The Sunday cycles are something that’s evolved from the mentoring programme in spring. We now see a splatter of the former mentor’s heading out with, or in a relaxed group alongside more experienced club members. The distance we seem to be setting is in and around the 70-80 km range.
Last Sunday had a slightly different twist to things with the unusual phenomena of rain to contemplate as well as the up and coming club Ring of Kerry to rest for. Throw in to the equation an endless list of reasons why people might not cycle, it was always interesting to see who would turn up.
To cut a long story short 8 Chain Gangers set off for Killarney in dark, dank drizzly conditions aiming to make the most of the increasing westerly wind. On board we had 4 from the mentoring programme, but it has to be said are getting stronger by the hour. The there was a pair that would sit well with the 30’s and another pair wedged somewhere between the 28’s and 25’s. It was going to be an interesting day. In fairness we clipped along at a nice pace to Farranfore before Nicky Fitz pulled up with the now customary Chain Gang flat. The rest of us plugged away up the hill out of Farranfore. The predictable split happened on the hill but nothing too severe. Anyway we had to solve the problem of Fiona’s spinning cleat at the top. One for the Brosnan clan to mull over.
We made it to our grass-covered coffee paradise in good time, a little soaked and sweaty, but in good spirits.
So to the return leg? Back via the main road was a none starter. Busy, predictable and windy. Plan B through Ballyhar and Firies is getting to be a well trodden path. Enter plan C. The Kilcummin road, Coolick, Currow and Currans. Surprisingly a similar distance to the main road. Just full of surprises!
In fairness 98 % of the road surface on this route is in excellent condition and the traffic is close to none existent. I suppose the reason this route isn’t widely used is down to 3 short climbs that the Ring of Kerry could only dream about and a descent that would make good profits at Blackpool pleasure beach. Everyone took what was put in front of them with good humour and steely determination. We all stayed determinedly with our bikes when pushing might have been easier, but the stunning views of Kerry International Airport made the whole exercise worth while.
Finally we made back to the main road for the final assault on Tralee. I have to say the group came together like a collective of old pros. Cutting through the stiff breeze like a burning brake block through butter.
We arrived back at the Meadowlands in well under 4 hours with a great job done by all.
The over-riding factor of the trip was the way the stronger individuals stayed patient and helped the new comers along with advice and encouragement. In return the new comers gave it their 100% and helped make the spin a worthy workout for everyone involved.
A true sign and justification that a mix of talents can work.