Saturday, 14 March 2015

Spring Fever

OK, so not quite Spring in March, and it was a cold rather than a fever.....

I had been fighting with razor blades in my throat through Friday night, and on Saturday, much to my annoyance the pain persisted.  I came to the cafĂ© (after a brief warning Friday night on facebook that I was not well) to meet all and dish out sign in sheets.  We were lucky to have 5-6 leaders, three with routes not dissimilar to mine, and I was able to send them off with a wave and a photo.  Alex did the ‘talky bit’ (with me prompting) – she said she was more nervous than she is in front of a bunch of schoolchildren! (and she is a teacher!)

So, I rely on the facebook comments of the ride, and photos thereon.

Ruth says:
Saturday ride. Friendly chatter at Kingsway....
Three groups.... 
Dry but cold! Despite 4 layers and three pairs of gloves, I was still cold...the warmth of the cafe at Delamere station was very welcome! 
Safely led and guided by Welna, we were a group of ?9 to the cafe...  Cycling along I thought to myself I really need to do more rides east of Chester as I didn't know the lanes so well! Maybe this summer - but it's rapidly filling up. I thought retirement was meant to be peaceful and quiet, far from it.  
Four of us returned to the Dee Miller and home in time for Wales v Ireland!! 

Take care and maybe see you at the spring 50! That will certainly be a test and challenge for me as Saturday was my first or second ride out since Dec 25th...and no time to get much of a ride in before the day! 

from facebook....

Thanks to Alex for leading the ride to Delamere Stn Cafe . Hope you're feeling better Sue Booth 

·   Sue  Super dooper girls.
Elaine lovely ride! Thanks Alex

Collette  It was lovely to see you again Elaine & you look great! 
Alex Great ride. Thanks for the company girls. Just had hot soup at the zoo and contemplating my ride home:-(
Elaine  Thanks Collette! Are you feeling better now? X
Collette  Much better - put it down to middle age! Cuppa & a few paracetamol & I'm as right as rain. Thanks x
Alex  Home now....thank god!
Sue  Have you been out having adventures?!
Elaine  Was the ride back ok?
Alex  Just riding home, Sue, after meeting the boys at the zoo for a bite of lunch. Trying to get the miles in as doing the Sea 2 sea in a couple of weeks. Elaine, the ride home was fine....shame it was mostly uphill

Sue Alex ...?!!!!!!
Alex  what, Sue???
Sue  Your face....are you about to say something!!
Alex  Probably...that's why I kept missing the Turnings!;-)
Sue  There is a story unravelling with all these Facebook comments!!

   Sue  Christine  you look like you have a halo!
Christine  Indeed I do. Maybe it was because I only has ONE piece of cake!! Ha ha
Sue  Was it cake in a-bun-dance?
Sue (That just snuck in there! !)

Welna Thanks to my regular group today you did great! Pity no more photos. Only one of the breakaway group on our way back to Chester via Platts Lane

·Louise  Thanks Welna, it was a lovely ride.
Ruth  Great ride, great company. Thanks Welna for leading us to cake and snacks and safely home again
Sharon  Sorry you missed out Sue but you know when your body says " you can try but i'll make you feel even more worse tomorrow" Hope you feel better soon xx. To Welna a big thank you for leading and getting us to the cafe, had a lovely dinner there and then a great ride home. About 44 miles for me today the furthest i been this year xxx
Welna  'only' 37.36mi for me today - Sharon 's definitely the furthest!
Welna  Sharon I like the way your bike light blinked just when I took the photo!

Thanks to Collette, Welna and Christine for the photos.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Birthday Belles

Fab ladies had a late invitation to join Janet and the Wirral Bicycle Belles to help them celebrate their 5th birthday.  A good turn out of about 20, but only me from our group - but at least we were there!  I had a heck of a head wind heading out, it was also quite cold, but it did stay dry for me which is suprising as the lanes were very wet and rain preceeded me and also fell afterwards.

I met the Belles at The BurleyDam garden centre, despite some main roads it is only 10 miles out so could be a venue for us next year?

                    Create Maps
                    or Search for a route
                    from millions at MapMyRide

Janet lighting the candles

Orchard cafe at Burleydam

Just about everyone - and look at that blue sky!
I headed home alone, as I wanted to call in on some friends (but they weren't in).  So I made my way back - I cut out a loop and followed the Welsh Road for a mile - not advisable but just useful to save the extra mile and muddy track.

