Holiday Cycling in Europe

Holiday Cycling

Holiday cycling by the sea Image credit: Courtesy of via Creative Commons

It’s nearly the school summer holidays, only two days to go and I’m already wondering how I’m going to work from home and entertain two young children for six whole weeks! I know lots of us are in the same boat! I love my two and I’m looking forward to a whole summer of fun with them, but juggling constant entertainment for two children whilst managing working from home, well, it can sometimes be challenging; especially when the weather’s less than cheerful and we can’t get out in the fresh air. So I’m looking at holidays!

Secretly, I’m dreaming of a holiday cycling along some fabulous coast line, with wine tasting and delicious food. Just the hubby and I, in glorious warm sunshine. We’ve not yet cycled abroad together and it’s something we’ve been talking about for the last couple of summers. We’ve had a few UK holidays where we’ve managed some holiday cycling but with a three year old and a seven year old in tow it’s always been very much family friendly cycling. This year, I’d love to be able to explore more and have some long lazy lunches before setting off and absorbing the sun-drenched scenery.

Say cheese

So, I’m busy looking at holiday cycling options, although there’s one problem at the moment…I checked my passport last week and found that it expires in the next couple of days! Bad times. The end of last week was spent frantically form-filling and taking those awful passport pictures, where quite frankly, I resemble nothing like I look in everyday life…at least I hope that’s the case! Under tight time constraints, I’ve ended up submitting a picture with my application that I’ll genuinely be so embarrassed to still have to show in ten years time! But that’s passport photos right? Tell me yours is equally as embarrassing!

So, in the hope that the new passport with the horrendous photo is returned far quicker than I’m anticipating, this morning I’ve been hunting for and dreaming about lovely holiday cycling ideas. Perhaps Europe, perhaps even further afield, but a few days in padded lycra on hired bikes eating fresh local food, drowned in sunshine all washed down with a glass of vino sounds just about perfect right now.

To date, we’ve done the Lake District, Staffordshire, Rutland and last year we stayed local in Nottinghamshire close to Sherwood Forest. I love Notts and we had a wonderful time, the kids enjoyed it massively and Miss OCG’s cycling came on a treat, but my lovely son whinged a fair bit, understandably as his legs couldn’t quite take him as fast as the rest of us! He absolutely gave it his best shot and had lots of fun in the end, cycling and exploring Sherwood Pines and Thoresby Park and I had my first little taster of mountain biking on that trip. As a road cycling fan I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed it!

Holiday Cycling

Long stretches of road and holiday cycling by a lake. Image Credit: courtesy of via creative commons license.

Holiday cycling destinations

I’ve found some great ideas. Whatever your preference, be it adventurous off road cycling or meandering along by rivers and lakes…or maybe a good mix of both, there seems to be something out there for everyone. I’ve noticed some great holiday cycling guides on the James Villas website. Whether you’re a beginner or proficient in your cycling, their cycling guides and infographics offer 15 different routes across five popular different European destinations. Having never been to Portugal, the Algarve looks particularly tempting but there’s guides also for Cyprus, Menorca, Mallorca and Lanzarote. All look like lots of fun.

So that’s today’s reading for me…and then, finger’s crossed, once my passport returns there’ll be somewhere available for us to book which coincides with hubby’s annual leave dates (this may be wishful thinking given it’s already very nearly the summer holidays but I have my finger’s crossed!).



*This post is in collaboration with James Villas*

Getting in Shape Without the Gym

Getting in Shape without the Gym

Leave your gym bag in the cupboard and do these few effective exercises from home instead. photo credit: Gym Bag via photopin (license)

Though a gym membership can help you reach your fitness goals, you can get results that are just as good without spending all that time and money. With just a few simple exercises you can get a full body workout to help you achieve your fitness and weight loss goals, whether you’re in the comfort of your own living room or in a hotel room away on a business trip or holiday. You could even get an online nutrition plan from a company like Superbody to make sure your eating is on the same track as your exercising.

So leave your gym bag in the cupboard and try these few excellent exercises. Getting in shape without the gym is possible! (more…)

BMX Cycling: The Underrated Bike Sport

BMX Cycling

Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons Licence: Freakshot Photography

It’s fair to say that when it comes to cycling, both the sporting world and the personal preferences of riders here in the UK tends to be dominated by road and mountain bikes. There’s certainly a lot more publicity for these types of cycling on social media and the television, but others, like BMX cycling for example, receive far less media attention. (more…)

A Beginner’s Guide to Clip-In Pedals

Beginner's Guide to Clip In Pedals
If you’ve recently bought your first road bike you’re perhaps considering trying clip-in pedals. For many cyclists, making the switch from regular pedals to clip-in pedals is a move that’s laced with trepidation and fear. And because clip-in pedals require the shoe to be held in place with a spring ski binding-like mechanism, it’s no surprise that many can find it a difficult transition to go through. I know that it was for me. I was terrified of falling off and took some persuasion to give them a go, but after buying my first pedals a few weeks after getting my road bike, I can honestly say that once you’ve tried them, you won’t go back to riding without them.

If you’re wondering whether to go for it and make the switch, I’ve compiled the following beginner’s guide to clip-in pedals. Let’s start with a few good reasons to consider using clip-in pedals over ‘standard’ ones… (more…)

Cycle to work? Here’s Some Essential Kit Items For Your Daily Commute


daily commute, cycle to work

Image: creative commons via Photobucket

Cycling is now one of the UK’s most popular hobbies, but it’s also becoming the method of transport for the daily commute. It’s easy to understand why people are choosing to cycle to work – it keeps you fit and healthy, allows you to meander through rush hour grid lock and saves you precious pounds when it comes to fuel and parking. Plus, at this time of year you can enjoy some rare British sunshine – just don’t forget to wear sunglasses and apply sun cream! Whether you regularly cycle to work or are considering giving it a go, here are some essential items to improve your daily commute.


A move to pastures new. And a little bit of honesty

women's cycling, club cycling, NottinghamshireMy goodness, what a hectic few months it’s been! Since I last posted a lot has happened at OCG HQ. We’ve had a house move, a new school and an operation! Thankfully, Little Man is fine after his op and is raring to go again. Miss OCG is enjoying her new school and the new OCG HQ is starting to feel like home.

Our new house is not too far from the old one, only 12 miles or so away but far enough away to mean new cycling territory and I think that was just what I needed! Some new places to explore! I’ll be honest, it’s a little more hilly than I had bargained for and with a couple of months out of the saddle my fitness could be better! But the sun has started shining and it has some heat in it (so no more Raynaud’s problems for the time being) and the local scenery in my new little spot in Nottinghamshire is glorious!

So, there’s been a few changes… (more…)

The Annie Movie DVD release & Dancing at Pineapple Studios


Annie DVD

Perfecting our moves.
Image: courtesy of DnA PR

You may recall a couple of weeks ago, my twitter was alive with excitement as Miss OCG and I were kindly invited along to London to visit Pineapple Dance Studios to dance to music from the Annie movie. I couldn’t resist getting my dancing shoes back on after having had such a blast as part of Team Honk at the Comic Relief Danceathon and Miss OCG was beyond excited to be taught some moves from Strictly Come Dancing choreographer, Richard Marcel! As a huge Strictly fan, I was rather chuffed too! (more…)

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