Sulking :-(

My greatest cycling challenge yet, turned out to be my greatest cycling disappointment yet. I managed to do about 50 miles of the Etape Eryri Canol but I couldn’t finish – it was just too tough and a puncture gave me the excuse I needed to quit. I am gutted but it was just too hard for me.

What’s worse is that – it’s six weeks since the Etape and I haven’t been on my bike since. First I was knackered, so I wanted a rest for a few days, a few days became a week then a month and now nearly two months. I can’t explain why – I seem to have just got out of the habit of cycling and can’t get back into it.It feels a bit like when your sulking with a friend – you want to make friends but you don’t know what to say and your a bit nervous about making the first move.

I haven’t even finished paying for my bike yet! A deduction for the cycle to work scheme is still coming out of my salary every month and my lovely Bianchi is sitting in the shed unloved. I’ve also put on six pounds in six weeks! Not only because of the lack of exercise but due to the comfort eating and boredom of sitting at home instead of getting out on my bike. I wonder if I’ve lost all the fitness I’d built up already?

So unfortunately no pics of beautiful Snowdonia scenery and my lovely Bianchi bike this month – but no more excuses during August. Today is the first day of the month, I’ve re read my posts, reminded myself how much I enjoyed cycling and have promised myself that I will start again tomorrow 😉




My Greatest Cycling Challenge

It’s a beautiful warm sunny summer’s day in Porthmadog and I am contemplating my biggest cycling challenge yet – the Etape Eryri Canol. 76 miles around Snowdonia, I am nervous with anticipation as this is the longest I have ever cycled and there are some really challenging climbs. I think I will be able to do it ‘slow and steady’. Of course, I have a huge advantage as it’s my home territory . I have cycled the roads and lanes of Snowdonia many times over the last six months – although not all in one go.

The last few weeks of cycling have bought a couple of firsts – my first fall and my first bike bonk!

The Fall – was fine, I didn’t hurt myself at all, I was clipped in and toppled over in slow motion after stopping to take a picture of this cute fella in Drws a Coed in Snowdonia. Thank goodness the little calf was the only witness to my humiliation and he was kind enough not to laugh.



The Bonk – I remember the days when this meant something a lot more exciting than it does nowadays as a cyclist! A bonk is when you ‘hit the wall’and you can’t carry on anymore – basically physical and mental exhaustion – here’s a great link on how to beat the bonk. This happened to me a couple of weeks ago – I got up early on a Saturday morning to a gorgeous sunny day and decided to get up and get out on my bike before the rain came or I got embroiled with the housework, kids etc. No time for breakfast, just a quick coffee. Oh.. and I had a slight hangover for the Friday night too – I was asking for trouble.

Still off I went full steam ahead for 18 miles, before I absolutely bonked! My legs felt like jelly – my head was all mushy – I just wanted to curl at the side of the road and sleep for a hundred years. I was so badly prepared I hadn’t taken enough water, I had no food, no cafe nearby and no mobile coverage – totally stupid – I know and actually more embarrassing to admit than falling over.  I had to phone my husband (when I finally got a signal on my phone) and he drove the get me. Humiliating and stupid –  but lesson learnt and thank you Ian.

So a couple of cycling “rights of passage” this month and I am getting to understand more and more of the jargon. I am beginning to really feel part of this great cycling community and despite the fall and the bonk I am still loving cycling as much as ever. So roll on Sunday and Etape Eryri – I am ready for you…..

(I think, fingers crossed).

As usual a few pics from this months rides.

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Cadence, Gran Fondo and New Shoes!

Hurray! At last, I understand cadence! After six month of cycling the idea of cadence has finally clicked with me and I get it! Not sure I can explain it though – but very simply –  it’s better to be in a high gear with your legs turning comfortably that huffing and puffing in a low gear. I call it ‘comfy cadence’ and by judging the road ahead you can make sure your in the best gear for the road. This link is the best explanation I’ve found – but really the best way to ‘get it’ is to go out on your bike and experiment with and get to know your gears.

In the month since my last blog post, not only have cadence clicked for me, but I have seen a real improvement in my cycling. My legs feel stronger and Strava tells me I am faster too –  this is down to three things;

Joining a Cycling Club

I was nervous about joining a club, afraid that I would be too slow but I’ve had such a warm welcome from my local club ‘Clwb Seiclo Madog’ I haven’t looked back. I join them every week for a Wednesday evening chain gang ride. This involves cycling in a group, in pairs side by side – moving from the back to the front one by one. The encouragement of the group means I got faster and stronger and I also picked up some fantastic tips from others in the club. Its got me to be a lot more focused too – up till joining the club I had been pooteling along on my bike – day dreaming, chatting, taking pics and enjoying the views – actually that sounds like heaven!

Conwy Gran Fondo


Doing Conwy Gran Fondo in April was fab – it was 46 miles around the Great Orme in Llandudno and lovely villages in North Wales – an amazing event. The atmosphere was great in Conwy and again the friendship and encouragement of other cyclists keep me going to the end. Being one of the very few cycling in trainers finally made me decide to get clipped.

