For the past 30 years now a group of cyclists have been leaving Carrick on Suir each Sunday morning in the direction of Clonmel and more often than not continued on to Dungarvan before completing the loop and arriving back in Carrick 60 miles later . Along the way more riders are picked up and join in thus expanding the size of the group .
Most of those involved are of a good standard of fitness and very few will have frequented any licensed establishment the previous evening . This is their weekends Social outing . This is where friendships and bonds are formed that only those who have spent 3 hours in freezing wind and rain pushing their bodies to the limit side by side , week in week out can truely understand .
Yesterday however this changed . Due to the increasing volume of traffic on our roads and the continuing high numbers in the group a decision was made to split the group in two . For safety reasons this was the only option . I must admit , though ,that as I met the first part of the group as they neared Clonmel I did miss the sight of the long multicoloured snaking pack which , although it could be frustrating for some motorists was often the cause of cars pulling over so that a family could enjoy the spectacle .
The front group numbered almost thirty which meant that the group behind was down to just ten or twelve . It was wet and windy so that meant that the second group would have had less shelter and thus more work to do making their experience less enjoyable .
It will be interesting to see next week how this new system develops but for now I guess we will have to just wait and see .