Sunday, 27 August 2017

Brainchild of a Malicious Mind

When you're talking to non-cyclists or newcomers you often find they are obsessed with the distance we ride or the average speed. Old hands know those stats really don't mean a lot, certainly not in isolation.
Today's route was clearly the brainchild of a malicious mind (I gave you a flat one last week!) and although only 60m/100k, if I still kept a training diary my summary of the ride would be "4 hours - brutal hills. Steady pace with a couple of efforts. Nice coffee." I think we started with 9, reducing to 6 after 90 mins or so when Noel, Mike and Davy turned off needing to get home. We hit the hills from the start and that's how it continued, with a tough route to Bailies Mills then a traditional route to Annahilt. A left took us to Dromara and over the Boiling Wells.
Digger and Bones were sent up the road mainly as a tactic to rest my legs and keep the rest of the group together - by the state of them in Moneyslane they enjoyed it.... We turned left after Ballyward and up Dollys Brae which was a first for most of us - savage! Digger even took a detour up a lane to take a break halfway up - either that or one of his fan club lives in the area?!
Urban in Castlewellan looked after us as always (we arrived just as Dromore left and shared with Lanterne Rouge). Having surprisingly had no complaints about the outward route, I decided to continue the theme and take a hilly route home - fair play to El Pistolero who was as always giving his all and still providing the laughs. You probably had to be there to understand why "was that a STEADY?!" was so funny at the time. It was only rivalled for laughs by a comment about someone's own mum and Stuart Burns (you're getting a very weird reputation)....
We took tough roads skirting the top of Slieve Croob then started the twisting descent towards Spa. Digger and me went to the front and put it on lockdown - that doesn't mean we weren't still pushing, just that a strong steady pace keeps everyone together in a way stop start never will. We stayed there until just before Temple where El Pistolero finally turned his gun on himself and waved us on. Given a free reign we lit it up and drove all the way to Carryduff.
Another really enjoyable day and credit to the strongest and least-strongest riders in the bunch. The former for using their strength at the right times in the right ways and the later for showing true 'grinta' and digging in without a word of complaint. Cycling is suffering, if you don't like it take up golf....
Ps hope the Lough Lappers had a good safe day and I'm available for hand modelling at reasonable rates (bike matches car....).

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