Posts Tagged ‘Cycling’

Off With the Cyclo Club. Part One.

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

This weekend just gone the Cyclo Club went away to the Cantal area of France – not too far away from here (about 2.5 hours by short route, but 4 by long windy road route) and we stayed in a holiday village (see here for more info) which was perfectly comfortable and pleasant – although the food was not top quality, it more than made up for it in sheer quantity! The only problem was the fact that it was half way up a bloody big hill and when you’ve been out cycling that last 2 km was a killer!

We left at 6.00 am on Saturday, pausing at a pleasant spot for breakfast. You can see a photo of it here – le Chateau du Val. We ate bread, cheese, sausage, chocolate, and drank coffee or wine -for the brave amongst us. Then headed off for the Village. Unfortunately the weather grew worse and worse. I’d already decided not to cycle on Saturday, preferring to spend the time with Claire & Cathy, non cyclists who had come along for the trip. I’m very glad – the reports we got back were of driving rain, low cloud, blue knees and thunderstorms. Mr D’s bike broke 30 km into the ride, so he wasn’t happy (except now he is in the midst of persuading me that he needs a new bike…) but those who did the whole ride were totally wiped out at the end. Steve didn’t manage the final climb

but those who did said the views would have been spectacular – had it not been for the cloud!Our friend Gilles, who hates cold and wet cycling, made it. He really was SO proud! We’re going to make him a medal and present it to him on Friday with aperos at Claire’s house. King of the Mountains indeed!

The non cyclists visited a Museum, which wasn’t terribly interesting. The excursion didn’t start too well. We’d been told that we were leaving at 2.00 so Cathy Claire and I retired to our rooms for a nap. The cyclists left at 1.30, and Cathy and I mumbled “Goodbye..Take care..enjoy” and went back to sleep. Alarms set for 1.45 we woke and started to potter, getting ready. Then Claire arrived “The bus has been tooting. I think they’re waiting for us…” We scurried over to where the bus was waiting “Ah! Les Anglais!” Claire, who speaks French like a native started saying “You told us it was 2.00 …” but was drowned out by jeers (friendly, but jeers nonetheless)  It appears that everyone else had gone out to wave off the cyclists so were all ready to leave at 1.30 as well… Anywhoo…

Our destination was, ostensibly, a museum of Cantal life, in a typical style. Home at one end of the building and barn at the other. While the house part was reasonably interesting – nicely set out with old furniture etc – the rest was a bit of a junk yard, with no order to it. It was as though they had gathered everything they possibly could find and then thought “…And how are we going to display this? Oh, it doesn’t matter. Let’s put it all in one room!” The guide wasn’t terribly inspiring: “Here’s a watering can…that’s a mouse trap…this is an old sewing machine…” He did perk up a bit when people asked questions, but it was difficult to think of many.

We then went to Mauriac, a smallish town, where Claire bought a much needed fleece (she’d come prepared for summer, not Autumn!) and I met a cat-in-a-pharmacy who wanted to climb inside my raincoat. I’d’ve been happy to take him! And then to a Chateau where there was a museum of miniature cars. Most people found this quite interesting.  I wasn’t rivetted. I preferred looking round the chateau which is, in fact, a Chambre d’Hotes. Chateau de la Vigne, if anyone’s interested. The gardens were lovely, with a fine view – but by the time we got there it was lashing down with rain again, so we didn’t really have the opportunity to enjoy the view!

In the evening we had an apero from the region – white wine, honey, lemon and creme de chataigne (chestnut liqueur) – which slipped down very easily! And then a hearty meal of tartiflette (cheese, ham, potatoes) There was dancing as well, but by 10.00 most people were dropping off to sleep at the table, due to the early start and their exertions in the afternoon. I did one dance and then bailed out. Mr D didn’t even do that!

Time to make dinner. More next time.

Got to catch up…

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

All is not well on the Cycle Challenge front. Due to having a cold a few week’s back (so I didn’t feel like going out on the bike), then a lot of work (so I didn’t have time to go out on the bike), then a broken piece (so I couldn’t go out on the bike), then more work (so when I went out on the bike I was knackered and didn’t do very much) the amount of kilometres under the belt was lower than I would have wished. Then, on Wednesday I said to Mr D “I did 23 kilometres today”

“Really? What route did you do?” I told him.

