West Sussex

Pop up Indie bookshop in Horsham, West Sussex

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.

popflyer_horsham_130927_29_Fbk Sept 2013

Categories: bike safety, blog traffic, books, bookshops, Bulgaria, cycle rides, cycling, Cycling holidays, haiku, middle aged women getting fit, pop up indie bookshops, Travel, West Sussex, womens cycling, Writing, writing groups & societies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cycling and pop up indie bookshops

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

It was a really fun day, I ran a haiku competition, met people from the Crawley and Horsham Writers Circles and I (or should I say Daisy) sold 6 of my books – result!!


Categories: bike safety, books, Bulgaria, cycle rides, cycling, Cycling holidays, fitness, haiku, loss, love, middle aged women getting fit, pop up indie bookshops, Travel, West Sussex, womens cycling, Writing, writing groups & societies | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Riding in the rain

As you know we’ve recently moved to the deep South  from Northumberland and we were hoping to experience some of the fabulous weather we’d heard about.  Sun, warm breezes, blue skies etc but since we arrived, at the end of November last year, it has been raining non-stop.  No, I tell a lie, there have been one or two weeks when it’s been snowing.

Yesterday the weather was running true to form, the forecast predicted 80%  chance of rain all afternoon. Despite that info and the grey, threatening clouds my husband decided it would be a good afternoon for a bike ride, that we’d be alright and he knew a nice route to a village with a pub, about 6-7 miles round trip max.

I’m not sure why, after all these years, that I believe him but I dutifully got ready and we were on the bikes just as a gentle rain began to fall. Still it was good to be out. The villages around Crawley are beautiful and only marred by the proximity of Gatwick airport. In a 30 minute period 8 planes roared overhead like huge, menacing, mechanical birds. Despite this I was happy cycling along. The rain wasn’t bad and I was sure the 3 miles to the pub must end just around the corner. However this was not so. We’d arrived at Charlwood when my husband stopped to look at the map. He hadn’t remembered coming this way the last time he’d done the cycle ride. We looked at the map. Charlwood was off the map! We didn’t know where we were and the rain began to fall steadily. A motorist told us what route to take but warned us it was hilly. ‘No problem’ said my husband, ‘ my wife loves hills.’ Unhappily my hands were too cold to put around his neck and throttle him, so we got back on the bikes and started up Russ Hill. I don’t know how high this is, suffice to say I hadn’t expected it.

The  ride continued up and down hills in torrential rain until we finally (after 16 miles!!) spotted a sign to Rusper which had been our original destination. By then we were completely soaked so decided to leave Rusper for another day  and have a gin and tonic in a pub called the Gate just outside Ifield instead.

The pub was warm and welcoming, we got a seat by the fire where we sat and steamed gently in time to the Irish music provided by a small band to celebrate St Patrick’s Day – there’s always a sliver lining.

Categories: cycling, cycling in the rain, fitness, love, middle aged women getting fit, West Sussex, womens cycling | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An item again….

Bertha and I are on the case again now. Hoping to spread our wings (wheels!) and ride in London to Cafe Oto next week. But at the mo we’re recovering from a trip to Evans Cycles where it was discovered by a very helpful guy that Bertha’s front wheel was on the wrong way round. I didn’t even know that was possible! Poor Bertha, she’s obviously been under the weather too. Never mind onward and upward!

Categories: cycling, middle aged women getting fit, Uncategorized, West Sussex, womens cycling | Tags: , | 2 Comments

A Christmas Day Bike Ride

It sounded so nice. A bike ride on Christmas day. And it started off OK too. Admittedly not the most beautiful route through Manor Royal Business Park in Crawley but soon with a little help from a handy roadside map (thanks Crawley Council) and a following wind we found our way to Goff’s Park.

Cycling around the edge of this green space was uplifting especially knowing that a delicious Christmas dinner was waiting for us on our return. But then it started to drizzle and suddenly I felt unwell. I was breathless and tired. I had to stop and drape myself over Bertha’s handlebars until I’d recovered. Then ride back home was wet and exhausting.

As the day progressed amid food and games my throat got steadily more sore until it felt as if there was a furnace raging inside. I had to leave the party early and from then until now I have been ill with throat and cough problems enhanced by a touch of Norovirus  – gorgeous!

But today, I feel better. I’ve been to Pilates -by car, not on my bike but by the end of the week I firmly expect Bertha and I to be and item again. Here’s hoping….and here’s to a happy, healthy 2013.

Categories: Christmas, cycling, middle aged women getting fit, Norovirus, Travel, West Sussex, womens cycling | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

The high road and the low road..

Not strictly true of course because I’m writing about two bike rides in different parts of the country rather than rides on high and low roads. But it seemed like a good title.

The ‘high’ ride was higher up the country in Northumberland. Starting in Warkworth, continuing through Amble onto Low Hauxley and along the fabulous dunes to the Duridge Bay Country Park. The day was grey and misty but the views were spectacular – see pic of the coastline below.

Approximately a ten miler, the terrain is easy. If you go on a Saturday in  Winter the cafe in the country park will be open but if, like us, you go during the week, then cycle back through Amble and stop at the Cedar cafe near the harbour for chips and gravy and a hot cup of tea.  Cycling past the lake in the in the country park we saw (and heard) geese honking and flapping, waiting for  latecomers before setting off to warmer climes.

The ‘low’ road or bike ride was further down the country in West Sussex. It was  part of the Worth Way.  A sixteen mile round trip of cycle track from Three Bridges to East Grinstead. Three Bridges is on the edge of Crawley which is not a beautiful town but within half a mile of starting on the Worth Way the countryside is stunning.  On Sunday  it was cold and bright. The sun shone on the old railway bridges and we rode in a dappled light.  It was our first visit to East Grinstead and our eyes were drawn away from the historic high street with its Tudor-style buildings and towards the Christmas fayre with its huge bouncy castle, hot punch and mince pies – very festive.

I’d recommend this cycle ride. It’s beautiful and unexpectedly peaceful. An extra delight for me was riding ‘Bertha’ my Dutch bike which I bought on the cycle ride from the UK to Bulgaria. I’ve had her sent across here – magic! Talking about the bike ride you might like to know that my book,’Changing Gear’ is available free of charge on Kindle from tomorrow until 15th Dec.  Perhaps an early Christmas pres to yourself?

Categories: books, cycling, middle aged women getting fit, Northumberland, West Sussex, womens cycling, Writing | Leave a comment

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