Norfolk and Good

I have moved house. To Norfolk. West Norfolk to be exact.

I live in a market town, near King’s Lynn, in a 1 bed flat having exchanged it for a 2 bed house that was too expensive and in the wrong county. I have a great job just 9 miles up the road and I love it. Riding is OK, not as good as Lincs but still finding my way around. Moved on the 16th June and still unpacking and sorting out here. No hurry. P is away at the moment so I can take my time and sort it slowly and how I like it.

 

I am very happy here. I have started running again, which Toffee loves. My divorce is ticking along, as far as I know and it’s all good.

 

I am down on where I would like to be cycling wise, my Garmin Trek was nicked by someon

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31st January 2018. 1 Month down, 11 to go

It’s not been a bad month, all in all.
Settling down at BT and hating it. Yes, you read that right. I loathe it. I love the talking to customers but the system sucks and the 9pm finishes are doing my noodle. P doesn’t like them either as I am shattered when I come in and we barely have time to speak, just head straight for bed, after walking the dog, as I am too tired to function. I’ve had a couple of stress migraines and that is telling me all I need to know there.

A move to the Norfolk area is imminent. P’s job is moving and I am following him. It will be May time but I can’t wait. Job hunting for a temp thing here and a job there, as well as a home swap. I will go private if I have to.

This month, I have ridden for 16 hours, which was the target time. 212 and a bit miles so it’s all good. I rode a quick 9.75 miles this morning, before work just to tip the 16 hour challenge for the month over. I’m doing the 30 minutes a day thing again.

I can see a couple of signs of Spring, thank heavens.

Bike wise. Eric needs a service, PeeBee needs serious brake attention, new ones for him I think and Bluey needs that rattle cassette sorting but my hands are a bit rubbish at the moment so he will have to wait, unless I can sweet talk P into it.

2018 is going to be a good year.

 

R

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Another year has gone

Well, 2017 was interesting, to say the least.

I bought a new bike, moved up-country to Lincolnshire, separated from 2n and found a new boyfriend/ride buddy. It all went on. I also found a permanent job at BT and rode 4044 miles exactly. According to Garmin, Velo Viewer says otherwise.
veloviewer2017

I’ve put 3000 miles in the target bank for this year, I’ll tweak it come summer, and have ridden 2% of it so far with a 21 miler on New Year’s Day, 33 or so yesterday and 14 today. I’ve ridden for 5 hours so far this year so 90 minutes over my weekly target of 3hrs 30 mins a week, across the winter.

Let’s see what 2018 brings then. Bring it on.

R

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The end of October already.

I cannot believe how this year has flown. It’s been 2 months since my last blog and I’ve had to admit that I’m pretty rubbish at blogging really. No matter, we plough on.

The whole ride-buddy thing that banged into flames is still burning bright. Some clothes, a bike and a toothbrush have arrived at my home. There was a pasta maker – he’s a great cook – was here but he took it back this weekend to make pasta at his home. No doubt it will be back at some point.

I may have accidentally bought a new bike. New to me anyway. I have fancied a nice steel bike for a while, having seen some of the gorgeous bits of kit that Biggs on Cycle Chat has. I chatted with him about having one of his but they are mostly a smidge to big for me. He did give me the nod on a MB bike, hand made in Dronfield c. 1982. The drive train is a bit of a mish-mash but I will sort that. I might try to find a nice retro 105 set for him. The bike is definitely a him. I call him PeeBee. As he is my Purple Bike. He is, quite frankly, the best £150 that I have ever spent. I put Gatorskins on him a couple of days after getting him and gave him a good clean. First, shake down ride was 5 miles which morphed into a 50km. The saddle that came with him was some 80s retro thing. The most uncomfortable thing on the planet. I gave it to Ride-buddy who has a much more retro bum than I do. I like a ladies specific saddle.
IMG_1178 (Edited)

This pic was taken at Coltishall when I took him to Norwich for a nice ride. He is a proper mile muncher. I have changed the Selle Italia Flow for a Selle Italia Diva and put the flow back on my Carbon Roadie (Bluey – I have no imagination when it comes to naming bikes).
The week before I got PeeBee, I went out with the Yellow Bellies Cycling Club and we had a blast, right up until I broke a spoke and had to be recovered back to where my car was parked. Mavic are not best fast with delivering spokes. It’s been on order since 9th September and it’s still on order. I need a new set of wheels for the winter anyway, it might take until spring to get spokes at this rate. I’ll ring them again this week.

