Hello Velo

Wow. I can’t believe its over a month since my last blog post – and my rather exciting trip to London.

Spinning Around
I was very nervous on arrival at Boom Cycle – it was very sleek and modern and every one was Lycra’ed up. I was wearing my husband’s T-shirt as I don’t have any gym stuff that fits me. Having been a member of various gyms over the last few years I have seen people on their way out of spinning classes looking like they were about to pass out from exhaustion, so I was very scared.

But my fears were unfounded. It was absolutely awesome. I loved the low level lighting (which meant that no one saw when my foot came out of my cleat!) and the music was completely brilliant too. My radio is usually firmly tuned to Absolute 80s, so it was outside my comfort zone too but I loved it. While the feminist in me was unimpressed about the lyrics on listening again later, I was loving the tune of Jason Derulu’s Talk Dirty and giving it large on the pedals. The energy and enthusiasm of the instructor was contagious and I felt really motivated while I was there.

I will confess to a bit of self preservation – I was probably only giving about 75%. I wasn’t sure how long the class was going to be and frankly, I didn’t want to fall off!  Or worse be so sore that I wouldn’t be able to function the next day with four children. I was rather saddle sore as although Joanne’s warm down was great, I think no amount of stretching was going to counteract the force with which I was sinking down onto the saddle in relief after the standing “sprints”. I was super grateful for a wonderfully nutty delicious recovery smoothie at the end of the class.


And then, Olympic moment!


It was so inspiring to chat to Joanne afterwards – about her medal and her training, though realising when she was born made me feel old. Meeting the guys from the Human Race team was helpful too and I left Boom Cycle with a literal spring in my step -I bounced up the escalator at Liverpool Street and determination to succeed in my heart. (Sadly the it didn’t last long as the trains home were completely scuppered, but I digress.)

So on finally getting home, my next challenge to overcome was to find a bike: it’s going to be pretty hard to do without one.
I last bought one in the last century and it was care of the bank of Mum and Dad – things appear to have changed massively since then.
There is SO much choice – I was utterly overwhelmed and slightly taken aback by the cost. So I decided that until I get into the saddle a bit more, I am firmly sticking to a second hand hybrid found locally online. Once I got it home I gave it a quick once round our garden to my two sons’ delight – they joined in on their bikes – they have them but my husband is yet to get one but I think I have inspired him that he needs one too, now.

On my corporate sponsor (!)
I’ve been taking Spatone for years now (since my first pregnancy) whenever I feel run down. It was recommended by someone on Mumsnet and I always have a packet in the cupboard so it was great to have my training supply arrive in one go- the boys had great fun with the boxes!

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Taste wise it doesn’t bother me, I usually pour it into a small glass of OJ – as I’m pretty sure the vitamin C helps the absorption of the iron.

On yer bike
Going out on the road is a bit of a leap for me as I have learnt to drive a car since I last cycled on the road as a student in the relative cycle haven of the streets of Oxford. I now live in cycling friendly sub rural Hertfordshire – many of my friends are triathletes and there are regularly cycle groups going past but I am terrified very wary of the BIG lorries and the impatient school run mums (ahem) who are doubtless muttering about cyclists.

Training schedule so far:

Ride 1: around my (not very big) garden -I felt like my 15 year old self again, wheeling down the small slope and just riding for the joy of it – my kids LOVED watching me.
Ride 2 : to check whether a sign had been put on a noticeboard nearby for an event – trying out the shimano gears – bit of a serious fail there and I found myself in the wrong gear utterly.
Ride 3: to deliver a form to a neighbour – felt brilliant to be out but it wasn’t a busy time of day and I pottered there and back.
Ride 4: nipped to school to collect something – rode on the very quiet pavement (!!) as I was afraid of the big lorries- gears still not great (!)
Ride 5: Right – I really must go out and get started on this. I put my Spatone top on to remind myself of why I was doing this and chose a quiet time of day and did a 4 mile loop- only 20 minutes or so but I am breaking myself in slowly. This was my longest ride so far and I was out of breath when I got home – need to make sure that i am properly ready.

I am still waiting to speak to Kerry from Revolution and Emma the nutritionist – we have been playing voicemail tennis, so I am still overdoing the Double Deckers and underperforming on my bike – am hoping this will change by my next update.

So here I am with 15 weeks to go until the big day – plenty of time but PLENTY to do.