                    Create Maps
                    or Search for a route
                    from millions at MapMyRide


Saturday, 14 February 2015

50 shades of grey clouds

Another ride on Valentines day!  Our last one was in 2009, when we went to The Eureka cafe for the first time.  25 ladies gathered this morning, and after a little deliberation between routes (Alex and Sue had both produced diverse routes) and cafes (Yvonne's will seat 17 at most after that we are sitting on knees!), we managed to set off.

apologies to the two on the left of this pic - hard to see if we are all in!  My new Selfie Stick!!

Kate led a couple of the slower ladies directly up the Greenway to Shotton - but this ride was not without incident.  Faced with the blue bridge (over A494) Kate claims she did not get lost as such, but just a little unsure of her bearings!  [no photos]

I led a regular paced group out to take in some hills.  Starting off along the Greenway we left at Blacon and crossed at Saltney Ferry Bridge. 

The back road was unfortunately busy due to road closures and this has the effect of making the odd driver  more inpatient.  We left the road to climb up to Mancot...

Waiting for the group at St Davids Park

....and then Hawarden (I very sadly did not have my camera to hand in time to capture the sign outside the hairdressers in Hawarden 'Love is in the Hair' - groan!), before negotiating Ewloe roundabout (actually quite easy - we went anticlockwise using footpath)...

....and then dropping down some superb little lanes and crossing the Wepre Brook.  

Arriving at Yvonnes we met with the first group, and enjoyed 65p mugs of coffee and the largest bacon bap for £2!

Yvonnes van - last visited in April 2009
on a much sunnier day!

Not one of our largest cafes - but fab historical
photos adorn the walls.

It isn't all about the cake!

We headed straight back (bumping into Alex's group - see below) clocking a neat 23 miles.

Corner cafe in Shotton.
Alex took a faster group a longer way around, over to Capenhurst, along route 56 including the seven gates alongside the railway.  They fell foul of a puncture, which although was fixed with no problems, somehow the pump got stuck/wedged onto the wheel and could not be released; so rider, bike and pump had to wait for rescue whilst the rest of the group carried on.  This caused an unfortunate delay and meant they did not make it to Yvonne's in time, as she shuts at 12.  My group met them on route 5, so they were able to turn around and find another cafe in Shotton, The Corner Kitchen.  Another one to add to the list!

23 ladies; 18/23/27.5 miles; 2 cafes; 1 puncture.

Although a day early, this ride is listed as a 'Ride like Billie Day' - please see website for other rides around the country.  

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Cycle Training

I passed my Cycling Proficiency back in 1980, I think it was.  In those days, there was far fewer cars on the roads, less journeys made by car and they did not travel as fast.  The bike training was in the playground, around cones, and up and down.  We learned hand signals - including one for 'slowing down' which I don't think I ever used.  

The training is now called Bikeability (National Cycle Standards), and comes in levels 1-3; 1 being very basic and probably the level I did with CP.  Level 2 takes you around side streets with some talking time, demonstrations and then riding time.  Level 3 is then for the more scary stuff - roundabouts and large junctions.

Today's training is about confidence, road positioning and positive manoeuvres.  It is not just for schoolchildren and young people.  I spent some time with an instructor last year - in 50 yards I had done several things 'wrong'!  We talked over points and walked through some positions in a quiet side junction.  We then rode about a bit, before heading back to Chester (in his van) to stand and discuss roundabouts whilst nervously watching the cars fly around Hoole Roundabout.  Then we rode round it - which was (to be honest) much less scary than looking at it!

Cycle Experience is a company who deliver such training, and have been commissioned by Cheshire West and Chester Council to deliver sessions locally to us, for free.  So I arranged a couple of sessions for the ladies.

Talking to the group



...whilst being watched


more practicing

knowing when to stop and wait

talking through roundabouts

Riding roundabouts

I learned a few pointers, and it is well worth taking part in a course like this.  There may still be some courses on until the end of March 2015, check the Cycle Experience website.

I did gather some quotes from the ladies:

"Remember to look behind, look behind and look behind!"

" Do things [when riding] that make people know you are doing things"

" Very, very good [training] - enlightening"

"[the training gave] Confirmation you are doing the right thing, gives you confidence to ride with authority"

"Body language - can be seen by all road users"

"valuable to understand why we do something"

"Good to get some individual feedback [on riding]"