Author Archive (Mary)

A Quick Jaunt to Thirsk.

Why Thirsk? Because of LEL (London Edinburgh London) the flagship ride of Audax UK. Not as a cyclist, but myself and my eldest daughter Beth had ourselves up as volunteers to help at the Thirsk Control. Firstly though we had to get there...

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The ManxCat is BACK

Been a long long time. But on the 1st July, if I promised to take things easy, I have been given permission to ride my bicycle again. It has been the longest 14 weeks of my life, but its over and now I have to think about getting bike fit again.

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A Manx Patriot – Sir William Hillary, a cycle ride in his honour

A Manx Patriot – Sir William Hillary. The Founder of the Royal National Institution for the preservation of life from shipwreck. Born, 1771, Died, 1847. The Tower of Refuge, on St Mary's Isle, now known as Conisters' Rock

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Mountain Biking in the good Company of 'Cows' and 'Cat Herders'

Cycling along the top of Peel Hill Photos were all taken by Dave Newsham (aka Foxdale) It’s been a long while since I have contributed to the Cycleseven Blog. I have not had the best of summers this year and my obsession with Audax cycling hasn’t exactly brought forth interesting stories around my bicycling.

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The Isle of Man Lighthouse Challenge – 8 July 2012

A soggy ManxCat slips in another 200km Audax on this fabulous Sportive event. My goodness. I’ll try not to mention the weather more than just once. Not to be discussed again this year! You guessed it, it rained – and rained – and rained throughout the Isle of Man Lighthouse Challenge Sportive. Up and coming […]

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Manxcat in Wellies in the Dales

Well, I wish I had brought them along with me at any rate! One thing at least that Audax cycling does is to re alight the ‘Be Prepared’ motto from many of our outdoor pursuit activities. Was I glad I was prepared! The island was hosting its TT Motorbike Festival, and the TT Practice week […]

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Le Terrier Sportive 2012 in Terrible Weather

Le Terrier is a sportive event held in Lancaster. They have 3 routes to choose from of different distances. I had entered the 72 mile event as I was ‘borrowing’ someone elses’ hilly route so I could claim a DIY GPS Audax AAA ride. Hettie on the top at Cross O'Greet, it was just too […]

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Mad Cats and English men go out in the mid-day sun…

An Audax Altitude Award report On the Isle of Man Monday 28 May was a bank holiday. I have been feeling quite chipper these days now the Carbimozole has balanced me out again at last. So I had a plan to have another go at a 200km ride. Made up my route and sent in […]

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What to do when it's wet outside – Rebuild the Hetchins

Well, its maintenance to the Hetchins Part Two – The Rebuild Up to this point, Hettie had had her worn out cassette, her old bar tape and bars removed, her ergo 9sp controls taken off, and her wonderful but uncomfy Brooks saddle removed. And thus, she lived in the cottage until a certain Easter rainy […]

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ManxCat dilly-dallies in the Dales

I had entered The Marcher Audax in Shropshire organised by Andrew Seabourne and was looking forward to the challenge, until my health got the better of me again. I tested a 200km on the island and miserably failed it. As the Marcher Lord is a 3,000m climb Audax, I swapped it for the 100km ride […]

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What to do when its icy outside

Albert, views it all in disgust. Its happened twice now. Twice I have entered a 200km GPS Audax, and on both occasions I have had to cancel when I got up in the morning. For a 200km on a Sunday, I have to set off at 4am, otherwise Im not back in time to make […]

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A run around the Manx hills and fells

Its been AGES since my last blog. The winter doesn't entice me to drag out my camera, although I have still been plugging out my Audax rides. During the winter though, I tend to cycle my Perms rather than GPS because I am so rubbish on the computer, it takes me about 3 hours to […]

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Christmas cycle up North in hail and gales…

Totally pig sick of the gales, really really fed up to the back teeth with em... Over my Christmas time off work I fully intended to do this: The Festive 500 (km) ride to Redemption

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Technology and the Audax Altitude Award Round The Year

AAARTY and Technology. Well, it not quite the end of the year yet for us, but for Audax UK, October the 31st was the final day of the season. I have worked hard on my rides this year; and as an avid badge collector I have amounted a good pile of them. My most coverted […]

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Two chums do TrailQuest Isle of Man!

Tina had my arm behind my back….. “We MUST do the TrailQuest together’ she decided. I had done a couple of these events before and I never really enjoyed them. I am not a very good mountain bike rider, and I am not very competitive, it was easier to say no. Especially with all the […]

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Final Audax of 2011

Audax UK's calendar ends on the 31st October and as there are gales and storms forecast for half term and next weekend I am mountain biking on both days, I have just one more chance to up my AAA points. So, on Sunday, I sorted out my final AAA ride of this Audax Season. On […]

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Sit bone pain… It's a pain in the ***

Saddle Review. The RIDO R2 Saddle Current saddles one each on my road bikes: Brooks Finesse – Ladies.

