With day to day life having me preoccupied with work, studies, and some prolonged birthday celebrations, I realised the other day that I haven’t blogged since my London to Paris ride in August… but although not blogging, I have been enjoying some pretty good rides! Catching the last of the light evenings, I’ve been out a fair bit on my own; up and around the local lanes, practising those dreaded hills wherever possible. I’ve managed some pleasing PB’s on sections I ride regularly, which is a great confidence boost, and last week I ventured out a little further on my own, which although missing the husband’s company, did feel good. I always thought lone cycling would be boring, but there’s actually something quite calming and therapeutic about it (well, as long as you don’t get a puncture!), and it’s also a great opportunity to capture some scenic bike shots!…
In addition to cycling myself, I was super excited to watch the Tour of Britain as it came through Bristol last month. We enjoyed a thrilling day of shiny bikes, tour-bus hopping, enthusiastic flag waving, ‘pro stalking’, scrumptious hot dogs, and of course the actual cycling, which consisted of a time trial in the morning and a circuit race in the afternoon. We moved around throughout the day, getting to see the pro riders cycling through a variety of Bristol’s landmark areas, such as the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge. My stalking of the pro-riders was also quite the success; I bagged a selfie with the Yellow Jersey – Steve Cummings, and literally nearly collided with Tom Dumoulin – luckily I didn’t, but the almost-incident did result in my gasping in his face. Annoyingly I didn’t have my camera ready at this time, but fear not – I later cornered him at his bus. Suffice to say, although a tad wet, and lacking a picture with Mark Cavendish, it was a great cycling filled day out.
Looking forward, we have booked a cycling trip to Tenerife for February, and so the need for hill training has just got serious! It’ll be nice to get some winter sun amidst the dreary month that is February in England, and I’m very excited to be going on another adventure with our bikes. But I am also feeling somewhat daunted by the mountains out there. Our plan of course, is to ride the routes within my ability, but equally I know my husband will throw in some challenges. We’ve both agreed though, that maybe I’ll sit out climbing to the top of Mount Teide – wise I think, with it being a climb that is apparently known to be a challenge for far more advanced riders, never mind my little legs! I’ll just have to hit the beach instead – bad times.
Another exciting date in our cycling calendar is the 28th of October when we have tickets to the London 6 day. I’ve never been to watch a track event before, and like a lot of people, got hooked during the Olympics (once I’d figured out what on earth was going on!). I’ve heard the atmosphere at track events is exhilarating, so I’m definitely keen to experience it first hand.
Ride wise, with the darker nights now upon us, evening opportunities will probably come around less, with time on the saddle depending a lot more on Sunday ventures. I’d like to ride the Cheddar route again, but this time cycle the entire 70 miles from my house – and hopefully score a PB up the Gorge. We have a two day cycling trip planned for the end of this week; heading from Bristol down to Southampton, looping through the New Forest, which should make for a lovely, scenic Autumn ride. My husband has put the winter tyres on – the brand being Schwable S-One (I was told this was worth a mention as they are – ‘quite fancy’ – apparently!) and this year, to avoid ‘a soggy bottom’, he has also fitted a mud guard for me – who said romance is dead!
So, it’s goodbye warm temperatures & summer kit, and hello Autumn/Winter, and the cold, wet weather – we’re (kind of) ready for you!
Happy winter cycling 🙂
PS – If anyone has cycled Tenerife, I’d hugely appreciate any helpful tips on where to stay/ good routes to cycle… (the best beaches!)