Since my last post, I set a date to finally get that 100 mile ride in. I was planning on doing the ride in the summer, but it was a hot one. Then I lost a bit of fitness (in my mind at least) and then I bought PeeBee. Looking at the forecast I figured that the 15th October would make a good one, just before the storms hit 3 or 4 days later and I knew that that weekend was my best shot for a bit. I organised that 2n would drive my car to Norwich so that I could get back home again. I organised with my friend Debbie that we would go to lunch so I could replenish some calories. Routing was interesting but I think that I did a good job.

I left home at about 4am after some porridge and a cup of coffee and headed off to Boston on the back road. At Boston my GPS had a hissy fit and stopped recording but kept directing me. I didn’t notice this until Fosdyke bridge where I went over the River Welland. I got it started again and doglegged a bit towards Holbeach Bank and Gedney Dyke. I got to Sutton Bridge just as it was light enough to take a picture.
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We went over the cyclepath/footpath bit, not the main road bit. Even at that time of the morning we deemed it far too scary for a woman and her bike. From there we headed to King’s Lynn and the McDonalds on the Hardwick Industrial Estate. Happily, the moment that I was over the bridge I found a lovely cyclepath that went for a good while.

The sunrise over the Gt Ouse was nice. I thought it made PeeBee look more attractive.
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The McDees was mostly empty and the manager said that I could bring PeeBee in while I ate my porridge and hash brown. I had a coffee and an espresso, which I dumped in the coffee. 2 beans that way. 2n turned up and had breakfast while I was there. I showed him where I was heading next and he spectacularly failed to find me or follow the correct road. No matter. I followed the B1145, which is a cracker of a road, past Gayton, Litcham, right the way to Bawdeswell where I picked up the A1067 which was very busy so I hooked off left and headed into Whitwell and bought cake and coffee and met up with 2n, changed out of longs and into shorts and jettisoned my jacket.

I headed along the trail a while until I picked up the Reepham road and then went into Norwich the pretty route, via Hainford and the A140 past the airport and into Cowgate, Norwich. It was enough to tip the GPS over the 100 mile mark. Poor GPS was on fumes and I stopped it at 1% battery remaining.
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Once I added on the bit that didn’t record. Re-routed it on my Garmin webpage at home, I found that I’d ridden an average 15mph and had completed 109.82 miles. I was very pleased with that.

I am not getting much riding at the moment. My new job means a longer day with a 30 minute commute each way. This will change soon as a new assignment means a 45 minute commute, less money but I’m getting a contact centre on my CV. Not that I don’t have contact centres on, it’s just not recent enough for most employers. Contact centres have a high churn rate which means that promotion is easier than in other sectors. I need a better pension so need to fast-track a bit.

I will try to keep my blog up. Rides will be shorter, colder and I’ll make more of an effort to take some decent photos.
R

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August and the riding stats are good

Here we are towards the tail end of August and I am sitting at 2648 miles of riding. Not bad for someone who set a 2000 mile target for the year. I’ve set another since, 3000 but think that I might well be going through that too. So far I have ridden the equivalent of riding from Louth, in Lincolnshire to Aswan, in Egypt. That’s not too shoddy.

What news have I?

Well, the riding is going well, the ride buddy has become something more. Quite a lot more actually. I am not sure what happened but he has mentioned that there was an inevitability about it from the minute we met. I’m not so sure, I thought he was OK but nothing to write home about. I didn’t fancy him at all. Getting to know him, slowly and with no pressure or expectation, was rather nice. I think that we have something quite special going on here now. Something that is going to last a while. That’s rather nice for a little hellcat like me.

On the job front, the new job was for 5 weeks and I hated it. Every single second of it. I was so boring it was untrue. For the first 3 weeks, I couldn’t actually log in to the system at all. I couldn’t even do any photocopying as you needed system access to do that. When I could log in, I got a whistle-stop tour of it and and it was a case of ‘off you go then’. Marvellous. I was expected to unlock if I was first in and lock up if last out. I was a temp and very uncomfortable with that, indeed. I didn’t mind the internal locking up, the setting of the alarms and proper locking up of the externals worried me a great deal. That is not the role of a bloody temp. I had no DBS check for this job so most of the other staff wouldn’t let me scan in their work in case I read it. Like anyone has time to read 30 page thick files before scanning and eventually shredding. I did need to take reference numbers off and make sure that they had a matching date of birth so needed to glance at the things, but that didn’t go down well.
Oh, no talking to the service users. It was frowned upon, even when they engaged me in conversation. I think the final straw, for me, came when a chap came in, who used to learn guitar with NGA and said ‘eff me Raffie, what the hell are you doing here and what the eff have you done with your hair?’. At NGA, my hair was moussed up and all ‘beach hair’, here it was all flat, combed and preppy. Turns out that the lad had been ill and was seriously uncommunicative, but chatted away to me about guitars, music and whatnot for a good half an hour before his appointment. Not suitable behaviour for a receptionist with nothing else to do in that time. Seriously, I had nothing else to do.
Contract ended, on not very good terms, but I don’t care. When I went in and was told ‘contract has finished, go home’ I skipped out into the sunshine like a woman released. Went online to search for a job and then went for a bike ride. As you do, to celebrate.

