Women’s tour, amazing clouds and meeting Mr Garmin

Quite a funny mixed up day as far as cycling was concerned!  The cycling today was a straightforward commute to work, taking in the Luton Dunstable busway cycle track, NCN6, pretty Hertfordshire lanes and some other features.  Round trip of about 42 miles.

Firstly, amazing cloud formations to tell you about and they’ll probably make their way onto Cloudwiz at some point.  These occurred throughout the day and I was keen to see some of these amazing airborne sculptures on my ride home.  I was not disappointed and certainly not surprised as this is quite typical at this time of year.  The photographs below are exactly as taken – I don’t do Photoshop.

IMG_1246Not that I need many excuses to cycle instead of driving, these are examples of the simple joy in cycling.  It’s so easy to stop and grab photographs like these; not so easy when driving.  Besides, when driving it’s all-too-easy to miss a sight like this, not to mention the hassle of pulling over to the side in a car – with a bicycle you can stop almost anywhere!

iPhone 5c panaramic photograph

iPhone 5c panoramic photograph

Women’s tour

In the office we got talking about last week’s Women’ Tour and how fantastic it was.  That’s a bit rich coming from me as I hardly saw anything of it on TV and nothing in real life.  Caroline, one of my colleagues went to see the final stage finish in Welwyn Garden City and what excitement that was for her and her husband!  It’s fair to say Caroline isn’t what you might call a committed cyclist, or probably any kind of cyclist at all.  Nevertheless the excited vibes had reached her and her hubby as they dusted off their bikes, pumped up the tyres so they could go and watch.

“Well” she said “it just wouldn’t be right to drive down for that kind of thing, that would be daft”.

And so they took their bikes down to WGC and found a spot to watch.

“Corrrrr we were right near the finish and it was AMAZING!  Those little things were going so fast!”

“Well I guess that’s what you expect to see in a race?” I suggested, gently

“Yeah but I didn’t expect that.  They were SO fast!  I wouldn’t even drive my car along there and around that corner at that speed.  They were so close together and amazing they didn’t crash as the roads were still damp”.

Caroline was simply beaming with it, impressed and excited at the speed in which the women cyclists were racing each other and especially after the long distance that day.  She even commented on the support cars and the difficulty they were having in keeping up, with the spare bikes waving around on the top of the cars as they went through the bends in WGC.

I wish I too could have been there to watch and feel the excitement.  Isn’t it fantastic that the Carolines around feel the excitement too and dust off their own bikes to watch an event like that.  Events like the Women’s tour are important for cycling in general in stimulating some interest and encouraging people to “have a go”.  Going one step further with it being the Women’s tour – there now seems to be an acknowledgement around that women’s cycle sport has been under-funded and not taken seriously enough.  Now maybe that’s going to change for good…..

Meet Mr Garmin

No, I haven’t bought a Garmin, although I’m wondering if I should.  My friend Jeremy has kindly loaned his Garmin to try out.  I’m wondering if I need to invest in Mr Garmin with the Coast to Coast in mind.  I know my map reading skills are not the best and I am worried that once fatigue sets in I might easily miss a sign and go off the course.  That could be disastrous as I don’t know the route at all, other than finishing in Whitby.

So Jeremy has a version of the Chiltern 100 course loaded which sounds about right for this Wednesday’s bike ride.  Cycling over 100 miles is not a problem and I know that I can benefit from a more hilly 100+ miles, hence looking at this route.

I had a quick lesson in “press this, swipe that and you’re off”.  I wish I could read without my glasses but the middle-age deterioration is really setting in with my eyesight and I’m now going to have to figure this out now!  Ride report to follow in a few days.

What a day!

So it’s lovely when an ordinary day has cycling running as a nice theme throughout, showing itself in many different ways.


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