Last Of The Summer Wine

Yesterday was another magnificent cycling day! Kieran and Alberto had signed on for the 160k Cork Rebel Tour. Apart from getting lost going out of Cork City and not seeing any bikers, stewards or signs for about 90 minutes, and apart from the fact that it was a terribly badly-organised event, I still consider that it was a magnificent event to cycle. In all fairness, the food at Dunmanway was really good, the tailwind to Clonakilty brought on a fast pace, and the scenery at the Old Head of Kinsale was worth the cycle alone! We laid eyes on a tall slim young lady in green doing her mandatory stretches at Dunmanway, and tried to slow the pace to get her into our group. But, apart from glimpses at several spots later on the course, she was having none of it!
Kieran almost needed windscreen wipers on the inside coming home as the jokes and banter increased in intensity. What a finish!

This was our season finale, and we celebrated in the Lady Belle with Sarah and Olivia late into the early morning. Brilliant stuff! I had teased the lads about going to Lismore this morning, bit to no avail. I went just to loosen out the head, 33 easy easy miles. Again, here’s a loose transcript of texts to and fro:

P: Can I borrow your ankle bandage…I need it for my head?

K: No, it’s on my head.

P: Not a problem. I’ll put stabilisers on bike. Same thing!

Afterwards, I called in to Kieran’s for another breakfast, and then did the dog on it again in the afternoon as we shared several Budweiser with friends at home.

All in all, a WONDERFUL biking season. 85 spins, 4400 miles January to today. We will probably take it easy until Christmas, and have plans for bigger and better next year. Maybe slower, but better.

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They said it was 100 miles…they were wrong!

Today must rank as one of my BEST days on a bike. The Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford attracted a massive 3670 entrants, and everything about it lived up to the billing! After a slight hiccup because I couldn’t find the pins for my jersey number, the problem was solved as Kieran stapled it on (carefully) We set off at 7.30am in cool conditions, and met up with the Kilmac Dogs and others after just 5 miles. Thereafter we enjoyed a lovely flat spin to Carrick and on to Clonmel. Coffee & sandwiches were enjoyed at Kilmanahan just before the serious mountain sections ahead. Power’s the Pot was hard but manageable, with a cool westerly tailwind assisting us. By now our group of 8 really helped each other along, and we reached the official food stop at Rathgormack in good condition. A quick coffee and some food here, and off we set again for Mahon Bridge and the ball-breaker to Mahon Falls. This was TOUGH TOUGH TOUGH. 25 minutes of 100% effort, before the wonderful descent to Kilrossanty where bananas awaited us. Certainly at this point the legs were crying out for rest, but none was coming just yet. After a hard drag to the bottom of the final climb, we settled in to more hard work, and all the chatting stopped. I realised half-way up the four mile climb that my sugar levels were dangerously low and I needed to back off from the group along with many others. A gel sachet and two bananas took about 10 minutes to kick in, at which point I had crested the top and worked hard on the downhill the catch the lads again. Finally, as we turned for home at Beary’s Cross with 10 miles to go, the wind was behind us and we ROARED home. Our very strong pace brought many more into our group and we finished with about 15 in all. Great day, great weather, great food, great everything!

2009 Flashback: Sarah & I at 50k start

They said it was 100 miles, but I made it just over 104. Details: 104.26 miles in 6h 57m Average 14.9mph. Sense of achievement: Unmeasurable! Roll on 2011…