Friday, 17 May 2013

BLOGGER IS STRANGE

This isn't really a post but someone might just know what is the matter. I had to change a password on Yahoo yesterday as they had detected 'unusual activity' in my email account. I looked at my blog and noticed it had got symbols probably like spanners, and not showing followers. Usually you can make a new post from the top of the blog page, but I could not find anything. So in the end just clicked on the Blogger icon at the top of the page and got in that way.

It was a nightmare changing the password as I wasn't sure if the notice was actually from Yahoo or spam, even though I had used a new browser. Anyway, hope it is sorted now.


Sunday, 12 May 2013

CYCLETTA, CHESHIRE

Well, I have had a good day today, I only decided to do this ride last Monday evening, which was literally the 11th hour to register. I actually forgot and had a go, then was pleased (!) that my application had been successful.

Cycletta is part of Breeze rides, and seems now to be run by Human League? It is to encourage women to get on bikes and join with others. Every rider is given a goody bag and afterwards has the opportunity to have a pampering session in a large tent.

This particular event starts at the beautiful location of Tatton Park, Knutsford. You have free entrance to the park for that day and can make use of facilities apart from going around the hall. The rides start with 10 riders at a time being let go, until all have gone. The riders can be anything from racing girls to people who have only had a bike for 4 weeks. There was an 8 year old girl riding. There were all shapes and sizes.

The route went from Tatton Park, round and about little lanes, almost to Wilmslow and Mobberley. There are some pretty thatched cottages and some black and white buildings that look really old. There is a lot of money in this area. At the same time as our three rides, there was a triathlon taking place so there were riders passing us, quite often hearing the whirr of their tyres far before them passing us. I did the ride on my own, I didn't know anyone and I wanted to use it as a fitness ride rather than a pleasant country one.

I've hardly done any cycling this year because of poor weather and other circumstances so entered into the shortest distance, rather do well at that than struggle at more. The last two miles are up hill, not steep but a long drag and usually the prevailing wind is in your face, which is worse than the hill. Today it was in our faces and the route was longer, taking you into the park about a mile further along, so even more hill. Fortunately, there was not long to go once we had cycled into the park.

I hope this doesn't sound too boastful but then next day they published the times for all the events and I was really thrilled to see I was placed 5th in my event. Not that it is a race but there were a lot of people using it to test themselves and their fitness, me included (once a racer, always a racer, in a MUCH modified state for me of course). The actual time was pretty rubbish but I am not as fit as I was last time.
This was a nice lady I was talking to whilst queueing to to meet Victoria. She was riding a very ladylike Dutch style bike which she had only bought a few weeks ago.

This is a much better photograph than last year. My hair could do with a trim but I didn't manage to get it done before. 

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I was trying to get a photo of her on her own and kept snapping.

Then I just asked her to stand for me.

My ride number, with autograph!

Victoria Pendleton was riding with the group I think but I didn't see her until afterwards. I went to ask her to sign my number and she said "oh, I have met you before, I think it was two years ago". I was flabbergasted as she must meet lots of people. Anyway, here are a few photos which I took, not many as I couldn't really take my camera with me as there was nowhere to put it and I didn't want to have it round my neck.

Victoria is such a lovely person, and so very modest too. She was there just with a lick of lipstick on, looking gorgeous. If any of you have seen photos of her recently she is doing modelling and very sophisticated she looks, quite a different look from the pretty girl she normally is.

Monday, 6 May 2013

REVISITING THE CHILDE OF HALE

It was about time I did a trail ride again so as it was a sunny day I boarded the train for Widnes and set off down the hill to the River Mersey. I do this as otherwise there is a lot of cycling through the town and somehow cycling on a trail is more hard work than cycling on the road, so I know I can go a little further and be sure not to have a slog back home.

I cycled directly over the steps at Ditton, where I have counted 51 or thereabouts, steps, all stretched out so you can hump the bike down and then up again. The steps zig zag up a hillside to reach the bridge. This arrangement is because the river has a very wide mud bank either side and it would be impossible to just have a normal bridge as one side is higher than the other. The view is super from the top. I've not  loaded many pictures of this as I have already made a post of a trip to Hale Village, so don't want to cheat.

I had a lovely surprise after I had come out of the churchyard, where I sat for a while, there was a brand new bronze statue of The Childe of Hale, John Middleton, born 1578. Apparently there had been a wooden one which had rotted. You will see from the photo how large the statue is. He was supposed to have been 9' 3" tall. There is a little cottage which he lived in which is now up for holiday lets.

You have to show it in perspective to see the size of the statue. I think it is a bit taller than he was actually supposed to be.


The lighthouse on the Mersey Way, seen through a field of Rape



John Middleton's cottage. See the plaque on the wall


Coming in to Land



Widnes Bridge, shining in the sun. Years ago, just behind this bridge, was a Transporter Bridge, which travelled over the river, with the cars and foot/cycle passengers. I actually remember it and used to love going over on it.

In addition to seeing that I decided to have a ride down to the lighthouse, where the Mersey Way starts. I didn't go all the way to the lighthouse as I was running short of time. The photo shows it through a field of Rape, in full bloom.

Seeing a few planes coming down, apparently very suddenly, I realised how close to John Lennon airport Hale village is. I waited a while and managed to get a plane as it came above. They fly very low as there is such a short distance to landing.

On the way back, I noticed there was a Bird Ranger's cabin at Pickerings Pasture and - goody, there was a cafe and it was open. I rushed over and had a large tea and a piece of carrot cake but that was rather sickly, too sweet for me really. It was very cheap, £1.50 for both. Although I had eaten sandwiches and plain cake earlier, I was feeling as if I needed an energy rush to get me back up the 51 steps.

Back through Widnes, up the hill, all the way to the station. I'd had a great day, done some of my volunteering and was keeping myself in shape at the same time. I really needed to get out, as I had felt so bunged up with my cold the last couple of weeks. I went out the day before too.

I hope I haven't bored you with the same trail ride. I do this as there don't seem to be many people out this end to cover it. I have tried to put mostly different pictures and the statue has only been erected about 3 months, so that is completely new.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

LOVELY SUNNY DAY

Oh dear, once again, it's ages since I posted but I just haven't really had much to say. We've been very busy, husband had to find a home for some of his vehicles, as they were in storage in the middle of nowhere in darkest Cheshire, where even I, who know the area from cycling, would have great difficulty finding the farm.

We eventually found some lock up garages not far from home, and the vehicles were moved there this week. They will be used as parts for existing vehicles. My mind boggles, why couldn't the parts be procured when necessary rather than all this rigmarole? Don't ask, it's mens' stuff.

The last week has seen me firstly streaming with a cold and sore throat, then coughing my heart out resulting in a further sore throat. I hate coughing, it must be so annoying for others in my presence. I'm still blowing my nose and coughing at the same time.

Anyway, today I decided to get out on the bike, as it hasn't been used for a week. I just went about 5 miles out and then back. It was lovely to go out and lovely and warm, with a light breeze.

Last week I took an old lightweight ladies bike to the cycle shop in the market hall and the two young men made such a mess of it I just told them to put it together somehow and I'd take it. They hadn't a clue on the braking system, which was one of those cantilever systems and the bike is from the 80s. It wasn't safe to ride home so I left it at a lightweight shop, which I should have done in the first place, and it was done within a couple of days at a very reasonable price. I caught the bus home and did the reverse to collect it.

Sorry, no photos today, I wanted to push on with my LITTLE ride and didn't want to keep stopping and starting and getting the camera out. Until next time.