Broken bike, broken dreams – A Wexford weekend

SATURDAY afternoon of this year’s winter training weekend finished as all good club spins should, with riders either falling off their bikes, or off their bar stools with exhaustion, writes Brian Kilbride.

Whether your preference was for 40,90 or 125 Km, this spin had something for all levels of ability and commitment.

Eight gathered in the STCC bolt hole in the County Wexford countryside at 0930 for Battenberg, teas and coffees, as we psyched ourselves to head out in to the rain for a long day in the saddle.

It was 8 degrees and drizzling heavily as the bikes were lined up for inspection. The under surface of the mudguards were subject to the white glove and all were deemed roadworthy. Out through the farm tracks of Newbawn and on to Campile and Dunbrody.

IMG_2699Brian Hayden was unexpectedly off the back, and after struggling up the hill out of Duncannon, the reason became apparent.

A cracked frame was closely examined, and various theories put forward as to why such a catastrophic failure might occur. Brian slipped off down the back roads to Fethard, where the locals in Nixon’s where about to be entertained for the afternoon. The rest of us pushed on to the Hook, and after the customary photos were on our way.

The wind was finally at our backs and blowing the foam off the waves and across the road, Baginbun to Fethard and down the bohereen past Saltmills and along Bannow Bay.

Damian’s chinese electronic groupset was stuck in the big ring and you could hear him crying for his momma every time Richie pushed the pace over rolling terrain.

A puncture for Peter allowed time for reassessing priorities. Jess and Eamon joined him and made a break for home to get the fire started and heat the soup.
The remainder of the group headed for Kilmore Quay.

Incessant rain and cold caused a rethink at Bridgetown and the coffee stop was abandoned. On to and Up the hill at Wellingtonbridge and the final 15 km had legs seizing up all the way home.

Brian Hayden was dragged out of Fethard with tales which will only grow as the years go by. Talk was of excessive power going through a 1995 Trek Frame. Others spoke of the sound of rock against frame.

A few pints and the England versus Scotland Six Nations match on the telly were enjoyed in the hotel across the road before our Chairman gave us final instruction before heading home. A leisurely evening meal and recovery drinks rounded off a memorable day.

Sunday morning saw everyone up, and most eager, to engage in more cycling. Temperatures were just above freezing with brisk winds and sunny skies.

Sliabh Coilte was the, by now traditional, first climb of the climby Sunday morning DSCF2225savagery. We pressed on to Mary Street through New Ross, down over the Barrow and up the Stripe to the Rower, where regrouping and a general discussion of the meaning of it all- life, cycling, the lot – was had.

We clipped short the original route at Graiguenamanagh over the double hump to Inistioge. The long drag followed by a further long drag out of Inistioge had us cursing silently.

Rodney’s fresh legs and even tempo eased us up a long drag again before the final climb of the day kneed us all in the groin.

Five broken men rolled through the rain before the final uphill sprint to the Celtic Cross at the base of Carrigbyrne hill revealed that Eamon had been nursing his legs all weekend.

Damian was the first to lose his cool and attacked for the wrong signpost before Richie and Eamon slugged it out over the crest. Young legs won out but a marker for the upcoming season had been laid down.

It had been two great days of cycling and a great social weekend. Our thanks once again must go to our kind host Bart Curtis.

1 Reply to "Broken bike, broken dreams - A Wexford weekend"

  • comment-avatar
    Louis Twomey
    February 11, 2016 (11:05 am)

    Is that a photo of Brian Hayden stoking the fire as he prepares for some impromptu blacksmith’ing work on his frame? There is old school, and then there is HARDCORE old school!

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