Tag Archives: bike ride

Garmin RideOut

1 Sep Garmin Rideout jerseys 2017

I was really pleased that Stu managed to get us places in the Garmin RideOut. I’ve done this event twice before and had a place in last year’s event, but had to give it away as we didn’t think it was safe for me to take part.

Stu organised for Baby M to spend the day with her grandparents, and then agreed to cycle with me. We’ve not had many opportunities to cycle together in the last couple of years, so I was looking forward to spending some time together.

We we directed to park fairly near to the marquees, which was convenient. We had M with us at that point, so we took her to registration with us. We then went back to the car to pin our numbers on our new jerseys. I was wearing my Team SOAS cycling kit, but felt that I should wear the event jersey for this event. I was pleased to find that it was a nice quality Primal jersey.Garmin Rideout jerseys 2017

We still had M, so weren’t able to go to the talks, which was a shame, so Stu and I decided to have the free bacon roll/veg sausage sandwich that was on offer. It wasn’t long before Stu’s dad arrived to collect M, which meant that we were able to position ourselves towards the front of the queue to start.

Garmin RideOut 2017 itinerary

The original schedule had suggested starting at 11:00, but I think we started not too long after 10:15am, which was good as I had an appointment that I needed to get back for!

It was really nice to be out rising with Stu. A few times, we joined up with other riders for a chat, which made it a very sociable event.

We stopped at a feed station where we had to take our shoes off. The hallway was very crowded, so I put my shoes outside. I also left my helmet with my headband, mitts and sunglasses inside it. We had some electrolyte drink and a some cake before heading outside.

Julian Porter and a group from his cycling club were outside, so we stopped for a chat. I went to put my helmet back on and realised that my sunglasses were missing. I was annoyed that someone had stolen them, then I realised that someone had kicked my helmet and stood on my sunglasses. I am assuming that my helmet is still safe to wear, but I was upset that my sunglasses were broken. They were not expensive, but they fit me really well and are comfortable.

I started to get tired towards the end of the ride, but managed not to slow down too much.

When we got back, we got some pasta and sat down whilst waiting for Stu’s dad to arrive back with Baby M. There was time for a chat with Jo and Donna before a swift drive back to Southampton as I had over-estimated my ability and we were running late.

I loved being back in the saddle and really hope that we are lucky enough to get places in this event again.

Primera Tri Expo and a lovely bike ride

27 Oct

I’ve finally had the chance to start getting back to some semblance of normality this weekend. My original plan was to go down to Bournemouth early to do a ride before the Primera Tri Expo, but Stu has been unwell and I was still feeling quite tired, so we decided to have a bit of a lie in before heading down to Bournemouth. We went to the Tri Expo last year and quite enjoyed it, so we were looking forward to picking up some bargains this year as well as finding out about new products and races.

Unfortunately, there weren’t as many exhibitors there as last year, which was a little disappointing. There appeared to be one nutrition stand where there were electrolyte drinks, but as I’m quite happy with the nuun that I’ve got (and my stash of high-5 stuff gathered at cycling events), I didn’t bother trying it. Zoom Tri Club were there, but I was surprised that Bustinskins didn’t have a stand and there was no information about Challenge Weymouth either. Race New Forest were also not participating, so it seemed like a much more low-key event. Having said that, I managed to do plenty of shopping:

  • Castelli jersey – £70 reduced to £20
My new Castelli jersey

My new Castelli jersey

  • Assos base layer – I haven’t bothered to take a photo as it’s just a plain black unisex short-sleeved t-shirt – £68.99 reduced to £20
  • Gore jersey – £84.99 reduced to £10
Gore jersey

Gore jersey

  • Specialized women’s trail top reduced to £5 (I suspect that this item has been sitting in storage for a while as it smells a little musty and definitely needs to go through the laundry before I’ll wear it!)
  • Two pairs of socks – a pair of white Specialized socks with pale blue polka dots on them and some DeFeet World Champion socks (I’m dreaming big!) – reduced to £1 a pair from about £9
DeFeet World Champion socks

DeFeet World Champion socks

  • A pair of Xtenex blue and white laces – reduced from £9.99 to £5

xtenex blue and white

  • A pair of Orca hydro booties – reduced from £34.99 to £5
Orca hydro booties

Orca hydro booties

So, all-in-all, I did pretty well. Stuart also managed to bag himself some bargains, as there were various jerseys that he wanted which had great reductions (such as men’s Castelli jerseys reduced from £90 to £15!)

After the Expo, we had lunch in Bournemouth, before heading to the Primera store. We had been given 15% off vouchers that were valid for one day only, and Stuart wanted to buy some new pedals.

