Thursday, 10 March 2016

The Granny Ring?!



Never heard of it? Neither had I until this week, when in a matter of fact manner, one of the dad's at my son's cycling club told me I had a granny ring!  Say what?!  He was merely pointing out that my bike was what the serious cyclists (you know the ones that know the technical names for a bike, makes, cleats etc and can do 20 miles in an hour) call someone who can essentially peddle up a huge hill because of their granny ring.
Since my last post (last month I know - I shall explain later on for my prolonged absence) I have done two training bike rides with my son. His club are cycling from London to Brighton in May and I've been in training aka making sure my son doesn't get killed by motorists with the added bonus of getting fitter and losing weight whilst trying not to cry, as at times, its so frigging HARD!! Like, I could seriously do with a sleep afterwards. 

Anyhow, my bike is a big lump of shit. I didn't really think about the size, frame, tyres and all the other bloody stuff that proper cyclists know and think about. I just looked at the reviews on the Halfords site and paid £160 for a hybrid bike. That is a cross between a mountain bike and road bike with no suspension. Suspension is for going off road don't you know. I thought suspension was good. It's not it just makes you work harder.  So that has been my bike for the past 2 years. And it has been fine for doing 10 miles here and there but since cutting it with the cyclistas I've been told life will be a lot easier with smaller tyres etc etc.

Hence the discussion on what type of bike. Fancy pants bikes have 2 rings and not so fancy have 3. The third ring means I can go up a massive hill in the lowest possible gear. Whilst the fitter and more serious cyclists doesn't have such a low gear to go up hill. I have concluded from talk of my granny ring that I'm not quite ready for a fancy pants bike. My local independent bike shop have been fantastic - given me lots of advice and recommended some second hand bikes (they refurb and only sell second hand) for me but without the hard sell.

I have now completed a 15 and 20 miles bike ride and in less than 2 weeks we are stepping up a gear to 25 miles.  The last one was very tough with lots of hills and I am expecting more of the same but with an added 5 miles. Now, sometimes when I'm coasting along on a flat and enjoying all the country scenery I actually quite like these club rides but equally there are times when I think "yeah I'm bored now I want to go home." Actually this happens at the start when we're all waiting! Having said this, I am always chuffed with myself for actually completing the mileage and I do believe I am getting fitter with every ride.

So, without further ado I have lost 11.5lbs since the beginning of Feb (I had my first weigh in at the end of January).  I have not gained any weight and have always lost weight at each class - some weeks being more than others. I continue to go to the weigh in plus aerobic class on a Wednesday and a Fit Steps (basically strictly for beginners) for 45 minutes on a Thursday. The classes are a bit lame it has to be said but I still get a little work out and it keeps me focused.

I've also been travelling to hospital (takes about 40 mins each way) 3/4 times a week to visit my dad. He is now on a ward, walking, talking, moaning and eating so all is good. I am happy with my weight loss as I haven't thought I can't be thinking about this now with my dad being sick. I could have easily given up and thought I'll start another month.  Life has also happened, as it normally does, with my daughter's birthday and trip up to London, a 60th birthday bash, mother's day lunch and a take-away.

I hope to get back to writing on a more regular basis as 1) I have more time and 2) I love to write!

See you all soon


4 comments:

  1. I love cycling - riding myself and watching it whether it be track or road. However the technical details of bicycles hold no interest for me at all. A couple of years I was out with a friend and another lady tagged along. My friend got very excited when she noticed the woman's bike had a 'granny ring'! I smiled politely and hoped she thought I knew what she was going on about but of course I didn't!

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    1. Cyclists can be cruel!! We love to watch the grand tours too - thanks for your comment. I am out for a 25 mile cycle tomorrow with granny ring and all! x

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