Pádraig is the author of Burkes Biking Blog. This week he loves latté and cycling in early Autumn. He loves dahlias, begonias and Marion too, but not Strava segments that finish 10 metres beyond a junction.
What a beautiful morning to be out on the bike with my club. The forecast last Friday gave epic rain for Sunday morning, but thankfully it arrived overnight. I had seen the announced routes and planned to go with my usual G3 and have coffee with G4. Everything went without a hitch. Here are the DCC notes from the road for 16/09/2018: (credits PRO Carol and group scribes)
With the evening light restricted members were out in force for the weekend activities.
On Sunday G3 stayed close to home with 14 doing a ring of West Waterford. Turning off the main road for Ballinameela, across Villierstown, Camphire to Tallow, up Ballyduff to Lyons Cross and back down to Lismore. (My note: I left the group in Cappoquin and soloed to Lismore to sit in a suntrap with coffee, chatting to riders from Youghal and Dungarvan who also love suntraps)
On the road from Cappoquin it was a 50/50 split for straight home or the black hill to Colligan. A super day to be out on the bike with 90k covered at 28kph.
Four G4 riders set out on a dry & bright Sunday morning. Numbers depleted due to a few late cry offs and one doing the spin on Saturday as the early forecast for Sunday was not good. Thankfully it was wrong and the 4 enthusiastic riders began the climb up Colligan. Onwards towards Half Way and onto Cappagh cross heading for Lismore with very pleasant perfume wafting in the wind to overcome the slightly pungent smells of the countryside. A refuel stop at the garage in Lismore in glorious sunshine meeting and greeting other cyclists from Youghal and Cork swapping banter and in some cases shoes!!!
Padraig (that’s me) from G3 on extended coffee break joined us for the spin home. Back on the bikes up the hill in Lismore turning left for Deerpark with one who didn’t study the route heading for Tallow. All was well as he realised he was on a solo run! All straightforward to Cappoquin, Military road, Ballinroad and home. A great spin just over 80Km.
Páraig is the author of Burkes Biking Blog. This week he loves latté and cycling in early Autumn. He loves dahlias, begonias and Marion too, but not Strava segments that finish 10 metres beyond a junction.
Sometimes a day on the bike pans out better than any plan. Today was one of those days.
Thursday, May 26th, 2016
Cloudy and cool 12C; light easterly wind.
Today was one of those days when plans work out differently. Differently, yet better.
Intending to meet up with the Thursday 9am Kilrush gang before a second spin with Marion and Anne, I was surprised to find myself alone. On my todd. No-one else there. Time for plan B, a solo trip to Cappoquin and be back home in time for elevenses. This plan B changed several times along the way.
With a reasonable tailwind towards Ballylemon, I cranked up the pace. By Cappagh, I was fully warmed up and going well. Pushing a bit harder to Affane, I watched the Garmin pace nudge past 31k, and finished the hard workout at Richmond House.
Then the easy fun bit began. Rather than return the same route, I went by Glenshelane back to Affane, and from there I hit on a Plan C to explore roads unseen for quite a while. Passing Affane Church and derelict old schoolhouse, I meandered on towards Joe White’s at Kilmolash, and uphill on the back road to Villierstown.
Villierstown was looking great in the sunshine. A quick diversion to the Blackwater for a few photos and a sit-down, was followed by further byroad meandering to Aglish.
I realised by this time that I would likely be a small bit late to meet the ladies back in Abbeyside. Time therefore to push on a bit as I returned by my old school in Ballinameela, arriving just after 11 for coffee.
Part two saw us heading once again to Cappoquin, but this time along the back road to Kilmolash, at a wonderfully social pace. Coffee at Barron’s was very welcome and we devised a Plan D to return to Dungarvan on the Modeligo Motorway, via Glenshelane once again.
One of the sights along the social ramble was a beautiful wooden seat at Knockalara. I have passed it lots of times, but today was the day to stop. It was put in place by the local residents. in memory of one John Sullivan. What a great way to remember him, and other deceased neighbours!
Summary: 104 kilometres (65 miles) including 30 minutes hard workout, followed by over 3.5 hours easy biking with plenty time for photos, chat and coffee (or two).
Tour de Suir 160k, Sunday August 3rd, 2014
When I was very young , my grandmother told me the story about the stationmaster in Cahir, County Tipperary. Unfortunately he had a speech impediment and the town of Cahir became “Here”. As the train would approach, he was heard to call out: “Here ye are for where ye’re goin. All within for Here come out”
This childhood memory came back to me as I sat outside The Galtee Inn, in Cahir during the week, but it suddenly dawned on my that there isn’t a train station in Cahir. Maybe there’s part-truth there somewhere, though. It returned to my thoughts once again as we departed Clonmel Park Hotel at 8am for the 160k Tour de Suir 2014. Here we are, for where we’ re going…
I had been very fortunate to get breakfast! No milk in the fridge earlier, and coffee and bread is not exactly bike-fodder. No milk either for my usual scrambled eggs on sportive mornings. Nothing for it but to bring my bowl, spoon and muesli with me, and I thanked heaven when I found a shop open early in Clonmel. Chatting and munching prior to the start, I knew that my day was saved.
