Friday, 29 December 2017

Topsy turvy month

29th December 2017

Since my last post of the lovely run down on the coast, we have had to spend a night at Briarsfields campsite in Cheltenham to look after the grandchildren once again, sadly this coincided with William having an horrendous cold with sneeze and snot going everywhere, the result of which both me and Mrs IanB have spent the last week with the cold from hell, both now suffering from an endless cough!!! We were able to visit my eldest son in Wimborne on a pre - Christmas visit to deliver pressies etc . before welcoming our daughter home for Christmas day, we sniffed and coughed our way through the day, it was very pleasant and very quiet, the weather was horrible so no after lunch amble outside!
Boxing day was a day in Gloucester with Grandchildren, so an early drive up the M5 to deliver presents and spend the day eating and playing with them, it was really nice made extra niice with a wonderful walk down to Barnwood Park to feed the ducks, G and W both walking there and back, G accompanied by his teddy!!! The drive home was grim with heavy rain; however, we missed the snowfall which appeared to come later in the night.
The weather seems to have settled into a pattern of one reasonable day and one wet and windy day, same with temperatures one minute freezing, next day back to ten degrees again.

This month the cycling and running mileages have taken a hit, with nasty weather and horrible colds [ my second in a month despite the flu jab] only 34 run and 154 cycled compared to 45 run and 427 cycled last month. I did manage 4.5 mile run round town yesterday [28/12/17] but finished with a very sore throat and lots of coughing, it was hard work and to make matters worse my Plantar Faciitis seems to have returned with my foot feeling quite painful last night so disappointing, I had hoped to see the back of that. I did roll it and wore the splint for a short time, hope this helps!

The year cycling and running has been interesting with 574 miles run in the last twelve months and 4602 miles cycled compared to 862 miles run and 3019 miles cycled last year, I think this reflects the emphasis of my French Manche to Med ride, the preparation mileage and the actual mileage. Running wise I have lost a lot of miles due to the PF I didn’t run for two months !!

The Grizzly is fast approaching and only 12 weeks away, which seems a long way but I know it will soon go, so I need to start building my mileage, I think I will see how I go in January and how the PF goes , if PF persists I may pull out of Grizzly early, to save the pain of training and perhaps try once again to get rid of it, seeing a specialist, exercise, etc, and try to get more miles on the bike, I must say the winter cycling is made extra difficult with the filthy roads, I seem constantly to be washing my bike down, which is a pain in the backside!

My plan will be to build up to 10 -12 miles by the end of January, then up to 16-18 by the end of February, leaving the last couple of weeks to maybe do 19-20 in preparation for the event, I still believe the miles and time on your feet is crucial, to success. My running partner up the lane I have no doubt will run twice round the block before the event and then have a fantastic race!!! [ well done Rachel if you read this!! I don’t know how you do it!]

The other issue is our house is up for sale, so this may cause distractions should we actually sell it and have to look for other property to buy.

Monday, 18 December 2017

even more running and cycling, but a bit of tree cutting

19th December

Brilliant run over Beer Head yesterday, glorious sunshine 6.8 miles
And some cutting down of the dreaded leylandii by my son, great job he did too, hard work feeding his shredder though, my arms, shoulders and hamstrings felt it the next day!

                                             after run coffee
                                              parked at Beer Head
                              top of stairway to heaven
                                          looking down on Fountains Inn
                                 woods to Fountains

Woods to Fountains

                              Beer Head
                              Beer Head looking to Seaton
                                 Looking down on Branscombe Beach

Woods to Founains

Sunday, 10 December 2017

couple of days in Bournemouth

11th December 2017

Sunday [3rd] I managed to get out for a ride, after a pleasant coffee in the van on Seaton sea front, the cold northerly wind blowing from the land rather than the sea. only 29 miles covered but it would be my last miles till the following weekend as we had planned to spend a couple of days in Bournemouth.

We had booked a couple of nights in the cliff top Travel Lodge. The journey down was very busy for a monday morning, heavy traffic all the way, we managed to get to the hotel by lunch time, so a quick walk down to the town to pick up a panini and take away tea to eat in the park.

There was a small christmas market on the town square along with an ice rink in the park, after visiting these we spent the afternoon doing a little christmas shopping picking up some small items. After checking into the hotel in the late afternoon, tea and a piece of MrsBs flapjack we walked down the front and onto the pier, a lovely afternoon, a typical grey December day, where the darkness was descending by 4pm. A pleasant evening meal in Weatherspoons before revisiting the park to see the lights, very nice they were too, the ice rink was also quite busy now.

Our second day was spent walking along the front, the pier, cliffs and the town and according to my Garmin watch we walked about 8 miles, the weather was very grey and cold.

Our final day, after a walk down to the pier and breakfast in Weatherspoons we drove over to Christchurch through very busy traffic. We parked on the edge of the town and walked around the Priory and waterfront, a very grey cold day with spots of rain, not a day for sitting around.

All to soon we were fighting our way back through traffic back home, the weather now decidedly wet! what made it worse was following a large lorry for quite a long way and the resulting muddy water thrown up plastered the car and the windscreen!! making visibility poor.

It was a nice couple of days away, the Travel Lodge on the cliffs being recommended.

Thursday I managed to get a 5 mile run round the town,  and friday I joined the local cycling club for their afternoon ride, usually a fast 40 mile ride with a cafe stop,but, the weather was cold, with a strong wind so the four of  us decided to do a shorther faster ride through Muchelney and Kingsbury Episcopi 32 miles covered at a good pace, I admit, that I didnt really do my bit on the front as the others were much stronger than me, a good ride and we were back in good time before dusk.

