News of everyday village life, training for a long-distance cycle ride, our Foyle's War Club and good things generally.

Pedal Power!

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 in Castle Coop Life, Pedal to Paris! | 2 comments

Pedal Power!



Pedal Power!

16.93 miles were covered today in the push for Pedal to Paris fitness, according to Map My Ride!

It has been another beautiful day and Lady Egality decided to join me on her bike. We cycled along the lanes in tandem which was very companionable.


About half-way round today’s training route, we suddenly found ourselves in the middle of a Chinook manoeuvre..

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We were cycling next to RAF Odiham and watched one of the Base’s Chinooks fly right overhead:

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It looked so ungainly and heavy in the air; we were both mesmerised watching it hover in one spot for simply ages.


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It must be a pretty extraordinary feeling to pilot such a whopping machine.

We stayed for a long time watching it; it was sobering to think all the training is necessary for the troops to be prepared for service out in Afghanistan.

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But then we cycled off and, once away from the RAF Base, felt fancy-free again.


An Un-birthday Present!

When the Agent came home tonight, he arrived bearing a parcel for me – how exciting is that!

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 Guess what was inside, wrapped up in all the tissue paper…..

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Pedal Power shoes with cleats attached! Gosh – that’s serious gear! There was even a shoe maintenance manual provided.



Advantages of Click-in Pedals & Bike Shoes


There is no doubt that click-in pedals are safer. They are designed to release quickly and easily. Similar to a ski binding, when you place your shoe onto the pedal and push down, the cleat snaps into place securing it firmly. To unclip, your simply twist your heel away from the bike.  Unclipping becomes second nature very quickly… the advantages of a firm cleat and stiff shoes will soon become very apparent.  The main advantage however, is that you can achieve a more efficient pedal stroke when using click-in pedals. When you learn how to maximise the full rotation of the pedal stroke by pulling up with your feet, your hill climbing ability will improve, as will your ability to pedal at a higher cadence and you’ll find yourself more efficient in the lower gears. All these reasons will lead to a significant improvement in your endurance but will also reduce wear and tear on your knees, helping you to enjoy your cycling for years to come.


I LOVE the idea of getting ‘a significant improvement’ in my endurance and my hill climbing ability just by putting on a new pair of shoes –  what a result – YAY!
It sounds to me as if these product designers are seriously gifted. I need them to concentrate on designing shoes for gardening which will give ‘a significant improvement’ in the lack of weeds in the flower beds and some for cooking which will likewise improve my delicious-supper-making ability.
Now I understand why Imelda Marcos et al rave about shoes and have all those thousands of pairs!
This magic shoe business is an extremely exciting concept.

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I’ve got to change the pedals on my Poppy Bike to these Power Pedals so that my feet in the new cycling shoes, will snap in and out of them.

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If I forget I’m wearing shoes with cleats, I will keep falling off. So…I’d better concentrate for a change.


I’m going to have to practise clicking in and out of the pedals quite a lot to get the hang of it. Perhaps I should start off on the lawn – what do you think?

Yours hoping I don’t fall off however,

LLH signature

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Friday Night Foyle’s War Club: a War of Nerves!

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Castle Coop Life | 6 comments

Friday Night Foyle’s War Club: a War of Nerves!



A War of Nerves:




Club notes:

I am delighted to report that  The Graf von Blommehön (Chairman),Lady Sebright and Colonel Pyncheon have returned safe and sound from their skiing holiday in Verbier with no broken bones.

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Our Small Courtyard in Spring!

Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 in Castle Coop Life | 2 comments

Our Small Courtyard in Spring!

Our Small Courtyard in Spring:


I’m so glad that Spring is finally here! It’s much easier trying to sort out the garden when the sun is shining!

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The Boat Race!

Posted by on Apr 6, 2014 in Castle Coop Life | 6 comments

The Boat Race!



Light Blue versus Dark Blue!



Although the really important UK Sporting Races on the water have already taken place near Castle Coop…

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Foyle’s War Club: “They Fought in the Fields”

Posted by on Apr 4, 2014 in Castle Coop Life, Foyle's War | 8 comments

Foyle’s War Club: “They Fought in the Fields”

Friday Night Foyle’s War Club: “They Fought in the Fields”

Club notes:

I am delighted to report that despite being busy skiing all day in the Swiss Alps and enjoying the wonderful combination of late snow and sun, The Graf von Blommehön (Chairman),Lady Sebright and Colonel Pyncheon have not forgotten the members of our International Friday Night Foyle’s War Club.

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Xtending my Efforts!

Posted by on Apr 3, 2014 in Castle Coop Fitness, Castle Coop Life | 2 comments

Xtending my Efforts!

Xtending my Efforts!


After my monumental day, gadding about in London, I have been very busy xtending my efforts today to get into shape for my ‘Pedal to Paris’ ride.

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