Black And White Cows

Tour of Ulster Day 2 Derry to Enniskillen. Tuesday, August 12th
A second tough day with heavy rain and a fresh headwind for almost 60 miles. But suddenly, after lunch in Ballyshannon, the sun came out, the wind was to our back, and we scorched the tarmac home. This was our just reward for hard graft and minding one another all morning.
Coming through heavy rain and strong wind I thought to myself that the Irish proverb “May the wind be always at your back…” definitely did not originate in the North West.
Highlights:

  • the fantastic hard shoulder road from Lifford to Ballyshannon
  • the race to Enniskillen
  • mighty craic on the road
  • and a great friendly hotel in the town.

On a personal level, as I was hurting along several sections of the journey, I remembered my brother-in-law Jim Shine. I am grateful to be alive and able to cycle. I am grateful for buddies to pull me through the dark spots along life’s road. Just for the present moment, I am grateful that I can combine my love of the rothar with the stunning landscape by Lough Erne in Fermanagh.

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Happy birthday, Mick

Unconnected with cycling and the Endurance Challenge 2068 event, please read this final bit under strict advisement…(That worked, I’d say…now you are curious!)
I did also have a further strange thought. Be assured it is only because I have come to understand that my audience appreciate honesty and integrity that I even dare to put it in writing. This blog has developed from merely recording the factual, to seeking out my slant on life’s little treasures. You see, each one of us has a little strange thought or two from time to time, and these strange thoughts must be acknowledged. They must be loved by their owner! Here it is: I wondered if black and white cows might like to compare birthmarks! Along tbe lines of Dairy Tinder.

Harking back to last night’s quote from Robin we are given a little dose of madness and must not let it go to waste. Surely, though, someone has had such a similar thought… but may have not shared it.

I’d say two pints might go down well! But, first…a recovery drink-shake and some vitamin C. Now there’s another….

Next episode: Day 3 Enniskillen to Armagh

 

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Taper, my arse!

If you read my last post, you will have known that I intended doing the Tried & Tested Triathlon Club 20k TT this evening. Furthermore, I had intended doing it sensibly, as the Dungarvan Triathlon is only nine days away and my hard training is finished. But….it did not go to plan.

Ballyvoile
Ballyvoile on a summer evening. Bikers going too fast to be caught on camera! (c. Meabh)

On a beautiful warm summer evening again, I was at the “crooked bridge” and decided to give it 100%. Why? I don’t know really. Maybe some overflowing testosterone (I’m allowed to say that, coz tis my flippin blog!) but mainly because I need to have an indication of where I’m at. I had hoped to do this event for the past few Thursdays, but Thursdays is not a good day for me as my family all meet up for tea and a catch-up. Also, whenever I do the brick workout on Tuesdays, I figure it’s a bridge too far (and not sensible, to boot…) to do two extremely hard workouts within 48 hours.

Garmin metric info
Garmin metric info
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Strava info the old-fashioned way. I usually prefer this.

Anyways, shortly AFTER starting, I gave it welly. Looking back at it on Strava, I had several section PB’s and KOM’s, and was really really thrilled with my pace. And I know I have more in me. What was interesting was that I was not able to get my HR to where it can be maintained for the duration. This tells me, of course, that the oul body is a wee bit tired, and with sensible rest and fresh legs on Saturday week, I’ll know what’s possible. Mind you, there’s a big unknown in the equation. How will I manage the TT after swimming 750 metres? Well, I’ll update you after next week. In the meantime, I’m going to approach it in my most positive frame-of-mind. Even though I’ll find the swim very tough, I have two things in my favour. 1. When I get on the bike, I’ll definitely be well warmed-up and 2. My HR will be high enough to go hard from the start. I do realise this is my FIRST triathlon, so there’s a chance that my best-laid plans might come to an abrupt halt! It’s important though, to visualise the best-case-scenario.

My clock time for the 20k TT was 36:52 That works out at 20.3mph / 32.6kmph.

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Incidentally, looking back through this post, the title may be open to various interpretations! However, Meabh noted that the comma in “Taper, my arse” saved me from further embarrassment.

 

Finally, here’s a good post-TT tip: three Guinness in the Lady Belle, Dungarvan, watching the highlights of England’s unfortunate defeat to Uruguay.

Scoreline England 1 – Luiz Suarez 2.

Report from The Irish Times and another from BBC Sport.

Do you ride bike time-trials? Let’s compare / contrast…

Are you an England fan? Perhaps a Uruguayan fan? Will Chile be the 2014 dark horses? Share your thoughts please…