The weekend was poor for outside activity, Sunday was a very wet and very windy day with snow over most of the counry, but not here. I hope to get out on my usual run and rides this week.

November was good for rides and runs 427 miles cycled and 47 miles run.

Saturday, 2 December 2017

An Audax and a Park Run

3rd December 2017

November was a good month for getting out, despite the weather at times, I cycled 427 miles and ran 46 miles, so pleased with that, especially running as I started running again at the start of November after my battles with Plantar Faciitis, although this is still there in the back ground, so taking care to roll my foot after a run.

November gave me some good cycling days out, a lovely ride with a friend over to Washing Pool farm near Bridport from Kilmington, through the Wootten Fitzpaine valley and the South Dorset hills, double egg and chips went down well. The weather was splendid with bright winter sunshine all day. I have managed to get out on a couple of Friday afternoons with the local cycling club, these rides are usually a fast pace for the first 25 miles to the cafe! then a little easier for the remainder of the 38 miles!

Late November I rode the 'Breakfast in Bampton Audax' with friends Susie and Rosie. this was a 68 mile event starting from the new village of Cranbrook near Exeter. It was a cold and frosty morning as I parked up in the car park of this, new village and I have to say I was very underwhelmed !!! a horrible 'housing estate' with dubious characters hanging around! I met up with the girls and the first part of the ride took us through the centre of Exeter, difficult on the first real christmas shopping Saturday of the year.

We successfully negotiated the city, even though my Garmin decided to play up. We were soon on the road to Bampton past Stoke Cannon, unfortunately the road was a main road and very heavy with traffic, moving at a fast speed, the large numbers of cyclists on the route was not helping with drivers becoming impatient.
The cake and coffee stop at Bampton was a welcome site, a lovely cafe and lovely food, but! far too busy, perhaps another visit in the summer in more relaxed mode!

The route over to Wiveliscombe was much quieter and as we turned to cycle over to Wellington we were now on B roads, the weather was good with lots of sunshine, and although this was nice and warm, in the shade was another story, very chilly! the roads now were very dirty and greasy meaning we had to take care on descents and bends. the roads from Wellington over to the finish at Whimple were back unclassified roads, narrow and muddy in places, but providing stunning views over the Devon/Somerset countryside. We were glad to reach our final checkpoint at the pub in the village, but we then had to cycle back to the cars in Cranbrook, back to the busy main roads, the afternoon was now getting late with dusk fast approaching and the chilly wind seemed to increase, by the time I got back to the car I was quite cold and glad to get the heater on full for the drive home.

A lovely day out with two friends and after the first 28 miles and the very busy roads the route was lovely with great weather and great views. 68 miles covered .

I have been managing to get out running twice a week, once round town 5 miles and off road round Neroche for my 6 mile route, I was lucky with the off road runs as the weather was really good, despite the chilly northerly wind.
I decided to give the Park Run at Seaton a go, so Yesterday I drove to Seaton for their Park Run, fine weather, chilly but little wind, 108 runners lined up. I was surprised at the speed of the group as they set off and found myself being overtaken by many runners, I held my position for the rest of the run, keeping a good pace, the final beach run of 100 metres however took their toll! 26mins and 39 secs, 49th out of 108 and second in my age group, so a good day out given I have only returned to running recently.

As the weather deteriorates over the winter I expect my cycling to get less and running to increase which hopefully will prepare me for the Grizzly next March.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Great week cycling AND running!!

15th November 2017

Since my walk on Dartmoor the week just got better, My Plantar Faciitis was only faint after a long day on Dartmoor!
Wednesday was a fantastic day, the sun shone and there was no wind so the Wobble headed down to Lyme Regis for coffee on the front, we were celebrating Susies birthday so we chose a lovely cafe on the sea front and sat outside in the warm November sunshine, drinks only as we planned a Pub lunch in Kilmington so an hour after leaving Lyme and over a big Hill, we arrived at the Pub and had a wonderful lunch washed down with a nice pint of Beer!! a nice celebratory lunch, but! then we had to cycle to 12 miles home over Membury Hill which is several miles of climbing. A brilliant day out for all.
Thursday, I decided it was time to  a short 3 mile run around town as my Plantar Faciitis seemed to be receding, and as the weather deteriorates over the winter, cycling becomes less attractive and  I get fed up cleaning my bike. I took it steady, very steady making sure I stretched at the finish, and rolled my foot over my ball in the evening, all seemed well!!!
Friday I missed the club ride so managed 16 miles on my own .
Saturday was another short 2.8 mile run, seemed to go OK so it looks as though I am back running, YEH!
Sunday was damp, cold and windy, but I did manage to cycle 36 miles over the Somerset Levels, getting home, tired and chilled!!
Monday was a cold.frosty but bright sunny morning so I didn't fancy a cycle but! an off road run, so I headed over Neroche woods on the Blackdown hills, the ground was frosty in places and it was wonderful to be out in the woods with the autumn colours of the beech trees being stunning. I felt ok and managed 4.5 miles, I could have gone further but decided not to push it. I do have a faint pain in my foot .but generally it seems OK.
Tuesday was another bright day so 45miles over the levels and the same route was done on Wednesday with the Wobblies but this time we stopped at the Lemon Tree cafe at the Willow and wetlands centre at Stoke St Gregory, a great ride and bringing my cycling since Sunday to 126 miles, so pleased with that, AND I have run 5 miles last week and 4.5 this week so far, My plan is to run again on Thursday or Friday.