Interviews all day today, starting at 10.

Back to cycling. I did a nice 101km ride on Sunday. Fuelled by cake mainly. Not so far on Monday night, just 12 miles and I was knackered. I really couldn’t keep up with P the ride-buddy. Yesterday I went out with my new bike club. It’s a brand new bike club and it was our pre-inaugural ride (that will be on the 9th Sept, in Louth). We are the Yellowbellies Social Ride club. We met at Woodhall Spa – I rode there and back – did a quick 14 miles or so, meaning that I did 31.5, or 50km if you prefer. It was brilliant. The cake was shocking in it’s stinginess.
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Seriously, look at the state of that. I’d burned that off just wielding the fork to eat the dang thing. That coffee needed a flaming stepladder to reach it too. Biggest waste of £3.50 ever and we shall be avoiding that place like the plague in future.

Once home, I made a couple of calls and paid a couple of bills and then P arrived for a ride (I must be mad), so I grabbed a quick shower and then we did a faster 20 miles than I would have liked. Averaging 15.3mph across the distance. P has gone clipless and is on an old roadie. He really flies on that thing. He’s 2 years younger than I am, fit as anything and very, very strong. I do sprint drills behind and past him (because I can) but I cannot hold him at bay unless we have some miles under our belt. I have more stamina simply because cycling is my sport and he rides to stay fit to go rowing.

I have stuff to crack on with before a day of interviews, so I shall.
Chat later

R

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Lots of riding has occurred

Since last posting there has been much riding. It was only just over a week ago and I have spent a fair bit of time with a bike under my bum.

My ride buddy has been away on his hols so I have been riding alone, which is fine as I have new Aftershokz Bluez 2s’ headphones. The old Aftershokz half died. The left speaker died anyway. I have linked to the wiggle site, but I didn’t pay that for them, mine were cheaper. They are also Kawasaki green and black. I like them. Smaller and a little weightier than my old Bluez but they feel a more solid product. My old Shokz lasted nearly 3 years so I was very happy with them. These are better as they sit flatter behind my ears and don’t make them poke out at all. Anyway, needing to try them out means tha I have to go out.
Last week I cleared off to Norwich to see my friends. Haircut, coffee, biscuits, more coffee (the Virgin Lounge is an excellent place to go, and the drinks are free. Kind of Club Tropicana for banking). There was much chatting and laughter. Bit of crying, more laughter, wine and pizza. I stayed over at my friend Jaide’s place and brought home a tomato plant that we have called Jody. It’s tall and strong, just like her husband, Jody, hence the name. Should get about 20 tomatoes from him.

I got a nice 50 miler in on Thursday last. Getting chatted up seems to be an occupational hazard when riding in lycra. It’s just so darn comfy but I think I’m going to start wearing a baggy tee-shirt over my top. It’s getting annoying. I don’t get this crap when riding with ride buddy. When I was fatter, I didn’t have this problem. I just don’t want to be fatter so it’s either a big tee shirt or I do the whole ‘suck it up buttercup’ thing.
I rode 32 miles on Friday. I didn’t want to go that far but I didn’t want to be in the house either. I got to the 28 mile mark and was knackered but I was not coming in at just under the 50km mark, having ridden that far already. Nope, nope and thrice nope.

I had planned to have Saturday off but it was a nice day so I hopped off for a little bit of a ride on some rolling terrain. Just 16 miles but that will do. Sunday was also an off day so I did a quick 10 and done with as I’d seen the forecast for Monday (yesterday) and it was Marti Pellow weather (that’s Wet Wet Wet for those who don’t know).

