Cycling from Alnwick to Shilbottle, Northumberland

I am getting so far behind in my blog posts! I apologise – but my PhD is somewhat more important!

So, here’s a blog post about my trip to Northumberland (21-23 February). After running on the Saturday, I went for a ride on the Sunday. I definitely chose the wrong day to ride – it was stupidly windy, not very warm and a bit dreary. I felt shocking!

I lagged out far, far, far behind my OH and the other friends. It made me miserable because I was trying to keep my heart rate down to a sensible level (i.e. Zone 2) as I was ‘actively’ resting. At one point I was lagging behind by about 1/2 km. It felt like such a ridiculous effort to keep myself in that Zone.

That, in addition to the very difficult gusts of wind, made the whole thing not particularly fun. Perhaps the ‘best’ moment of the ride was when I was heading down hill to a dip and a kink in the road and the whole of the bike was picked up and set aside. I whimpered lots at that point and began to really hate the whole experience.

Luckily we were heading back to the cottage by that point. We started to get the wind behind us rather than to the side and that made the ride back much easier. I also discovered that my brake callipers had been adjusted by the wind which meant that I effectively had the brake on the whole time.

We got home about 10 minutes into the Olympic hockey final. I had a stretch, quick shower and settled down to watch Canada trounce the opponent to win the gold once again.

Some stats:

  • Distance: 15.12 km
  • Elevation gain: 261 m
  • Time: 54:21
  • Speed: 10:4 minutes/h

10/09/2013 A momentous turn: blogtember challenge

Blogtember Challenge: Describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.

I moved from Canada to the UK when I was 12. It was a very momentous summer. I seem to recall being told that we were moving one evening, and about 3 months later, watching many of my possessions being sold in a yard sale. This included my climbing frame that I had had since I was 5 years old. I really cried when that went. It made the whole thing so much more real than it had been before.

The house was packed up in about a week. My mom had managed the whole thing on her own as my dad was working away. Our dog was super stressed at the situation. I think we were in the same boat, although it manifested itself in different ways. I dived deeper and deeper into reading. I think I read over 20 books that month, and he lost the use of his back legs and developed colitis.

Soon it was time for us to leave. I actually can’t remember the drive out of my home town. I think I’ve blocked it from my memories. I remember getting into Seattle (we had to drive my dog and the car to my dad who was working on the other side of the continent) and parking up to led Bruce have a walk around. I think we even bought sushi.

The drive across USA was long. It was hot and I distinctly remember the huge number of Harley Davidsons that were on the highway with us. We were camping and driving at the same time that they were going to the annual meet down in Sulis (I think). Mom says they were very helpful and courteous to us. We had problems with our car (1985 Monte Carlo) and they tried to help when we pulled up.

I distinctly remember the flight from New York to England. I cried a lot on the way over. I didn’t want to move and I didn’t know what to expect. The only thing I was looking forward to was British TV, mainly because my mom would actually let me watch it. Unfortunately, we arrived about the same time that Diana died and so for the first couple of weeks all that was on TV was stuff about her.

I don’t often wonder what my life would be like if I stayed in Canada. I hate playing the ‘if only’ game, and I have an awesome life here. I do still want to move back there and live though. The last time I was in my hometown visiting, I went back to my old house and it looked exactly the same. The people my parents sold the house to were still there and they had done so little to it, that it was surreal. I found the experience unsettling, especially when I learnt that my mom had abandoned our cat at the house it had cost them $2000 in vets bills over the years! I’m not even sure that they particularly liked the cat.