Thursday, 29 April 2010

(Not a) faulty light and practical romance

I bought a new front light and it aint working! Am so cross.
**Edit. Looked up reviews of light which suggested shaking it, it worked and it's now working!**

On the plus side, two of Mr Weenie's anniversary pressies have arrived. On 5 May it'll be an obscenely long time since we snogged in my parents' porch and became 'a couple'.

We don't generally do huge presents etc but the other day he came home with a bedside table for me. He'd painted it himself in a shade of green I like and wanted to give it to me because I always have loads of books piled higgledy piggledy by the bed. Now they have somewhere to go.

We're into practical presents, one Valentine's Day I got a cat litter tray, it was, sadly, just what I wanted.

Oh the romance....

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The rage returns

Having been pootling peacefully through Barnes with S and then being off sick I have, thankfully, been able to avoid the Uxbridge Road for around a week.

This morning, I was cut up by cyclists and cars, left-hooked by a complete idiot even though we had been waiting at lights and I'd been there first, and caught in really bad traffic.

I arrived at work hot and grumpy.

It's amazing how the route can affect your mood and enjoyment. I may well switch to the route via Barnes permanently as I don't like how the Uxbridge Road makes me feel. Grrrrrr

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Best comment ever from a car and a fittie in lycra

On Saturday Moomin and I cycled to music school as her car is stuck in France being repaired. It was a beautiful day and we didn't meet any nasty drivers.

We were both a bit breathless from pollen but that was about it.

The highlights, however, were on the way home. Waiting for a green light at a bike crossing a silver car pulled up and, as it swung round the corner we heard 'Laaaaaadies.......' I braced myself mentally, I wasn't in lycra but nine times out of ten the comments aren't good. I was a little surprised, therefore when this followed in a French accent:

'I'm soooo drunk.... eeet is teeerrrrible.'

It was the passenger looking Pimmsed to the hilt but happy. Moomin and I looked at each other and burst out laughing. We continued on and, soon afterwards, a rather slim and spectacular-looking bike glided up to the lights next to us. I glanced over, surprised that he'd given us lots of room and executed such a courteous overtake.

I was shocked..... He was actually quite hot.

All in lycra, on a fab bike AND a bit of a hottie? He was next to Moomin at this point and they were both slightly ahead of me. Moomin gave a dazzling smile and glanced back at me with a conspiratorial wink.

All in all, a great day's cycling.

Where's Weenie?

So, after catching a horrible stomach bug last week I then developed tonsillitis on Friday night and had yesterday off as well. I sound like Shirley Bassey and am drinking water like it's going out of fashion.

It sucks.

Luckily I'm on the mend as we have the Southend FNRttC on Friday and I REALLY want to go.

Aargh! Now I've been bitten by something and am developing a red rash on my boob. Sigh.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Eugh what a beautiful morning....

Those following Twitter will know it's been a rough couple of days. Having caught the hideous stomach bug going round, I'm feeling less than chipper.

It's especially annoying since S and I have managed two spectacular triumphs this week.

On Monday, following our morning adventure, we took the long route home as well, leading to a grand total of around 15 miles for the day for her and around 20 for me. That's around double S's usual commute and was worthy of praise.

While I was off she took a well-earned rest and this morning we took to the road again. We did the usual short route but she conquered the Chiswick roundabout for the first time and we got to work in 25 minutes. Our first ever trip using that route took nearly 50 minutes so we've practically halved the time and have bested public transport.

I just wish I felt well enough to celebrate.....

Monday, 19 April 2010

Distract your bottom with nice scenery

As it was such a beautiful day, I decided to take S on a route via the river this morning.

We bobbed down to Kew Bridge, crossed over and I was planning to use the Thames path. But it was closed! Grrrrrrrr. Adding 10 minutes to our journey we carried on regardless and went on a more inland route through Barnes. It was beautiful.

What I didn't mention to S is that the route I had chosen is around 3-4 miles longer than our usual route in. Relying on the charm of the river and less traffic, I was confident her muscles wouldn't notice until it was too late! Although some of the roads were narrower the route we went on is a favourite with cyclists and the attitude of drivers (particularly those piloting buses) has been effected. Lots of room was given by most and not a nasty word was shouted.

Sure enough we got to work slightly later than planned because of the path closure. S was hopeful we'd gone further than usual, but not convinced. When I sent her the Gmap pedometer showing nearly eight miles from her house to the office she was thrilled.

I've always thought a beautiful route can make an amazing difference to how your legs, and indeed bottom, are feeling and this morning was the proof. Long may the sunshine continue!

Friday, 16 April 2010


Even after yesterday's near miss I'm finding it hard to stay bitter.

The sky is a milky blue with a few clouds puffing over, the daffodils are still out and the sun has got his hat on. Cycling in this weather is wonderful and I'm loving it.

After the horrendous rain-filled weeks of March this is like a wonderful dream and it's recharged my cycling zeal.

Hip hip hip hooray!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

What if?

Work is horrendously busy so my posts have been woefully late and rubbish, I apologise. Anyhoo.

This morning I was an awe-inspiring example of common sense, marred only by the fact it was prompted by someone else's silliness.

I came in early this morning so I was among unfamiliar cyclists. I was watching carefully as, I have learned, some cyclists are worth avoiding for various reasons. A lot of lorries seem to be coming along the Uxbridge Road of late and they also warrant attention.

One in particular was being a bit silly. A bit too close a bit too often. I decided to steer clear and let him get ahead of me rather than creep up the left. He was ahead of me when we hit a nasty junction. It's a two-laner. The left lane is for left-turns and those going straight ahead. The right lane is for those turning right.

People weave across the lanes and/or forget to indicate all the time so it's a junction I'll queue at rather than head for the advanced stop line a lot of the time.

