The amount of effort put in on the bike today could be judged by how much mud was on your face at the end. The absence of mudguards throughout the bunch made this mud + salt facial possible. As we all know, the Newtown posse are a soft lot with delicate skin so it was no surprise when they called it a day early. Ned had just got his hair curled so didn’t want it getting dirty. In fairness to them, the fog was pretty thick out there today so it was no surprise when over half the group called it a day early.
A hardy pack of cyclists and Eoin Woolley were left on the road to complete the set. Due to the fog we decided to stay on the main N7 road so we revisited the loop course from October. It was pretty cold out there so we were glad to pick up the pace at Dunkerrin. A battle quickly began to see who could get on the wheels of the 2 lads with mudguards. Due to the thick fog in places very few were wearing glasses from the start, what we didn’t take into consideration was the wet, muddy, salty roads that we were to meet.
‘Pretty Boy’ Will Rymer was the worst affected cyclist today. He was wiping away the tears all cycle. He says it was from the salt in his eyes but we know how upset he gets when he isn’t at 100% pretty. The bunch consoling him with advice such as ‘don’t worry Will, the mud will wipe off’ didn’t seem to help. An ambulance was on hand at the finish to rush Will straight away to the beauty salon. Early reports suggest he is fine and recovering well. Send all get pretty soon cards to the family home.
Eoin Woolley could rival Will for worst affected rider today. Eoin could have done with some ‘Woollies’ today. Looking out the door this morning, most people would have been thinking – wrap up warm. Eoin simply thought a pair of arm warmers would suffice. A solo breakaway effort was needed half way through the cycle to keep warm. To add further misery, Eoin punctured 5km from Nenagh. I’d say changing that puncture with freezing cold hands was lots of fun. Personally I think I would have run back to Nenagh from there. On the positive side Eoin might have learned the importance of wearing his winter ‘Woolleys’ in the future. The clue is in your name.
There were no groupings on the road this morning. Those that remained formed into one bunch of winners and rolled through from start to finish with just a short ceasefire on the second lap to get some food in. Some in the bunch were feeling the pinch on the second lap so turned for home early. The remaining 8 cyclists weren’t backing down so continued rolling and accumulating mud on the face. Dan Hogan took victory into Moneygall with a typical diesel engine surge. The whole bunch watched him move away slowly and just looked at each other wondering should they chase him down. Once the diesel engine got up to full speed it was hard to close down and he stayed away to the flag. The Puckaun Express was delighted with the win, commenting ‘Ah shure you know shure, tis grand like’. That is the most emotional I have seen Dan get in quite some while.
Chris Spelman is now rivalling Will Rymer for Golden Boy of the club. He lasted the pace well today. Gillian Mounsey did the girls proud by sticking with the bunch from start to finish and making it look easy when many other cyclists cried off early.
Next Up: Sunday cycle – we will give an update as to what is happening with this later this evening. We could well be looking at a time and route change again. But then again maybe not. Check on Facebook later.
Lastly: get well soon – to Seán Gleeson who had a spill on the bike earlier this week. In a phone call from the hospital to Keith Butler the next day, instead of complaining about how broke up his body was, he was complaining about being starving – some things never change!