Lid on…apron off

It’s been a long time since I posted. So long, I don’t recognise the formatting. I started out with good intentions of a post a day. But life (and apathy) got in the way.

Today I put the ‘man’ into woman. I was done with the ‘wo’ for a while, having spent a sunny Sunday in the galley of the sailing club volunteering so that the rest of the family could enjoy the boating life. The pics of our daughter having fun sailing the topper in the sunshine while her little bro looked on from the tender made all the pan washing worthwhile.

Conscious of my love handles poking out of the apron and my greying hair pinned back with hair grips, I was feeling way to mumsy.

I needed to be introduced to my 17 year old self. So with pleasure I took a meeting as an excuse to jump aboard my cbf600 and take a short buzzy trip in the sunshine. It felt too good and I reluctantly made my way home after the meeting resisting the temptation of the roads inviting a longer journey to the coast.

Ive said this before and I will say it again bike = sanity.

Also enjoying watching the TT – but what the fuck is with the pit stop ladies in their make-up and tight ad clad outfits dotted around the winners enclosure like billboards. C’mon this is 2016 (grrrrr!!!)

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.

one woman one moto

I only run once a week. But even so I am hooked. So much so I was having withdrawal symptoms when I couldn’t run on Friday because my hubby was driving our boat (hitched on a trailer) to its new buyer in Ireland. 

So, I went running tonight after putting the children to bed and came back wheezing like an old granny and puffing on my inhalers. The air was loaded with pollen and my laboured breathing had loaded my chest with the stuff. So note to self, don’t run in the evening when the air smells sweet and there is hardly any wind.

But that’s enough about me. I want to share the story of @onewomanonemoto – Steph Jeavons adventure navigating the globe on a Honda motorbike – go girl! See her blog here –  http://www.stephmoto-adventurebikeblog.com. In addition to breaking records she is fundraising for Rally4life – a charity committed to relieving poverty round the world. 

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.

Bikes = Smiles

There is an advert that used to be on TV where a guy gets up and goes down a giant water slide every day to get to work and other people join him like it is a normal but fun way to commute every morning.

That is how I feel about riding a motorbike into work. Even better when I have Guns N Roses’ Appetite for Destruction blaring in my ears. One twist of the wrist and I pass 10 cars, Porsches, Jaguars, Range Rover Sports, what’s the point in looking fast and having big engines if you are stuck in traffic? I can feel their eyes burning into my back as I pass and I think to myself ‘why don’t more people do this?’ 

I know the police call bikers ‘organ donors’ and the risks are greater than in a car. BUT, the experience riding a bike is soooo good and providing you don’t take silly risks and assume every car may do something stupid, you’ll be ok. 

It makes getting to work and heading home later a roller coaster ride every day. It never fails to put a smile on my face. I am hooked on speed, I can’t help it and to be getting a ‘hit’ every week day is brilliant.

So if you drive cars and have been mulling over learning to ride a bike –  DO IT! You wont regret it.

This blog is for UNICEF. Thanks for reading. 

There’s no such thing as a light motorbike…

I have a motorbike. I got my licence after I had baby boy but can count the number of times I have actually ridden one on my hands, so to say I am a little rusty is an understatement.

From next week, when I start my new job, I will be riding a 40 mile round trip on a daily basis, so I have to get good and quick.

The problem is I gulp at the mere suggestion of getting on the bike but I have this feeling (which happens regardless of the challenge) that whenever I am faced with something that makes me gulp I have to do it and conquer it.

So, the easy option would have been to let my husband ride the bike back home after we bought it as it was a longish trip. But I knew I had to get to grips with biking fast so I dusted off my helmet and climbed on board.

I am solo glad I did because once I got through all the coastal traffic and got some open road the feeling was heaven. At speed the bike becomes as light as a feather and willing to do whatever you ask of it. However, when stationary it is this massive lump of metal that won’t budge when I am pushing it backwards to park with my legs. As for putting it in the centre stand…..well that is the most infuriating thing as I watch my husband ‘just’ shove his foot on the stand and lift the bike back ‘just put all your weight on the stand’. I did and nothing happened, except a few popped muscles down my rib cage and up my arms trying to wrestle it backwards. “It’s no good if you need to fill up with fuel” my husband says, “you need to put it in the centre stand” grrrrrrrr.

Think I will sit astride it to fill up instead….

This blog is for UNICEF. Thanks for reading. 

A bike in a midlife (plus a good excuse)

I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike….(so the song goes)

I am not talking about a pushbike, I am talking about one that goes brum, brum.

Unfortunately there is no parking near my new job and it would take me a while to get through the traffic in a car anyway before I even get to using the park and ride bus system. As there is a perfectly good motorcycle parking bay by the offices, it looks like I will be forced to ride a motorbike to work (plus I don’t need to do the school run anymore – although sidecars are an option).

