Usually known for making the most of Dave being out Sunday mornings and having a lovely lie in, I knew I have got the out doors bug when for 2 Sundays in a row now I have been out for a Femole ride at 9am, not only have I managed to get up that early but I have had the best time ever and never again will I think “you are mad” when I see Dave leave the house at 8.15am for a bike ride.
Blessed with a clear blue sky and a nice (nearly) Autumn breeze I headed out to meet up with Katharine and Rachel.
Having had a funny night’s sleep I wasn’t feeling on top form but reminded myself that those days of not setting out on top form can *sometimes* prove to be the best rides, I am not sure if it is because you expect less and then surprise yourself but it has happened on more than one occasion and today proved to be no exception.
A night out last night and chatting to the moles I was all geared up to clear the logs in “Life on Mars” and the bomb holes, I was feeling a bit scared and as I cycled up to The Bell pub (meeting point) I was reminded of a song someone gave to me about 9 years ago by an artist called Leanne Womak, the song is quite special but until about a week ago I had forgotten about it, the words of the whole song are really good but the sentence that dropped into my mind was this “and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance – I hope you dance, I hope you dance”
Well it struck me that some of my fear and resistance is making me sit on the side lines and not get the most out of my experience and although fear is good sometimes in life you just have to “go for it”
So up at the Bell I met with Rachel and Katharine who were engrossed in a discussion about sewing machines and even though I hadn’t been at the start of the conversation just walking in on the chat I could tell exactly what they were talking about and it was quite amusing, when the immediate next topic was to decide which trail we should choose today.
We decided on the same trail Rachel and I went on last week and one that Katharine hadn’t done (apart from the beginning section) it incorporated Alsation and Life on Mars.
Down to the leisure centre to the road section past Mr Caine’s residence and for someone who felt a bit out of sorts I found the most amazing amount of energy and shot off up the hill, telling the other 2 that I clearly had my body possessed by someone else this morning, down and across the main road to the start of Alsation.
Again so much energy I checked my watch keen to get my Alsation climb time under 5 mins, I sped up the first section not lowering my gears until quite a way into the climb, up the second section I could hear the gear changing of the others behind me, determined to beat my PB and not to hold anyone up I pushed on to the top where it flattens out and here instead of resting up I cluncked up the gears for more power and just pedalled as fast as I could, I could definitely see stars 😉
I got to the end and the time was 5mins and 5 seconds PAH! What does a girl have to do to get below 5 mins.
Lots of heavy breathing and water and at least I do have a new PB.
Up to Stane Street and then towards the golf course turning right into Life on Mars, down we went between the trees heading towards the first log I could hear DaveW and John telling me I needed some speed so I headed towards the log, lifted the front wheel over, feeling good and clunck the pedals hit the log, a bit of a lunge as a result but no harm done.
On towards the next one which I think is more difficult as it comes after a bend but plenty of speed and a little *quirky* flick out of the left foot preventing the pedals getting caught and I was over with a big “whooop”.
I am sure the quirky left leg thing won’t become a skill or tecnique people will quote in the future but it worked for me today 😉
So with 2 wins under my hat I was happy as were the other femoles with their achievements also but this was just the beginning!
Katharine had experienced what I am told was a bit of a swan dive last time she tackled the logs and today was another chance to beat those logs, a brilliant quote for this morning regarding the logs (or anything else you may choose to associate) was “I don’t know why I was frightened it was alot smaller than I remember it” – Made me chortle anyway!
Down the bridleway, across the road, through the woods and down the narrow gulley with a left out towards the Cock inn pub.
Up that hill I managed to mangle my chain up as I changed gears and I thought I had bent the chain which from here on made a clicky noise in a low gear (I know, so don’t cycle in a low gear)
Past the Cock Inn and down the Bridleway following that trail up to the Polo club, a laborious climb but today there was an event on and it was wonderful watching the young people on their horses/ponies getting ready, some of the horses were just beautiful, I am quite scared of horses (or I was until I started cycling and got more contact with them and realised how scared they are) and I watched the young people take control of their horse, thinking about how much time they must spend getting to know the horse, taking care of it and what a good interest it is for young people to gain confidence as well as how interesting it is that we manage to ride horses and care for them even though they are so much bigger than us.
So right at the Polo Club, then a sharp left down the gravelly descent, we met some runners and cyclists coming up the other way, the runners didn’t look short of breath or even red in the face “amazing”, at the bottom we all agreed we are happy not to feel the urge to do that journey in the opposite direction 😉
Along through Langley Vale and up past the Racecourse, Rachel and I pondered on whether we should inform Katharine of what was to come (the climb) we decided “ignorance is bliss” and it clearly was because she raced up that hill, I found myself in the right hand side and I normally take the left but the change was good!
So across the motorway and up onto the rooty descent that crosses the road and leads back up Stane Street.
With Rachel and Katharine ahead of me a jogger also went past and I didn’t fancy negotiating her so I stayed at the top waiting for her to get down, where I was joined by a nice guy who had cycled from Purley, we had a discussion about my chain which now was becoming more and more of a problem (kept coming off) anyway he and I sped down the hill, I wasn’t too far behind him and Rachel was waiting at the bottom to clear me across the road.
Across the road I needed to get into a low gear for the sharp climb up Stane Street but my bike wasn’t having any of it and here I realised it was because a spoke on the gear cog was bent and not the chain, I really, really don’t like having to walk that climb and with a bit of playing around managed to get into a gear that kept the chain on the bike and I cleared the climb.
We were all pretty tired by the time we got back to the top of Alsation and welcomed riding down it even if we were attacked by brambles. With Katharine reminding us that anyone who could cycle up that deserved much respect 😉
Finalising the ride with a discussion about needlework we said our Thank yous and Goodbyes and headed home.
Now all I have to do is talk to Dave about Knitting…