Stage 1 to Aherlow: While the general feeling was that the low turnout was a bit disappointing, we did not let it affect us as the 45 headed out towards Cahir at a very lively pace. The stiff westerly breeze made it all the more important to stay within the protection of the peloton. Time to Cahir was 27 mins @ 18.6pmh
The lead car pulled aside after Cahir and we were left to our own devices. I think the wise heads at the front made the correct decision to not be tempted into race mode, because of the long journey ahead. They were surely tiring from being in the wind and soon the group got a good up-and-over rhythm going well, bringing us speedily to Tipperary and on towards the first big Tour de Suir challenge. Average pace to Aherlow was 19.6pmh. That’s fast for me!
I was in the top four at the foot of the climb. Some veterans had given me a quick summary of the profile. It rises 475 feet in 1.4 miles @ 7%. This is deceptive, as there is a short almost-flat section before half-way. Up to 15% early on and a hurting 18& near the top. Time: 9m 10s. At the front I kept a strong tempo over the first steep kilometre and eased back into a flatter section. However, the last kilometre near the top put me in the red, and I had no choice but to back off. Once I recovered and got over, I enjoyed the downhill and waited for my group at the bottom.
Descending is a bike skill in itself, a skill I am beginning to master only recently. It involves three components (that I can think of): positioning on the bike, bike handling and confidence; and it is generally accepted that confidence is the key. On this descent, the road surface is not great, but I was glad that it was dry. The group ahead were out of sight and I was alone. This meant that I was more easily able to pick my line through the bends and be safer.
Onwards then on very undulating and unforgiving roads to a very welcome banana-stop in Galbally, where we assembled a larger possee to see us through to the next phase of the battle. Distance covered 33 miles. Exactly one third of the way.
Stage 2 to Ballyporeen. A group of 10, mostly Dungarvan-based, brought a good steady pace to the proceedings: Vincent Feeney, Frank Browne, Dave Byrne, Louie Dowley, Francis Walsh and mé féin, together with other strong and equally sensible group members. Before you could say “Are we there yet?” there we were, in Ballyporeen for more bananas! We timed it well too, as we enjoyed watching a heavy shower outside with warm coffee inside! Distance covered 51 miles. Still a long way to go!
My mother grew up a few short mikes from here in a place called Kilcaroon, on mountain farmland. It is a place in the Premier County that brings back fond memories of boyhood summers. But, as the “Airplane” script goes…that’s not important now.
Stage 3: The final 49 miles was the Big Challenge, bringing us over the Vee, and on to Lismore and Cappoquin at a fierce rate of tailwind knots. The long drag up Millstreet to the Clonmel road was tough, and it was here that we began to look around to make sure that our buddies were ok. In reality, it’s not a drag. It’s a long hill. But because its only a little hill in comparison to the three big ones, it can be overlooked. Dangerous mistake! All hills are hard, and we hit this one after 130k. Safely up, we pushed on to Ballymacarbery and stopped to breathe deeply, eat, drink and sympathise with one another in advance. We knew what was ahead! Powers the Pot rises more than 900 feet over 3.5 miles @ 5%, but it has the advantage that it’s a constant incline, rather than varied steepness as was the case with Aherlow. However, after nearly 90 miles of cranking it along it must be given lots of respect. “Multo respecto”, the Romans would say about this. Twenty-two minutes later I crested the top, unable to shake off Francis, despite trying hard! When w all regrouped at a junction on the descent, it was with a huge sigh of relief. Finally, the windy descent (as in twisted, not with wind) on good surface to Clonmel was thrilling, and we arrived safely and without mechanical mishaps to the finish line, to be presented with our unexpected medals.
Pace 17.7 mph in old money
Verdict: A joy to be in a good working group all day!
Man of the Match: Louie Dowley, off the bike for nearly three weeks. When he needed to find an extra gear, he got it from somewhere deep! Chapeau, old chap!
Tour de Suir 160k blog by Pat Burke. Managed to hang on to this 28.5kph group for 162k! http://t.co/53Iqusk2jz
The three-day Suir Valley race, finished on the very same Power’s the Pot the following day and was won impressively by Mark Dowling. Well done, young man! Here’s a StickyBottle. report. As we crested the summit on our version of the race, there were no supporters to cheer us on. Just ourselves and some lonely sheep!
Interestingly, in order to add a touch of race reality to the event, we were chip-timed, and I received this text shortly afterwards. I was tempted to reply indicating that it did not take account of our time eating bananas and drinking coffee, but it was a no-reply number. All is well!
Finally, to round off one of my rather long event reports, I mentioned the story to Vinny Feeney about the day myself and Philip Cleary met a bull standing in the middle of the road just before Ballyporeen. Back about ten years ago, I’d say. We had been cycling from Limerick, and were suddenly stopped in our tracks. The bull looked dazed, and we ventured carefully past, hugging the ditch, walking inside the bikes for protection! Vinny laughed back, because I had forgotten one important part of the story…Vinny had been there with us that day too! Just goes to show… I would have remembered it if I’d been blogging back then.