Last weekend my husband drove off to Wales with the boat and kayaks for a week of adventures with his friends. Knowing I had a free weekend, I messaged Sahdya to see if she fancied coming down to Kent for some cycling. Sahdya agreed and a plan was soon hatched to have as much fun on two wheels as possible.
Luckily Sahdya knows how to cycle, although because she doesn’t currently own a bike her only recent experience has been riding a ‘Boris Bike’ – not the easiest way to get around the city, but still plenty of fun. After meeting at the train station we had a quick healthy brunch (kale scramble for me, as usual) before hopping on the bikes and cycling along the coast to Whitstable. I always think a good bike ride is marked by the snacks you can incorporate whilst out and about, and the sole purpose of cycling to Whitstable was for a delicious ice cream from Sundae Sundae. Needless to say my salted caramel did not disappoint, and the ice cream man even put a chocolate star on the top, much to my delight. We then cycled back along the coast with a nice tail wind which carried us home quite quickly, before having a thoroughly indulgent evening eating pasta and watching The West Wing.
We woke up early on Sunday morning knowing that we only had a short break in the weather where it would be dry, and after fuelling up on croissants and green juice (which unintentionally ended up being the same colour as my Bianchi) headed back out on the bikes, this time into the countryside. We must have crossed paths with about 15 other cyclists and everyone we passed gave a cheerful ‘good morning’, I also had a man tell me how much he loved my Bianchi which left me feeling like a very proud parent. Yes, Edoardo the Bianchi is beautiful, and yes, I love him dearly. Whilst Sunday was a shorter cycle, it had quite a few hills to contend with which wasn’t the most comfortable on a hamstring injury I sustained last week, but still, hills are always good practice for race day.
All in all, a thoroughly fun and active weekend – we really made the most of being outdoors, even if the weather wasn’t as lovely as I had hoped!
This time last weekend I was cycling along the coast with Victoria. It was such a fun weekend filled with delicious food, cycling, and The West Wing all with the best company J I haven’t owned a bike since I was 11 but I have ridden a bike since for leisure. Living in London I have used the “Boris bikes” a couple of times in Hyde Park but I’ve never dared venture out onto the roads despite doing a cycling course several years ago as cycling on the roads of London seems quite scary (coming from the woman who has lived in Afghanistan and Palestine!) When Victoria invited me to stay a month ago little did I know that she had a weekend of cycling in store although having been friends for five years now I knew some form of exercise would be included along with cake and Earl Grey tea of course!
Victoria and I not only cycled along the coast but in the countryside too and on both days we were blessed with sunny weather. The great thing about exercising with Victoria is that you never feel like you are exercising! Having run a 10k together in January and now having cycled together I’ve been thinking the past few days that Victoria is responsible for changing my attitude to exercise. I used to exercise begrudgingly but since knowing Victoria I’ve come to realise that it can be fun. It’s all about finding out what kind of exercise you enjoy doing that way when you are exercising you don’t feel like you are at all!
So, what did I learn about cycling last weekend? Well, I learnt that it sure is hard work! It looks easy but you definitely need strength and stamina especially when you’re riding up hills and you can feel your legs burning. However, you are compensated with the descent; one of the joys of cycling I discovered. What kept me going on both days was the scenery which was beautiful, an ice-cream on Saturday halfway during our cycle and fuelling up with an almond croissant, half a chocolate and almond swirl and a kale, banana and kiwi smoothie on Sunday morning. One of the many things Victoria and I agree on is not depriving yourself of such food but eating it in moderation and then exercising to burn the calories!
Oh, and what else did I learn? That you definitely need to wear padded shorts unless you want your butt to hurt like hell afterwards!
There is nothing better than exercising outdoors. In fact whilst I was staying with Victoria she managed to persuade me to sign up to the City of London Mile road race which will be what my next blog post is about!