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Mountain bikes and cake… what could be better?

I havent been on my mountain bike for over a year. Reason: Rather a lame one... I dont really like mud. And, I always thought I would struggle to finish the Lands End John O Groats ride if I didnt do a lot of training miles. One of my road bike loves, is that I […]

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Bike maintenance, by a total novice… Chain replacement…

When I arrived home from cycling Land's End to John O'Groats, I discovered that I had aged my poor ol Hettie by several decades. I only took up cycling in 2007, and it has been a real learning curve on how to maintain a bicycle. Up to now, I could repair a puncture, clean the […]

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Isle of Man Lighthouse Challenge 2011 and an Audax 200km

Its time I upgraded my Audax riding, and none better than including it with a local Sportive – The Isle of Man Lighthouse Challenge, organised by Isle of Man Cycling. Route of my 200km, together with the coastal route followed by the Isle of Man Lighthouse Challenge Sportive.

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Manxcat does Lands End to John O Groats!

Well, Lands End to John O Groats, that Iconic cycle route.

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… upon the seat, of a bicycle made for two…

Well, who would have thought it. A few months back, my dearly beloved suggested we should have a go on a Tandem. Wow, that was a blast of air I wasn't expecting. He has always encouraged my cycling, always been on hand with oily finger nails offering advice, showing me how to remove this bit […]

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Fairy Steps and Beatrix Potter in the Lakes

Another tour. This time to the Lake District. Why the Lake District? Well, other than its close location to my home, I have been reading up recently all about the life and times of Beatrix Potter, and I wanted to seek out where she lived and where the National Trust was born. I had of […]

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Audax Altitude Award Round the Year… May 2011

I like cycling hills. What better place to live than on an island near Cumbria. Picture taken earlier in the season.

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Bicycle building project – into the abyss with a Flying Scot

Been thinking of having a go at this for about a year now. A couple of things, pushed me nearer and nearer the edge of diving into my first bicycle building project.

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Manxcat cycling for her life at the Etape Caledonia 2011!

Why oh why did we think this was a good idea! Well, in November 2010 the Etape Caledonia ride in May was AGES away, and we had HOURS as yet to train for it. I could already cycle 100 miles, and I had proved I could cycle 80 miles a day over several days, therefore […]

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Manxcat and Tina, cycle East… and then West!

The Way of the Roses, then back via Leyburn in Herriot Country. Tina and I set off in the still of morning, and as luck would have it, a runner was panting towards us and so took our first photograph of the trip. Tina and I at Groudle Glen enroute to the ferry

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Two girls plan an Adventure…

The Way of the Roses. I like to plan my own rides and where I cycle having already ridden several Sustrans routes since I began cycling in 2007. Tina knew someone on the island who had ridden the new Sustrans route – Way of the Roses and she wanted to do this ride. Well, why […]

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Hetchins, Scones and Audaxing…

Finally spring is getting under way here on the Isle of Man. The sun had his hat on for the Saturday Scone run. So long as Jack Frost stayed in bed, I was bringing out the Hetchins for her first ride of 2011. She was purchased last April (Her birthday is 10th April 2010) and […]

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GPS Audax February, an island in the sun!

I havent written to the blog for AGES.... I am missing my cycling. Its not even as if I am NOT cycling, because I am. But doing miles fewer than I manage when the weather is milder, like many other cyclists of course, and the days longer... soon the season gets underway again, and I […]

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Christmas, gettin' out and about again, and a Paramo review

December has been a horrible month as far as cycling has been concerned. My last Audax ride was on the 12th of December and that was the very last day I rode my bicycle... not like me at all.

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Its OK, follow me, I know where I am going… (Mountain biking Isle of Man)

Title is a Tina quote, in reference to a rather superb mountain bike ride we did today!

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Scones and Honey

The Scone Run. For the past several weeks, I have cycled to Ballaugh and met up with Tina, and we have sped our hearts out to keep up with the peleton. The sun was out again, as it has been here on the Isle of Man for the past 4 weekends. How lucky is that!

