Monday 18 June 2012

Cheshire Cycleway Rides 2012

Extracts below from facebook:

"I got in at 4 00pm! Phew! Got stuck waiting for a herd of cows to be driven into the yard for milking. Tired but pleased I did it. Well done to you all in the fast lane - wow! And thanks to Jane for the cake - I so needed it! x"
"It has got to be said!!... We met 3 male cyclists stopped together with one bike upside down in 'puncture repair' position. Jane and I carried on passed, but for some reason Katherine held back to help. We couldn't work out why and were puzzled as to what help they could have required from a lonely helpful lady!? when Katherine Caught us up (yes she is very speedy) She had left with them her pump! between the three of them they had no pump and were struggling as to how to inflate tyre! MMMMmmm so they do need us!!"
"Did my first ever CTC event (the 25 mile one). Very snazzy certificate. :-) The sun shone, the beans on toast at the ice cream factory were awesome, and Glenys and Peter were very tolerant for letting me tag along with them, and also for... waiting for me towards the end when I had to stop every mile to pump up an increasingly leaky back inner tube. Thanks to all at CTC for organising the event, and to Chester Fab Ladies for alerting me to it. :-)"

Sunday 10 June 2012

Jolly June

After Fridays rain and wind beating down all day, and rain belting against my bedroom window all night, I just could not tell what Saturday would bring.  I had a few routes in mind, depending on who shows up and what the weather was doing.  One possible plan involved sitting in the cafe and seeing what happened!  Flexibility is a large part of the ladies rides - most riders probably do not realise that I think on my feet (or wheels!) and gauge where we go on who is out (what riding they have done) and the weather.

13 brave ladies ignored weather forecast and past 24 hours of rain!

Saturday brought cloud but no rain after 7am.  When Kath arrived she said there was sunshine in Kinnerton; my original plan had been to go the the Tudor Cafe on Caergwrle, but I discovered through the week it had closed, and there was no alternative within range.  So, we set off towards Kinnerton with a plan of wending back through the lanes of Golly and Burton to end at the Grosvenor Garden Centre.

There was indeed blue skies and even a touch of sun in the lanes near Kinnerton, although we had to fight quite a headwind to get out there in the first place.  With a couple of new faces I did not want to lose them on their first day out, so we had a few stops to re-gather.

At the T junction near Golly.
A sliver of blue sky can just be seen on the right!

The garden centre is not initially cycle friendly - there does not appear to be any bike parking - but we were allowed to wheel through to the cafe, and park up in the play area.  Thus parked, we could turn the serious attention of getting some seats and then coffee and cake!

The route home was quick and quite direct, with rain clouds still lurking I thought we would quit whilst we were ahead - anyway we had done 16 to coffee, so not an unreasonable distance!  It stayed dry for us, and I found a little track off Eccleston Road in Handbridge, to bring us round the allotments with views across the river.

a very pretty place to park the bikes

Leaving Grosvenor Garden Centre

Coming into Eccleston - note the foxgloves on the right.

Crossing the Suspension Bridge from Queens Park

22 miles

Thursday 7 June 2012

Video update

I called to the University this evening to meet with Dan the student and his mentor, Jan.  He showed me a rough cut of the video so far, and we chatted over changes to make - such as spellings, transitions and additional clips.

Then, under a little duress, I did a voice over narration to accompany the footage.  The soundtarck to the original uncut is quite funny, as we were just chatting through.

I can't believe how sunny and glorious it was for us - looks great on the video!

So, nearly there - keep an eye out on facebook and the blog for the finished article!


Wednesday 6 June 2012

Let them eat cake - Jubilee Sportive

We became of this event through facebook and other contacts, it sounded good, and a few of us were up for this challenge and signed up.

Welna had done a sportive this year (The Cheshire Cat) but the rest of us were new to the game.  I have ridden Audaxes and CTC 'reliability rides' such as the Spring 50, but not a Sportive.

Nearer the time - actually only a few days before - we received the final details - it included the map and refreshment stops. 

On the day - weather not promising to be great - we turned up, and 8 Fab Ladies were ready for the off.  Lisa wanted to ride with her friends, so we waved her off; in the meantime I had met another lady (from Manchester Glow) who was on her own and welcomed the opportunity to ride with us.

I planned to let the main bunch go - 250 riders all setting off at once? no thanks, I will wait here and set off when they have gone - they will only be passing us anyway!  It was markedly noticeable how few ladies there were across the whole range of entrants.  As it happend, three Fab ladies got caught up in the main peloton, and shot off - only to be seen once more as our paths crossed near the Eureka!  That was fine - the three of us that were left, and the Manchetsre Glow lady had also met another local girl, who joined us.

We had ridden 5 miles or so, when a van approached from behind - taking down the signs!  The route was very well signposted, and Clare (the organisers wife) assured us we were on the right route (Garmin's were having a bit of a bleep fest, sure we were heading the wrong way!) and kindly held back on the sign removals.  However, it still led to us feeling a little hurried - despite theorganiser telling me a couple of days earlier via email to 'take our time, enjoy it'.  There was no time limit for this event, which is apparently unusual for a Sportive.

We bowled along the lanes with a tailwind, and the roads gradually became more familiar to us as we neared home, and less familiar to Carole from Nantwich as she moved further from home!  Just after Ashton, the Glow lady (Cath) had irreversable trouble with her gears, and so had to pack, being picked up by Clare.

We finally arrived at Eureka - we had been passing the cyclilsts heading back since the back of Chester Zoo - and so we were the very last to arrive at the cafe - 36 miles, and no refreshment stops - and then only a bun at the Eureka.  I believe there may have been miscommunication and the organisers were certainly not expecting that to be all we were offered.  I also understand that the queue reached the road when most people arrived. 

On our way back - now into a headwind - Welna had to head home to get a train and Moira also had to stop off as the distance and pace were not suiting her.  This finally left Carole and myself to battle on.  We were lucky that the weather stayed OK - no rain (but no sun either!).

Lisa finished first with a rocketing time of 3 hours something; Sarah, Jane and Jo-Anne 4 hours or so, and Carole and I did 5 hours 14 - which was an average of 12.8mph.  fast!

This, however, is the beauty of the ladies group.  We have quite mixed abilities, and while some are faster they are happy to have the slower more sociable ladies rides; but there are often other events through the year that you can join in with - and if you have found some female company to do that with, so much the better!


67 miles in total.