Silly Lorry Man was ahead of me and, despite there being a cyclist waiting at the lights in the left-hand lane, he steamed right up to the stop line and sat looking menacing. Like this (lorry is blue, bike is pink):

My heart was in my mouth. The cyclist was a lady older than myself and looked sensible (I believe she was on a Brompton and had lights and all the kit etc), but I still worried. Perhaps she was turning left, but perhaps not. Maybe the lorry would go straight on..... What would happen?!

Then, as my fear reached its zenith, something very peculiar happened. The cyclist looked up at the lorry, saw there was no way of getting in front of it, got off her bike and lifted it onto the pavement. As she did this, the lights changed and the lorry, of course, turned left. The cyclist then walked her bike across the crossing and got back on the road as I swept by, having queued in the traffic behind.

I was mightily relieved and continued on my way, but I couldn't help thinking. What if?

What if she hadn't taken the initiative? What if that lorry had turned left as she'd gone straight on. What if I'd been behind a horrific accident?

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

The rules

Take note boys:
  • When a woman is skint so can't afford to buy any clothing, has a jazz gig coming up and wants to look nice so is trying on all her available dresses do not say the dress you prefer is the one she's already said she can barely breathe in. And definitely do not suggest she just dresses down.
  • If a lady picks up her handbag when getting up at an odd time in the pub/workplace don't ask loudly 'where are you going?'. She's clearly on her period and now everybody knows, thank you for the news bulletin.
  • Your girlfriend is irrationally moody, she's snapping, she's feeling unattractive and crying when haven't told her she's gorgeous for the fifteenth time today. Then inspiration hits: it's the right time for PMS. Revel in your cleverness at the realisation and act like nothing's different, do NOT, under any circumstances say something along the lines of 'Oh, I've just realised, you're really hormonal, I forgive you for being grumpy.' You may well be murdered.
  • If you drive a rather sexy car, don't rev past lady cyclists closely and loudly to show off. She will assume that having a micropenis has dented your self-esteem and you have over-compensated by buying a luxury car that you can't drive properly.
  • When a woman can't fit into her favourite dress, NEVER say 'Well you did eat all that ice-cream last night.'
  • Shouting 'Wahey!' at a lady cyclist as she pedals past just makes you look sad.
This may be added to at a later date.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

While you're waiting....

Am working on a post but this morning's accident on the A40 and the subsequent diversion of many drivers to my main commuting route meant I was late.

Here's a moral tale of why cycling on the pavement with no lights, going through a red light and then attempting to cycle away from the police could cost you nearly a grand.....

Telegraph reports on nob-head cyclist

Monday, 12 April 2010

In other news....

A round-up of other exciting things while I was off:
  • I went on a canal towpath for the first time since my fall last year. It was a stretch between Greenford and Alperton. I was seriously crapping myself but was determined to do it and survived. Beautiful herons and sunshine went unnoticed in my terrified state.
  • I managed to half-swallow then cough up an enormous fly and it survived! A black cabbie behind me when I started to cough and splutter pulled over to check I was ok as I came to an abrupt halt and was hugely amused when I managed to say 'The little b*stard's still alive!' before pedalling off.
  • Mr Weenie is considering cycling a bit locally and has asked to use Roger. Hurrah!
  • My cycle map of France arrived so I can start planning my holiday, which will involve taking bikes on a ferry and cycling in Normandy.
  • I had a marvellous jazz session with the boys for this Saturday's gig and spent a blissful two hours singing mostly about how rubbish men are.

I'm back

So, after a lovely few days off seeing American A and small bebe who is now walking and almost talking I'm back at work and, therefore, a computer.

In amongst the visiting for various foodie places and the animal park near my house I cycled to Borehamwood to see my grandpa. He recently gave up cycling (he's now in his mid-eighties) and has already passed on his overshoes to me. An avid tourer back in the day I cycled the near 20 miles to his house to check he was ok as my grandma was away soaking up the sun in Tenerife or somewhere similar.

Of course, what this really meant is that I rang him to admit I got lost a couple of times and he greeted me with a full fried breakfast and a Mars bar for the journey home as he knew I'd be starving. And I was. After scoffing the lot in record time we had a nice chat and sit-down with cat Benny.

We pulled out the map books to see where I'd gone wrong and planned my route to London. I pretty much used the Edgware Road, walking over the roundabout at Staples corner and met American A for delicious Wahaca and LOTS of water.

After all this I was pretty exhausted and decided to hop on a train from Paddington to get home. Still, 40 miles in a day isn't bad.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

I'm off

I'm off for a few days so I'll see you next week!

It was me!

I'm sorry, but the sight of such woeful neglect when Reg was standing clean and shiny next to your bike was just too much. The dry and dusty orange film of rust on your chain and gears was hideous to behold.

Yes, it was me. I oiled your chainset.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

One whole year canal-free

Yes, it's been one whole year since the infamous canal fall.

The memories......

Sugar crash

I've had this happen a couple of times, but nothing like last night.

I went to the doctor last night* and, as I left, I suddenly went wobbly. Brushing it off I cycled the two minutes home but, as I walked through the door it happened again. I sat on the stairs for a minute before going upstairs and having to sit on the floor of Mr Weenie's office because I thought I was going to fall over.

It was a bit like that bit in Lock Stock when he leaves the card game having lost half a million pounds. It all went a bit sepia and shaky.

Luckily Mr Weenie had delicious mini coconut macaroons to feed me. After two I suddenly felt better and was able to make dinner, but it was deeply unpleasant. I think it's because I'm fighting off several office bugs that are doing the rounds but I'll be keeping an eye on it.

It's cheaper than drugs at least.

* It was nothing serious, fear not. My doctor is rather cool though and we often have a giggle.