The Fabulous IKF – Indigo Kelly-Forest

It takes a very brave woman to take a group of (potentially difficult) women who are new to cycling on a bicycle tour in another country! It is thanks to just such a wonderful woman that I expanded my horizons and went cycle touring in France

What to Pack for Cycle Touring

Kit lists can go on and on.  Ideally you need to pack no more than 10kg.  Some people might be able to go as low as 6kg.  I call the photograph below “Deux Chevaux”.  Sadly I had loaded my bike as if I had the equivalent of two horse-power in my legs (I didn’t).  The…

A Slow Cycle Guide to Getting Started

The most important thing is to evolve your own style. How far do you want to cycle? How fast or slow can you go? You won’t know until you get out there and get your legs moving. For touring and traffic-free cycling your bike should be big and sturdy enough for beaten paths but light…

Slow Sunday at Chatsworth

Parking at Edensor (pronounced En-saw for some reason) is something of a tradition for us when visiting the Chatsworth estate (not the Shameless one).  A short walk over the hillside delivers the best view of the big house over the bridge.  The cleaned and gilded facades probably look better now than they have at any…

Testing out the Tent in the Garden

Of course, to be a true slow cyclist you don’t have to go very far!  Before going away to France I put my tent up in my friend’s garden.  The food and wine was so good I got head-spin and did not get much sleep.  This is why I rarely drink on holiday – I…

London to Paris on the Avenue Verte

Leaving London… As much as I had been dreading city riding I must admit that I loved the thrill of it. My feeling of safety was enhanced by three things: 1) being on a cycle route 2) being in a group 3) being visible (lovely fluoro!)

Food and “the French way” to Slow Cycle

Not for me stopping in lycra to stuff (whilst standing or leaning against the shop front) a delicate French fancy, croissant or baguette. This is not the French way!  NON! Not to say that I haven’t been guilty of this but I’d rather stop, order a coffee and unwrap something delicious to savour and devour…

Slow Cycle – Lessons and Experience

Nothing makes you feel younger than riding your bike along a shaded canal or through golden fields filled with sunflowers. Cycling traffic-free (in any country) is not like cycling in your local town. Once you get your balance the pace is up to you. Just keep moving forwards at a pace which you feel comfortable…

The Elusive Tulips

I don’t know if anyone else remembers the cold, dark summer we had a few years ago? It was a grim start to the year when NOTHING grew. I had the romantic notion that I would take my two little ones to the Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands for our Easter holiday and we would…

What I do and Why

I write stories for charities, individuals and projects which I believe in.

Why I Volunteer in a Dusty Cupboard (Second-hand Bookshop)

A sense of anticipation in my head and heart. What treasures will I find today? The door is thickened by burgundy paint, a heritage colour. I enter the combination, turn the silver dial to the left and the lock opens. My eyes adjust to the darkness before I click on the strip light that flickers…

How Do You Talk To Strangers?

As a bookshop volunteer at The National Trust, I’m very fond of striking up conversations with strangers over books, cake and coffee.  That’s one of the great things about working for a charity: that you are allowed to listen and interact.  It is those kinds of conversations which brighten up your day and it is…

The Pros and Cons of Marginal Gains (so 2012)

Listen to any management guru or performance coach and they’ll bang on about the joy of marginal gains, an over-generalised theory adapted and exemplified from models used by David Brailsford at British Cycling.  Sure, every little thing you do contributes incrementally to your success.  Many of us know this.  We make the most of it,…

I Have a Confession to Make: I am an Addict

Gonna to have to face it I’m addicted to books!  Books have that easy-going, take-me-to-bed quality for me.  They can take me on a journey when I’m snuggled up comfortably at home, make me laugh out loud or make me cry.  Whatever makes me keep reading, anything that I can complete must have elements which…

Funny Adverts – Hit or Miss?

Sting in the Tail Cyclist’s Lip Balm. This goes on my face right? As a female cyclist I am much amused by the use of text and images in advertising. Here’s another: I don’t need to point out the obvious! At least the picture editor had the good sense to edit out the flat tyres…