Throughout Ireland each year as the clocks go back and the skies darken an unusual form of two wheeled creature begins to awaken from its summer hibernation . The ‘winter warrior ‘ can be seen the length and breadth of the country . Some do have a specific winter training bike such as an Ridley Triton s or even a Trek 1000 .
However most can be seen on Colnago’s , Pinarello’s and even the odd Madone . Whilst you and I were slogging our guts out up and down the country Sunday after Sunday throughout the summer they were happily mowing the lawn or on sunny days sitting inside watching eurosport .
Now however for the past six weeks they have been seen as luminous cat eye Christmas trees doing laps of Industrial Estates and town By-passes between 6.30 and 10.30 pm . All in the name of just getting ready for a few winter spins . If you ask a winter warrior why all of the training at this time of year they will invariably reply ‘ oh just want to be sure I dont get dropped on the Sunday spin ‘.
Yeah right . They are on a power trip , their mouths salivating at the thought of the punishment they will be able to inflict on yer man that rode the Ras . If you ask them are they doing much training the usual answer is ‘ I only got out once this week for an hour ‘ .
Well their Timex ironman must have a defective battery because someone will surley have seen them at least three evenings during the week . One night it may have been on the way home from work in the Toyota avensis at 6.30 . The next it may be on the way down to Tescos for the carton of Avonmore supermilk at 10 pm. Some long groundhog hour . When Sunday comes around the first cats and international riders will be seen hanging on the back of the group whilst the ‘Warrior’ will be driving it up some drag at over 22 mph .
This is when the need for a phonak hearing aid becomes apparent . The farmer coming down the road on his Massey Ferguson 20 can easily hear the shouts of ‘Steady’ and ‘ease up for f##k sake’ but our ‘Warrior’ seems completly oblivious .
This is when it really gets interesting as two or more ‘Warriors’ find themselves off the front of the group over the top of the drag . As they glass crank down the other side one will envariably say something like ‘ do ye see who’s suffering like a dog at the back of the group only ####### , (fill in with any top domestic rider who knows how a season plan works ) and sure he was second on the stage of the Ras into Tralee this year.
Sure that Ras can’t be that hard . I’d say its all talk . I’m thinking of riding it next year meself ‘ .He will be met with a chorus of agreement and a new imaginary Ras team will be formed . However if you look at the start list next May amazingly the new names will be nowhere to be seen . Too busy watching Eurosport to race !!!!