Posts by Boardgirl:
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Major Dan and I have long chatted about doing some cycle touring of Britain but we never quite seem to get around to it.
However, having come across this post, I’m more inspired than ever. With 29 great rides spanning 5000 miles in “some of Britain’s most scenic, historic, and interesting places”, it’s something I’m definitely going to pick up.
As some of you know, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has started the Fish Fight (http://www.fishfight.net/) to stop the EU’s ridiculous regulations that mean thousands of tonnes of perfectly good fish have to be thrown away because the boat that caught them exceeded their limit of that species. This means that HALF of all the fish caught in the North Sea are THROWN BACK DEAD. HALF.
Today, at lunchtime, Hugh is taking the fight straight to Brussels.
If you haven’t signed up, I urge you to do so right now.
I signed up months ago and have only received a few newsletters so you won’t get spammed to bejeezus. If anyone can make it happen, he can.
The HumanRace WomenOnly Triathlon training day at Dorney Lake is on Sunday. I’ve been eagerly anticipating it since I signed up in December. It was really a way for me to feel like a triathlete again without actually signing up for a triathlon. But then, I signed up for two novice distance races shortly thereafter, in the belief that I could finish them even if I had to walk the entire length of the 2.5k runs.
Now that it’s approaching, I’ve been filled with a sort of dread. I haven’t started running again yet, though I’ve dabbled a little, and I’m straight off the plane from LA with a healthy dose of jetlag, not to mention that our puppy, who sleeps in the bed with us, has been sick in the night, two nights running. I’ve put on over a stone (maybe almost 2) since my back injury and I’m not convinced that my website even fits let alone whether I can get it on without putting my back out. To top it all off, I’ve only really just started working out again. I cycle to work a few days a week (7 or so miles a day) and swim when I can be arsed to deal with the screaming infants in the women’s changing room at my David Lloyd (membership cancelled, as of 31/7, by the way). We’ve also started climbing again on Fridays, but I’ve been on holiday, or recovering from it, since the 28th of April. Sure, we did loads of hiking in Yosemite and walking everywhere else, but it just doesn’t seem like enough.
Anyway, I woke up this morning with a wonderful thought. I don’t remember getting an information packet so maybe my application didn’t go through and I would escape the ignominy of being out of shape AND too fat to fit into my wetsuit. Alas, those buggers at HumanRace are super efficient and sent out an email with all the links while I was on holiday. So, I followed the link to the information packet and a funny thing happened; I started reading about what we’d be doing and what I needed to bring and a tingly sensation started creeping all over my skin.
I’m actually very, very excited and really looking forward to it. I’m still worried about getting into my wetsuit (I’ll try it on this weekend, but I’m not hopeful) but the fear and loathing has been replaced with a sense of deep anticipation. It’s all day, from 9am to 4:30, so I’m sure I’ll be tired by the end of it, but, more importantly, I’ll be a triathlete doing triathletey things. Even looking at the photos of all those amazing women on the website running/swimming/cycling/sweating/living got my proverbial juices flowing.
Inspiration is a funny thing. For me, at least, it doesn’t come from within, but that’s actually nice to know. I can motivate myself by looking at photos of triathletes or climbers or cyclists doing what they love. Chrissie Wellington is my hero and just looking at a photo of her crossing the finish line with that huge grin on her face is enough to get me putting my running shoes on.
The trick is getting myself to look at the photos in the first place!
They’ll have to fix all the pot holes first!
Here’s the route.
I’m actually a little trembly at the thought of newly paved roads to ride on that mean I won’t have to keep blocking traffic to get round an upcoming ditch in the road, especially on the long climb up Burwood Road. Wishful thinking? I hope not.
I also wonder; if they DO repave, how much disruption will it cause in the process? And, more importantly, can I find a new route that doesn’t go through one of the many gated neighbourhoods (I totally refuse to call it a “community”) in the area.
Yes, it appears that I can’t even push my bicycle across the road without incurring the wrath of road users.
What’s this you say? Surely not? I fear it’s true. You see, there’s this particularly scary roundabout on my cycle route to/from work. On the way in, I take the first left, cruising around (usually under the cover of another car) so it’s not a big issue. On the way home, however, I have to go ALL the way round. It’s big, busy and MVs (motorised vehicles) take it really fast.
I tried it once, a few weeks ago. I entered, indicated right, did my lifesaver and saw a Golf enter the island behind me. I indicated again and moved right to take my lane not get pushed out onto the first exit. Just as I approached the first exit, still indicating, he dove around me and cut me off (not indicating, by the way), so close, that he actually had to turn left to get around me and off the roundabout. Mission accomplished: he scared me off the roundabout. One more girl bike rider has had the MV Bejeezus scared out of her. Nice job, prick, because I’ll be back. After a while, at least, when I’m stronger and faster. So, now, instead of going all the way around, I jump onto the pavement and push my bike the short way around and across the road to get back on and wait for a safe gap to push off. If I’m being entirely honest, I ride round if there are no pedestrians. But that’s another argument for another day. I certainly won’t be adding to the death toll of TWO pedestrians killed by cyclists since 1999. And I most definitely don’t want to be the 1000th cyclist killed by an MV in the last 12 months.