“That’s not 23 kilometres. That’s only 20. Your odometer must be set wrongly. I’ll have a look at it.”

After a bit of calculating, he decided my odometer was reporting about 30 km more than I had actually done. So he “very kindly” set it back 30 km. So I haven’t done as much as I should, and I have to do a lot more than I thought. Well, OK, not a LOT more, but one ride more.

Although I do, generally, enjoy it once I’m out, it certainly isn’t a “drug”. I’d much rather not go cycling than go, whereas with Mr D, if he can’t go for a couple of weeks, he gets decidedly twitchy. I can’t see myself being that keen to carry on once the Challenge is finished…but I might.

Anyway, back to Operation  Catch Up: today  I’m going out for the first time with Mr D. He’s ever so patient with Alison, our friend, when they go out cycling together. I wonder if he’ll be so nice to me as I pant up minor climbs and stop to blow my nose?! It’s bloomin’ chilly today. Leg warmers necessary, I think!

Allons-y Alonzo!

A short PS: Mr D was very kind to me. I did 34 km which I’m pleased about. The wind was rather strong, so effort had to be made. This afternoon will involve Not Doing Very Much!

If you’re wondering…

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

…how my 1K € for 1K Km challenge is going, you can read about it over here I was aware that this blog was becoming a bit obsessed with the Challenge so I’ve tried to keep my updates to one a week, plus over on the Weightloss blog that is “Fat Dormouse Getting Thinner”

Otherwise, not much else to say. Have a good week, Folks!

Sorry, forgot the Update!

Saturday, April 9th, 2011
Well, huzzah for me, I say. Yesterday was my first outing with the Cycle Club. Bizarrely I was a little nervous – what if they go too fast? What if I need to stop for a drink? What if we go up hills (looking at the scenery round herethat’s a given!) and I can’t do it? What if..? What if…?

I went out with the 3rd group – the “Slow” group. There was me, Odette, Monique and Paul. I was the youngest at 51, Paul the oldest at 30 years my senior (I hope I’m that fit at 81). “We’ll do about 25, maybe 30 kilometres”, Odette said. Having managed 27 on Wednesday I thought I could manage that, with a bit of support.
So off we go. I find that in fact, they didn’t go too fast – it was more the opposite, particularly on the flat bits. If I needed to stop for a drink, I did – but most of the time I kept going, until we all stopped for a drink, a breather and a chat. We did go up hills – but Paul encouraged me to breathe properly, they kept saying “Don’t be afraid to mouliner” (that is, to use the Granny gears), they waited at the top, and on the final hill back into St just Odette cycled with me, encouraging me all the way. And I managed it. All FORTY ONE KILOMETRES!!!! That’s more than a week’s target in one ride!
OK, I admit I couldn’t move yesterday evening, and Cantonese Beef in oyster sauce turned into sausage, beans and frozen potato mix, because I couldn’t face cooking anything, and I didn’t sleep too well last night due to cramp, bad back and  leg ache. BUT Goodness Gracious Me! I’m proud of myself!  Today’s not too bad although my back’s still a little sore, but gosh. Clever me!
I have some more Thank Yous to say to people for more sponsorship:
Thank You to Flausa from Ship Of Fools. She’s sponsored me for my cycling and I sponsored her for her Edinburgh Moon Walk.
Merci beaucoup à Floss from Troc, Broc et Recup’ for a cheque received this week, as well as my friends Mary & Ted back in the UK. I really appreciate your support.
Distance cycled
Distance to go
Money raised
Money to go
*£ to € conversions are rounded to the nearest €
I’m only 1.5 kilometres behind the target total for this week. I can’t quite believe it!
Go, Fat Dormouse, go!!!
That was last week! This week I did another 24 km by myself and 32 with the Club. I’ll update the totaliser another day, but I wanted to say my Thank Yous to contributors on this blog.

