We made it to Coventry! This shows you how bad my geography and general knowledge is … I thought I was cycling into a wee town but Coventry is the ninth largest city in England! You can imagine my shock!
As soon as we passed the Welcome to Coventry sign, I pedalled manically, full of excitement straight for Lee Cooper’s workshop – not quite believing where I was heading!
Lee Cooper made the frame of my Kibo bicycle for Stanforth Bikes. Thousands of moments flashed my mind of incredible miles riding South America and here I was about to meet the man who built my frame!
Maria taking full advantage of any situation to have her belly rubbed … ha ha ha!
I have no idea about bicycles … I just ride them … so it came as a shock that my frame started out as tubes as in photo below and are welded together using thingymabobs which is as technical as my mind goes …
Next we were off to BBC Coventry for a live appearance on Brody Swain’s afternoon radio show. You can listen to my chat with Brody via this link … just fast forward to 2 hours and 15 mins … Radio Interview!
You can also read this article in the Coventry Observer!
Here’s Maria in BBC Coventry studios … a world away from the streets of Brazil …
Afterwards I cycled us to the Britannia Hotel and once checked in I was amazed! The room was massive, with a huge leather suite, desk and big balcony with chairs and a table overlooking the cathedral! I just assumed because I had a dog I’d get a crap room!
I was proud of Maria for being such a good girl in the BBC studios, so I thought I’d treat her to some cooked chicken from a supermarket. BIG MISTAKE! Maria has a sensitive tummy and it took months of cooking her rice and chicken and experimenting before finding Farmina GastroIntestinal Complex.
I owe a lot to this food because lets face it …. I simply can’t cook her chicken and rice on the road … so I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing without it.
I wrongly assumed cooked packaged chicken wouldn’t be too different to home cooked chicken. FAIL! Maria had a bad reaction, which happened an hour later all over the hotel reception’s marble floor. I looked up absolutely mortified, not really knowing what to do and wishing there weren’t so many people around. I was the only one caring it seemed because the staff were not fussed at all. They certainly are a dog friendly hotel!
I contacted Maria’s vets up in Scotland, Apex Vets … well … what I mean by that is … I emailed them photos of her poo … as you do. Apex Vets called me and advised what I should do and what Maria needed. I took her to a local vet, where she was checked over and given an injection and meds.
We stayed in Coventry for 3 days to allow Maria to get better. The first day she was so poorly I sat with her all day in the hotel room. I know I worry unnecessarily but I can’t stop myself. Thankfully, she’s much better now and I’m never giving her another ‘treat’ ever again.
The World Bike Girl Event in Coventry was held at Twisted Barrel Brewery in what must be the coolest city spot I’ve ever visited … Fargo Village (if you are visiting Coventry these are must dos). Click here for blog post on Coventry event!
A member of the audience was Michael Mudd, who has the bike shop in Fargo Village called the Bike Box. He know’s my bike designers parents and also Lee Cooper! Small world! So the next day I paid him a visit and he very kindly serviced my bike and made some adjustments.
Michael volunteers for the Samaritans and was moved by my talk. I thanked him and explained when I had a break down I got through the worst moments by calling the Samaritans helpline – so it’s very close to my heart.
This amazing horse reminded me of when I was a wee girl riding my bike very fast, pretending it was a horse!
Once Maria was better, we went out to see the local sights …
I couldn’t visit Coventry without visiting the Transport Museum! Yes Coventry’s motor companies contributed greatly to the British Motor Industry but Coventry was once the home of British Bicycle Manufacturing and at one point even produced the greatest output of bicycles in the world!
If you are a cyclist this museum is a must see!
The section about the history of women and cycling in Britain was fascinating and similar in many ways to the fight women have in Iran now to be allowed to ride their bicycles and choose their clothing.
‘Two shameless females in bloomers bicycled through the village yesterday, and some of the village women were so scandalised they threw stones at them.’
‘Cycling helped to change attitudes towards women’s clothing and grew awareness of female emancipation. In the 1890’s letters began to appear in cycling magazines arguing for an against rational dress. Some men objected to rational clothing because they thought it made women look like men and found bloomers unacceptable. Others wrote in support of wearing practical clothing.’
Had a fascinating time in Coventry – really good buzz about the city – and everyone was so friendly and helpful! It took ages taking Maria for a walk because people kept coming up asking to pet her! lol
Tomorrow we begin cycling towards Nottingham for next World Bike Girl Event:
Nottingham Bike Works, Fri 24th Aug, 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm.
Tickets here: World Bike Girl Event Nottingham.
MASSIVE WHOOHOO TO CYCLING AROUND UK! Ishbel x
Anyone who didn’t get a chance to buy my book, you can buy it here on AMAZON: Me, My Bike and a Street Dog Called Lucy.