Sunday, 8 November 2015

Back in Otley CC Jersey

Brother's 40th has me back in Yorkshire.
Celebrations Friday and Saturday left me free for Sunday morning cycle.
Emailed Ken to let him know I was around but going to head out again with Otley's Social series instead of out with the B's.
My back has been feeling a little dodge this week. Sharp pains across the back and trapped nerve feeling back in butt and down to foot. Busy week, lots of commuting by bike, in addition to the 70k last Sunday with no rest day was a bit dumb. If I'm honest, if I was really sensible, I would have stayed home today. But up I got at 7.30am and went through the motions of getting ready, thinking if my back really seizes in pain I'll stop getting ready and call it quits.
Next I know I'm cycling towards Otley and at Buttercross getting in line with Gill's group who are heading out towards Roundhay Park in Leeds.
Saw Ken, said hello and noticed there were only 5 people heading out with the B's.
There were 50 odd gathered for the Social series.
Probably only a matter of time before there's more of a merge into the B's and Inters, but for now if there's a Social cycle on, it seems to swallow up all the cyclists at Buttercross.
For me, there's so many more women, the routes are shorter and I'm pretty much guaranteed to be back home by 1.30pm having done a full cycle with the Social group, where with the B's I'd have to leave midway through their cycle to cycle home alone to be home for the same time.
I loved today's cycle. There were no massive hills, going up West Chevin then up by the back of the airport wasn't too bad.
Got to see Eccup reservoir which I've wanted to see for ages. The scenery round Eccup was amazing, same going up Chevin.
Coffee at The Mansion house in Roundhay park was nice. When we arrived, the faster (fitter) Social group were already had their feet under the table sipping their coffee.
Apparently they had cycled up Black Hill just out of Arthington (used in the Tour de France route), I was happy to hear we'd only be cycling down it. 
It will be a long, long time til I'm able to join the Faster Social group, if ever.
I struggle with hills, despite the fact again I got a PR today on Castley hill?
PR on two tough hills in one week and yet not feeling it's happening at the time of struggling up is puzzling me. I haven't lost that much weight!
Anyhow, PRs, times and avg kmph is not what today's cycle was about, it was about getting out, the Yorkshire scenery, the other cyclists, fresh air and love of cycling adventures.
Thanks to Gill for leading, it was great, it really gave me a lift. Yeah my back is still dodge, but painkillers and Epsom salt bath might help.

1st spin back out with Orwell

Was a little apprehensive cycling over to Joe Daly's today for my first proper Orwell spin in a while.
Feels like I've been sporting my Otley CC jersey constantly whilst my Orwell stays at the bottom of my jerseys pile, unused, unloved and overlooked.
The published route was flat and down Strawberry Beds, which being one of my favourite Dublin roads made the route seem more do-able.
Turned up and hugs from Sandra and Jackie nearly had me following them in the Yellow group, but senses kicked in and I held back for Whites.
Glad I did, by the return leg of Strawberry Beds I was struggling a little, the pace was an avg 23.5 kmph by time we got home, Yellows were 25kmph so I really would have held the Yellows back and felt down doing so.
Weirdly Strava told me I got my fastest time up Lower Rd which is an absolute mystery, but maybe the fact Tommy was neck and neck with me going up the hill gave me an edge I wouldn't usually have going up solo like I usually do.
Great cycle out to Celbridge, 70km all in, very good.
Orwell jersey loved the outing.

8.45am Sunday morning, Drimnagh

Conway's pub, Thomas St, Dublin

Thomas St, Dublin 2

Gadding around Dublin

I'm back cycling to work everyday again and I love it. 
No money on petrol, no stress in parking spaces at work, fresh air in the lungs, the thrill of the cycle, the community at the lights, the characters at the lights, the speed queens, the slow coaches, the dopes cycling hands free, the clipping in types with the plastic bags over shoes types.
In addition to the daily commute, the wknd trips into town take 15 mins and save 2 x €2.85.
I'm no tight wad but the savings from cycling along with all the flexibility cycling offers make it the go to option nearly everytime.
I just love cycling.