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Cycling the Isle of Man in a weekend

Or so it feels like... Met yesterday with Tina and Caroline as we were joining the Scone Run ride up north. They don't half cycle fast do these Scone run cyclists, and when I got home my legs are pretty well jelliefied and I was pretty well finished off, but I keep telling myself its […]

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Manx End to End Challenge 2010…

What a day! It was the hardest 40 odd miles I have ever ridden, the most frustrating, the most challenging and the most muscularly tiring ride of my life! Makes doing a 100 mile Audax road ride feel like a walk in the park by comparison. Do not underestimate this ride if ever you fancy […]

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Cycling in Cumbria…

Its one of THE bestest places to cycle in my opinion that is, although there is a lot of Britain, that is very much untapped territory for me. Cumbria though, what a wonderful county, I consider myself so very lucky to live so close, full of scenery, and of skies, and of sheer beauty of […]

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My first Century, a bit o' Cyclocross and Shopping…

Its all in a day for us multi taskers I suppose! My friend Tina joined me today, to ride 150km for Audax UK (using the GPS system). Except this time, we were adding a bit more to see if we could both cycle 100 miles. My usual route for this ride is 98 miles. Today, […]

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Why I took up cycling in 2007 – from Fat to Fabulous

Well, its been 3 years since I first took up my cycling habit, and this habit has become a complete lifestyle alteration during this time. Why did I start riding a bicycle? Well, after raising a family, working part-time for a number of years, during which time I had become fat, and unfit. In fact […]

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Appleby Sportive – Isle of Man, 1st August 2010

My first Sportive. I am now at the stage of my cycling that I fancy having a go at a 200km Audax. None exist on the Isle of Man, and my two 100km rides share similar hills. For a 200km I could go round them twice I suppose. In the meantime I received an email […]

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ManxCat goes Forth… C2C from Liverpool to Lowestoft anyway…

Well, this I suppose is my very first BIG tour totally alone. I thought of this ride earlier in the year, when I was planning my summer Audax rides, I am on a mission you see, to improve on what I cycled last year (4x 100km Audax rides included in 5,000 miles of cycling over […]

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Caton Audax 2010

My favourite Audax run is the one done yearly from Caton near Lancaster and is organised by the Lancaster and South Lakes CTC group. This is the second time I have completed this particular Audax ride and I had a ball! Maybe because I rode my road bike and left the tourer at home, maybe […]

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Marine Drive, a step back in time on the Isle of Man

Marine Drive is located south of Douglas and I think it is a rather stunning aspect of the Isle of Man, in part this is due to its very close proximity to the island's capital town, and you cycle through 'busy' into a time warp of tranquility. I only discovered the Drive as I was […]

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Isle of Man Youth Tour 2010

Today's ride was all centred around the Isle of Man Youth Tour. They were short of a few marshals, so I volunteered and I was placed with a more experienced marshal. Because of this, I had to get myself well organised, as it was my intention to use today as a training ride as well. […]

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Minx-Girl and the Rickshaw messenger bag

As I recently put up a review of my favourite cycle luggage company, I thought it best that I should therefore review my cycle messenger bag. It was my birthday in March, and my eldest purchased for me, a Rickshaw Zero Messenger bag from Minx-Girl: http://www.minx-girl.com/

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Carradice of Nelson, a British Company, with true British Values

Carradice, the very word oozes 'canvas and leather strapping'. No where in my opinion can you buy better cycling luggage and saddlebags than from Carradice. I am rather new to cycling, so when recommended this firm by other members of the CTC forum back in 2008, I took a look.

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Mountain biking on the IoM – it's a girl thing too!

Today, the sun shone and although a tad chilly, was so much milder than of late. This week has been a reasonable one, and my eldest daughter thought that she would like to have a go at Mountain biking. In part this is to help her gain more fitness.

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'Why bark, if you've gotta dog?'

Well, this morning all sorts of plans have been shattered. My mountain bike meet was cancelled, Beth couldn't get to work, and hubby has a dark cloud above him having sorted out his bike for a trial. All cancelled, due to heavy dumping of snow.

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Cycling the Isle of Man – Three Peaks of Mann route

Well, I'm getting a bit tired of the same ol' route each time I want to ride an Audax. Soooooo, getting another ride sorted out. This one is going to be hilly, as hilly as I can get it to be without repeating roads. Its going to ride in a figure 8 and will feature […]

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Valentines day out on the Mountain Bike… Where was everyone!

Just back from a really good ride out with the girls. Normally there are a dozen of us out there. But today, Fiona, Jo and myself were 'the Billy no-mates' and were hitting the trails alone.

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Thyroid glands and cycling… the joys of it all

In September 2009 I was diagnosed with Graves Disease. Sounds worse than it is. It seems my fantastic immune system that I have been so pleased with is biting back. I cannot remember the last time I have had a cold or a sore throat even, and apart from child birth I have never had […]

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