The Vicious Cycle
Who wouldn’t want to sign up for a cycle with a name like that? So I went right ahead and signed up! I reckoned it would be a good wake up call and shake off the sulks from Valentia triathlon.
A quick detour: It was my third year doing the Valentia Tri but this year, well…I had the sulks simply because it was one of those races where I really did question my sanity. Why am I swimming in the freezing cold sea whilst being swam over and dunked? Why am I trying to cycle as fast as I can into a howling gale with sideways rain? Why am I running and vomming up sea water at the same time? That isn’t multi tasking, it’s just gross! I finished in a time of 1.33.08, 10 mins slower than I had anticipated. I saw my time splits and realised I spent nearly 5 mins in the first transition, being talked back into the race by my lovely support crew who stood in that horrible weather just to cheer for me. Waaaaah! Anyway, I finished it so that was the main thing blah blah what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger blah…. And it was a great weekend away with my family so overall I loved it (except the whole triathlon part) Here are a few photos taken along the way…
With that out-of-the-way, my next challenge was the Vicious Cycle. Helpfully, Paul, the Big Boss Organiser (nicknamed Psycho) emailed us a profile of the route beforehand that made me quake in my Sidi’s! The route covered 173km all around Shehy Mountains and the Caha Mountains. This spin was different from previous years because this time my Dad was coming too. He started cycling in March and is already up to cycling this kind of route, basically he’s a class act!
So we left the house at 5.30am and got to Kenmare around 7.15am, signed on and got the bikes ready. The weather was looking promising and we set off at 8 am with a few glimmers of sunshine. Before we set off we had a few words from Gerry Murray who was organising a spin for the Paul Darbyshire Fund, a truly worthy cause that each of us had contributed to it that morning, you can check it out here http://www.mycharity.ie/event/munster_rugby_charity_cycle/
So on we went and I can honestly say the climbs just all melted into one. I know we went over the Healy Pass, the Borlin Valley, the Caha Pass, Glengarrif, the Top of Coom, the Pass of Keimanagh. Really I just know that anything that is called a ‘pass’ is very difficult to pass, you have to go up and up and over! The sights were absolutely incredible though. There were beautiful waterfalls, lakes, mountains (obviously!), valleys, sweeping descents and never ending ascents with such lush landscape all around us, it was easy to remember how lucky we were to be able to do such a cycle.
We stopped a few times for scones and tea and soup etc. Everybody seemed to be finding the day tough but rewarding. It makes things so much easier when people are working together in groups, when you are feeling strong you ride out in front and when you are knackered you can just tuck into the group and follow the wheel in front of you. A couple of times that day I felt wiped and the group always bought me back and I did my best when it was my turn out in front and left others recover in the group. It is a great way to maintain a pace and morale in the group.
The few downpours we had cleared quickly and the sun shone for the remainder of the evening. We finally reached the cars at around 6.30 pm that evening with my Dad still pedalling hard til the last km, legend! On our way home we stopped for a 99 but swore not to say anything about the ice cream when we got home as there was a
fine dinner waiting for us A brilliant day and a timely reminder that the Tour http://www.tourdemunster.com/ is only 6 weeks away and I need to keep putting in the miles!
Pedal on my Pretties!
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