It wasn’t that bad after all. A light shower on the way to Woodhall and then a small, light shower over the river while we were riding. I was late home and I had forgotten my lights – rookie mistake right there – but I did watch the sunset, which is why I was late home.
100717 sunset

I thought that it was pretty. I love the colours and the reflections on the water. Ride buddy has a more up to date iPhone than I have and can do more on site photo editing. I really need to ask him to teach me things with my phone. I might ask tonight as it’s going to pour down. I suspect that riding might be suspended for a trip out for a coke or a coffee.

On the home front, 2n is off into a flat of his own, hopefully this weekend. If no viewing forthcoming today, I shall take him for a drive past this afternoon. Then he can see. It’s a 1st floor place in a purpose built house for over 55s or just unders with a medical condition. He can’t take the dog but I will look after Dylan for him. I’ve got Toffee, so one more is not a problem. I would rather have just the one dog but not about to be jettisoning hounds any time soon. I have a new job so a fresh start is happening. I find that I am so excited that I am bouncing about like a teenager, my thoughts leap from place to place and then fall out of my head altogether. More meditation required I think. I shall do that before 2n gets home from hospital and ride buddy starts texting. He normally has a bit of a text fest at around noon – his lunchtime but nobody elses though.

Onwards then. Let’s see what life is going to bring.

R

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Massive changes so massive update

Oh my word. Where to start.

The winter challenge went well. I rode and rode some more. Eric got a proper workout right across the spring. The Roadie, not so much. Those hills in North Cornwall were hideous. A house move, that was on the cards actually happened. I live now, about 20 miles from Lincoln, the flatlands one way, The Wolds the other and it’s brilliant.

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The house is great. It’s got a garden and Toffee-dog loves it. He’s asleep on my bed as I type.
I am currently living in the front bedroom & 2n in the back bedroom. We share the living room and the kitchen at the moment. After 11 and a bit years of marriage we have decided to call it a day. Indifference doesn’t even begin to cover it and I cannot be wasting life with someone who barely speaks to me and hasn’t actually noticed that I am a female for around 4 years. I know he’s ill but I cannot keep on like this and we have had the hard discussion and the harder one about who is moving out and it’s not going to be me. 2n can’t afford this place, I can once I find a job again. My caring duties are over, I just cannot carry on like this. I’m not asking for thanks or recognition or anything really. Being spoken to would be nice. Some affection occasionally would be better but that’s never going to happen, he’s admitted as much. Time to call it a day while I’m still young enough to have some fun. I will be ringing the Housing Officer again tomorrow. If I get a job, 2n will lose all his benefit and I’ll be supporting him financially again. After doing this since 2009, I am heartily sick of it and am not doing it again. Sorry if I sound a harsh cow but I cannot keep on keeping on any longer.

On the upside. I’m only about 20 miles off 1700 miles for the year so far. If I ride 38 miles I will go through last year’s mileage. It’s only the beginning of July too. I ride a lot here, it keeps me out of the house. 2n has said that I’m like a damp fire; every time he takes his eyes of me, I go out.
The rides round here are great. Have a gallery to look at.

 

 

Ride a bit up the road and there is RAF Coningsby with it’s Spitfires & Hurricanes howling about. I watched the Dakota flying around the other day from my excellent viewpoint of the top of Tattershall Castle. Everyday you can see the Typhoons hurtling across the sky. Good for photos, naturally I haven’t had a camera about my person for the Spitfires, sorry about that. Never mind, have a Dakota on account.

 

 

These pictures were taken the day it all changed.

A regular ride out, nothing unusual. I had a ride in my head and stopped briefly to send a text, and there was a chap who has become my ride buddy. We had a couple of rides and a few texts and something in my head went ‘snap’ and I thought ‘wow, I’m having fun’. It’s been a long while since I have had such a laugh.

I sat 2n down and we had that first conversation where I said that I couldn’t do this any more – nothing to do with ride buddy, he’s just a ride buddy. Even I didn’t know that I was going to say anything, it just came out. He didn’t demure, he agreed that we were dead in the water and that he didn’t really want to save the relationship. That’s me told then. A couple of days later we discussed who was moving and decided that he’ll get housed faster and in something without stairs. That’s that then. I am hoping he will move sooner rather than later as it’s a bit awkward to be honest. Nobody can move on until one of us moves. He’s hoping to stay locally so we can walk the dogs together and help each other out with our respective hounds. It will all sort.

Interestingly, my friends have been amazingly supportive. They tell me that I will be fine as a ‘Single Pringle’ and they are probably right.

I shall endeavour to update more regularly now. The rides here are great and I’m getting the miles under my belt again. The 50km ride for July is now logged and done. I did that this afternoon, it’s better than being uncomfortable in the living room.

Chat soon then.
R

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