So overall a great week and lovely to be back running.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017


7th November 2017

After a couple of bike rides over the weekend, Monday was a day out walking on Dartmoor, and outing postponed from a couple of weeks previous. The weather forecast was looking fair, might/might not rain but generally good.
I was walking with an 86 year old friend from my college days, but had no concerns as Martin is very fit, very active and could walk the socks off me!!!! we used to run the college expedition group many years ago as well as being climbing partners.

We had selected the South moor which meant a 70 mile drive down to Ivybridge and then Cornwood and finally parking at Cadover Bridge,on the upstream section of the River Plym, not a million miles from Plymouth.
We were the only car in the car park as we booted up in the early morning sunshine, a winter chill to the air meant a jacket on to start off. We set off in the direction of Trowlsworthy  Tors, the open moor stretching out ahead of us. we first followed a farm track before progressing onto the open moor and the rough grass. There was a fair few livestock around, sheep, horses and cattle, completely ignoring us. 

We decided first lunch would be on Trowlsworthy  and found a nice niche in the rocks out of the wind. Open views over the South Moor opened up as well as views over Plymouth Sound. Next objective was Hens Tor which was just over the horizon, so careful walking over tufty grass and crossing boggy areas where the streams were running off down to the Plym, sometimes it was tuft to tuft to keep feet dry! Hens Tor is an insignificant Tor I suspect rarely visited, very few foot prints around the Tor or paths leading to or from the tor, never the less a lovely spot to stand and stare at the beauty of the moor.

The next stretch was a navigation exercise as we had to find the top of Shavercombe  so a compass bearing kept us on target.
The top of Shavercombe is quite spectacular with a hidden waterfall which provided a nice sheltered place for lunch. We then followed downstream to the Plym and a river crossing, which provided a challenge and we had to walk a way up stream to find a reasonable crossing place, but even with walking poles to assist our balance it was a delicate operation on the very slippery boulders, some slightly submerged, but what we also found was there was not one river to cross but several tributaries that fed it, so we were pleased to gain a slightly higher ground away from the river. We had intended to follow the Ply back down to Cadover Bridge , but as it was quite damp we decided to take a longer route passing Ditsworthy Warren house, now a outdoor base for the navy recruits, a very remote rebuilt cottage in the middle of the moor. There is also in the area some fantastic prehistoric settlements, stone rows, field boundaries  and 'warrens' used by the tinners in the last century. The sun came out for a short time as we climbed up over Ringmoor Down, quickly followed by a short sharp shower of rain, our only one of the day.We had to use a compass once again to ensure we were on target for Ringmoor Cottage as the moor was quite featureless at this point. underfoot was hard work with very tufty grass. it was wonderful to be out on the open moor, views all around, and above all we hadn't seen anyone all day!
There were some ponies as we neared the road , minding their own business chomping the grass. As we hit the final road half a mile from Cadover it was clear it was school going home time as even though it was a back,narrow, minor road it was quite busy, so taking our lives in our hands with traffic passing closely, but! not enough to spoil the day as we got back to the car, well satisfied with the day out. the day was getting quite dusky now with cars with lights on, and after changing out of our boots and driving back to through Cornwood, needing lights ourselves down the narrow lanes. only about 10 miles covered but a lovely day out, we made a promise to meet up again in  January when the beauty of the moor will have its winter coat on, be it snow, frost or wind and rain, still a beautiful place to go and many memories of our time training Ten Tors teams on the moor some 25 years ago!! time flies but Dartmoor doesn't change. 

Leaving Cadover bridge
                                       walking up to Trowelsworthy Tor
                                First lunch at Trowelsworthy
                          view back over Plymouth Sound
                                 Shavercombes secret waterfall
                          Leather Tor in the distance 
                                     Towards Princetown
Ditsworthy Warren trees in the foreground 

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

cycling and more cycling

Wednesday 1st November 2017

Well my planned walk on Dartmoor didn't happen, a heavy cold took hold and on the Sunday evening before I felt dreadful! and worse on Monday morning, so postponed till this coming Monday [I hope].

However, I have tried to keep up the cycling three times a week, so Wednesday and Friday last week saw me out with the local club, a nice ride in warm weather over Lamberts Castle and Musbury before coffee at Millers Farm Shop at Kilmington, nice very large piece of chocolate cake before the uphill ride home over Membury! only 38 miles covered. Friday was the usual fast friday ride, where I hang on the back only taking a turn at the front if I have too! by the time we reached the cafe at Yandles in Martock we were averaging 17 mph, the weather was very mild so eight of us in shorts today! another 38 miles !!

Sunday we went to Gloucester to see the grandchildren and celebrate Mrs IanBs birthday with a birthday tea, iced biscuits, chocolate fingers, hula hoops and jelly and ices cream followed by the customary birthday cake with candles, we had a lovely time the children particularly enjoying the balloons.

Monday was official birthday, so it was off to Sidmouth [in the car] coffee on the beach[nice and warm in the sunshine]  and lunch in the white horse cafe, what else but egg, chips, mushy peas, bread and butter and a mug of tea!!!!

My cold was still hanging on but I decided to get out on Tuesday, even though I wasn't feeling great, I went over the levels on my own and by the time I got back I was very tired and had no energy!! not a great ride I felt quite ill by the time I got home and was ready for my lunch, so only 38 miles covered again at a 12 mph average![ a lot of my rides at present seem to be around the 35 - 40 miles!!!] I was hoping that the Wednesday Wobble would be better. i was also trying out my new 'Raceblade longs' mudguards checking for rattles etc, all seemed well, now to wait for the dirty roads once more as today it was dry, hopefully they will give a little more coverage.