New Shoes

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Getting clipped in – it’s early days, I have been using my shoes for a week and three rides only – but so far no disasters or embarasing accidents YET. It wasn’t so much the fear factor that stopped me but the cost – as a parent its hard to justify spending money just on yourself and going a bit faster on a bike – but in the end I decided it would be worth the investment and splashed out nearly £100 on new shoes, pedals and cleats. I can feel the difference already, my legs feel much stronger and I don’t feel like such a numpty when out with the club in my trainers. Next on my wishlist is cycling sunglasses.

So my little bike adventure continues as does my love of cycling –  with my knowledge and skills improving and the summer ahead I can’t help thinking that the best is yet to come!

Winter Miles and Smiles

“Winter Miles and Smiles” is a misquote, “Winter Miles for Summer Smiles” is how the saying actually goes; but “Miles and Smiles” sum up my first winter on a bike. I started cycling in November 2015 and now with spring in the air, I thought I’d write about the best of  winter cycling, to motivate myself when the weather inevitably turns cold and wet again.

It’s been a long and stormy winter – Frank, Gertrude and James (are just the names I remember). After each storm passed through, Snowdonia was left literally sparkling in glorious winter sunshine. Cycling through puddles with the open road to myself, surrounded by waterfalls and dripping trees, I felt uplifted. No doubt I looked like an idiot – on my own, grinning from ear to ear – but happy with myself, my bike and surroundings.  Joyous is the best word I can think of to describe how I felt!

Here’s some pics taken with phone camera below – please scroll down after the pics to read the best kept secret every newbie cyclist should know.

Let me tell you a secret, I’ve enjoyed cycling all winter but I haven’t bought loads of kit and expensive clothing. When I first started cycling, lots of really kind and well meaning experienced cyclists started telling me about the best waterproof tops, shoes, brakes, tyres etc etc, essential for winter cycling. I really appreciated these tips and I am sure extra kit does boost performance, but on a tight budget and with a Bianchi bike to pay for (Cycle to Work Scheme) I wasn’t in a position to buy lots of new stuff. I managed to get out a couple of times a week, in all weathers, wearing Aldi cycling tights and top – but with my secret weapons for winter cycling, lobster gloves and ear warmers!

So my top tip for a newbie cyclist is – don’t worry about having all the right kit – please just get out on your bike, enjoy and ride as much as you can. Cycling, even in winter, is the best legal high I know.

Here are some more pics, I am really proud of the snowy one – yes I did – I went cycling in the snow, I seriously loved my ear warmers and gloves that day.IMG_0587IMG_0624 (1)IMG_0622IMG_0626 (1)

“Setlo fewn i 2016”

BILINGUAL POST – scroll down for English

“Setla i fewn i’r dringo” “Ffeindia dy rythm” “Ymlacia” dyma ‘ma beicwyr profiadol yn argymell, doeddwn i byth yn gwybod be oeddant yn feddwl i ddeud y gwir.

Rwyf am gyrraedd i ben y bryn mor gyflym ag y gallaf, er mwyn cal o drosodd efo a mwynhau’r wib i lawr eto. Ond, yn ddiweddar rwyf wedi mynd i’r afael â rhai dringfeydd eithaf serth a hir ac wedi deall, o’r diwedd, yr hyn dwi’n siŵr sy’n amlwg i bawb arall, dydy beicio ddim yn unig am eich corff – ond am eich meddwl hefyd!

Wel, wel  … dyna agoriad llygad! Pan oeddwn yn blentyn yn rasio o gwmpas ar fy meic, roedd yn rhaid mynd i bob man mor gyflym â phosib ac yn sicr cyn fy mrawd bach! Doedd gen i ddim ‘gêrs’ o gwbl, ond yn ifanc a hapus, gyda digon o egni i ruthro i fyny bob bryn ac yn gwichian gyda llawenydd ar y ffordd i lawr.

Ers dechrau beicio fel oedolyn, dwi wedi gorfod dysgu llawer o sgiliau newydd, fel newid gêr, stopio yn ddiogel, beicio mewn traffig. Rwyf hefyd ‘di dysgu ymlacio i mewn i’r  allt; a chanolbwyntio ar ddim ond troi’r pedalau unwaith, yna unwaith eto, un yn fwy ac yn y diwedd, yn araf yr wyf yn cyrraedd y brig. Dyna deimlad ANHYGOEL.

Mae’n rhyddhad dim ond meddwl am rŵan, ddim poeni am y dyfodol na edrych yn ôl a thorri calon am y gorffennol. Rhaid i mi beidio â mynd yn rhy ddifrifol, ond mae byw yn y foment yn ffordd dda iawn o fyw bywyd dydy? Felly wrth i mi geisio “Setlo i mewn i 2016”, dyma rai lluniau o’r golygfeydd godidog o Eryri rwyf wedi mwynhau yn sgil y gwaith caled yn pedlo i fyny’r holl fryniau na yn ystod y Gaeaf.


Settling into 2016

“Settle into the Climb” “Find your Rhythm” “Relax into the Hill” say experienced cyclists, I never knew what they meant.

