November 6, 2016
The previous two weekends had been very mild. We thought the sight of men (and women) in shorts was just a forgotten dream, yet there they were, bare-legged and smiling.
But the polar vortex was watching. Watching and waiting. It waited, and waited, and finally flung its icy arrows towards County Waterford on Saturday morning. Not content to stay just for a short visit, this devilish vortex from the polar north persisted into Sunday.
Undeterred, the wise cyclists of Dungarvan and round about were out in force. Force 6, I would say. No bare legs, arms or fingers today. Correction; there were 10 bare fingers on view. The wind was northerly, and it was wicked. As we say in Dungarvan, it was wicked strong. It was described to me over the phone later in the day as a “lazy wind” (*). When I continued the conversation without commenting on this lazy wind, my friend said to me:
D: You do know what a lazy wind is, don’t you?
Me: I’m sure you are going to tell me.
D: Well, a lazy wind is a wind that is too lazy to go around you. Instead, it goes right through you.
Our spin today in this polar vortex with the lazy wind brought us to the scenic seaside village of Ardmore, and the report is just in, hot off the presses.
The Sunday group 23K spin took in 12 cyclists which included some from G4. The journey took us along the N72 turning left at the Welcome Inn and headed towards Clashmore and then onto Ardmore for coffee and scones in the Ardmore Gallery and Tearoom. The group were a little bit early but Breda looked after us with help from one of G23’s Anne; thanks Anne. After a relaxing short spell we headed for home with G4 heading off at a faster pace the remaining G23 cycled at a steady pace along road out of Ardmore and turned left towards Ring. The group turned left before Kiely’s Cross at the cross roads and headed at a steady climb towards the Seanachai were the group turned right and headed back onto the Ring road and headed for home. (Tony M)
As agreed with G23, six Group 4 hillbillies tackled the spin home from Ardmore at a faster pace, managed by Páraig (aka Burkes Biking, Forrest Gump and other unprintable unmentionables), but to be fair, these hillbillies needed very little managing. The group cycled as one, with just two exceptions. The call was made from the Ardmore hairpin uphill to go hard if feeling good, and ditto at Ballintlea to John Paul’s. At all other times, this fine group cycled to support one another. Stronger cyclists were asked to hold back a little, to ensure that the group returned to Dungarvan together. All in all, a fine spin. Clear blue skies & happy faces throughout.
Also noteworthy today was the arrival of a lone cyclist to the rear of our group as we approached Ardmore. This well-known local restauranteur enjoyed our company and shelter before forging on alone while we diverted indoors to Betty’s hospitality. Such a short time he had with us. Gone with the lazy vortex wind.
In recent weeks I have abandoned my good comrades in Group 3 (The Famous Group). Abandoned may not, in fact, be the correct word, as I have merely moved to another great group of friends, and I’ll be back in the fold presently. In the meantime, the reports of goings-on within the group help keep me in touch, just in case I miss any of the scéalta móra (**) in my absence.
The captain’s armband was passed to John on Sunday as G3’s regular boss was on a well-earned break. In capable hands, the 14 strong group were off up the N25 turning left at Ring Cross, up Old Parish and down to the seaside village of Ardmore. The group welcomed a first-time visitor to our club/county Mark who was treated to magnificent scenery in brilliant winter sunshine. A puncture outside of all places but JJ’s cafe where the group were tantilized by the wafts of frying bacon as they waited for the maintenance crew to get Rob mobile again. Back in the saddle, it was onwards to Youghal where on starting the climb the group were assaulted by a very blustery north wind. The relentless gusts on roads with no shelter hindered the pace and progression home. An ease in Cappoquin quickened the step and all arrived back in Dungarvan safe and sound if a little slower than usual. Thanks to John for minding the gang so well. 14 in group, 90k in 26.4 kph. (Carol B)
My lazy take on last week’s Sunday spins (October 30th, 2016) involves merely copying the notes sent in via the ever-reliable group reporter.
The night is dark and full of terrors’…not so as a lovely Autumn morning heralded group 3’s Halloween spin on Sunday. 16 souls took off down the coast road towards Durrow and across to Carrick on what turned out to be not the straightforward route we had envisioned. At the bottom of Crehana Frank got spooked and turned for home, maybe he had a premonition of what lay ahead. A surprise left turn after Curraghduff brought the group on a new hill, weighing in at 16% gradient. All survived, a welcome stop at the crossroads for treats followed. A fast pace over to Carroll’s Cross and onwards to Kill. A very lively descent to Ballylaneen followed. At Griffins garage the group zig zagged back across the five cross roads where out of the shadows emerged the ghost of Frank. Tucked safely back in the fold it was a helter skelter trip back the coast road home. Welcome back to Group 3 regulars Benny and Philip this week. 16 in the group and 90 kilometres done at 28kph average speed. A brilliant spin yet again! (Carol B)
Did it Bother You?
Readers will be shocked that there is only one picture this week. I ask for your understanding in this matter. It is not easy to get a good photograph of a polar vortex. Equally, it is not appropriate to take a photograph of bare legs in such cold conditions. Veins start to pop and there are goosebumps on the goosebumps. Finally, I would have liked a good photograph of the frying bacon, it was not to be. I was 300 metres down the road at the time.
* I came upon a wonderful blog mentioning “lazy wind” from way back in 2009 near the top of a hill in a rural area of Derbyshire. It is worth a visit (both the blog and the top of the hill in Derbyshire, I’m sure). Material is copyrighted, and I want to acknowledge it as such. Just mention that @burkesbiking (Twitter) sent you.
** Scéalta móra = updates / gossip, sca.
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Safe cycling out there,