Posts Tagged With: bike maintenance

Triathlon triumph!

I’m a triathlete! In the very broadest sense. What I mean is, I managed to complete the super sprint at

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.

The Swim

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!

The cycle

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.

The run

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.

The time

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.

My daughter did the same race as me and came in at 1 hr 25mins and my husband did a race twice as long and came in at 2hrs 16. IMG_3045 IMG_3032

Categories: bike safety, Blenheim Palace Triathlon 2014, cycle rides, cycling, cycling in the rain, fitness, middle aged women getting fit, run, trek bikes, triathlon, triathlon outfits | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m so excited…..

I looked at the Kindle rankings this morning and saw my book was number 14 in the Kindle travel section. There are 31,445 books in that section! How cool is that?

But then, to use a ‘Pointless’ phrase, things got even more exciting, when I checked the Kindle non-fiction rankings. There are 1,090,000 books in this section and Changing gear is number 179!!!!

This is probably too many numbers for this time in the morning, so I’m going to stop now and go to the V&A and get inspired.

Thanks to everyone who has bought/downloaded a copy of Changing Gear.

Categories: books, Bulgaria, cycling, Cycling holidays, downloading, Kindle, London, loss, love, middle aged women getting fit, Top 20 travel books on Kindle, Top 200 non-fiction books on Kindle, Travel, womens cycling, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Running & repairs

Poor Bertha’s been in the wars again. She’s had her front hub greased and generally sorted out…that’s technical talk for you! And she’s all the better for it. No longer does she shimmy from side to side while I try to propel her forward. In fact she’s acting like a proper bike. However because the weather’s been so bad she and I haven’t been out anywhere exciting. In fact we’ve only been as far as the shops. Instead I’ve been persisting with the running programme.

You remember the  NHS from,’Couch to 5k’? On Friday I’ll be on week 9 and will be running (well jogging really) for 30 minutes without stopping. Ideally during that time I’ll cover 5k. I know I’m close because we went to Goffs Park recently where there’s a 4k marked trail and I did that with a bit of time to spare.  Who would have thought it? I’m really pleased but I’m going to have to work on my self belief, as I start every run with the thought that I won’t be able to do it. Any tips on cultivating positive thinking will be gratefully received.

Which leads me to other empowering stuff… Straw Works, a company I work for is holding a 1 day introductory course to natural plasters – lime & clay, on the 20th of April.  Go to  Click on the ‘Bale Frenzy’ button and check out ‘Getting Plastered.’ You’ll love it!

Last thought…my book Changing Gear. A Bike Ride from Britain to Bulgaria will be free on Kindle from 5th-9th April inclusive. Click here to read it    Hope you like it.

Categories: bike safety, books, Bulgaria, cycling, Ecobuild, fitness, middle aged women getting fit, natural house building, natural plasters, running, strawbale building, strawbale building courses, womens cycling, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bertha goes AWOL

Regular readers of this blog will know that Bertha is the name I’ve given to my bike. Yesterday Bertha had an exciting day, starting with a bit of surgery to her wheels (new inner tube fitted) and then for the first time she was left in the stands at the railway station in Three Bridges.

These stands are jammed full of bikes. I slotted Bertha in between two metal stands, threaded the lock through my helmet in order to keep it safe and locked the lock. Then obviously dashed to the coffee stall for an essential coffee even though the train was due. Then I belted up to the platform, hot drink slopping all over the place and just caught the train.

I returned from my trip later that afternoon, approached the bike stands and couldn’t find Bertha. Walked up and down to check again, still no sign of her. I’m a ‘dab’ hand at losing bikes (as my mother would have said). I’ve lost 3 so far in 3 different countries. Bertha looked like being the 4th.

I was advised by the ticket collector to go to platform 2 to check the CCTV with the guard. Once there I explained that my bike had been pinched. ‘What did it look like?’ asked the guard. I described Bertha. He smiled and said that because she hadn’t been locked up properly (in my haste to get a coffee I’d locked her to herself rather than to the bike stand!) a couple of policemen had removed her for her own safety and locked her up in the storeroom on platform 3.  Hurrah for vigilant policemen.

On platform 3 there was the nicest guard in the world who got Bertha out of the storeroom and carried her all the way down the stairs. The staff at Three Bridges train station are so helpful.

Morals of this story …a) must lock my bike to a bike stand, b) must not cut corners when locking up my bike even though I’m desperate for a coffee!

Categories: bike safety, cycling, middle aged women getting fit, Train stations, Travel, 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

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