If you read my blog ‘I want to ride my bicycle; I want to ride my bike!’ you will know that it was National Bike Week from Saturday 19th to Sunday 27th June and I set myself the interesting and rewarding challenge of swapping my car for my bike for the week to get to work, the gym, the shops, see friends etc and see how I get on and report back my experiences.
So what happened?
Saturday 19th – 0 cycling minutes! Not a good start!
My first day into it and I didn’t manage to clock up any cycling minutes unfortunately. My husband was celebrating his birthday in Herm and although I insisted we cycle to the ferry and back, he was the birthday boy and his wish was to get a lift - so I was kind of forced into that one. Bad start I know, but I think I made up for it so read on............
Sunday 20th – 20 cycling minutes - Cycling and swimming = great day
Today was actually my husband’s birthday and we had a great day. He decided that his dream day, as such, would be to cycle to a quiet beach for lunch and sunbathe. So I jumped at the chance and we even managed to fit in our first swim in the sea of the year!
Monday 21st – 60 cycling minutes - Tackling town and overtaking!
This was my first day ever cycling to work and back. I work in town so was a bit apprehensive about tackling the cycle paths and town rush hour traffic but I live to tell the tale. I enjoyed having this time to be outside in the sun, feeling the wind, listening to 'on-the-go' tunes on my ipod and feeling much more relaxed and satisfied when I got into work.
I enjoyed cycling past stationary cars in rush hour queues whilst I whizzed off home. A group of kids on bikes pulled out in front of me and I decided to overtake them (on the right which I recently learnt is the correct side). This didn’t seem to please one of them who then saw it as a challenge to overtake me (on the left) to impress his mates. I am not sure he wanted to live with the fact that a girl had overtaken him either!
Tuesday 22nd – 120 cycling minutes! Deliveries and visits
This day really put my challenge to the test. Normally on a Tuesday morning I go to the gym first thing but in my head I was thinking cycling from Vale to Vazon, then going to the gym, then cycling all the way back seemed like too much of a challenge for me. So instead I set myself the task of cycling the long way round to do a jewellery delivery and back.
I also received an impromptu invite to my sisters for tea. I was very eager to accept with the thought of a nice catch up, food and a sit in the sunshine. I then realised that I would have to cycle from Vale to Grande Rocque and back! Little did I know that I would also have to walk her dog once I got there before cycling home at the end. I was a pretty popped and whiney individual when I got home but had one of the soundest night’s sleep in a while!
Wednesday 23rd – 60 cycling minutes - Beer and cycling don’t mix!
Another lovely sunny morning cycling to work and back. However I had forgotten to pack my work shoes in my rucksack so learnt that you should always have a mental check list of what you need in your bag. Unless you have been hiding under a rock you will know that this was the day of the England versus Germany match in the world cup and my boss had kindly let us out for the second half, not that there was much to watch mind, but I did allow myself to have a bottle of beer to get into the spirit. I then cycled home which seemed to be a bit easier than normal! However, I did find myself going an extra shade of red as I puffed up the hill home. I’m not sure beer and cycling mix well in hot weather for me!
Thursday 24th – 50 cycling minutes - One Pannier Required!
On setting off home I realised we had nothing for tea so I had the dilemma of which shop would I be passing on the way home. Once in the shop I started to fill my basket with lots of lovely nice things only to realise at checkout that I only had a little room left in my rucksack. I therefore made do with soup and bread and some hand cramp with holding the bread in my hand whilst holding the handle bars on the way home.
Friday 25th – 0 cycling minutes!
I succumbed and got a lift to work this morning but that was purely because later in the day I was getting a lift to the airport to go off on a hen party. I also knew that as part of the Spa hen party we were cycling on the Sunday so thought I could make up for it then but I did feel very guilty!
Saturday 26th – 0 cycling minutes!
This was my day of pampering and no cycling was involved unfortunately. Again I felt a little guilty but I certainly made up for it on the Sunday so read on.................
Sunday 27th – 250 cycling minutes!! Are we there yet?!
As part of the hen party we had set aside today to cycle the beautiful countryside of the New Forest. Little did I know when I set off in sweltering heat that I would be clocking up 4 hours of cycling! We had planned a nice leisurely cycle to the pub for lunch. The guide said it would take 1hr and 15mins on the way there and 45 minutes on the way back.
Not sure if it was a combination of the heat, slightly sore heads, dehydration, a poor map, a puncture and a wrong turning or just the fact that we were 16 women trying to work our way around the New Forest - but what should have taken us 2 hours in total took us double that! We were definitely damsels in distress as we cycled past two turnings we had seen earlier and realised we had just spent an hour cycling an extra loop we didn’t need to. Us cycling at full speed through the New Forest to try and catch our taxi to the airport must have been a sight. If I was asked what I thought of the New Forest scenery I would have to say it was pretty much a blur of trees, horses, cows, inadequate sign posting but lots of fun. We did all feel a bit of a sweaty, hot and tired state as we checked in for our flight home and we couldn’t help laugh at how the spa hen weekend had turned into a bit of a fit camp!
WEEK TOTAL CYCLING MINUTES: 540 (9 hours)
One very hot week later I am now a bit browner, fitter, exhilarated, tired, toned, enlightened and aware.
Did you do YOUR bit and take part in National Bike Week in Guernsey? If so I would love to hear from you about your experiences.
For tips on how to cycle safely check out the London Cyclist website which I found very useful on the busier Guernsey roads.
Member since: 3rd July 2012
I'm Nicole Bromley, Client Relations Manager & Social Media Consultant for thebestof Guernsey. I am a local, have experience in client relations, business development, marketing, communications and social...