When we went into the store, I decided to have a look at the bike helmets. I bought my road bike helmet in this shop a year ago, but I’ve never been perfectly happy with it, as the straps don’t adjust as much as I need them to. The helmet that I’ve got is a Specialized S30, and the sales person recommended buying a more expensive Specialized helmet. I tried on the superior model and it did fit better, but I’m not sure that I can afford to spend that much on a new helmet right now, and I want to have a look at a few other brands before I make my decision. (Before any queries my judgement about buying other stuff ahead of my safety, I’d like to comment that I have two cycling helmets that fit me adequately, but I think I could get an even better fit!)

Stuart found that he couldn’t buy just a pair of speedplay pedals, so he bought a set with cleats included. With the 15% discount, they were about the same price as the ones he had seen online that were just pedals.

I then made my final purchase of the day – a pump. I’ve got CO2 in my bike bag, but I think it’s sensible to carry a pump as well.

On Sunday, Teri and I agreed to go for a bike ride. We’ve not had the chance to have a chat for ages, and I’ve not done any training since I got back from my running/tri holiday, so I was desperate to get out and do something. I’ve also been quite stressed with work, so I thought some fresh air and exercise would do me good.


The essentials for my bike ride: some flapjack, a bottle of nuun, my tools and my inhaler.

I cycled to Teri’s house, but when I got there, I realised that I had forgotten my cycling glasses, so we agreed to cycle back to my house to collect them (<3 minutes by bike). I also realised that it was colder than I had thought, so I popped in to put on my new base-layer… to go with my new jersey and socks and a pair of super-comfortable SOAS shorts. I also put on some black arm warmers.

Teri then realised that she felt a little cold, so we cycled back to her house to collect a jacket.

I had a vague idea of the route that we should take and Teri also had some thoughts, so we headed off towards Romsey. I wanted to cycle up Cow Drove Hill and Teri was keen just to go out for a spin. One of the things that Teri finds amusing is that when we go out running, I always see someone who I know. I think it’s the combination of having been in Lordshill Road Runners for a couple of years as well as my involvement with parkrun. As we got towards Romsey a couple of cyclists passed and one shouted hello to me – it took a second before I recognised him, but I realised that it was Garth from Vankru (bikes and bikefitting). Teri thought it was really funny.

After we’d ridden about 40k, Teri realised that she was getting ‘hangry’, so we stopped at Lillie’s in Stockbridge for some hot chocolate and cake. We decided to have a slice of toffee cake and a slice of carrot cake to share. They were both delicious, but the toffee cake was the clear winner.


It felt quite cold when we’d stopped, so we realised that we had to get moving again, so we headed back towards Kings Somborne. Fortunately, we got onto a route that I recognised – it led us to the top of Cow Drove Hill. At the bottom, I persuaded Teri that we should cycle up it, just because we could. I’m not sure that Teri thought it was such a good plan, but she humoured me and agreed to it anyway. I felt really pleased that a hill which had seemed like an enormous struggle in the past was now much easier.

After our feat of mountain climbing, we headed back towards Southampton. I failed to capture everything on my garmin, but think we did about 65 leisurely km. Thanks, Teri 🙂


To round off a great day, Stuart cooked some ‘pasta di triathlon’ for tea!



2x5k time trials

23 May

My challenge was to do two 5km time trials. I had to do a 10-15 minute warm up and then do the time trials. Ideally, I needed to find somewhere away from cars or traffic lights. The alternative option was to do the time trials at home on my turbo trainer, but I think I need to work on my confidence and bike handling skills and pedalling on a turbo trainer won’t do that.

I decided to cycle up to The Common for my warm up and then cycle the 5km parkrun route for my time trial. Unfortunately, this was not a good choice of route as there were so many people on the paths (along with dogs), so I didn’t manage to cycle particularly quickly. My time for the first 5k was 15:14, which isn’t much faster than some parkrunners can run the route!

I decided that I needed to find somewhere else, so I headed out off The Common and onto the road. I decided to head towards Shirley High Street which has a lot of traffic lights and quite often has cars parked in unauthorised places. Fortunately, I didn’t need to pause too much, so I managed the second 5k in about 12:49.

I then cycled home, feeling reasonably pleased with myself. I know that I should be able to maintain a much faster pace (and have done in the past), but I am feeling a bit more confident.

When I got back I posed for a selfie, as it was the first time that I had worn this particular cycling top, even though I bought it ast year. It’s got oriental lilies on it, which are my favourite flowers 🙂

My new Briko top

My ‘new’ Briko top