I decided that I would get out with the Wobblers, a couple of Anadins before leaving teh house made me feel better. five of us went over the Blackdown Hills to Dunkeswell via Hemyock on a lovely Autumn morning, temperatures not bad with no wind. we stopped at the Aerodrome cafe for coffee and cake! before heading home and practising our team time trialing skills on the Luppit straight down to Smeatharpe with a tail wind. We had a great ride and strangely I felt ok today, which is all very odd, given I had no energy the day before! averaging 14.5mph and over 3500ft of climbing. The Blackdowns were wonderful with their Autumn colours, there are lots of Beech trees which are just turning, but they also make it very sketchy on descents with lots of leaves on the road, my gears were playing up and seemed to be jumping about meaning I couldn't rely on my lowest gears on the hills, so struggled in a much higher gear, I hope I have now sorted them out for next time.

On the running front, still no running, in fact none for a month. I am trying a 'night time splint' as some websites seem to recommend them 

they look medieval, and you are supposed to wear it overnight, I wear mine for a couple of hours each evening whilst sat in front of the TV. I am thinking that it is getting better, not sure if its the splint, I am itching to get out and run, especially as the dark evenings and bad weather are round the corner, but, also worried about starting again too early.

So a busy week, and month with 410 miles cycled and zero miles run! 

4000 miles cycled this year so far and only 490 miles run, I hope I will manage to top up the running to 500 by the end of the year, particularly as I entered the 1000 mile challenge, I was going well until the dreaded PF caught me out! I seem to be cycling just over 100 miles a week at present which is good, not too much, not too little.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

A quiet time on the cycling running front

22nd October

Since the last post I have not run due to my continuing Plantar Faciitis, which does ant seem to get any better, I also discovered after my 40 mike cycle ride on my winter bike and winter shoes that it felt worse!! So a bit of a shock. After messaging a friend, he has said the overnight boot works well so I will give this a try. I might try running again soon as I now think it was brought on by my extended French cycling trip.
Anyway this last couple of weeks the focus has been on putting my house on the market and dealing with all the trauma of having people tramp though your house and then not make an offer! We also spent time looking after the grandchildren in Gloucester, which is always good fun.

Over the last couple of weeks I have managed to get and cycle several times a week usually around 45 miles, the roads are now very dirty with farms gathering in their maize crops.

This weekend Storm Brian has visited us, I marshalled the Parkrun at Seaton on a very blustery day with a very high tide, but a lovely morning out and over one hundred runners turned out.

I also this week helped my daughters class visit Dunster castle, a great day out, great weather with lovely children who behaved well on the day.

My next event is an Audax in November called ‘breakfast in Bampton’ a 100 k event in Devon.

Tomorrow, I am off for another Dartmoor walk, southern moor this time, I hope the weather is ok!

Tuesday, 10 October 2017



Got news today been given a place on next years Grizzly the annual 20 mile off road run along the coast down in Seaton Devon, my third full Grizzly, IF!!! I can sort my Plantar Faciitis!!!!
the other good news is my friend Rachel has also got a place!! bad news she is injured as well!!
we have nearly 6 months to get it all sorted, I hope/know we can.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Grid iron


what a great day out on the Wessex CTC Grid Iron Audax 68 miles round the New Forest,

leaving the house at 6am it was chilly but by the time I had parked up at Lymington , the sun was shining , I met up with 3 colleagues from the the cycling club.

It was a good start in a large group. The route was a superb route through the New Forest, taking in many traffic free lanes, dodging, horses, donkeys, pigs! hens etc on route.

the checkpoints were well serviced with tea and biscuits, despite the large numbers , they coped well.

The weather was really good, the afternoon was quite warm, very little wind, and by the time we were descending back to Lymington, it was getting quite hot.

A great day out 69 miles covered, not too many hills, lovely company.

Monday, 2 October 2017

cycling, no running


Last  month has been good for cycling with 424 miles covered and the last couple of weeks 140 miles my average. This is good as I have the 'Grid Iron' Audax this weekend, this is a 68 mile route round the New Forest. I am a little concerned that the highest mileage I have been doing is only 50 miles so will feel it with another 20 miles in the day.. I hope I have a better day than the Dorset bike ride !!!!

Running on the other hand has been a massive 4.75 miles at the beginning of the month when I decided that my Plantar Faciitis needed addressing, hence rest and exercise [when I remember], I think its getting better, then I feel it again, I am missing the running and as the weather deteriorates feel I need to get out to run when the weather is poor to cycle.

I have entered the Herepath Half at the end of this month, but sadly I am having to pull out. 
The Grizzly entry ballot opened last week and despite saying I wouldnt do it again have entered the event again for next March, I am hoping to have cleared my PF by then, heres hoping!!

I did Marshal at the Seaton Park Run at the weekend , which I enjoyed, it was god to see 160 people enjoying the run on a chilly damp seafront run.

One final historic moment last week when we have finally got the estate agents in to value our house with the intention to move to the coast!!!  so its weeks of house hunting to come after 30+ years in our current house, which we love! it will be a pull when the sign finally goes up, as we have lots of space around us, and a lovely spot.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Rotary Great Dorset Bike Ride – in aid of Cancer Research

22nd September 2017

Saturday was wet and windy, but, Sunday dawned very chilly, the wind had dropped and was set to be a nice day.
It was early 6:0am when I finished packing the car for the 47mile drive over to the start of the Great Dorset Bike Ride near Wool, near Wareham in Dorset.I came through a lot of mist but the sun was rising giving stunning temperature inversions in places,  I got diverted near Dorchester as roads were closed, partly road works but partly the Ironman in Weymouth.

