Friday evening was spent in Portlaw with the Village Wheelers Cycling Club as they selected the items and sizes for their winter order of Sean Kelly ONDA Bikewear. There’s a great atmosphere within the club and I always enjoy each visit. The last time that I was there with Sean we met some of the characters that make Portlaw such a unique place to visit. This was at 10am on a Saturday morning.
On Saturday morning the alarm clock began bleating at 4.30am. A quick shower, a good bowl of porridge and I was out the door headed for Clogheen, the rendezvous point for the South Tipp Cycling Club annual excursion to the An Post Rebel Tour of West Cork. A really enjoyable day lay in store and the journey down to Glengarriff flew by with Club Chairman Bernard in the van for company. Approaching the start town we reminisced about our last time together here on two wheels when we were approaching the end of a 2 Day Malin to Mizen adventure. This was not going to be quiet so demanding. A good breakfast followed (my second of the day) and then we joined some other South Tippers and also met up with Shank and Tommy the guard from Blarney.
The Caha Pass and tunnel road were as spectacular as ever.
At the foodstop some said their prayers whilst others got stuck in to the Hula Hoops.
The Healy Pass with its new surface was enjoyable although the rain didn’t quiet manage to avoid a few bodies overheating.
A nice tailwind blew us back into Glengarriff. At the finish Peadar O’Callaghan did an excellent job of entertaining the crowd as they sat in the sun drinking recovery pints and eating pasta. It was like being at a very chilled out concert where three quarters of the audience wore lycra. You wouldn’t see that at Electric Picnic, or maybe you would.
This morning I had a nice lie-in. The alarm didn’t go off until 7am. By 8 Anthony was outside and we headed off for Carrick and the Annual Bobby Power commemorative Cycle in aid of the Irish Pilgrimage Trust, a charity that Bobby was very involved with before he sadly passed away.
A good strong coffee from Tara O’Donnell beforehand had us nicely warmed up as the sky above darkened. The rain was on its way. Some let a little air out of the tyres on their bikes whilst others charged up the electric motors.
There were quiet a few very good bike riders in their day in attendance and the pace showed as the spin went on.
100k later after another good feed in Rathgormack half way around, we were back in Carrick with Joe Hahessy leading the group through the streets of the town made famous by a family of musicians and the exploits of those who chose to compete on two wheels all the way to the top of the World Stage.
Now having watched the Tour of Britain and the Vuelta on TV it’s time to wash the bike. Another part of a weekend in the life of a cyclist.