1K Km 4 1K€ Update

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Another ride today. The longest I’ve done so far, so I’m really chuffed with myself! I have gradually been extending the circuit I’ve been doing, by adding the next part of the loop – so I started with 14 km twice, then 18 km twice and this ride extended it to 26.5. I’m also pleased that hills  (well, slight inclines!!) that I usually go up in Granny Gear (1st gear wheel) I got up in the second!  I’m still tired, but I am exhilerated! Oh, dear…might I actually be enjoying this cycling lark?! Mr D keeps nagging me to go out with the Cycling Club rather than by myself; I wanted to get to the target of doing 25 km by myself first. Well, I’ve done it – though I do have to say, it’s hardly at a speed to break the speed limit! – so maybe next Saturday I’ll join the Cyclos (3rd Group) for their outing.

Big Thank Yous goto more sponsors. To Mr D’s Uncle in Australia, thank you for a very very generous cheque, and to my friend Daniele thank you too for some folding cash money! I’m planning on asking the Cyclo Club to sponsor me, and promise them cake for 6 weeks if I reach 100€. And for 12 weeks if I reach 200€ from them!!! Anyway, here’s the Totaliser

Date Distance cycled Distance to go Money raised Money to go
09.03.11 37 963 136€* 864€
19.03.11 64 936 248€* 752€
26.03.11 126.5 873.5 314€ 686€

1K Km 4 1K€ Update 5

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

Oh dear…I’m a tad behind in my cycling . The weather and my work have conspired against me slightly, to make it difficult. I was up to date last Thursday (although I’d done a 14 km ride it hadn’t shown up on my odometer, as Mr D had replaced my tyres. However he managed to find a way to reset it, showing the km I’d done. ) I’d done 37 km the week before (2 x 14.5 and a 8 km ride as well) so with the 14 km ride that was 51 and on target for 74 by the end of the week.

Last Saturday was cold, damp and windy. It was also mum’s last day with us, so instead of going out, I thought, I’ll go tomorrow, and stayed home with mum. We chatted, played with glue and sequins (made cards) and drank coffee. We went out to a local restaurant in the evening, which was good. We went with our friends A & G, their children, A’s parents (who had come across with my mum as they all live in Liverpool) and R – the friend who supports the school I’m cycling for.  We ate and drank very well.

Sunday however was not cold, damp and windy. It was cold, SOAKING and windy. I wasn’t going out in that!!! Monday, I didn’t get home from work & food shopping until 7.30 and on Tuesday it was wet again. Oh dear. My good intentions were fast going out of the window – the second week was up and I was 23 km down on the target! Groan!

So on Wednesday, as one of my students wasn’t here, and I’d get home early, I determined to go out Whatever The Weather (unless it was lashing down) It wasn’t lashing down when I left, but 5 minutes into the ride it was. But by then I’d cycled down the hill and I wasn’t going to cycle back up until the end! So off I went, and by the time I’d finished I was dripping, but exhilerated.  I had even yelled “Hello Ponies!!” as I’d flashed past ponies in a field. They were rather startled, but didn’t over react…I was so pleased when I finished. Yes, I was cold, but I’d done another 14 km and I felt surprisingly great about it!

Today, however, it’s cold and damp again, and I feel disinclined to go out. Tomorrow is due to be better, so I think I’ll try for a longer (25 km?) ride then. That will be the furthest I’ve gone, so I don’t quite know how I’ll cope, but if I don’t push myself I’ll not improve. Of course, that will still mean I’m behind target, which for the end of week 3 (which is on Tuesday 22nd) I should be on 111 km completed, instead of 76. But I am working on the theory that as I get fitter I will be doing longer rides, so I should (hopefully) catch my tail. And as summer approaches, the days will be longer and I can get in a couple of evening rides as well.

I have a lot of Thank Yous to say. Lots of people have supported me, and I am really grateful. So Thank you to:

Mum, my sister-in-Law in Canada, my MiL, my niece in Rwanda, and my friends Gary & Carlo back in Milton Keynes. I have had another cheque promised, but that’s not arrived yet, so I’ll name the benefactor when it’s arrived. That little bundle of cash adds up to 112 €. Absolutely BRILLIANT!

So, here’s the totaliser

Date Distance cycled Distance to go Money raised Money to go
05.03.11 22 978 106€ 894€
09.03.11 37 963 136€* 864€
19.03.11 64 936 248€* 752€

Thank you all SO much!

