I have voted for Jan Portillo to be one of the trustees at the RSA because I think she’ll do a really good job. If there are any Fellows out there who have not had the opportunity to vote, then please do so as time is getting short. Voting ends next Sunday.
I’m a triathlete! In the very broadest sense. What I mean is, I managed to complete the super sprint at http://www.theblenheimtriathlon.com/BTMaps.html
The super sprint is: 400 metres swimming in the lake followed by 13kms on the bike followed by 2.9kms running. Hope you’re impressed. However let me expand on that for you.
I was the last swimmer in my ‘wave’ to complete the swim. It took me 20 minutes and I had the company of a guy in a kayak all the way as his job was to make sure the last one got back safely. He was a nice guy, he engaged me in quite a lot of conversation and applauded when I reached the shore.
The 1st transistion
Transition is the time taken between one activity and another to compose yourself and to change your outfit. My first transition took 13 minutes, it was only bettered by one woman who took 17 minutes!
Was on an undulating course where the fitter competitors from ‘waves’ after mine caught up with me and shouted ‘to the right’ with unnerving regularity. What they meant was, get out of the way as I’m coming past at top speed. Sometimes it’s tricky to keep to the left especially when you’re wobbling from side to side trying to cycle uphill without falling off.
The 2nd transition
I was really slick at this one, only took 3 mins something seconds- not bad.
Or rather the walk. I was so exhausted by this time that I decided I’d finish but I would walk it. However now and again I broke into a trot and towards the end when I realised that I could probably make it to the finish line in less than two hours I almost hurried.
Was 1hr 56 mins and I was so pleased to have finished it and finished it under 2 hours. Now that I’ve recovered I ‘m thinking I might do it again next year.
I’m running a travel writing workshop as part of Daisy White’s pop up shop initiative. Here’s the details:
Travel Writing Workshop
Join me Eileen Sutherland on Friday 7th Feb at Cranleigh Arts Centre from 1-2.30pm.
I’m running a travel writing workshop.
It’s bound to be wet and miserable outside so come into the warm and spend a bit of time writing about places in the sun.
£5 pay on the day but email firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 07973864612 to book a place.
Looking forward to seeing you there.
Author of Changing Gear: A Bike Ride from Britain to Bulgaria.
This workshop is part of a bigger initiative called Daisy White’s Booktique – a pop up shop for authors and artists –see other leaflet and website http://www.daisywhitesbooktique.co.uk
I’ve got a ‘slot’ at Daisy White’s pop up indie bookshop from 11.30-12.30 on Saturday 28th September. I’ll be reading from my book, ‘Changing Gear: a bike ride from Britain to Bulgaria’ and running a haiku workshop. You’ll be surprised to hear that the haiku topic will be cycling.
Horsham is a lovely market town with a great Saturday market, interesting little shops. and lovely cafes.
Why not take some time out on an autumnal morning and join me?
Hope to see you there.
Just bought two Dahon Vitesse folding bikes. They’re really nifty. The 20 inch wheels make them easier to cycle and the 8 gears are a great help on hills. The blurb says it takes 15 seconds to fold them – not for us! Current time is about 3 mins and the first try took 15 mins on platform 5 at Gatwick but we’re getting slicker.
Went to St Ives by train and bike which was successful if a bit stressful in Reading station which seems to be under reconstruction at the moment. Used the same travel method to get to the Eden Project which also worked fine. The most tricky trip however was one evening from Totnes to the Steiner school just outside Dartington. I tell a lie, the ride from Totnes to Dartington on the lovely, countrified cycle paths was absolutely fine it was the ride back which was tricky.
We’d gone to an evening of anecdotes about a 3,500 mile cycle ride across Europe combined with a piano recital of Beethoven’s greatest hits – unusual I know! Jenni Quick – the pianist and cyclist delivered the goods in a very entertaining way so much so that by the end of the performance we were surprised to find it was pitch black outside.
Running true to form we didn’t have any bike lights so it was a bit tricky finding the cycle path. Fortunately a woman who had attended the same event was going our way and she allowed us to follow her. A simple solution you would think. However the chosen route was through the woods on a narrow concrete path and our leader had a motor attached to her bike. Consequently I kept slipping off the path and had difficulty keeping up with her. Soon she disappeared into the night and Al and I were left in inky darkness pushing our bikes. Happily our guide soon realised she’d lost us, turned around and came back and maintained a steady pace all the way back to Totnes. I don’t know what we’d have done without her.
By the way, Cornwall is the hilliest county in the world. I thought Northumberland was bad but it’s not a patch on the crags and climbs in Cornwall.
This ride took place last Saturday. It was wonderful to ride alongside the Embankment and past Big Ben on roads which were free of cars. Approx 50,000 people took part. There were 3 stopping off points – Tower Hill, St Paul’s and Green Park where kids could play bike polo, cycle like mad to generate enough power to make themselves a smoothie and/or lie in the sun and listen to some music.
For the first time Al and I got to grips with the Boris Bikes which were great until the end of the day when the booking machines began to break down – I suspect due to overuse.
I almost got a picture of Laura Trott dressed in the Wiggle Honda team strip waiting for her race, but she turned her head at the crucial moment!
A great event and perhaps shades of things to come. I hope so.
Allan completed the London Sprint Triathlon last Saturday, 750m swim in open water followed by 20K cycling and then a 5K run, in a time of 2 hours 15 mins. Beating his expected time by 15 minutes. He’s trained so hard these past few months and it’s all been worth it. He’s also raised £625 for the Compassionate Friends, thank you so much to everyone who donated. We had a wonderful day with fantastic support from family & friends.
I can’t resist putting in this pic tho’. It’s a new product (developed recently in Crawley) – the Triathlon Transition Towel (TTT) for those people who prefer to change their shorts to suit each activity, as opposed to those who wear all purpose tri-suits!
Picked up the Easy Way Cyling map for Crawley the other day. It’s a really good, handy sized map of the town centre cycle paths. I called Kay Wagland, one of the people at the council responsible for promoting cycling in Crawley and as a result found myself invited along to a trial ride with one of the councillors. She’s the glam looking one in the pic.
Also had a great ride last Saturday to Horsham – about 8 miles each way. Left Crawley through Ifield, passing The Gate pub (where incidentally the Boom Town Rats played just recently), rode through Rusper- which is a bit hilly but manageable and down into Horsham. The purpose of the ride was to take part in Daisy White’s Pop Up Indie Bookshop
My husband Allan is doing the London Sprint Triathlon on 27th July.
That’s 750m swim followed by a 20k bike ride and finishing with a 5k run. Al’s a pretty fit guy but he’s also 60 this month, so he’s been training hard for this event. This is what he says about it:
‘I’m doing the London Triathlon in memory of my son Matt and to raise funds for The Compassionate Friends.
It’s 10 years since Matt died and we miss him every day. I think he would have approved of me doing something crazy like this, so please give a donation.
Alreet son! ‘
If you’d like to donate please go to justgiving.com/allantriathlon
My book, ‘Changing Gear: A Bike Ride from Britain to Bulgaria’ is free on Kindle from tomorrow 15th June to 19th inclusive. UK Bike Week starts tomorrow. Click here for a copy http://tinyurl.com/co5b6ee
This next bit is unrelated but I have to include it in my blog. You would too if you had the opportunity…the other evening I attended the First Woman awards and had my photo taken with Clare Balding!! She’s a very nice woman and she did a great job at the event. Also I seem to remember she did a TV programme about a bike ride in the UK, so mentioning her is not entirely out of place here. Re the photo below, I must learn from Clare how to look at the camera!!