Saturday MTB 9th Feb
With the racing season approaching fast our weekly MTB spins are slowly coming to an end. Dermot arrived early to the car park at Kinnity Castle where he was busily setting up a bit of a party piece. When the rest of the gang arrived Dermot opened up his boot to reveal a mini-bar complete with shot glasses and spirits. The gang were invited to take a shot of whiskey or brandy to celebrate the MTB season. I downed a shot of Jameson which was sure to have great performance enhancing effects. Forget all this racket with EPO and blood doping it was good old fashioned hard liquor for the Tullamore crew.
With the shots dispatched in double quick time the six of us left the carpark and headed for the hills. The after effects of the whiskey certainly didn’t enhance my performance and I spent the day in the pain cave while Peter, Paul and Brian flew up the hills. The scenery was stunning as always and the weather was kind to us. Our typical route takes in the mountains to the rear of the castle where we then head across to the loops surrounding the scouts den.
Martie and John were in good form all day and I certainly had a good view of everyone from the autobus. Dermot had announced that the inaugural Tullamore CTC Mountain Goat award was up for graps after the days ride. The only goat I was liable to see was of the wild variety. Stats for the day were Distance – 31.5km, Total Climbing – 750m.
We ended the day with a coffee break in Kinnity Castle which is turning into a bit of a tradition after the MTB spin. Why has it taken so long to do this? It certainly is a nice way to end the day. Dermot and Martie retired to decide the winner of the Mountain Goat jersey. In the end the winner was bound to be either Peter or Paul. The judging panel decided to award Peter the jersey for 2013 who looks great in the special edition jersey. There’s always next year.
Road Spin 10th Feb
After a nice workout on Saturday I was hoping for another decent session on Sunday to get myself ready for the start of the racing season. I’ve missed a few Sundays so I wasn’t particular confident of cycling when I woke up on Sunday morning. The sound of rain hitting off the window is never to appealing especially when your deciding whether to cycle or not. I’m not known for my love of crap weather so I was contemplating rolling around and going back to sleep. However I got myself up and ready and managed to make it into the Ballalley for the 9:00am start.
11 brave souls from A group showed up. B group had a very good showing with their numbers up around the 20 mark. A few notable absentees from A group were noted and we even had someone show up only to abandon ship and head to the gym. Your names are duly noted for the Tullamore CTC wimp list which was started after the Tour of Burren last year. Collie and Dermot were present which was to be expected after our torture in Clare last year. Seamus Buckley was running 20 miles in training for his marathon in March. As a result of Seamus’s absence Dermot took over as road captain.
Due to the conditions a shorter than normal spin was called and we headed towards Blueball along the bypass. The wind was strong from the west and progress was tough for the first hour and a half. The first half of the spin took us to Cloghan and then across the bog to Ferbane. The crap road between the two towns has been improved in places but is still a torture to cycle on. We stopped for a coffee in Ferbane and to discuss tactics for the return leg. Dermot as captain called for a steady pace until we reached the turn at Athlone at which point we will push it along with the wind on our backs.
The plan was on track as we hit the Athlone road and the speed increased along with a favourable tailwind. Shane Guinan and Martie were cycling strong however progress was halted outside Moate when Dermot punctured. A quick repair ensued with Collie bragging about his Co2 canister capabilities. We got going again quickly and headed onto Kilbeggan. The hill outside Horseleap was the breaking point for me as my lack of miles caught up with me. Damien has been issued with a yellow card for his jump after I was on the front. Cue a lonely cycle into Kilbeggan. The lads were kind to me and waited outside Kilbeggan as we headed for home. Durrow Hill was the final nail in the coffin and I was content to roll in to town.
Stats for the day: 94km at 30km/h
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