Cranking it up…

Map reference: Husband’s local bergs route, double Richmond Park flip with Surrey pals and shortened trip to Shere

Carbs and caffeine: good coffee, my choice of wrong cake at The Dabbling Duck, Middle Street, Shere

I’m still nursing a sore back. The pain is travelling up and down my right side and I can’t walk any distance. Yesterday, even the post box 50 metres away looked a little too far and I drove to a box instead. Nonetheless, with the help of paracetamol I have been doing short rides, followed up by intensive stretching. Incidentally, I have it on very good authority that you should try to stay off the anti-inflamatories for training purposes, tempting as they are.

I felt better enough on Sunday to get Husband to ride me round his local bergs route. For the first 20 minutes I was absolutely fine, and after that it as clear I needed to head home. Nonetheless, I captured several pieces of bling on Strava… second best this year up one of the local hills? I need to go back when I’m fit.

On Monday a couple of friends I ride with in Surrey decided to travel up here. This suited me perfectly and it was a real pleasure to see Richmond Park through fresh eyes. It’s perfect terrain for Jo, who professes to not like long hills and loves blasting along the flat. She enjoyed the commute here too as she says she’s tired of the Surrey Hills. If that’s not a lesson in ‘the grass is always greener’, I don’t know what is.

Finally yesterday, I had my regular Tuesday date with Jacqui. We were planning on driving to Cobham and then doing a Leith Hill loop. Unfortunately, by the time we had chatted our way to Staple Lane and beyond, it became clear that Jacqui’s heart wasn’t in it. Her son has scholarship exams next week and, poor love, is getting himself in a pickle. And of course, as the mother, she is trying to do everything she can to make it all right; keeping him calm and helping him through his work load. Sometimes the juggling just gets too much.

It was a beautiful, sunny day, so I persuaded her to pedal on to Shere, and The Dabbling Duck, usually a port of call on our way back from Leith Hill, where a caffeine fix would surely make the outing worthwhile. Unfortunately, out of all the delicious cakes on offer, I chose carrot and pineapple which turned out to be too sugary for my taste. Luckily I had some of my apple and prune oaties packed, and we cleaned our palettes with those.

One of things we chatted about was crank length. Jacqui is a physio and one of her clients was getting terrible knee pain and struggling to climb hills, despite being really fit. Apparently she is seriously under-tall and yet, even with a bike fit, had been given 170 cranks. Jacqui was able to advise her to go back and get 165, which the shop conceded would be right. So there you go… Husband’s intensive studying and my spreading of the word should hopefully make a big difference to a complete stranger.

Here’s the link again on cranks if you are interested

Note to self: get snacks – and painkillers – ready for long one tomorrow.

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