Today was a normal pre-season Sunday in Clonmel . I rode down towards Carrick to meet the group and we headed out to Dungarvan and back to Carrick – The ‘Ballymac’ spin . I rode home via the back road and had just over 4 hours in my legs as I arrived back at my front door . Pretty normal so far , and pretty much as it was 20 years ago when I began doing that same spin with much of the same group .
As was the case on my initiating spin Sean Kelly , the fourth greatest cyclist of all time , was there and at that time he was world number one . Then he was on an aluminium Vitus with a mavic groupset , today he was riding a principia with a Dura ace , Fsa mix . Then I was riding a Basso Columbus slx frameset with Shimano’s first 7 speed Dura ace groupset , and an avocet cycle computer . The only phones in use on the road were in phone boxes and not everyone had a phone number . Ribena was the energy drink and banana’s were the energy food of choice .
That was then and this is now :
Today was my second spin on my new custom built Viner Maxima . Complete with 11 speed Campagnolo Super Record , Campag Eurus 2way wheels with Hutchinson Fusion tubeless tyres and a Garmin Edge 705 computer with colour on screen gps navigation . I was also trying out live online video streaming from the bike via www.qik.com/worldwidecycles using a nokia n95 8gb smart phone . Each time I began to stream the video a message was automaticly posted to Twitter ( www.twitter.com/worldwidecycles ) to alert people of the live transmission .
The new bike is ultra responsive and as you would expect from a fully custom built machine , super comfortable . I usually get a good deal of lower back pain whilst cycling but today was a good test and I arrived home with no pain whatsoever . The tubeless tyres ride like deep section tubs , with less chance of puncturing as there is nothing to pinch .The super record is very smooth and shifts quickly but does take a bit of getting used to after using Shimano for so long . At first I did not like to look of the levers , but they have grown on me and they are very comfortable .
Another unchanging part of the spin is the gallop to the finish line outside Carrick . Approaching the last 100 metres it was down to a 2 up side by side drag race to the line . John Kinsella was sprinting out of the saddle on the hoods alongside the evergreen Vinny Cronin who was hunched low with his head to the side as he sat and powered towards the line . The headwind played a factor as Vinny took the victory .
There are some things however which will never change . My legs were still sore after the spin , and I felt the same sense of satisfaction after a good morning spent out doing something that I will always enjoy !