12 miles = strained smiles

Last weekend I went on a 12 mile bike ride…

Now 12 miles doesn’t sound a lot but I am talking pedicycle here not motorcycle. I am also talking 12 hilly miles, not flat, in the heat. For someone that didn’t even take their cycling proficiency test back in the day (do those tests still exist?) it was pretty tough going but mucho fun.

My brother recently moved back to the U.K and for some reason him and his partner fancied a bike ride, so with Nick, we all went to Bewlwater in the heart of Kent. I didn’t know this place existed but Nick used to go quite a lot when he was wee and said it was fun so I was really looking forward to it, and it didn’t disappoint.

Greeted with a huge stretch of beautiful blue water and greenery there’s so much to do. People were camping, fishing, sailing and we were biking. It was a circular route so not much could go wrong really…

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This was MUCH bigger than it seems in this pic… honest

After getting kitted out with the right size bikes and helmets (safety first chaps) we set on our way. Now, I hadn’t ridden a bike for many many years and it’s fair to say I was a bit wobbly – and a bit nervous. Nick, of course, sped off in front leaving the 3 of us in a trail of dust for a while. But we soon all found our pace. The first couple of miles or so were lovely, under shade, fairly flat around the damn, serene and peaceful. Perfect, ‘I got this’ I thought.

But I did not ‘have this’ not one little bit…

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Oh look it says 13 miles here – lets go with 13 – not 12!

Things started to get hot and hilly pretty quick. It seemed like most of the ride was uphill, even though I am sure it said it was an ‘easy’ ride in the brochure. The hottest weekend of the year so far was probably not the best time to try a new outdoor activity. We stopped every so often to admire the gorgeous views, take some water and generally pretend we weren’t all dying a little. The views were totally worth it, there’s something about being outdoors in nature that’s so calming. but there’s something about being outdoors in nature on a bike ride with a hot helmet on that takes away that calm.

After a couple of hours I thought “we must almost be back” but nope, after checking, we were only half way round. HALF WAY. Oh and also, we ran out of water. So that was fun and not the least bit distressing.

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Bumpy bump bump = bruisey bruise bruise

Nick and I decided to go ahead and get round as quick as we could to get it over with, at this point my bum was pretty bruised for the bumps so I attempted to stand up and cycle. I don’t know why, because I can barely do this in a spin class on a stationary bike, so trying to do this on a bumpy surface was a mistake. As you can imagine I stacked it hard and in a dramatic fashion. But a little war wound helps make the story that much more interesting when retelling it on a  Monday morning in the office.

Joy of joys! The last couple of miles was mostly downhill, weeeeeeeeeeeee. To my surprise we passed a few people with kids on the back of their bikes, or kids riding their own bikes with massive smiles on their faces! WTF? I felt like I was dying a big death and these toddlers were getting round with no issues at all. They must have had something in their juice…

When we got back to the car park and saw the cafe we were so excited for food and fluids! We had just sat down when I got a call from my brother who was still cycling; “Any chance you want to walk back collect our bikes and ride them back for us?”

He was serious!

Needless to say I stayed sat (well kneeling because sitting hurt too much) exactly where I was, drank 4 bottles of water ate 2 cookies and did not move.

I am aware that I sound like a right moaning minnie about this bike ride, BUT it was really fun and felt like a huge achievement. I would definitely recommend this place and I will be going back, but might try the sailing instead…

On Sunday I went for lunch with a lovely bunch of ladies that I wouldn’t have met unless I was in sobriety. I don’t feature many pics of my friends in these blogs but they do exist! I just choose not to share them because some people don’t want to feel exposed, whether in sobriety or not and I would hate to ask someone if they mind me posting a pic and that person feel like they can’t say no. So I stick to pics of me.

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After consuming too much food – but the smile shows how yummy it was

I am very lucky.

I have friends that I have known since I was young who have stuck by me over the years. I have friends I met in the height of my addiction who support and stick by me because they are lovely. I have friends I have met in sobriety, who are either in sobriety themselves or not. I have friends I have lost over the years for one reason of another but have still had an impact on my life. I am grateful for every single one of the people that have touched my life.

It is funny to think that I wouldn’t have met some of the closest people to me know if it weren’t for sobriety, I’ve met some fabulous people who I can laugh with and cry with. I have had some great experiences, even just going to lunch with a great group of ladies is an experience I am grateful for, because I couldn’t do that a few years ago.

So today I am grateful for the chats, grateful for the chaffing after a cycle ride and grateful for the chocolate pud I enjoyed over lunch last week.

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Love Katie xxxx

P.S. Sorry this post is a week late – internet issues! Currently writing this using my mobile hotspot! xxx

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