There were few cars there already as the 100 milers had to register by 7:30, I sat and had my coffee and second breakfast of muesli before wandering over to the registration. I have to admit at this point I wasn’t feeling too great, tired and a little ‘coldy’
It was an efficient system as I picked up my number in good time for my start at 8:30. I prepared my bike and got ready with shoes helmet etc before heading over to the start line in the sunshine . We were released in small groups to avoid traffic congestion, there was a small group of ten, I found my self leading as we headed towards Wareham, it was very chilly, the roads were still damp and after a couple of miles my fingers were decidedly cold! A  couple took over the lead , the rest sitting on our wheels. We climbed up towards Cloud s Hill, I was in the lead again, the speed was 16.7 mph!!!

We were soon at the first food point after about 16 miles, I have never seen so much food, I wasn’t ready for this but stopped and had a banana and drink of energy drink. As I left here I was on my own my average speed so far 16mph+
After Bere Regis it was the pretty Dorset villages Milbourne St Andrew etc before the climb up through the classic village of Milton Abbas the village that was moved from its original place near the Abbey so the Lord of the Manor couldn’t see it! It’s a steep climb up through the village , before turning to continueing to climb round the back of Bulbarrow hill.

It was a fast descent down to Winterbourne Strickland, I was still on my own, only passed by a couple of riders and I had passed several others. I was not feeling too good after the long climb and doubt set in! more climbing before  a very fast descent over Oakford Hill [ironically I ran a trail race over this hill a couple of years ag in the ‘Dorset 3 Peaks’) I reached the junction at Okeford Fitzpaine, this was where the 72 mile route turned back to the finish.

Right to continue the 80 mile route round Shaftsbury, left to the finish, I had completed 38 miles and it was 18 miles back to the finish ! or another 42 miles. I made the decision that I wasn’t feeling too good, I seem to have no energy, and I sat at the junction which as it happened was at the bottom of the Bulbarrow hill climb, with several 15% sections over a couple of miles.

Decision made, I turned left and started the climb of Bulbarrow, I was on my own once again, I struggled up the hill, promising myself I would walk at the next tree etc, I didn’t and made it to the summit, stunning views across Blackmore Vale, the sun had gone now though and a chill northerly wind was blowing ,I was very hot and my legs felt weak, it  was a feeling of a cold coming on.

I descended down through more wonderful  Dorset villages and countryside through Melcombe Bingham  to Cheselbourne and a feed station, I was feeling very tired now and still had 10 miles to get back. After a cup of tea and piece of flapjack a chat with a few others on the 72 mile and 38 mile routes I set off on my own once more. About a mile from the feed station the road suddenly went up steeply, I really struggled up here, the Garmin showing 12% I was pleased to get to Puddletown and knew it was only a few miles to the finish. I passed a number of very young riders with their mums, obviously doing the 10 mile ride etc. It was a fast finish downhill  and I crossed the lines with 51 miles completed, I was offered a medal for my efforts, but I turned it down as I felt I had cheated by only doing 51 miles instead of the 80 I had signed up for. The greetings at the finish were tremendous, lots of people cheering and clapping us in.

I wandered back to the car and sat for a while feeling drained, no energy, I was only glad I had turned back when I did, I would have been in trouble had I turned right over Shaftesbury.
It was a lovely route in generally good weather, and very well organised by the Rotary club in aid of Cancer Research.

When I got home, several mugs of tea and a lovely evening meal of roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, vegetables and nuttolene slices with gravy I was starting to feel better. By Monday I was feeling a little better.
Wednesday wobble day, was set to be a good day, I had recovered from my Sunday ride, I had plotted a route over to Tiverton across the Blackdown Hills.

Only four of us set off across the hills, my garmin refusing to give turn by turn!! We got to Kentisbeare after a beautiful ride over the Hills through Smeatharpe and near Dunkeswell, the old WW2 D day aerodromes , followed by the lovely woods at Blackborough. The descent down from Kentisbeare towards Willand and hopefully Tiverton was fast and long.

This is where it went ‘haywire’!! we got lost and couldn’t find any signs to Tiverton!! So after a riding round  narrow lanes lost, we finally ended up in Cullompton, we made the decision to forget Tiverton and instead find a café for coffee as it was 11:30!! We found a great café and after beans on toast followed by flapjack we were now back on track to head back through Uffculme and Hemyock to ascend back up to the top of the Blackdowns up the Culm Valley.

It was a good ascent through narrow lanes climbing for several miles; I have to say I felt much better than Sunday even though we had covered 40 miles so far. We finally covered the last few miles over Staple Hill to home. 53miles covered, I felt fine, I cant believe the difference In how I felt . It was a good ride but I was a little embarrassed that my Garmin let me down and I got us lost!!! I still don’t understand how we ended up where we did. Everyone enjoyed the ride anyway.

It was also good to get the new router so we now had our internet back!!! Its surprising how much we now depend on it.

Cycling no running!

16th September 2017

Tuesday the weather forecast was not good, a fine morning with showers in the afternoon on a strong breeze, the problem is how accurate are they, in the past few days they got it wrong!!!
I decided to get out early and managed a ride across the levels round North Curry, a steady 32 miles starting off in the sunshine and finishing under heavy cloud. Given I hadn’t cycled for over  a week I felt good.

