The Princess and the Pea formula

When I went up to London last week on my officially sanctioned shopping trip to buy things to cycle to Paris with, my mind was pretty focused. Not only had I been studying advice on cycling web-sites but I had also found a new email waiting for me from kind Graham, the Events Manager for the Royal British Legion. He recommended I should give an eye to Social Media.


Dear Liberty Hen

Pedal to Paris on Social Media

We’d like to invite you to like our RBL Bike Rides Facebook page and join our Pedal to Paris Event group where you can talk to fellow cyclists about anything and everything related to cycling! This is a great way to get to know other cyclists before the ride and share your experiences on the ride with your friends and family.

On Facebook and Twitter, the voice of experience drops pearls of wisdom for Pedal to Paris newbies such as myself to pick up.

With only 140 characters to play with on  Twitter, no-one pulls any punches.

Q: What should one expect on a Long Distance Ride?

A: A sore butt.

Oh no…not again ..I’ve already been there  & I couldn’t sit down for ages! How thankful am I that the Agent is a firm believer in the great Scouting Motto, ‘Be Prepared’ & has taken me shopping!

Don’t you agree that even prosaic items look alluring when arranged in their neat rows on these display stands?

bicycle nirvana



 I am thoroughly kitted out:

When the Agent & I  stepped into Pedalling Nirvana in Spitalfields, he decided – with my total support – to tackle the sore butt hazard first.

Bearing in mind the approved mathematical Princess and the Pea formula ( hardness of pea  < comfort of princess lying on top of millions of mattresses), I now possess not only a gel saddle cover  – most kindly given to me by my dear neighbours but also some very, very heavily padded Agent-approved leggings (hardness of saddle  < total comfort of Liberty Hen sitting on equivalent of masses of heavy-duty cushions).


In addition, I am now dashingly kitted up with a co-ordinating jacket to wear over my yellow vest & some cycling gloves. Here is my new wardrobe (which might not be making the cover of Vogue magazine any time soon):

2014-08-18 15.19.44

I am also the proud owner of an accessory stash.

bike stuff




I’m keeping my fingers crossed that my fluorescent dayglo hue doesn’t startle learner drivers. The Agent says that it is quite likely a fellow cyclist will mistake me for a wasp.

Yours hoping no-one swats me,

LLH signature



  1. Are you balancing that basket of geraniums in the photo in the bicycle basket that you insisted in taking during our Somme ride !!?

    • Hang on – I thought you were the one who found my bicycle basket so useful on our Somme ride!

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