Well done to all the survivors of today’s spin. That turned out to be a seriously tough day – who came up with that route?!!! I would like to say RIP to the fallen. I have never heard as many ‘Oh, I have to go home early today’ responses from people. The Pope must have been in town. What are ye all going to do when we head out to Birr, Thurles, Broadford etc? Get a taxi home? If you can’t last the full distance in your bunch then you are in the wrong bunch. Personally I blame Will Rymer for all the ills of the club. Luckily for ye, I think things will get a little easier from now on as we move back to the old routes.
There were 32 cyclists on the road today. It was a cold start but once it warmed up a little it turned out to be another perfect day for cycling. We split as usual on the warm-up and came together at the Obama Plaza. Each week the route has been getting progressively harder and longer. For the final time on the loop we had two Hail Marys and an Our Father to do. That Our Father at the end was a b****. Will you ever stop with the blaspheming! Baby Jesus is listening.
Chunk was back on the road this morning so he was put in command of G1. There was 9 in that group and they received a decent handicap. Of all the bunches on the road today, their bunch finished with the most riders intact. Thanks to Captain Chunk, I don’t think they lost any and they were never caught either. That is how the cycle should have been. Although the former Rás man almost needed a push up the final climbs. Climbing = power/weight. Must be something going wrong for him there. In Gary’s own words ‘I have lost some power’. Ya right.
Note for the other groups – when going at speed for 2:15, don’t tear off like lunatics at the start. But, I can hear you say, we WERE going slow! Obviously not slow enough for the distance. That goes for G2 and G3. Judge the distance and amount of energy needed to complete the distance correctly – that is an important skill in itself. Just because we are rolling over, that doesn’t mean it has to be fast rolling. Take your time going over the top.
One thing that is also becoming obvious from the Saturday cycle – those who are also doing the Sunday cycle are improving much quicker than everyone else. Shock, horror – the people who are training the most are improving the most. Try to get out a little bit more during the week. If you really want to take a step up in performance then start getting a little bit more serious about training.
G3 gave G2 a much longer handicap today. This handicap was perfect as the ‘bunches’ both came together coming in to Toomevara at the end. In G3, the pace starting off was too high. You might hold that pace at the start but what will you be like 2 hours later? There are only 3 or 4 lads that can hold that pace for the full thing and as per usual they weren’t the 3 or 4 lads pushing that pace. Things got tougher as both Kenneth and Dan punctured early. That made things tougher for those that remained. They would have to pick up the slack until the boys fixed the punctures and jumped back in on the next loop.
G2 were working nicely on the first loop. Everyone was doing their bit in what was a large group of riders. The first climb up Army Hill was a problem for the group last week as the group splintered a lot. This week was more of the same. The group was all over the road and took a while to get back together. By the time they got to the turn around at the flyover the group at halved in size. Not good.
G3 took their time going up Army Hill the first time and everyone stayed together. This allowed for a better chase once they got to the flat again. The next loop was tough on the legs for both groups as numbers dwindled. G1 still had a big lead going into the final climbs. The groups had permission to push it on a bit on the final climbs if they wanted. The extra push was enough to send a few good men and women out the back. The final climb up Gortagarry was pretty brutal. It is only a short climb but it gets steep in places and is tough to climb with tired legs. Once at the top, it was all down hill to the finish in Toom. We regrouped and headed for home. With 110km in the legs there wasn’t much energy left in the bunch.
Goodbye N7 loop – the next time we see you it will be war – WW1 – The Great War (Dec 10th)
Always good to get an insight from one of our members – step forward Will Rymer aka King William aka Pretty Boy.
“The session today for me was relatively manageable. The step up from group 2 to group 3 with the Men of the Ras was an unbelievable jump up for the first couple of weeks, but consistent training and regular attendance is meaning that the pace is a little more bearable. That is not to say it is easy, a cursory glance at our heart rates will show what my body is doing to try to hold the wheel of the lads who are cruising. I am feeling less likely to be spat out the back though. Obviously there are some of the clubs big hitters still missing, and I am a very poor substitute for a Mike Browne.
When the Winter Warrior comes or February gets nearer the pressure is going to come on again, but if I am going to do more than sit at the back of the A4 bunch, and maybe even score some points this year, I am going to have to push myself. There are lads in the club who have been here, done that and progressed through several levels of cycling and have the experience and knowledge about what worked for them. What seems to crop up again and again is time commitment and honest hard work. With work and family commitments time is precious, so I don’t do a lot of recovery sessions or easy gym workouts. I recover on my stool at work.
Today’s session showed that I have a long way to go, watching guys gallop up that bloody hill today without their heart getting excited whilst mine is bursting out of my ribcage with sweat stinging the eyes shows that there is a heap of work to do before the Lacey cup rolls out from Tralee in 4 months time. The only thing I regret is that there is less time for chat in group 3, I’m too busy fighting the voices in my head telling me to stop and go home.”
Thanks Will – although, I do think that piece could do with a bit more ass licking for the Rás lads. The words ‘living legends’ and ‘Godlike’ were not used for some reason. Tut tut.
Before and After of Benny (there was no grey in his beard setting out)
Next up: spend the rest of the day gorging on the couch (all except Chunk – keep that muzzle on) and we will see ye all out again tomorrow morning at 8:00am at Tescos for the lake cycle. All club members are welcome to attend.
Next Saturday: we will be moving away from the N7 loop and going back to the old routes. Most of us know the craic with these routes by now. For newcomers to the bunch we will explain all on the website later in the week.