Golden milk by my side
Loved ones competing to win
Just the odd passing car
Content, cosy, happy
Surrounded by family
Soaked in love
Follow your heart:
A heart route to celebrate my long awaited family reunion!
Loughton, a cute ancient village in Milton Keynes England, and the city where I first gave birth to Cycle Your Heart Out over a decade ago! It's also one of my favourite areas in the city to find some peace and walk the dog.
It was thanks to my amazing sister's that we managed to come up with this short but beautiful 4.78km ride in Loughton! The route is also part of the 12km Millennium cycle route around Milton Keynes, a quiet picturesque ride that takes you past the river Ouzel, the Grand Union Canal, ancient villages and the famous concrete cows!
Cycle Your Heart Out:
Meet my mum, she hadn't rode a bike in ages, and had pretty much lost all confidence. She would stop and walk the bike to cross a small road, avoid adjusting the seat to the correct height in case she fell off, and rode the same speed as someone walking.
But little by little with the help of me and my sister, her confidence bloomed as we rode along peaceful paths, canals and lakes. No rush, nowhere to be, just us and our bikes. We stopped to pick freshly fallen plums, pick juicy blackberries, and to simply admire the horses. The more we rode, the more her fear faded and her smile grew! We celebrated our ride with some delicious Victoria sponge cake and tea at the Grumpy Cook.
If you have someone you love who is a little hesitant to get back on their bike, here are 2 tips from my mum that helped her get over her fear of cycling:
1. Walk and cycle... Like when you start running, you walk/jog/build up a few mins at a time...
2. Avoid cycling on hills or in bad weather until more confident
Spread the love:
To help spread the love around Milton Keynes I gifted a copy of my new book to the wonderful Alchemise Yoga Studio in Newport Pagnell. Ran by the lovely Wendy, it was thanks to her amazing classes that I first fell in love with yoga over a decade ago. Thanks Nicole for reading my poems in your relaxing cello classes.
"Building community, bringing art from the heart, a perfect offering.
Thank you so much for bringing your wonderful poetry into the world and sharing your book with us!"
- Wendy Loughlan - Founder of Alchemise Yoga Studio
The Route to Friendship
Sometimes in life you’ll visit somewhere and fall in love
Destined to return
That place for me was Brighton
It stole my heart not once, but twice
Recently made fuller
Thanks to the beauty of
Sometimes it’s weeks
Time passes and not a word exchanged between you
Yet put together in the same room
Retold as if they’d occurred last year
Jobs, partners, cities, may have all changed
But some friendships remain the same
Unable to budge for anyone
Not even time
It started a few years ago, a screenshot to capture the special moment,
I've lost count now, it's become the norm, and it's only sunk in recently.
The realisation that I’ll never be able to take a last-minute coffee, pop over for dinner, or enjoy a long comforting hug.
The realisation that our future children will never grow up playing together.
Multiple countries, all spread out around the world.
I’ve slowly had to accept the fact that my family may never agree on one country.
However, with acceptance comes comfort.
Maybe we all have different destinies, life has a unique plan for us all.
So here I am, on my way to make my Cambridge heart route, my mum and sister by my side.
Their faces not on a phone, but right here, next to me.
What I once took for granted, I now cherish with every inch of my being.
To be with them, and not through a screen, is the best birthday gift.
No longer a screenshot.
But here side by side.
I was recently contacted by the Milton Keynes Council to help plan a fun Valentines heart shaped cycled route.
Over 30 cyclists joined in to cycle their hearts out with a loved one, and make use of the fantastic redways that Milton Keynes has to offer! The fab Breeze and Sky ride leaders Ana, Karen Colette and Kevin did a fantastic job in organising and leading the ride, and making sure everyone had a great time! Well done to the Milton Keynes Council, British Cycling, The Parks Trust and Roy Pinks cycles for making the event possible!
If you live in Milton keynes & couldn´t make it on the day don´t worry, you can cycle the 3.6 mile heart route yourself with friends, family and loved ones whenever you like! The route is all off-road and makes full use of the great cycle paths that Milton Keynes has to offer!
This Christmas I decided to celebrate the festive season with a sunny Breeze ride around Milton Keynes, followed by the Chain Reaction bicycle festival. Congratulations to Maja Dunn for winning the prize draw for the Cycle Your Heart Out 'Freedom' Pendant!
Read more and check out the full gallery here!
Have you found a heart shaped cycle route? Or maybe even tried this Milton Keynes heart route out for yourself? If so I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment here. Don’t forget to share this with your friends and family and spread the love.
Follow Your Heart
To celebrate the lovely art initiative The Big Draw, my sister Helen and life long friend Josephine decided hop on our bikes for a heart shaped 'tour and draw'!
7km all flat
Cycle Your Heart Out
You can join in if you want! Cycle a heart shaped route around your area and stop in 4 different spots. Spend a maximum of 15 minutes drawing whatever catches your eye!
Spread the love
For some great drawing tips check out World Sketching Tour Luís Simões !