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Build Me Up, Buttercup

A few months ago, I went on the Sky Ride in Bath.I thought it would be a nice opportunity to get back on a bike for the first time in a few years, and to visit Bath (it can’t help not being as good as Bristol, poor thing) but what I didn’t realise is that it would lead to me buying a bike for myself. I’ve posted quite a few times about bikes from brands like PashleyBeg Bicycles and even a few designer labels, but £600 (at least) seemed like a lot of money to spend when I don’t intend (yet?) to cycle to work (which also counted out getting help through the various cycle to work schemes available. After a lot of time searching (because I had a very specific style in mind, and a specific sort of price point!), I found a beautiful baby blueDawes bike in a local shop, second hand, for £250. The only problem was getting it from the centre of Bristol to my house. The bike had been in the shop a few months (and is probably still there!) so I kept that in the back of my mind.

This is obviously not that bike. I found this bike with a chance Google search one lunchtime (honestly, I have no idea what was so different about this search that lead me to this site – I’m pretty sure I’ve Googled “ladies bikes” before) and by the end of that hour, I had bought this Claud Butler Cambridge bike in yellow (it also comes in blue, red and pink). The bike came fully assembled (unlike a few of the sites I’d looked at), it was a reasonable price, and it came from a company based just a few miles from where I grew up (I don’t know why that influenced me, it just does)

I have to say, the company, All About The Bike were brilliant in every part of my purchase. I phoned up to ask about the difference between two models (the lady on the phone was so helpful with this – she seemed to know exactly what I meant!) and to see if they would be able to deliver on a Saturday, since delivery was already included in the price, but was for weekdays only. (I didn’t get the bike until Monday though because the courier, UKMail, are absolutely incompetent and couldn’t be bothered to do what they were paid to do. I’m still very irritated by the conversations I had with them – however when I called AATB on Monday, the lady who sold me the bike was so apologetic, and offered to refund the delivery without me asking. Hooray!)

(tl; dr: I like this bike, and I like this company.)

I have only been out a few times on the bike so far since it came last Monday, but it’s so much fun! Yesterday, I cycled to the gym (the main reason I bought it) then I cycled to Asda for the weeks shopping, coming back through this hidden park which is only round the corner from my house! (Perhaps I will try to take some outfit photos here? Once I get back into doing outfit photos again…)

After the SkyRide in Bath, I was sent a little goodie bag from Sky to thank me for going, and besides the little light on my basket you can see above (which is brilliant, I’m about to buy a bigger one for the back of the bike since the lights I bought last week have already broken, gah), my favourite thing in there was this jacket designed by Henry Holland.

It’s not particularly flattering on me (I’d prefer something a bit more fitted, and less boob flattening) but it’s much cuter than most of the high vis sort of jackets you can buy (the polka dots are reflective!) and doesn’t take up too much space in my gym bag. I’m not that bothered about the shape not flattering me as long as it does the job of keeping me dry and seen!

Next step will be to cycle further than a mile…eek! And in case you’re wondering, the title of this post comes from my bikes name – Buttercup, of course! (Apparently you have to name bikes. I don’t know why.)

Situations Turned Around

I’ve been a little absent from the blog recently because of all that life stuff getting in the way. Here’s a quick recap about whats been going on (and a prod to myself to blog about some of these things!)

Call me a spoilsport, but I’m kinda glad the heatwave is over (again). I just don’t cope well in hot weather – this photo was taken after work one Friday, sitting in the shade at 7pm was as much as I can handle!

A few weekends ago, I headed over to London for the iFabbo bloggers conference. It was a really interesting day, and I felt like I learnt loads (which seems so wrong for a Saturday!) – I’ll try to get a post together about it! Vanessa met me for dinner, and we headed to Burger and Lobster where the menu is…er…burger or lobster (or lobster roll for people who can’t be bothered to deshell their lobster). Since neither of us had ever had lobster before, obviously we had to go for that. Verdict: weird looking, too lazy to shell, but quite nice actually.

Wine already in a glass may not sound as good as gin-in-a-tin, but I still approve. I saw Selina on the train back to Bristol (we seem to have a thing at the moment for spotting each other on public transport!) and we gossiped about our days at blogger meetups!

On Sunday I headed over to Bath to take part in the Sky Ride – a cycle around some closed off roads in Bath. Despite the rain, it was still quite enjoyable to cycle around, especially around the Circus and Royal Crescent, which are two of my favourite areas in Bath. Its been a while since I got on my (or someone elses) bike, and the short ride reminded me that I really do want a bike. If only Bristol wasn’t so hilly, I would love to cycle to work!

After the ride, I headed up to the Fashion Museum to meet Ally. Embarrassingly, this is the first time I’ve been outside the museum –  despite living over in Bristol for 4 years, I still haven’t visited. I’ll visit this summer. Honest.

We headed to Bea’s Vintage Tea Room, a lovely new find by Ally the day before, and had lunch. I went for coronation chicken (well, obviously) which was delicious, and Ally’s cake looked amazing too. Sadly I couldn’t quite fit one of these pretty little cakes in! I think I will have to visit Bea’s again with my camera this time, its such a pretty little tea room.

Finally, Fern. Cause, y’know, everyone loves the silliest spaniel in Bristol.

I Want To Ride My Bicycle

I know that I need to get much fitter – not necessarily lose loads of weight (although it would be nice!) but to be a lot more toned up overall.

The boy, ever helpful, has suggested that I start cycling to and from work. Whitchurch to Clifton is about 5 miles, with at least two rather large hills in between. No thanks.

But! If I had a job that was a bit closer to home, I think I could manage this cycling lark. Especially if I had one of these lovely Pashley bicycles:

The Princess Classic – £495

The Princess Sovereign – £595

The Britannia – this one is probably my favourite – £575

Just need to find £600 now…

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