I want to get to the top of the hill as fast as I can, to get it over with and enjoy the down hill. Recently I’ve tackled some pretty steep and long climbs and have at last understood, what I bet is obvious to everyone else, Cycling isn’t just about your body – its your mind too!

Phew …what a revelation! When I was a kid I raced around on my bike and had to get everywhere as fast as possible and definitely before my little brother. I  had no gears at all, but was fit and carefree enough to get up every hill and squeal with delight on the way down.

Since taking up cycling as an adult, I’ve had to learn a lot of new skills like changing gears, feathering the brakes, cycling in traffic. I’ve also had to learn to relax into the hill and just concentrate on turning the pedals once, then once more,  one more and eventually, slowly I make it to the top AMAZING.

It’s very liberating to just think about the immediate, not procrastinate about the future or look back and worry about. Not to get too philosophical about it its quiet a good approach to life and one I am going to try for 2016.

So as I try and “Settle into 2016” here are a few pics of the very rewarding views of Snowdonia I’ve enjoyed as a result of the my hard work getting up all those bloody hills this Winter.

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Pen y Pass

This is a bilingual blog please scroll down for English language version “Bianchi vs Snowdon”.

Tua mis ers i mi gychwyn beicio (a blogio) o ddifri, a heddiw llwyddais i seiclo i fyny Pen y Pass. Dwi’n credu mai Pen y Pass ydi’r pwynt uchaf fedrwch chi ddringo ar feic yn Eryri, uchder o 359 metr (1,178 troedfedd). Rwyf wedi beicio i fyny yno heddiw ac mae’r teimlad o falchder yn enfawr. Dwi heb osod unrhyw heriau corfforol i mi fy hun ers blynyddoedd, wel, ar wahân i roi genedigaeth i a chodi dau o blant hyfryd, felly dydi balchder ddim yn deimlad dwi wedi’i brofi llawer yn ddiweddar, ac i fod yn onest, yr wyf wrth fy modd ac yr wyf hefyd wrth fy modd hefo beicio!

Tro cyntaf i mi ddechrau beicio, dim ond ychydig wythnosau yn ôl, roedd pob bryn yn boen llwyr, ond hyd yn oed heb gynllun hyfforddi o gwbl, heblaw am fynd allan ar fy meic gymaint ag y gallaf (yn llythrennol ym mhob tywydd) dwi wedi llwyddo i fynd i’r afael â reid eiconig ac ew, mae’n teimlo’n dda. Dywed pob beiciwr profiadol wrthyf mai’r ffordd orau o wella yw reidio fy meic gymaint ag y gallwn, ac roeddent yn hollol iawn.

Dwi wir yn mwynhau rhyddid beicio, ond yn ystod yr wythnosau diwethaf dwi wedi syrthio mewn cariad eto â’r lle dwi’n byw hefyd. Dwi yn gwerthfawrogi prydferthwch Eryri, y mynyddoedd a’r arfordir.

Ella gallai’r lluniau isod helpu egluro pam –

Wedi deud hyn tydi ddim yn fêl i gyd rhyngof i â beicio, dyma’r tri uchaf o’r pethe sy’n fy mhoeni am feicio:

GWALLT HELMED- Mae mor lletchwith pan fyddaf yn cwrdd â rhywun a ‘ngwallt yn sownd i fy nhalcen gyda chwys, tydi hyn ddim yn siwtio neb.

LYCRA – Ers fy arddegau, dwi wedi osgoi unrhyw wisg dynn fel y pla, ac yn awr ‘dwi wedi cychwyn ar hobi sy’n cynnwys Lycra sy’n denu slyw at bob lwmp a bwmp ar fy nghorff.

PEN ÔL CLWT – Mae’r padin ar legins beicio yn wych pan fyddaf ar fy meic, ond a dweud y gwir, yn edrych yn hollol dwp pan fyddaf yn cerdded o gwmpas mewn caffi!

Ta waeth, fydd rhaid i mi roi balchder i un ochr a mynd ati i reidio fy meic, dwi’n clywed bod problemau beicio llawer gwaeth gallwn i ddioddef.

Y peth gorau am feicio yw’r cysylltiad â byd natur o fy nghwmpas. Byddwch yn amyneddgar, dwi’n gwybod sut mae hyn yn swnio – ond drwy ruthro o le i le drwy’r amser nid wyf wedi sylwi ar hyd yn oed newidiadau’r tymor! Ar deithiau beic yn y bore dwi wedi gweld llwynogod, geifr mynydd, robin goch, gwartheg ac wrth gwrs, llawer o ddefaid. Yn wahanol iawn i deithio mewn car, mae tawelwch a llonyddwch teithio ar feic yn llawer llai ymwthiol rhywsut. Felly ar ddiwrnod byrraf y flwyddyn, rwy’n edrych ymlaen yn llawn gobaith at y Gwanwyn pan ddaw haul ar fryn unwaith eto a byddaf yn parhau fy antur beicio.


Ar nodyn gwahanol iawn, dyma stori gan ein papur lleol am fy nhaith yn gynnar ym mis Rhagfyr i fynd ag adnoddau a gwirfoddoli yng Ngwersyll Ffoaduriaid yn Calais.