There will surely be plenty of tired and sore bodies after that cycle. Man that was tough. Whoever had the idea of going to Mountrath should have kept their mouth shut! Our self apppinted ‘chief safety officer’ Andy McLoughlin is taking most of the blame – safety sure as hell wasn’t the reason he wanted to stay on the main road – that man will do anything to avoid hills or hardship! He wanted to avoid the hills but we surely made up for it with plenty of hardship on the way home.
Today’s cycle got off to a bad start with Keith Butler the root of the problem as per usual!! Keith forgot his cycling shoes so we had to wait up for him. In the next mix-up the main bunch were told to leave and that the racing bunch would catch up. Of course they didn’t see Shane down helping our new club member Eoin with his bike. This meant the chase could never happen and it was Roscrea before we saw the main bunch again. Apologies to Eoin for the pace out to Roscrea – we are not normally that cruel to newcomers!! Fair play to you for sticking with us for that long.
At Roscrea, a few club members did the smart thing and turned around and headed back to Nenagh. There is no need to be a hero at our cycle – listen to your body and get home without murdering yourself. There was still a large bunch heading into the blizzard of pain though so we pedaled on. A last-minute decision was made to stay on the main road, but soon after Roscrea it was obvious that the temps were a bit low here and the risk of ice on the road increased.
The bunch split in two after Roscrea with the racing group tasked with chasing down the others. We were hoping to have caught them by Borris-in-Ossory but they were clearly pushing on nicely so the chase continued. The bunch wasn’t caught until 5km outside Mountrath. The two bunches merged and as we were so close to the town we headed for the nearest garage for a quick stop. At this stage we had 36 miles done so it was going to be a 72 mile cycle for everyone = a bit too long for most and way longer than the advertised route = Sorry, but what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger! Actually, in the end the cycle home nearly killed some of us!
The group split in two for the return journey. The first group was given a 10 minute head start and told to cycle easy to Roscrea and try some interval work from there home. The racing group were going to take it hard the whole way home. It wasn’t long though before the phone rang to inform the racing group that the shaded side of the road back was very slippy and in one place was like an ice rink causing a few to fall. Nothing was damaged badly but it could have been worse. Every cyclist has fallen at some stage so welcome to the club!
Armed with the knowledge of impending doom up ahead, the racing bunch were taking their time with the chase. Surely the first group were just exaggerating the slippiness we thought? and then boom Ronan O’Driscoll goes down like Bambi on Ice. It’s never nice to fall but fair play to everyone for getting back up on the bikes and cycling on. Spring and summer are only round the corner so you will quickly forget about days like today.
The rest of the cycle home was a tough slog. One by one the racing group whittled down, with only a few hardy soles left pulling at the front at the end. Putting in a tough effort for 30 minutes can be hard on the body, but this extended 1.5hr effort was tough on both body and mind. In Roscrea, we met the first group. I think Gillian and Matty were laying out a picnic for everyone! There was no waiting at this stage – they were now in the deadzone (a phrase our ‘safety officer’ Andy is borrowing from Mt. Everest) so it was time to cut the rope!
After 4 hours+ on the bike everyone had begun trickling back over the finish line back into town. A lucky few still had to cycle home to strange and exotic places like Portroe. Some others were rescued in cars. This certainly wasn’t the easiest, prettiest, best organised, most fun cycle we have all ever been on but look on the bright side – you survived!! To the 20+ cyclists that once again showed up we promise you things get easier. Whether you turned early or endured the whole cycle give yourself a pat on the back because you deserve it. Well done today and we will see ye all again next week.
By the way, did anyone see our top junior ‘cyclists’ Darren and Killian who swore they would be there?!! Me neither. They must have meant Wii cycling. Tough game that!
Cycling ‘to do’ list:
- Join Cycling Ireland or Triathlon Ireland (you must be a member of one of these to train with us for insurance purposes)
- Order and pay for club cycling gear (contact Kevin about this). The first delivery of club gear should be with us next week so try and pay up asap.