Wobble Wednesday again dawned damp and windy, but it wasn’t raining at meeting time so 8 of us met up to decide where we could go that would give us a tail wind home, which meant going west or at least North West, so Hestercombe House was the destination going over Corfe, Near Wellington and through Bishops Lydeard, a 34 mile ride before coffee, we were lucky with the weather with pleasant sunshine. Hestercombe was quiet for a change now the children had gone back to school.
We left Hestercombe in bright sunshine cycling back over the levels through Creech St Michael  and Shepton Beauchamp, we managed to get to Curland about 10miles from home when the rain came!! It was heavy and windy and the roads were soon running with water, I had brought a lightweight Montane waterproof which helped keep some of the rain out, I had also put my mudguards on my bike ready for the ride on Sunday.

It was a very wet group that arrived back home but by the time we got home the rain stopped and the sun came out, it was a good ride today with 52 miles covered.

Friday was a trip to Exeter to update my iPad, after parting with a large amount of cash on a new one, I was disappointed to find out my internet was down! After a good 40 minutes on the phone with an EE person trying various things to get it back they finally decided I needed a new router!! So now left without internet till I get the new router delivered!

Watch this space!!!

I have decided to stop running for a while [month] to see if my Planter Faciitis improves.

Monday, 11 September 2017

A week in the campervan

12th September 2017

Wet weather once again meant no Wobble for me, it always seems to rain on Wednesday! So Thursday I got 41 miles in over the Blackdowns once again, heading over to Dunkeswell through Churchstanton and Hemyock. I set off in warm sunshine, sadly as I neared Dunkeswell black clouds were on the horizon!! I stopped for a very quick snack to get as far as possible before the first spots of rain, I was on the Luppit Straight and then it came down a very heavy shower, I stopped to put on my jacket under a tree whilst the worst of the weather came through. I remounted and continued on wet roads for the next 4 miles, then!!! It was dry roads for two miles then wet again! So by the time I got home I was wet!

Friday afternoon, it was wheelers ride they do a route over the levels, a group of 7 of us set a good pace to the café at Martock 16.7 mph!  the weather was just right, warm and no wind. 51 miles covered. So a good 119 miles cycled this week in preparation for my 80 mile Dorset cycle ride this coming weekend.
But that was before I had a week off in the Campervan !!!

Saturday [2nd Sept] we had a date down in Wimborne, but after queuing for over an hour in Dorchester we turned around and drove home, a very frustrating morning!
Saturday was also the 2nd birthday of our twin grandsons, I cant believe its gone so quickly! So Sunday we were on the Motorway to spend the day with them , party food and cake celebrated a wonderful day. That night we camped at ‘Briarsfield’ once again and really nice site. We were due to look after the grandchildren for two days whilst mum attends inset training for her job as a teacher.

We had a lovely two days playing with the children, bubbles being particularly enjoyable !!! Wednesday I had booked us into the Caravan and Motorhome site near Hereford , the site was on the site of the old railway station at Moorhampton.  

A very clean and quiet site, unfortunately we pitched on the wrong side of the park and found we were never in any of the sunshine! And a fare distance from the toilet block. We spent a couple of days visiting Leominster, Ledbury, Ludlow and Hereford real ‘grockling’ for a few days, Ludlow and Hereford were the highlights both interesting places the architecture dating back to the 16th century, we  were disappointed that Ludlow castle was closed for a Food Festival.

We were also in the ‘black and white’ village area, that is wood framed houses, painted black and white and dating back to the 15th and 16th century, very pretty villages. We were also struck by the agriculture in the area, very rural.

We had a great few days away, the weather was changeable, there was no internet or mobile phone signal on site along with no TV reception, so a few days without technology!! And we missed it.

Saturday we were back at Briarsfield spending Saturday and Sunday with the children again whilst mum ran the Great North Run for ‘Tommys’ charity. So late Sunday evening we drove home after a week away in the Van, no running and no cycling! I was hoping that the rest from running might help my Planter Faciitis.

Monday 11th September was wet and windy again so my planned cycle ride abandoned once again and the morning spent internet banking. By the evening the showers had lessened so I thought I would try a run! I felt OK running no problems, PF not  noticeable 4.7 miles run, it was only when I sat down after the PF set in again!!!!! And quite painful, I really am unsure what to do about it as I have trawled the internet and tried several suggestions, but sadly I think I may have to give up running for a while and hope it goes away. The Half Marathon at the end of October is not looking very promising.

Today [Tuesday] looking showery but I must get a few miles in to prepare for the ride at the weekend.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Weather gets better, lots of activity and a Bank Holiday.

30th August 2017

Following on from the last post Wednesday dawned bright and sunny, it was actually going to be a good day for a Wobble!
Ten of us gathered to decide on today’s coffee stop. We chose Hestercombe as most of us had, had a few trips to the coast lately so an inland trip seemed a good choice.

We set off at a good pace , down the lanes recently resurfaced or should I say surface dressed with those horrible stones leaving piles of grit and stones to catch you unawares on the corners!!! We had to take it steady in places. Up and over Bickenhall and Slough Green before descending down to cross the A358, a dual carriageway where traffic doesn’t take prisoners!! Fortunately there are traffic lights to slow them one way and there is a central refuge to wait until the other carriageway is clear. Crossed over we went on through Creech St Michael and the horrid speed bumps and chicane style traffic calming, must be horrible to live there and travel through those every day!

Over the M5 Bridge looking smugly at the traffic racing along, all three lanes very busy, before climbing up though the newly built housing of Monkton Heathfield and onto Hestercombe House and a welcome coffee stop

A pot of tea and a piece of strawberry flapjack hit the spot nicely, it wasn’t too busy so we were able to dominate the café with the 10 of us dragging tables together. It was lovely sat in the sunshine, but! All too soon it was time to remount and return. We went a similar way home but added a few extra miles bu going back round North Curry and Hatch Beauchamp, 41 miles only, but a lovely ride in great weather, no wind either!!

