Sunday, 9 June 2013

Enjoying a relaxing weekend

Lovely commute home on a Friday night, zooming downhill and enjoying the views (takes just ten mins longer than driving the same route). Stephen had tea ready for me when I arrived at his.

We chilled out on saturday morn by the canal eating cake & drinking coffee whilst on a short bike ride

Getting glammed up for a wedding do, enjoying the journey over with your nearest & dearest was an ideal way to spend saturday afternoon. Lovely time together. Plus that great inner smile you get when people you pass are impressed you're cycling to a wedding do all dressed up.

The ride home was under starlight. As we braved the dark canal towpath, there was very little light pollution so I saw more stars than I've seen in years. Those lights flying overhead...not ufos, but geo-orbital satellites.
Since it's almost the longest day, to the north the clouds were glowing slightly and the dawn was breaking as we pedalled the last two miles to home. It was beautiful, but freezing cold.

Anglesey Lanes Audax Trip

A perfect weather forecast - sunshine, low humidity & (the best bit) light winds meant I was looking forward to our trip to North Wales a lot!  Plus, I'd managed to talk Stephen into taking the tandem to join me on the 104km ride.

On the drive down, I wasn't feeling too great and afew miles from Conwy, I pulled off the road in agony. We spent saturday afternoon in the hospital in Llandudno - some pain killers later & a recommendation to 'rest on a beech' rather than ride an Audax and we were slowly pottering around Conwy.

We wandered to the harbour to find some food and then slowly made our way back to the hostel via the castle walls enjoying the stunning views over the town and up to the hills.

The morning of the audax arrived. I popped some painkillers for breakfast and we set off. I did have some twinges and some reservations about whether I should ride, but I kept those to myself knowing that Stephen would certainly not let me ride if he knew I wasn't up to it. Being a determined person is certainly a strength & a weakness.

We chatted with the three other tandem couples at the start of the ride, which took my mind off the twinges. There was a speedy looking Co-Motion, a beautiful Longstaff and a practical (S&S couplings and 26inch wheels) looking Orbit.
There was a great turn out for the ride that Holyhead CC had organised.
We started at a great pace matching the carbon fibre roadies until the first set of hills where we slowed down a bit. The views were beautiful and the lanes were very quiet. We managed to keep a great speed with me navigating from the back and we caught up with the roadies at the lunch stop.
The afternoon was a little slower and at 70k in my painkillers had worn off, but I kept going. We made it back in 5 hours 25 (including lunch and controls), so actual riding time was pretty speedy.
I was so glad to have done the ride and Stephen even enjoyed the day. The cycling club members riding made us very welcome. I'd certainly love to do this ride again.

Sunday morning brought more sunshine and we decided to walk to Great Orme along the coastal path (which is also the NCN5 bike route).
The view from the hostel breakfast room overlooked the opposite side of the estuary where we would be heading for.

A leisurely few hours of strolling along warm sands with beautiful views before the steep ascent up Great Orme.

Great Orme overlooks Llandudno (there's also Little Orme, but we didnt have chance to visit there this time).
In the sunshine it felt like being in an old fashioned / countrysidey version of San Francsico with the sea, hills and tramway.

There's a visitors centre, an expensive pub & cafe and even cable cars (the hanging variety) up here.

The weekend had been so nice weather-wise, I felt like I'd been on a proper holiday and I wished that we'd been staying for longer than just a long weekend.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

400 miles May

Belated May post (it has been very busy here since we're in the throws of buying a house together).

I cracked the monthly mileage in May. 400 miles is a height I've not hit before. As an off road rider, I tend not to do more than 30 miles in one go, but since I've ventured into the world of Audax, my net has been cast out further to reel more miles in. Although every cyclist knows that road miles and off road miles work very differently and it's hours in the saddle that count.

May ended with a scorching bank holiday camping trip with the Family Friendly section of the Rough-Stuff Fellowship.
Brian organised a wonderful trip to Lazonby in the far north of England. Stephen had previously only experienced a wet camping trip before, so it was good to get dry weather and remember what summers used to feel like.

Two short(ish) beautiful rides with great company in idyllic countryside and with some very quiet roads made for wonderful cycling.
 brian & miriam
Day 1 we climbed to Hartside Summit - it was teaming with motorbikes that blasted along the A-road (we used a rough track to reach the top) and then followed part of the C2C route passing plenty of other bikes en route.

Keith leading a descent
Geoff didnt actually fall off

A lovely evening was spent eating & drinking (& watching bats) on the campsite

Sunday morning was so hot that I couldnt lounge in bed. I went for a swim in the outdoor pool, which was brilliant.

Day 2's ride was an easy flatish ride to Langwathby via woods and the Stone Circle, Long Meg & her Daughters. Very enjoyable to be in some shady trees for part of the ride. We followed the road back, which ran parallel to the River Eden.

Mike & Sylvia took an alternative route

We packed the tent up before the rain came & thought of everyone who had stayed for 3 days of cycling whilst we were dry in the cinema watching Star Trek.