London behind us we arrived to Milton Keynes for our event at Twenty3c Bike Shop and Cafe in Stony Stratford on Friday 17th Aug. We stayed the night before with my agents Mum Chris, not far away and she kindly gave us a lift to the event.
To pack everything in her car I had to take the wheels off my bicycle. Outside Twenty3c I stood on the pavement and struggled to put the wheels back on. A woman stopped and asked if I needed help. I was mortified because I cycle the world and couldn’t put my wheels on and thanked her but said I was okay.
She asked if I was sure because I really looked like I needed help. My face reddened more, “okay that would be great thank you” and I told her not to tell anyone because I cycled the world and it was awful i couldn’t get my wheels on. She jumped back and gasped – ‘You’re the bike woman! OMG you’re a celebrity round here! I can’t believe I’m helping you put your wheels on – this is so great – I’M GOING TO TELL EVERYONE!’ The not telling anyone part was out the window! lol
I saw the sign in Twenty3c’s window and knew it was going to be an awesome event regardless of whether my bike had wheels on …
This is Maria meeting Twenty3c’s creator Ceri and James who knows all things bikes – he makes a mighty coffee too!
I was so looking forward to meeting Ceri, an absolutely legendary and inspirational 33 year old woman, forging ahead in a male dominated industry. She is a tremendous mechanic and also BikeBiz woman of the year! So, it was highly unfortunate as I rolled my bicycle through the front door of Twenty3c with her walking towards me to welcome me, I saw my back wheel was squint and touching the frame. I cringed, “OMG I’m so embarrassed I can’t put my wheels on”. To which she laughed, bent down, fixed them and that was us … bonded for life. Read this fantastic article about Ceri here: Bike Biz Woman of the Year – Identifying Obstacles
It’s also amazing that Ceri cycles her doggy Dot and she sits in the trailer below. Dot is a very important staff member at Twenty3c! I do love celeste green Bianchi’s and looking at the photo below I pray I sell more copies of my book so I can buy one ha ha ha! 🙂
Maria looking as gorgeous as ever! She welcomed everyone when they arrived with wagging tail and heart melting eyes and when I began talking she sat at my feet, then lay down and feel asleep for the duration. When the audience began clapping at end, she woke up and began pawing my legs … she’s so cute!
The event was a huge success! I’ll never forget it! The Milton Keynes audience were amazing … apologies for heckling crowd when mobile phone rang but me making fun of you shows I like you! Well that’s the rules to life in Scotland! 🙂
A couple in the audience had seen the piece in local newspaper and couldn’t believe it! They recognised me from Dogs in Brazil and they came along! I wrote the book in the Dogs in Brazil shelter and they are supporters of Dogs in Brazil and do fundraising for them. I was able to give them a book with a special signed message to auction which was so nice.
You can read the piece in the local newspaper here: Milton Keynes Citizen
I couldn’t believe how many books people bought! I only had 6 left for my next event so next morning I had to make an emergency order of my books from Amazon to be delivered to next event ha ha ha!
The crowd were blown away by Jenny Graham’s world record attempt to be fastest woman to cycle around the world which is happening right now! And they showed their support in style!
Honestly guys, you ain’t going to get much more inspiring than Jenny so check her out and get following her! Online of course not in person – you mad stalkers!
This was me after the event …. well … it’s thirsty work guys … must stay lubricated for my next talk!
This was the morning after … I was actually way to rough to begin cycling so I delayed my departure from Milton Keynes until Sunday … my bad!
We went for amazing walks around Milton Keynes during our stay – it really is a beautiful part of the country and seems an amazing place to live – plus it’s only 30 mins on a train to London!
This was me and Maria in our very own scene from Jayne Eyre.
And this was us visiting local RSPCA shop in Newport Pagnell.
Well it’s Sunday morning and time to pack up and cycle to Coventry!
We’ve had an incredible time in Milton Keynes – great place for walking and the local people make it amazing – really great sense of humour in this area! Loved it and want to come back already!
Special thanks to Ceri and all team at Twenty3c, and all those who supported the event, including local journalist Sammy Jones and Milton Keynes Citizen, Hayley Roche (Milton Keynes Council – Transport Planner – Walking/Cycling) and Nicky Kenny of Community Action MK