Thursday yet again dawned bright and sunny and Thursday was run day, a trip to Sainsburys to stock up for the Bank Holiday before I put on my trainers for an evening run, it is strange how the body changes each time you exercise, last week the same run, I really struggled, heavy legs, no power etc, today was totally different I knew it was better after the first hill, I felt good so pushed the pace, 6.4 miles, at a 9 min mile pace, I really enjoyed it, the down side was my Plantar Fasciitiswas nagging me when I sat down later, and the following morning! I really don’t know what to do about it I have tried several things, but I am reluctant to give up running, but! Maybe I need a couple of months of to get it right!!!!!!

Friday was again lovely, very little wind so decided I would meet up with the Wheelers for their afternoon ride, its usually quite fast  for the first 24 miles to the café and then a steady ride back for the last 18 miles. Many of them had met up early for a longer ride, but I couldn’t make it so, that left 2 of us to do the ride, I knew Mark from before and knew he was a strong rider, but we agreed to let each other know if the pace was too high! We set a good pace with an average of 17.5 mph to the café !!! which was fast for me, But I didn’t feel too bad and apart from the uphills where I managed to hang on to Marks wheel I did quite well and pleased with my performance, it was a good afternoon for cycling, warm, sunny, no wind. A welcome cuppa at Martock  Cedar Tree café at Yandles wood yard

we were able to sit outside, another 6 of us this time and again it was soon time to saddle up for the ride home. It was a good pace, a bit fast at times especially the big 15% climb out of Seavington  St Michael. A great ride and will try to catch it this week weather permitting I think the faster pace helps my fitness 40 miles covered at 16.5 mph.

Saturday was Bank holiday Saturday, and that means stay at home as its busy everywhere, it was gloriously sunny again, unlike the weather of recent times. I made the decision to go to Seaton to do the Park Run as I was feeling fit and I hadn’t done one since March.

It was easy driving down, as it was early, 240 of us lined up on the pebbles, many holiday visitors, I wondered how they would get on with the pebbles at the start and at the turns!!!
It was a good run I tried to keep a steady pace and kept a couple of runners in sight as a pacer, the pebbly turns certainly slowed you down! It was soon over and I recorded 16mins 57 secs which was 1 min and 3 secs slower than last time, so pleased with that, it was however, very hot!! I think the winner was something like 16 mins!!!

Sunday I decided to rest and spent the day sat in the shade reading!! But Monday I was out on my bike early to beat the heat, out at 8 back by 10:15,  28 miles covered .

Tuesday was another run off road with Rachael my neighbour, 6.1 miles off road round Neroche, an enjoyable run wher we are able to solve all the world’s problems and more!!! It was once again very hot.

Today [Wednesday] the weather has changed and started off very wet! And chilly, you can tell it’s a wobble day!! So no wobble for me, perhaps the weather will be better tomorrow! For a ride 

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Good running and cycling week

The summer continues in name only, the weather still remains very changeable with a hint of Autumn in the air, but! At least it was good weather on Wednesday for the weekly wobble, we cycled over Beaminster Down to Hamishes Farmshop at Yetminster, a great coffee stop, we were able to sit in the sunshine before cycling back through East Coker and over Ham Hill to pick up the old Fosse Way road back home, a good 50 miles today.

Thursday was run day and it was a very hard run again around town, only 6 miles  but I did struggle,my tendon and PF noticeable.

Saturday I joined a local cycle Group the ‘Chard Chaingang’ for their Saturday morning ride, I did know several of the group and decided to give them a go. There were 13 riders as we set off towards Winsham and over Chedington to Sutton Bingham before heading back as Wednesdays ride over Ham Hill to the levels and the community café at Kingsbury Episcopi, we overwhelmed the café with 13 cyclists ordering coffee, tea, cake etc! it was nice to sit outside in the sunshine. Our route home took us through Ilminster and back onto the cycle track, a great ride in good company and another 50 miles covered, I must try to get out with them again.

Sunday was a trip to see grandchildren in Gloucester, and meet up with our other son, who was in town for a dog agility show. We had a lovely day in the garden, the twins growing fast and grand daughter now growing even faster. It was a very wet drive home on Sunday night.

Monday Mrs B had to work so I took myself off to run the coast at Beer, big hills, very warm, I managed to run most of the hills, and had a very enjoyable run, but! Very hot. 6.5 miles so a good run.

So after a couple of poor weeks for getting out at least the weather wasn’t too bad and is looking good for the Wobble today. No events planned until the Herepath Half marathon at the end of October, hopefully giving my injuries time to mend themselves.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Jurassic 10k, House swap and rubbish weather continues!

15th August 2017

I tried out my new shoes on a run around town, 5 miles, its amazing how new shoes make a difference. My tendon and PF still continue in the background, but dont appear to be affecting my running, after a mile or so they seem to ease off. The mornings getting out of bed seem to be the worst.

My lead up to the Bridport Jurassic 10k was a run around the route on Thursday, a very windy day and I did struggle feeling quite dejected when I got back to the car as I didnt feel it went well at all, my legs felt heavy! I decided that I would try to loosen them with a cycle ride on Friday so 25 miles on a low gear, did seem to help a little.

Sunday race day dawned, lovely sunny warm day, making a change from the rubbish wet weather we have been having, I have been shower dodging all week.

West Bay was already quite busy when I parked up, and collected my number, I was told there were more entries this year, last year I did 24/64 with 1 hr 8 mins could I beat it!! this year.

We lined up on a great morning, gentle breeze, very warm in the sunshine.

