First club ride

After a weekend of me scoffing cheesecake (story below)…Chris and I had a second attempt at ¬†riding to the windmill. However, no-one had given me the memo which said that Monday’s weather had happened on Sunday…and instead of the nice sunny bank holiday Monday that I had been expecting, it was miserable. After much deliberation about coats, Chris gave me his fold away waterproof (I now have my own on its way from Wiggle – “What?!!? It’s an essential!”) and carried a far bulkier coat for himself – thanks ūüôā After about 10 miles we put them on and that’s where they stayed. Around about¬†the same time, Chris suggested that we stay closer to Swindon and I was most definitely in agreement; we would have had, roughly another 90 minutes of travelling away from home in the rain, which would have meant at least that in order to return. As it happens, I was totally knackered after only 30 miles so staying close to Swindon worked in my favour. The total ride was 40 miles, which we completed in 3 hours and 3 minutes – I really was very slow. ¬†Sorry to Chris for having to put up with me!

 

So this evening I was positively surprised. There was always a chance that I might meet up with the girls and go out with the Swindon Road Club development ride this evening; although I was running late and had very little motivation to go out in the rain I managed to rush into my flat and get myself and my kit ready to go. Within 10 minutes of leaving Casa Paolo, I was knackered and considering making excuses to escape, but it turned out that I had simply surprised my system and once I was properly warmed up I managed to keep up with the pace of the ride (just about!)

The route and other details can be found at: First SRC Ride РStrava. The differences in my energy levels between yesterday and today were vast.

Ooops – I just fell asleep on the sofa, midway through writing. I think I had better head to bed.

 

Laura

 

P.S. The Cheese Cake story: To coincide with my Mum visiting and also her birthday, I decided I would make a baked cheesecake, which is her favourite pudding. I found a recipe on the BBC website and thought it would be best to make a practice cheesecake first. My first attempt went very well and I promised slices of it to Ollie and Krystyna. Having had a successful attempt I was confident to make a second cheesecake with relative ease, so I made a start on a second and started to eat the first.

 

Sadly, the next morning, cheese cake two looked like this…

Cheese cake

Cheesecake Mark Two – a mess.

 

…and it only got worse, once the tin had been taken away. Thanks to Ollie, who managed to save some of ¬†the first cheesecake, which I was then able to give to Mum. But that left me with ALOT of spare cheesecake to eat over the course of a couple of days.

 

 

Happy Birthday Mum and Thank You Liz

I must start this post with thanks to the Queen for the free day off yesterday, very kind. Take note Princes Charles, William and George…us Civil Servants are incredibly grateful for an extra day off.

Sadly, the girls wimped out of the SRC development ride on Tuesday evening due to the stormy weather, and having not yet done any group riding I wasn’t confident to go alone, plus I am going through a lazy patch. After two long work days in London, on Wednesday and Thursday, Friday was my first chance to get out on the bike for a decent ride, however the weather was being less than understanding. I spent the day doing house work, a massive food shop etc… and then my Mum and Dad visited (a visit which incorporated some sprint training when I realised I had no milk for their tea) – Happy Birthday Mum ūüôā

Dad and I changed my back tyre, ¬†in the lounge-cum-garage and I set up my bike on the turbo (I thought I was done with that for the summer). So my ‘long-ride’ yesterday turned out to be a 40 minute TT training session on the turbo. I hope Monday is nicer.

 

Off to the circus now, no..as far as I know I am not one of the acts.

 

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SQL, New SQL, No SQL, Not only SQL….No more SQL!!!!!!!

I think my course has finally driven me totally insane. SQL is, for your information, Standard Query Language – which is something to do with Databases and asking questions of them. NoSQL is a new movement which enables storage and retrieval of Big Data. Why am I telling you this? Because I have spent 6 weeks trying to get my head around it; it being quite possibly the dullest subject in the world and I am a lovely sharing person.

Deadline is tomorrow, and since it’s a nice sunny weekend I decided to have a marathon bash at finishing my 2 assignments yesterday – over 12 hours of solid studying, only stopping for the essentials (ice cream). I think it is pretty much done, but it was 1 am when I decided this so it’s probably best I have another look at it sometime today. So, having free’d up my Sunday, I arranged to meet up with my brother for a 65 miler. I managed the 5…

Turns out a diet of ice cream, and a lifestyle of death by studying does nothing for motivation and energy levels.

So I’m pretty grumpy, it’s sunny and I am indoors writing my blog feeling totally knackered.

On the plus side, I was over a minute faster in the time trial on Thursday!!! ¬†TT Results¬†Though I was the slowest lady ūüė¶ I beat 2 men – but I am not going to enquire as to how old they are! ¬†The conditions were perfect – so I left work at a reasonable time¬†with the intention of being first in the queue… I was 46th, apparently everyone had the same idea. Luckily the Dame girls were there so I prepped with them and warmed up. Actually I wasn’t far off reaching Cirencester as I had so long before my start time.

