2000 miles down the line. Revisiting Windsor

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It’s definitely Autumn and the wind has certainly changed but alongside that chill in the air, there’s a little dose of something special… LOVE.

Mum, Dad, Grandma… I am in love with Ricci. He’s beautiful, Italian and keen to accompany me on trips. The funny thing is that, well, I have to carry him over the threshold every time we come home.

A match made in heaven

A match made in heaven

This weekend, I managed to take Ricci (Riccardo), the new Bianchi road bike out for a test spin and it was totally dreamy.

Since I wasn’t meeting my friends until 10am for our cycle out to Windsor, I decide a test ride around Richmond Park would be an ideal warm up and I left nice and early to give myself plenty of time. By half 9 I was absolutely freezing having spent far too long twiddling my thumbs! I couldn’t believe how quickly I had made it around the course – the last time I recorded a Richmond Park ride was back in June with an average speed of 13.8mph. On Saturday I threw myself round in an average of 16.1mph!! Maybe a road bike does make a little difference.

The route for the day - not too hilly!

The route for the day – not too hilly!

Once my friends arrived, we set off to Windsor, with Garmin all geared up with my route for the day. The ride was lovely and it was amazing to struggle to hang back for a change instead of always struggling at the back. It helped that Lucy was road testing her tourer as well. It’s just incredible how good a long pedal on an open road can make you feel.

The route was almost exactly the same as the trip I took with Emily, my first cycle buddy, all those months ago when I hadn’t even packed myself a snack for the trip. This time, my bar bag (new purchase – there have been a lot of those recently) was full to bursting and I only had one Clif bar. Times have changed. I may be feeling fatter at the moment, but I am certainly also feeling fitter.

The autumnal leaves enclosing us in our tree lined tunnels really did make for the most stunning day and I really recommend getting out on the route at this mesmerising time of year.

Selfie stick. Been inspired to buy one... oh oh!

Selfie stick. Been inspired to buy one… oh oh!

So light! Love the autumn colours at Windsor Castle

So light! Love the autumn colours at Windsor Castle

We arrived in Windsor before we even really felt like the ride had begun yet, all in all, I ended up cycling just over 60 miles that day. I’d like to feel reassured that this means next week in Scotland won’t be too challenging, but I know what I’ve let myself in for and I know it’s going to be incredibly tough.

I just hope that the road through the Cairngorms isn’t closed for bad weather! I can’t believe I will be cycling (pushing) to the top of a ski resort on Saturday. I suppose that it’s all good training!

I’m feeling full of trepidation about my plans next week with the elevation profile looking so intimidating and a number of long days planned in the saddle. Just hope I can make it and that the lungs get a good helping of fresh, country air!

It isn’t just me, either – poor Peggy is in for a service, getting a new sprocket and chain fitted. She really was feeling a bit under the weather. Hopefully that’s going to make accessing the granny cog a little easier. Fingers crossed for no more falls!

Together we have cycled so many miles and I think it is a good sign that I still get a bit jittery – I wouldn’t be pushing myself otherwise. Over 2100 miles into my cycling, I still feel like the absolute novice I was back in February but I know I have changed so much. It’s just that there’s so much still to learn…

Tomorrow, my new, personalised kit is set to arrive and I am hoping that’s going to give me a big boost. Let’s all just hope it’s not too cold! Don’t want to end up like this fella!

That's pretty cold!

That’s pretty cold!



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