So as we approach the milder months I will hopefully be dusting down my oversized motorbike jacket (which is so masculine I look like a dyke on a bike) and jumping on something that can make me nip round the traffic into time at all and park without the need to buy a ticket (just don’t tell my Mum).

I am quite excited and nervous about returning to bike riding but it’s all good in the midlife crisis hood….

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.

Biking is good for the soul

I forgot to mention that I almost got a motorbike yesterday. My husband is looking to part exchange his Suzuki Vstrom in for a bike that we can both ride (the Vstrom is both too heavy and too tall for me to ride in comfort). It is tricky for us to both pitch up at a bike dealer with kids in tow, so he swapped his bike in for an hour’s ride on a 2 year old Honda CBF600. It looked a bit like this:

 …….But with colour coded panniers too.

When hubby arrived aboard it, I didn’t waste anytime getting my kit on, quickly evicting dead spiders in my boots and not bothering to remove the winter liner in my jacket to save time. With a final confidence inducing comment from hubby about the 2000 pounds insurance excess, I sped off. Pleased to be liberated from the trials and tribulations of being a mum and reluctant housewife. 

This is a perfect bike for a novice like me who doesn’t get much of a chance to put the miles in to up experience levels. When you are an on/ off biker like me you have to ride 100% committed with no crack in confidence. This is a piss easy bike to throw in to corners and climb the revs and blast pass traffic. I had a ball with a quick sprint along my nearest A road thinking about the steam coming out of my husband’s ears when I realised I left my mobile phone at home (whoops). I was tempted to carry on for another half hour but knew we were on a deadline to get it back to the dealership. 

Sure enough when I returned home hubby was jumping up and down about spending too much time on the bike. Thank God I did though as he returned an hour later back on his Vstrom again having not secured a deal over 700 pounds. They wouldn’t give him what he wanted for the Vstrom so he pulled out of the deal, which is fair enough as he doesn’t want a good bike to go for crap money.

So now he is on a mission to sell it privately and will leave it to fate if the Vstrom sale and CBF purchase coincides.

All I know is a motorbike ride, no matter how brief and irregular, is good for the soul.

I am blogging every day to raise money for Unicef. Please donate to the blogging campaign here.

Thanks for reading.

Plate spinning and pot hole dodging

Thank god my brain is working (just) and that I am not suffering from early dementia. I returned to work today after 2 weeks away from the office and I was spending so much time adding work to my to do list that I barely had any time to actually do the work. I enjoy it all the time I can keep the plates spinning but it doesn’t take much to lose momentum or lose the plot on what is important. 

It left me thinking how do people in Government do it – Where do you start as Minister of Health – its like someone handing a crocodile bag to a vet and saying “sort that lot out”. Yes they have hundreds of civil servant minions to do the work for them but it still takes a bit of effort to turn advice and research into policy.

The Minister for Roads and Transport, or whatever his or her official title is, has a difficult task too. Top of the blooming list should be filling in the pot-holes. There are parts of my journey to work that are so bad people are swerving into oncoming traffic just to avoid crashing into the holes. I don’t know how I managed to achieve it but on my way home this evening I managed to drive smack bang into the middle of one in a deliberate attempt to avoid it. It’s almost like Father Dougal from the TV series Father Ted and his obsession with pushing big red buttons – his brain says no but “I just can’t stop myself Ted”. I was thinking “avoid the blooming pothole, avoid the blooming pothole” and then smack! down we went. 

If you are a bike – push or motor – god help you. You are meant to have longer vision than a car driver so that you can almost predict what is happening further up the road. Yet, it must be difficult combining hazard perception with looking just beyond the front of your wheel to dodge the holes.

I am now calorie counting as this evening has not gone well partly owing to Grandma giving me and my daughter a huuuge slice of her lemon drizzle cake on the way home, which then gave me a taste for more sweet things at dinner time – “oh I’ll just have a biscuit, and another and another” Self control has gone out of the window – I am suffering from an attack of the sweet /sweet cycle as opposed to the sweet and savoury cycle.

On the other hand, I am committed to achieving a lot of lengths for the Team 5k swimathon challenge this year. Swimathon organised a live Q&A with a swim-coach over facebook (the one and only time facebook is useful) and having posed a question on the wall I got a detailed reply back in 20 minutes. However, I typed 11 lengths instead of 100 so he must think I am either recovering from an op or eating too many doughnuts for considering 11 lengths a challenge. I am concerned though as due to baby boy’s various illnesses and half term, I haven’t been in the pool for 2 weeks now. Am hoping powerhoop will pull me through for the time being….I’m not bad at spinning its just the dodging bit I’ve got to improve on.

I am blogging every day for Unicef to help them protect vulnerable children by raising £1 a day through this blog. It’s not happening yet but I have faith that one day the money will start to come in – if you want to be an early adopter of this kind of fundraising please check my page out on the Unicef website.

Thanks for reading.