using the clip in pedals 3 years ago it was such a learning curve and it was a real learning curve for me. I went over several times because I would pretty much stop and forget to unclip myself and over I would go.

    Great pictures! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awe thank you!!
      The arm healed up ok thank you… although not quite in time for my wedding which was the following weekend!! Thank goodness for photoshop haha!

      Clip in’s have definitely been a learning curve… getting there!

      Liked by 1 person

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