At the start I was talked into being brave – and I allowed the man to hold me, I clipped in both feet and put all my trust in him! I had visions of me falling straight over sideways cartoon style! But, he was very good at not letting that happen.

During the race I got stitch and I thought my chain had come off (it just dropped to the bottom ring and wasn’t keen to go back on the top), so vital seconds were lost there – and I’ll put those things to blame for me being over taken by one of the girls.

I had a new fan club watching me this week; my Grandparents – who knew lots of the people in race¬†HQ after the event, including the time keeper, to whom my Granddad taught everything he knew. He was also able to get my time for me, so that I didn’t have to hang around…pizza was calling.

I have one more manic week and then will be getting down to some serious training – it hit me this morning that I’ve never trained on a hot day – I don’t think its going to be easy. I’m not brave enough to look at my sponsorship page to see how many days are left!!

L x

Oh and last but not least – my newest follower Sammy needs a mention, because for some reason she thought that grieving for her lost nail extensions was a good enough excuse for not coming to the TT!!!

 

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Paint balling without the armour…

A week off. (Well of cycling anyway). I hope people haven’t given up on me ever writing again.¬† Not laziness I assure you – just a mix of getting over the Welsh trip, a horrendous essay deadline looming and gale force winds not looking particularly enticing. Although apparently Sunday was a…

..QOM day – Ride out to Brinkworth somewhere, you’ll get load of them when you turn around to come home.

I didn’t go out – a mere breeze in the trees puts me off! However a chat on our girls “Cycling Stuff” Facebook group message, this afternoon, ended up in Sammy and I arranging a thirty-miler for after work. ¬†This was before we looked at the weather forecast, which we then promptly ignored. Although I did wear a ridiculous outfit just in case of rain… a mountain bikers waterproof jacket, shorts and overshoes is a slightly strange combination but I was glad of it!¬† ¬† As we left Hannington, down the big hill it started to hail for the second time but this time the hail stones were mutant and to quote Sammy…

 I believe we screamed like banshees РI have welts all over my body!

She isn’t exaggerating. If you’ve ever been¬†paint balling¬†– imagine it, all over, but without the body armour. So, after a few minutes of screaming, we got off of our bikes and both curled up into balls at the side of the road – faces and legs hidden from further bruising! Goodness knows what the cars that came past thought we were doing. As soon as it stopped – we got back on and cycled back up the big hill and home! ¬† The thirty-miler can wait.¬† ¬† I hope to make the Time Trial this week, although I hope to avoid this nutter...Help police catch this driver “before someone is killed”¬†but this week is mainly about finishing my essay which is due in at the weekend. Followed by one extremely busy week at work and then RELAX! ¬† Finally, the high point of today was receiving my SRC Membership card! Now just for ordering their – not so stylish- kit and I might start to look like I know what I am doing…ish.

SRC Membership Card arrived - exciting!

SRC Membership Card arrived – exciting!

I’m still deciding whether to enter the GW Sportive on Sunday; dependent on essay and weather I think! ¬† Laura x

A novice cyclist abroad

Yesterday was a bit of a reality check, there is a lot more work to be done before I can confidently cycle 100 miles in a day. Chris and I decided we would cycle to Wales and back this weekend; based on weather conditions and commitments Sunday was chosen as the best day. We set off at 0900, Chris from home and me from a lay-by in Hook РI was not convinced that it would be a good idea to progress from a maximum mileage of 71 Miles to 95 Miles in one go, so parking in the lay-by cut 14 miles from the trip. 

 

The Welsh Adventure¬†was fairly uneventful apart from two attempted homicides, by a crazy squirrel and a nutter in a classic car. Pit stops were kindly provided by BP, Herb Cameron and the Severn Bridge Motorway services in the form of an unexpected toilet, anything we could possibly want; Easter Egg, Cheese and Crackers, Cereal bars etc… and a toasted sandwich which I saw again later on, respectively.

 

About 30 miles in, as we were going down an incredibly long and steep hill Chris declared that he thought Wales probably wasn’t so bad and might not bother to come back (the original plan would have seen us attempting to come back the same way). Anyway we made it to Wales and made some subtle changes to the route! Evidence of our arrival…

 

Bridge in the background

Not much further to go…

On the Welsh side of the bridge

On the Welsh side of the bridge

 

At 65 miles we decided to chase down a cyclist we could see in the distance, but sadly he turned off before we were able to catch him. While a mistake in Malmesbury meant that we had to do an extra hill and the ride from Malmesbury back to Hook was at an exhausted limp. Arriving back at the lay-by with just enough time to get me home for a five minute shower before visiting my friend in hospital.

 

At which point this novice cyclist became the worse hospital visitor in history! As soon as I arrived I had to sit down, before I fell down. Within 15 minutes my temperature went through the roof, I was sweating and my vision went blurred, then a couple of minutes later my lunch launched itself back into the world. 

 

Embarrassing! And only went to prove right, all of my friends who were telling me that I was crazy.My brother’s response to this:

Ha! Must be doing something right then. Laura Trott is often sick after riding her bike.

 

There’s some more work to be done before August – that’s for sure.¬†

 

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