1K km 4 1K € Week 1 update

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

OK, so I won’t KEEP doing updates. I can’t help thinking that would get very boring. I’ll restrict myself to once a week now, just to let you know if I am on target.

Which this week I am. My first week’s cycling (I go from Tuesday to Tuesday) and I hit my target: 37 km.

It wasn’t particularly easy riding, but with the beautiful weather I certainly enjoyed it (mostly. Some “up” bits were less enjoyable!) Of course, I can’t rest on my laurels. It’s not 37 km I’ve got to do, but 1,000, so next week has to be the same as this…and the one after that…and the one after that!

I’m hoping that within another two/three weeks I’ll feel ready to join the Cycle Club on their rides. At the moment Group 3 are doing about 30 km on a Saturday afternoon; as I’m struggling after 15 I think I need a couple more weeks out on my own, getting fitter and then I can join them. I’m not being negative (Note, Mr D! 🙂 ) I’m just doing this at the pace I want to do it at.

I want to add a Thank You to two more donors.

My niece Ruth has promised £15, and my sister&brother-in-law have sent a cheque for £20. Thank you both very much. It’s really appreciated. The more money I raise, the more embarrassing it would be to give back IF I failed (which I’m not going to do!)

So here’s the Totaliser

Date Distance cycled Distance to go Money raised Money to go
03.03.11 8 992 106€ 894€
05.03.11 22 978 106€ 894€
09.03.11 37 963 136€* 864€

*£ to € conversions are rounded to the nearest €

1K km 4 1K € (Update 3)

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Been out again today. A ride I know quite well…so I knew what was coming hill-wise. Not a lot, TBH. But we live in a hilly place so there is a definite incline back up to our house. I was dreading it, but actually found it less daunting than I was expecting. Yes, I did have to stop to catch my breath and ease my legs, but it wasn’t as bad as I’d built it up to be!

Date Distance cycled Distance to go Money raised Money to go
02.03.11 0 1,000 47.65 952.35
03.03.11 8 992 106.00 894
05.03.11 22 978 106.00 894

1K km 4 1K € (Update 2)

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

8 kilometres cycled. Bloody hell…I was knackered! However Mr D does tell me that it is a 4th category climb, so I did quite well. I was stopping every 150m or so to catch my breath and feeling bad about it. However, when I turned round and cycled home I realised how “up” the road had been. I was whooping like a mad thing as I was going at more than 31 kph (that’s on the down rather than the up)

Thanks goes to my brother & his wife for sponsoring me £50 ( which at current exchange rates comesto 58.36€)

So I can update my totaliser:

Date Distance cycled Distance to go Money raised Money to go
27.02.11 0 1,000 20€ 980 €
02.03.11 0 1,000 47.65€ 952.35€
03.03.11 8 992 106.00€ 894€

1K Km 4 1K € (update 1)

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

First update.

We-e-ell…due to foggy fog yesterday and coldy cold today, my  challenge isn’t quite as Off to a Fine Start as it might be. Mr D firmly advised against going out today, so instead I went on the trainer. I need some better padded shorts I think! I know my bum will get used to the saddle again, but even with 2 pairs it was more than a little uncomfortable!

My totaliser can be updated though:

Date Distance cycled Distance to go Money raised Money to go
27.02.11 0 1,000 20€ 980 €
02.03.11 0 1,000 47.65€ 952.35€

My thanks go for donations so far go to:

  • Jenny & Kevin (friends of friends) 20€
  • Jane Seals (a good friend) £15 (17.65€)
  • Jean-Claude Joannon 10€ (J-C is my physio & today he promised me ten euros – but he says they’re for the last 10 km! I wasn’t going to work it like that, but the idea tickled him.!)


I’ve done my maths now, and there are 27 weeks between now and 30th August. That means I have to do 37.03 km every week to stay on target. So far this week, I’m not exactly on target!!! Never mind – I’ll try to get out at the weekend, & hope Mum won’t mind being abandoned for a bit. I’m sure she won’t.

Please excuse this extra table
Having inserted it, I don’t
seem to be able to
delete it again. Tant pis