The days are getting shorter, the weather is colder, I feel like hibernating, it can only mean one thing – It’s time for Coffeeneuring! (Explanation of what Coffeeneuring is given here, but briefly it’s a challenge over 7 weeks or so to get out on your bike and simply go for a coffee (other suitable drinks are available). 7 weeks, 7 rides, 7 different cafes).
Starting this year as keen as a keen thing, I decided to cycle to tai chi, and then call in at the local farm shop cafe to see if they’ve managed any vegan cakes yet. Or at least, a non-angry way of telling customers that they are very sorry, but they don’t have any cakes suitable for a vegans diet (which would be a change to last year’s experience here!)
In my mind, I would cycle effortlessly to town. I would float into class all pink cheeked from the fresh air, and remove my helmet with a hair toss worthy of a shampoo advert. The reality was an incredibly muddy slog in, then an inability to find anywhere to park my bike resulting in it having to be chained to a small tree and a hasty scramble up the stairs to avoid being late. Taking my trainers off I realised I was splashed with mud nearly up to my knees. Those who remember “The Royle Family” will appreciate I could hear, in the voice of Jim Royce, “serene, my @rse!”
Never mind, I enjoyed the lesson and retrieving my bike I headed out to Allington Farm Shop. This is a lovely, and very popular cafe (with bike racks) and I took the last table between a group of mummies chatting about their husbands and a pair of silver haired ladies gossiping about friends. Yes, the cafe had soya milk, but yet again my enquiry about the possibility of a vegan cake was met with a very short “no”. Ah well, Biscoff biscuit and a packet of crisps it was, then back home through the mud again for a change of trousers.
Coffeeneuring 2019 #1 completed! October 16th 2019, 7 miles
Apparently today is World Vegan Day – it was news to me, but obviously it made it a highly appropriate day for some veganeuring. I really wasn’t feeling it today, I had a day off but could happily have just gone back to bed. I eventually persuaded myself I’d feel much better if I headed outside to do something, whatever it was! I didn’t feel like heading to a cafe so I made a drink, grabbed a flapjack, stuck my bike helmet on and headed out the door before I could change my mind. “Coffeeneuring without walls” is totally a thing, and was made for trips like this. It was probably intended for slightly more adventurous rides, but hey – we all do what we can.
I stuck to quiet lanes after my recent fright at a roundabout, and yesterday’s incident with a 4×4 whilst out running, and found myself cycling along a lane I used to regularly cycle on. It was the long way home from preschool, and in those days I had my chunky 4 year old son on the back who had demanded the “pretty way home” whilst I wanted the quick route home for lunch. Chunky four year old is now a long, thin nearly 6′ tall 17 year old! The bike was the same one I used to ride though – still going strong!
I stopped in a field just off the road, parked the bike up and had a wander about whilst drinking my mocha and munching my flapjack. The sun came out, the birds were singing, and I felt peaceful and calm.
Rather than heading into the village and the busier road home, I turned back the way I’d come. I couldn’t resist cycling right around a triangular junction (because I could) and I even took a slight detour in order to incorporate a hill into my route back. On meeting a car on a very narrow lane I was instantly anxious, but then amazed when the driver pulled into a passing place and patiently waited for me to come past. I waved and shouted my thanks, to which the driver pleasantly replied “No problem!”
My faith in human nature has been somewhat restored.
4.5 miles cycled
1 homemade vegan mocha with Dark chocolate almond milk
2nd Coffeeneuring trip of the season on a sunny, but cold and blustery day. I decided if I didn’t go today, I’d never fit all my rides in in time.
Additional theme for this year’s rides seems to be “rides with tales”. Today’s was “Road Closed -I don’t think so!”
I rode past the sign, with fingers crossed, and although the road was fenced off just before the sneaky shortcut I needed to take, fortunately there was a special way through. Phew!
Today’s ride was a 7.8 miles round trip on my shopping bike to a Costa coffee. Not an exciting option, being part of the largest coffee chain in the UK, but good coffee and a choice of vegan options. Stuck to my “Veganeuring” theme and had a really tasty vegan mince pie (never too early!) and a soya mocha.
I could also have had a vegan Christmas cake slice, a cookie or a wrap, but I’ll save those for another time! Good bike parking on the other side of the retail park’s car park, so it is out of sight once you’re inside the cafe but it does have a roof in case it rains.
Maybe next time I’ll have a straightforward ride with no stories or drama??!
“Try everything once except incest and folk dancing” – Sir Thomas Beecham.
Well I’m glad to report this post does not involve incest, nor folk dancing (although I have already tried that – primary school in the 1970s was very different to today), but it is about trying something new.
Following on from trying pacing at parkrun last month, when the opportunity arose to attend a Tai Chi session at work I jumped at the chance. The coincidence that it was one of my running friends, Valerie, who was taking the session made it a lot less daunting but I still had a look on You Tube to see what I could expect. Apparently it involved a very muscular man in a tight white vest, standing ankle deep in water. I showed the video to my husband who asked if work were also going to provide the waterfall that the man was standing in front of, but as the location for the session was going to be on the second floor I answered that this was unlikely, unless there was a major plumbing incident.
I arrived at 8:15 am promptly, and was relieved to see my friend Valerie hadn’t morphed into a muscular man in a vest. There were only 4 of us, plus Valerie, in an open plan space at the top of the office, surrounded by unused chairs and desks, so it could have felt a little awkward. Maybe surprisingly it didn’t, after we got started it just felt very relaxing and calming. The cracking and popping of joints I’m sure helped break the ice, and loosened us all up before a day sat at our desks.
I really enjoyed it, and felt almost too relaxed for work afterwards – but sadly that soon wore off. I was very pleased to see the sessions will run again next week, and have already signed up. Thank you Valerie!
So it suddenly struck me, I never did write up my last two days of Janathon. Seeing as this means I’ve now failed at Janathon I shouldn’t worry about it, but I’ve already failed once and continued on so here goes.
After Slaughterford 9 I was worried my legs wouldn’t be speaking to me. However I managed to keep moving and on both evening completed Janathon by performing “tooth brushing squats ” thus doing my daily exercise whilst demonstrating superb multitasking skills.
Okay, so my last 2 days weren’t as exciting as I might have hoped (and have proved that good things don’t necessarily come to those who wait), but at least I’ve proved I’m a completer/ finisher.
Day 27. The day before a big race. A day to be spent resting up, hydrating, and eating well. Probably not a day to spent at the annual awards evening at our local cycling club. It had to be done though, as my husband was being presented with a clutch (well, armful) of awards.
I did leave early, and I was the driver so wasn’t drinking, so it wasn’t all bad. Unfortunately I left before the dancing started, so tonight’s activity was toothpaste flavoured squats again.
Okay, getting desperate for things I can do for Janathon whilst getting ready for bed.
Tomight, hit upon standing on my top stair doing heel raises & lowers whilst brushing my teeth. Whilst I thought this was impressive multi-tasking, it was also fairly dangerously wobbly so I don’t think I’ll try that again.