                                      view of the race start on 'Broadchurch hill'

I kept a reasonable pace up the first hill, holding my own about half way down the field. We soon hit the single track footpath, fortunately this year the gate was open rather than the stile, I tripped on the footpath and fell heavily on my elbow, I did jump up quickly but my arm felt achy and there was broken skin.
we were soon running through the caravan park and the first drink station, I had decided this time to try flat coke with water in a small bottle, but still accepted a drink.
the climb out of Eype was steep and we were soon walking, I seem to be holding my own, and felt ok.

down in the dip before the very steep climb to Thorncombe Beacon, another drink and descend down a little before climbing back up and around to Down House Farm and the long fast descent back to Eype, I should have gone faster down the hill,but! I didnt  I had no idea on my position in the field, my time seemed ok. The final climb before descending to the finish was hard, more walking!
I tried a fast descent to the finish, holding my own with no one passing me. The finish area was lined with supporters cheering us on. I crossed the line in 1hr 10 mins and 34th out of 74. Not as good as last year, but I did my my best and was happy with the way I ran, given I didnt prepare enough with running.

I got home to find the grandchildren had arrived to swap houses for the week, we had a lovely time before we went to Gloucester to House/cat sit for the week whilst they had a holiday in our house, visiting the coast etc.

I forgot to pack my trainers, so no running or cycling for the week, although we did lots of walking whilst in Gloucester.

We came back on thursday, and had a lovely if some what windy day on the beach at West bay with the children.
I did manage to run 5 miles round town on the Saturday, seemed very hard work, very heavy legs again, not going too well at the moment. Sunday 26 miles cycle ride to try once again to loosen my legs, maybe its old age creeping in. 
No wobble again last week, the weather seems to target Wednesday for a wet day!!! I am hopeful for this week!

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

A cycle, a walk, a run and new trainers

2nd August 2017
Last week was a busy week with a good 39 mile cycle ride over the Blackdown Hills on Tuesday, Churchstanton, Hemyock, Dunkeswell with 5000 ft of climbing, a hard ride but the weather was lovely after the changeable weather we seem to be having at the moment. 

Wednesday dawned wet and windy so no Wobble again!!! My new running shoes arrived a pair of Asics Cumulus, my old Nimbus  have managed approximately 700 miles plus over eighteen months. I did a short town run on Wednesday evening after the rain only 3.4 miles with my daughter who was visiting.

Thursday was a nice change as I met up with an old work colleague [old being a key word as he was 86!] for a walk on Dartmoor. We caught the bus from Oakhampton to the Fox and Hounds on the west side of the Moor and then walked over the Moor back to Oakhampton via Great Links Tor, Sourton, Meldon Reservoir a good 10.4 miles on a very moody moor with sunshine and showers, it was good to walk with Martin as we used to run an Expedition Group at the Local college, Martin was very fit !!

                         Open North Moor

                                    View West from Sourton
                                     Meldon Res

                                      View towards HIgh Willhayes and Yes Tor

Saturday I was up early for a run and put on my new trainers, they felt very plush and given my problems lately with Tendonitus and Plantar Faciliwhats it!! I thought it would help and I think it did I felt very comfortable 5.1 miles.

Sunday was a cycling day with an early morning ride of 26 miles over the levels, this was before driving over to Highbridge to look at a campervan/motorhome , an Autosleeper Lancashire, very nice vehicle, but! Too big for us so no new van, we finished the day with a 99 ice cream in the park at Burnham on Sea before the heavens opened.

Monday the weather was looking good, and Mrs Ian B was busy, I wanted to see if my fitness would be good enough for the Jurassic 10 k on the coast at West Bay, so I was running by 8:30 heading up the hill out of West Bay feeling ok, walking up Thorncombe Beacon, but a fast run back down again! 5.2 miles in just over the hour, I felt OK and decided when I got home to enter the race next Sunday, so watch this space!!

                      Thorncombe Beacon looking west towards Golden Cap and Lyme Regis

So overall a good week despite the appalling weather , I have not worn shorts since returning from France  two weeks ago, the weather this morning the rain is hammering on the window, so no Wobble ride again today!!.

My plan for the rest of the week is to run the Jurassic route tomorrow, then cycle Friday, rest Saturday and race on Sunday.

92 miles cycled and 24 miles run

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Awful weather and not much running or cycling!


I cant believe the change in the weather since getting back home from holiday. I have gone from shorts,sandals and tee shirt to longs trousers, socks,trainers, and a thin fleece over my tee! there have been heavy rain showers every day with Friday being a complete washout, Saturday and Sunday not much better. Temperatures are now 15 dgrees lower than when we were in France!! Not using this as an excuse but I have only managed a 4.75 mile run and 27 miles on my bike. My plans to run the Bridport Jurassic 10k in two weeks might have to be on hold, I will make a decision this weekend, I enjoyed the run last year, but there is another coastal 10k near Exmouth at the end of August which gives me time to get some off road miles, I have entered the Herepath Half marathon at the end of October, sometime away but I like to build up the miles, it will be my third time I have run this, it would be nice to get a better time.
I have also entered the Grid Iron 100k audax down in the New Forest in October so still need to keep up the cycling miles!.
I was woken up in the middle of the night the other night with really bad cramp in my right calf, which has left it very sore, I was hoping the cycle ride yesterday might have eased it, but it feels very sore this morning, so maybe no running for a couple of days.

I still need to add photos to my M2M write up and also write up my last French trip in the campervan, so plenty to do whilst the weather is poor as well as loads of DIY to catch up.
Hopefully weather will be better later this week, but! I am not holding my breath!!!!