Monthly Archives: June 2013

Wooler and Kielder blue route riding

Bump at 29 weeks on a bike ride near Wooler

Bump at 29 weeks on a bike ride near Wooler

With bigger things on our mind this year, we didn’t really want to spend a lot of money on our summer holidays this year. We also wanted to go before I got to the stage where I couldn’t really do much…. not that we knew (or know) when that stage would/will come.

So we took a week off in June 29 weeks into the pregnancy to go off in our campervan. We chose to head south to the northern part of Northumberland and the very southern part of the Scottish Borders where I hoped the less extreme landscape would mean more walking and cycling opportunities I could still handle.

In the end it worked out very well. I did two big bike rides during the week. Both of about 25km… the first was a ride around Wooler which we found in a leaflet in Wooler tourist info. As a lot of the ride was on National Cycle Network (NCN) 68 I assumed it would be all on tarmac or surfaced path, but I was wrong.. it was far more interesting ūüôā It was 24km in total with 370m of climbing and took just under 2 1/2 hours:

NCN routes aren't all tarmac it turns out!

NCN routes aren’t all tarmac it turns out!

Who knew a NCN route could be this interesting?

Who knew a NCN route could be this interesting?

Made me laugh

Made me laugh

So many great routes in the area around Wooler

So many great routes in the area around Wooler

The second ride I managed was a couple of days later. We were in¬†Kielder where there are man-made mountain bike routes and we planned to do the blue ‘Osprey’ route together then Si would add the red route afterwards.

mtb-map

The first half of the route has one nice bit of singletrack but is mainly on forest road. When we got halfway round I was quite tired and we considered stopping where the route splits and one option goes back to the start, but…. there’s a map by the trail side at that point and it showed that almost all the second half of the ride would be on singletrack… I couldn’t resist!

By the time we got back I’d covered¬†almost 27km and climbed over 400m and it had taken 3 1/2¬†hours. The last 5km into a screaming headwind. I¬†felt utterly¬†exhausted. But a couple of hours later and after some food¬†I felt absolutely fine again and had no aches at all then or the next day.

The holiday also involved a couple of short walks…

Nature walk on Lindisfarne

Nature walk on Lindisfarne

Short walk in Craik forest

Short walk in Craik forest

Categories: mountain biking, outdoors, pregnancy | Leave a comment

Tweedlove.. with a bump

This past week has been the annual Tweedlove bike festival in the Tweed Valley. Last year during Tweedlove I took part in the Glentress 7 (a seven hour race for solos, pairs or threes), and Natural Tweed (a 50km natural ride out), the year before I did Natural Tweed and this year my husband was signed up for the King and Queen of the Hill Enduro.

So what is a girl with a nearly-six-months-pregnant bump to do during a biking festival?

There was a big risk of me feeling a bit left out and resentful from being¬†unable to ride, so since we were down for the Enduro anyway I thought I’d sign up to marshall. Luckily the weather was kind and it was a decent day for sitting out for six hours helping competitors ‘dip’ at the start of timed stage 3 then taking down the tape on that stage after the last rider.

My spot for the day

My spot for the day

Timed stage 3 start

Timed stage 3 start

We picked up our new campervan on the Friday before the Enduro weekend so we stayed down overnight on the Saturday between practice day and race day. It was a glorious day on the Saturday and a pleasant evening so I’m really glad we did. By Sunday night though after two days on my feet and a bit of steep hiking to clear tape off the course, I would say I was about as physically tired as my husband who had raced the course! Still it was a nice tired; sun and wind blasted and although achey not suffering any particular pregnancy pains.

Thursday night was Herv√©lo pub night so I went along after my pregnancy yoga class to catch up with some riding friends, then this Friday afternoon I got tired of reading tweets and hearing¬†about other people’s riding fun so I took myself on my bike up to the Pentland hills in glorious weather. It was about 27km of gentle riding which felt pretty good even if it wasn’t particularly exciting. ¬†I had aimed to make it back down¬†to Glentress watch¬†the Dual Slalom on Friday night but work conspired against us until it was too late. I’m really sorry I missed one of the¬†Herv√©los getting a podium place! Lots of Herv√©lo¬† riders also podium-ed at the GT7 which is brilliant! I wouldn’t have had any chance of a podium if I’d entered¬†but oh, I wish I could have ridden anyway…. next summer…… ūüôā

Categories: mountain biking, outdoors, pregnancy, Scotland, Tweed Valley | Leave a comment

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