The pavement ends on the one side just as it begins on the other side, so there’s actually a very limited space to make the crossing. The very first day I did this, I waited for a gap and got half way across the road before a car came off the roundabout at quite a speed, so I got stuck halfway. I had to wait for about 4 or 5 cars to go by (this is Surrey, so no one will slow down, let alone stop, for you). In the meantime, a stuck up horsey type in a volvo came bearing down on me, blowing her horn.
For crossing the road.
Yep, I was beeped by a car for walking across the street PUSHING my bike, in the ONLY place on that stretch of raod with a pavement on both sides of the road. So, it appears that even pedestrians (who have right of way, by the way) have lost their rights to use the road to the almighty “road tax paying” car driver.
For the time being, I’ll take the horn (pardon?) over the roundabout, but it won’t stop me bitching about it.
1000 calories burned yesterday according to my Polar F6, at any rate. 1000! Man, it can easily add up.
Each of my 20-odd minute cycles (I hope to get each way under 20 minutes soon!) burned about 250 calories then DH (Major Dan) and I went for our belated Wednesday Walks. I was having my haircut on Wednesday, so we postponed for a day.
Wednesday walks consists of taking the dogs for a nice long walk and coming home via the pub. We’ll have a bar snack, usually hummus and pitta bread shared between us, and a drink each; Major Dan has a pint of London Pride or similar, and I’ll have a large white wine with a splash of soda water.
Last nights walk was 3.5 miles up to the top of the Downs and back again, in an hour. After my 9 mile cycle, it was quite a slog, and I certainly think I earned my glass of wine and the extra portion of whitebait we ordered
This morning my legs are aching, but I have a lovely warm glow gilded with feelings of “smug and self-righteous”-ness.
Back is all good, which is such a relief. I just have the normal aches of pains of resuming exercise after a long term injury.
Tonight, we climb!
Yep, it’s absolutely true. The Road Tax has been abolished to be replaced with a VED or Vehicle Excise Duty.
When will this take effect?
I have to confess I’m a little late reporting this one, because, in truth, it already has. In 1936, by Winston Churchill. Why? Because he thought the name would lead car drivers to take moral ownership of the roads. Not just a pretty face, eh?
That’s right, bike haters, there is no such thing as a road tax. What YOU pay is a VEHICLE tax, in other words, some motorized vehicle drivers pay an annual penalty for driving a petrol guzzling, air polluting, road destroying killing machine.
Now, let’s say that some bright spark in parliament decided that bike riders should have to have a tax disc. Well, as a bicycles emissions are < 100 g/km, we’d be banded class A, just like electric cars. Which means we’d pay no tax anyway.
As car drivers, we do NOT pay VED as rent for use of the roads. Using the roads is free. Bitter pill to swallow, I know.
Honestly, mate, how do you not lose your frigging mind? I watched your sanity rally on YouTube. Awesome.
I also watched a documentary here in the UK about the Tea Party last night. I wish I had a quid for every time some interviewee mentioned “tyranny”, “socialism”, “marxism” or “freedom” etc, while clearly have not clue one what any of those words actually mean.
America? A tyranny? Only if the Disney Corporation were asked to mock up the idea for some senate quango. Zimbabwe is a tyranny. North Korea is a tyranny. China is a tyranny. Myanmar is a bloody tyranny. In those countries, people can be arrested and tortured for dis’ing the government or calling the leader of that country “satan” or questioning his parentage. In those countries, people that question the government (rarely freely elected, by the way) just disappear. Scary men with big guns take them away in the night and they’re never seen again.
Those countries attempt to control what “news” you see, what you can buy, say, think, read, learn, or, indeed WHO can buy, think, read or learn.
The Brits have a wonderful phrase for people like Tea Party members; “You don’t know you’re born”. Basically, you have no concept what you have and how utterly misguided you are by lies and misrepresentation.
To any American that is scared of the UK’s national health service, I say one thing to you:
You have no idea what you’re talking about. You have never used it. It has never saved your life. You’ve never known the wonder of being hit by a car and being taken to the closest A&E department, regardless of who owned the hospital, and been patched up and walked out again with a bag full of painkillers, antibiotics, swabs and bandages.
No bills, no forms, no proof of insurance.
You see, you can bleat on and on about your wonderful system, but when you’re sick, truly sick, you should not have to fill in forms or prove you can pay. Life is not an optional extra in this world. Your health is a right, not a privilege.
And, when you are down on your luck, I will pick you up and dust you off.
Last night, I was talking to DH about my workout plans for the week. When I told him I was going to cycle twice, run twice and wanted to go climbing on Friday, he gave me “that look”.
I knew I was in for a nag and coaxed a discussion out of him. Basically, he’s worried that I feel OK right now so have thrown myself back in to my old regime. You know, the one that got me in this condition in the first place.
I have to admit that his concerns are justified and my remark yesterday about not knowing “I’ve overdone it until stuff starts to hurt” pretty much sums up my attitude, at the moment. I’m a bit digital, like that. Everything is all or nothing with me.
My problem is that I feel like time is marching on and that I want to get back to the pre-injury me asap. I’m already over 40, and everything is just getting harder and harder. Regaining my fitness, losing post-injury weight, all of it.
Anyway, I’ve decided he’s probably right and that I need to chill out. As much as I’m loving running again, I have to drop it, especially if I’m going to be cycling to work more regularly.