Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Seven Wonders of a club cycle to Mullingar

Cycle 118km to Mullingar, sleep the night, cycle 82km back.
With Orwell Wheelers.

Leave 10am Phoenix Park, Dublin

Saturday 18th November 2013

Notice the number of women? That's why I joined Orwell.

Orwell covers a whole range of cycling abilities - from Elite racers

To complete beginners.

with their beginner moustaches.

Babe Magnet
Missed the turn for Athboy so everyone took the chance to have a drink and eat a bar. Well, they did, I had just got my gloves off when everyone set off again. I'm sure they waited til my gloves were off.

60k in and we stopped at Tiffany's in Athboy for some pork chops. The young couple who run this cafe deserved medals by the time they had fed and served all of us. Hugely recommend this little cafe, food was very tasty, service was great. As trip advisor would say 'a gem of a find'.
At one stage, 4 of us decided to hang back from the main group and take it a little easier. Best decision ever. Instead of hurtling along the roads whilst trying to keep the etiquette of group cycling going, minding the potholes, minding the cyclist next to you, the cyclist in front of you and the cyclist behind you at the same time as missing everything. Dropping out of that, we got to relax, look around and stop in the wonder of Fore.

It was down to me, the girl from Yorkshire to tell the 3 Irish girls about the Seven Wonders of Fore.

5.The Water that won't boil  6.The Anchorite in a cell  7.The lintel stone raised by St Feichin's prayers.

8.The Seven Wonders bar, its landlady and locals  9.The random defibrillator stuck on the pub wall, secured with green masking tape

10. The weight of Grainne's bike 11. The Magical powers of a cold can of coke.

Escorting our bikes up their heated 4 star hotel room

Next day weather forecast = grim. 120km yesterday, 80km today - in the rain, would I manage it? I felt I would.

Does one wear the boil in the bag waterproof jacket to keep dry whilst running the risk of getting too hot? or leave it off, brave the drizzle and hope it stops? but if it doesn't - get cold?! Got to decide now because there'll be no stopping for another 40km. What's everyone else doing? They're all doing different things. Aagghh.

Little drink break. Louise and Helen there, not a bother on em - flyers, the two of them.

Someone made the call to go into the garage for tea/ coffee to get warm. It was the most perfect call to make, we'd been cycling for 2 hours solid in the pouring cold rain. you can see raindrops on the camera lens. Would you want these people close to you?
How about these?!

It was a great weekend, everyone seemed to really, really enjoy it.
Thanks to all the club members who did so much of the work we didn't see to make the routes/ hotel/ dinner/ bag carriage possible - much appreciated by everyone.
My personal highlights were breaking off into the group of four, stopping in Fore, that can of coke (thanks Gra), being able to cycle another 80km (quickly too) after cycling the furthest I've ever cycled just the day before.
My low point happened when I got home.
I must have been so tired I put my brand new white Orwell jersey into the washing machine with 2 pairs of black jeans, thinking it would be 'fine'.
Of course it wasn't and now my sparkling white jersey is a dull, dark grey- I've only worn it twice.
The shame.