Club Spin 3rd March

Back in my day Parkvale was the starting point for our weekly spins so it was great to get back to the Southside of the city to go bike riding down into Wicklow. It was a fine spring morning and a large number of riders turned up for a stretch of the legs. After the usual preliminaries and small talk the groups split into 2 and the touring group (Andy, Paula, Robbie C, Charlie and yours truly), headed out the Enniskerry road and then up the Long Hill towards Roundwood.

A slight misunderstanding saw part of our group get lost on a straight road (I would love to say it was an easy mistake by a newcomer but no it was a mistake committed by a veteran of the club) and not reconnect with us till Roundwood. For those remaining a slight headwind along the Calary Bog Road kept the heart rate high and the muscles pumping.

A quick shop stop in Roundwood and an interesting encounter with another road user confirmed my beliefs that some people just love to complain about cyclists. The conversation went something like this…
Him: Can I ask you a question mate.
Me: Sure no problem.
Him: Why don’t you guys wear hi vis jackets when out on the bike?
Me: Because it is sunny out this morning.
Him: No I mean when it is dark.
Me: I don’t cycle in the dark I head out on bright days like this.
Him: No, when the clouds are low and the light is bad why don’t cyclists wear hi vis type jackets. Your clothing doesn’t really make you stand out. (I’m not sure what he has in his wardrobe at home but if I don’t standout wearing head to toe lycra I don’t fancy being invited to one of his parties)
Me: I’m not sure why others don’t wear them but I will take it under advisement, thanks.
(As I head out of the shop)
Him: It is only for your own safety when cars/vans are travelling around these types of roads it can be hard to see you and stop in time.
Me: Your right, it can be very dangerous when traffic is speeding around country roads.

I rejoined my colleagues outside the shop and noticed my concerned guardian angel leave the shop and jump into a white transit style van that was parked up on a path blocking pedestrians and on double yellow lines. Just as I thought cyclists are the ones with little regard for fellow road users.

Eventually Andy and Charlie met up with us and we decided to head home back over Djouce. Charlie having no issues with these small climbs that we encountered went ahead with Andy who had a deadline to keep leaving me, Paula and Robbie to spin home at a nice steady pace enjoying the weather and the conversation. Robbie even tried to secure the position of KoH with an aggressive attack up il Poggio. I allowed him the space to get away and then dropped down out of my big ring and gave chase. A tight sprint brought us both to the top of the climb and since I am writing this I can confirm that I took the win.

Keeping together the rest of the way home we put in 3 hrs of riding (approx 70km) at a reasonable tempo, hopefully we will have more riders out next week to join up with us.

by Brian Hayden

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