MAWS wrote: »
....taking in towns such as Portumna, Kilrush, Castleisland, Castletownbere, Blarney, Tramore, Kildare, and Skerries over the coming week....
Sr. Assumpta wrote: »
Lock up your menfolk......
Whats a derailleur? wrote: »
Two day and one night stages survived and we spotted Captain Havoc and Hail to da Thief lusting after hot cyclists in Kilrush today!!!
Whats a derailleur? wrote: »
WW200: Tick…done…over…never again
After an utterly disasterous (for both of us) Carrick Wheelers 160km Sportive trip the previous weekend, MAWS needed to do some serious pedaling at the WW200. Come hell or high water we were finishing the WW200, end of.
So, frantic trips to Cyclesuperstore, Joe Dalys, Cycle Surgery and Tesco on Saturday meant we had our body weight in food & food supplements, oh and heated insoles - not that they were of much use seeing as Anne opened the packets on Saturday evening to have a look at them….these were ‘single use’ insoles which heat up upon contact with air (As CLEARLY stated on the packet) and hence were rendered null and void by about 8pm Saturday evening – doh!)
Our basic plan is to get there early, sign on early and finish early. That gives us the whole bloody day to tootle around if necessary, because we ARE finishing it. Although a pre-cycle offer from another Boardsie of ‘If you end up on your own give me a shout’ = ‘I’ll collect you IN a CAR’, in Mags’ head, was dangerous talk.
So off we set at 06.30, in relatively nice conditions. It was actually sunny, but a little overcast for the first hour or so, and we got to the top of Sally Gap before any sign of rain. Putting on rain jackets Mags discovers that her gilet has in fact got a mesh back…so where does the rain go? Ah yes, straight through the mesh….
Our super early start meant we could tootle along at a very handy pace, but the turn in weather at the top of SG meant we ate our quartered bagels (thanks JT – great advice and best food we had all day) at speed heading down off SG. At least with the lack of cyclists around us we could speed on, we stopped briefly in Hollywood/somewhere for a quick tea in a shop and so ignored the first feed stop and head for Slieve Mann. It’s not pretty. We’re not pretty. Life is pretty miserable at this point and Mags suggests “we don’t really need to finish it” (vague offers of a lift IN a CAR are ringing in her ears). But no, Anne is having none of it and off we go again, another 20k in rain before we need to contemplate proper hills.
At this point we split up. No, we didn’t have a row, just differences in pace, and Anne joined in with a speedy group which passes while Mags sticks to her guns of ‘I’m tootling around today’ and settled into her own company for the next 40km.
Let’s be honest here Slieve Mann is disgusting, even at the best of times. First off there was a hill before it, where the man from Tullamore asked Mags if this was Slieve Mann. “Nope, sorriee”, but at least you’re not the dude in the Pink Floyd-esq jersey on the Ridley whose chain broke at this point. Mags’ nod towards sympathy translates into a hollar of “sh*t” in his general direction as she pedals off. It’s not like she could offer any assistance, unless he was interested in quarter of a turkey rasher bagel.
Anne, meanwhile, had left her speedy group behind with a mantra of ‘just get this farking thing over and done with’ propelling her along at a good pace. Having never cycled up Slieve Maan before she was one of the large number of cyclists that day who smugly thought they had reached the summit of Slieve Maan, wondering what all the fuss was about only to turn the corner to see….Crap! Slieve Maan’. She also began to question the sense in MAWS decision to leave early in order to avoid the crowds….Cycling 101: crowds = shelter!
So, with delirium setting in she continued on her solo cycle until she met with fellow Orwellians John L and Stephen S at the top of Glenmalure, where she surgically attached her front wheel to the back of John L’s for the spin into the second feedstop in Rathdrum.
Further back, Mags trundles up Slieve Mann and Shay Elliot, it’s lashing rain, with hailstones and the mist on top means you can see nothing, but hear some odd beeping. Is there a car coming down? No. Is there a car on the top? Yes. Actually, there’s about eight, beeping, whooping and cheering, complete with foam hands!
Down off Glenmallure and into the feed stop at Rathdrum. It’s a bit like a scene from Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’ once you go in the doors…people shivering, laughing nervously and generally looking completely disheveled, and that’s just Mags. At least there are some friendly faces from Orwell Wheelers, with John L, Stephen S, Stephen H, John T and Leo all looking decidedly the worse for wear, but remaining remarkably cheery.
Anne, unable (not trying to hard) to find Mags at the food stop and after having had far too much ‘me time’ already that day took up the offer to continue on the remainder of the journey with John L and Stephen S, she bumped into Toblerone1978 outside who really seemed to be having a day of it, having forgot a few fundamentals on route to Dublin that morning for the WW200….his registration card, his number, his energy bars and oh yes….his bike?? Meanwhile, abandoned once again by Anne, Mags moseies around the feedstop and finds DirkVoodoo being attended to in the medical room. Pah, useless, he’s not even doing the WW200!! But seeing an opportunity Mags commandeers a blanket, strips top layers off to dry on the radiators and has more tea. Twenty minutes or so later all her clothes are dry and Mags and Dirk face the last 65k home. Ten minutes later and Mags is completely soaked through and all she can think of is, f*ck there is still Wicklow Gap to negotiate. It’s an awful sense of dread to hit 140k, 150k, 160k, and 170k all the time expecting another horrid hill to pop up around the corner, and while there was two – that sharp steep left turn (what was that about??) and out of Avoca, it transpires Wicklow Gap is not on the route anymore!
Anyway, having someone to cycle with home is great – Padraic from Mullingar touring group was more than happy to chat with Mags and share the work load.
Up ahead, Anne finds herself partaking in a team time trial back to Greystones, some sort of turbo boost homing instinct has kicked in with the two guys and her options are to either dig in and stick with them or resume singing deliriously to herself in a bunch of ‘1’...team time trail it was!
And eventually Greystones rolls into sight, although Mags with her sadistic sense of forebearing is CONVINCED the route is going to go up Wind Gate, just for the laugh…
As Anne is scanned back in by Paddy Fitzsimmons (IVCA)…hold on, he looks familiar…do we know each other, no it’s not one of those ‘Coppers’ moments, well actually it sort of as Anne exclaims ‘Paddy its me, Anne from The Ras’ - Paddy was in charge of ‘Communications’ on the Ras and Anne had approached/tormented Paddy on the morning of the Castletownbere to Blarney stage (when quite frankly I’m sure he had better things to be doing) and suggested that the ‘flashy orange roof light’ not working on their An Post car fell under the remit of ‘communications’ – and fair play to Paddy, he sorted it!
On the way back to her car Anne runs into Toblerone1978 who was in surprisingly good form given that he had crashed on a decent somewhere after the last foodstop – serious chats ensued; ‘are we mentally unstable cycling 200km in these conditions’, ‘has this cycling lark gone a bit too far’, ‘maybe we should consider other pastimes such as ‘lawn bowls’ or ‘bridge’ …..as they part company to head home tired, wet, cold, sore and weary:
Anne: I hear Tour de Burren is on next weekend
Pat: Yeah, and I hear the weather forecast is f*cking sh*te again for next weekend.
Anne: So you doing it?
Pat: Sure am.
Anne: Yip, me too, see you there….
Wicklow 200 - Epic cycle – Done.
AvidIrishReader wrote: »
Hello, I saw you on Sunday during the Burren cycle and was wondering where you sourced your bespoke cycling gear. Would you give me the name of the company?
Many thanks, AvidIrishReader