Posted by: brendaintheboro | July 30, 2017


A bit philosophical for me but this week , while out cycling solo, I began one of those conversations in my head. I thought back to years ago when I used to pull myself down because I couldn’t sing like my friend Barbara, or I couldn’t bake as well as my friend Margaret. I think women in particular do this to themselves a lot of the time.

I think what brought this about was I have joined a Facebook group for larger cyclists – well it seems to be open to everyone. FLAB stands for Fat Lad At the Back and they make clothing for the larger cyclist going up to 5XL  for men. They also do ladies clothing and I have one long sleeved top and a waterproof cycling jacket. Anyway, there seems to be lots of discussions about bikes and sportives and audax rides and even some triathlons. Looking at some of the posts , I began to think “oh, I can’t ride that fast”. Guess what? I was comparing myself with others, most of who are likely to be 20 years my junior. There were others who have just taken to cycling  and they feel pleased with riding 10 – 20 miles. So the point of all this rambling is DO NOT COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS.

If you want to see how you are doing, look back to last year or even 10 years ago. How are you doing?

On Tuesday evening, I took the opportunity to go out with the Stockton Flab group. They were meeting in Ingleby Barwick so I cycled across with DS1. Initially he  was only going to  take me over and then go home but the organiser asked him to join us which he did. It was only an 11 miles ride in the local Hilton and  Seamer area  but as it had rained most of the day and the sun came out. We had a lovely time. There were only 6 of us but it was good to encourage others and see how far I have come.

DSCN0003 (2)

Saturday’s weather forecast was for decent weather so DH and I set off, initially to cycle to Northallerton. Well we did our usual route up through Yarm and along to Appleton Wiske. We stopped at Worsall road end and 5 cyclists came up the bank to the corner. By the time we had finished drinking, they were ahead of us but we soon passed them. I felt so strong and was riding in higher gears than I normally use. Is it because the Koga has been well serviced? I don’t know but it felt good.

From Appleton Wiske, we headed west up through Hornby and I had got ahead of DH so was able to get these photos as he came into Hornby.


Then once in Great Smeaton , we turned right instead of left and rode along the main A  road  towards Northallerton but then turned right marked Birkby. By now, we were on new roads to us and at one point there was a train so close by , we thought it was a vehicle behind us. Then as we followed the road we came to East Cowton and turned right to ride along to North Cowton. All the time, the fine fretty rain came and went , so the rain jackets we put on and taken off multiple times.

At North Cowton , the rain came down more heavily so we decided not to go to Northallerton and headed across towards Moulton.I spotted this piece of street art/ yarn bombing and spoke to a chap. He said they are mystified about who is doing it. Well done I say.


This road to Moulton is another  we haven’t ridden on before and by the time we got there the sun came out again. We stopped  in the wonderful bus stop. Look at this .



Isnt it nice that cyclists are mentioned specifically. I love how this little community works together. They raise money for village funds by having a book and plant stall with an honesty box. Members of the community keep the shelter clean and tidy. So good.  We stopped and ate 2nd breakfast at 11.00am.


From here we rode up to Middleton Tyas and missing the turning, we ended up going up a long drag and ended up in the chaos that has ensued because of road works on the A1. So turning back, we whizzed back down the hill. We stopped to talk to a trio outside one of the houses. They said that its horrendous living there at present.

So we headed along to Barton , then down to Stapelton and in to Darlington. I didn’t stop to buy any fabric, so we headed along to Middleton St George. The track wasn’t too muddy, which surprised me, but we knew the bit along the Whinneys would be worse, so rode around the village.

We stopped in a pub restaurant and had a drink. The real reason though was that there were no facilities anywhere and my poor old knees are giving trouble if I have to squat in a field.  Probably too much information heehee!! The total distance for the day was over 62 miles.

So adding in the week’s mileage of 130.1 plus the 150 miles on holiday ,my mileage for the YTD is 2092.8 miles.



  1. Very well done Brenda, and a great blog!🙂

  2. thanks Mike. Nice of you to comment.

  3. Good thoughts and good mileage.

    The only problem about comparing how far one has come on on a personal basis is that when you get to my age, the comparison is all about how far you have gone back again.

    Meeting both yarn bombing and a community bus shelter must have made that quite an unusual ride.

    • Yes TP , we have to take advancing age into account. none of us know quite what is around the corner but really that goes for any age . Things happen but then we just have to readjust the goals and keep focused even if its not as much as we previously hoped for.

      • I am hoping to find a new interest so that I can start improving at something again. I am getting a little downhearted at the impossibility of progress at the moment.

      • what about learning another language? or is a physical challenge you are after?

  4. Brenda, great advice. You never fail to impress me with your distances.

  5. thanks Robyn. it all adds up. just off out now

  6. Very true about comparing oneself to others. I did this in my schooldays too. I did a 30 mile sportive in March; I almost vowed “never again” because everyone was overtaking me and I couldn’t understand why (me? my bike?) and it made me feel a bit pathetic! I thought – if I’d just been out for that ride on my own I’d just have enjoyed it and would have come home feeling I’d achieved a lot, as it was a very windy day and it was hard going. I got back after all the other 30 milers and only just had time to chat with one or two of them; as the social side had been part of the reason I did it I was very disappointed.

    I love the bus shelter! What a lovely idea to make it so nice, and useful to others even if they’re not using the bus.

    • Hi Lizzie, I have never done a sportive , main reason being , why pay to ride my bike when I can do it anyway. OK they usually throw in some refreshment but we can do that anyway. I hope you can find others to cycle with. Look for the FLAB group on FB if you can. I really enjoyed the small group ride last week and will do another if it fits in. Thanks for commenting. I really do like it.

  7. Great to see the yarn bombing 👌and that the yarn bombers are staying a mystery. ❓❓😄
    So true about avoiding comparisons. Good advice Brenda. Best to simply enjoy your own journey.

    • I haven’t seen yarn bombing in such a small village. it must just be a single person

  8. 2092.8 miles in a single year is a feat. Congratulations.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: