Today I saw a picture taken at six AM in Dundrum shopping centre of the queue to get into the NEXT sale. Why anyone would want to stand in line to get into a clothes shop at 6 am the day after Christmas day is genuinely beyond my realm of comprehension. My immediate thought was that ‘they mustn’t be right in the head’ and I have to admit that my train of thought still stays the same.
(The queue outside NEXT in Dundrum Shopping Centre at 6 am St. Stephens day)
But then I thought about how I spent my St. Stephens day morning. Up at 8. Yet another guided tour of a Sylvanian land provided by a man with a white beard in a big red suit. Then a trip downstairs to clean up after an overindulgent dog who consumed a little too much turkey. Then a pot of porridge was placed upon the cooker whilst trying to avoid an incoming basketball. ( I really should be drilling a few holes and installing the basketball net now instead of writing this)
After consuming a large bowl of the above mentioned porridge I got dressed up in my tight fitting lycra clothing with fluorescent yellow bits and clip clop splashed my way out to the shed to get my bike. The clip clop part was the noise made by my carbon fibre soled cycling shoes with a price tag to match a pair of Jimmy Choos, and the splash was caused by the pools of water which were being rapidly created by the Amazonian like rainfall. A dark glove was blown out of my hand by one of the many gusts of wind that were encircling the back garden and blowing a few small branches off the trees. None of this seemed in any way unreasonable or out of the ordinary.
I rolled out to the main road and met Anthony and we headed off towards Carrick with the wind on our backs to meet the lads coming up the road.
Just past Kilsheelan we met a group of around forty like minded individuals and turned to join the rear of the group. They were all there. Kelly, Sam, Vinnie, Vinnie, Vinnie and Vinny, along with all the usual suspects until we were approaching the top of Ballymac when a powerful figure in a red cape came into view and turned with us. It was too wet a day for professional cameraman and former Olympian, Multiple National Champion and a man who won more races than he lost, Robert ‘Flower’ Power to have his camera on hand but just as a photo can remind you of an occasion, the sight of the familiar smooth rolling style driving the group along in the rain was like a flashback to days spent grovelling to stay with a rider who was always smiling whilst others grimaced and groaned to just hold on to his rear wheel.
The top of Colligan came and a group of five of us turned back for Clonmel with the completion when we returned of three hours at an average speed of over 31kph ticking todays training box.
It was only when passing through Ballymac for the second time today, when I noticed a farmers wife coming out of a filling station stopping to take in exactly what she was witnessing, fellas out on bicycles in lashing wind and rain when anyone with a scrap of sense would be at home in front of the fire, that I realised what many non-cyclists were thinking when they saw us today – They mustn’t be right in the head !