Club Spin Report 29th Sept.

By Colm Tobin

It appears that, having proposed the route for today, I indirectly put myself forward as the author of the spin report, so here it is…

Having missed 2 weeks of Saturday morning spins due to holidays I was eager to get back out and get a few miles in the legs again, and having kept tabs on those of you on strava, I noticed a significant increase in the distances of the spins in my absence. With this in mind I mentioned a route I used to do from time to time before I joined Tiernans to Michael Mescal, and he was very interested in doing it today, as was Richie, so this was to be the proposed route for todays spin.

Niall and I rolled up to park vale on this crisp Saturday morning to a very large group of new and old faces, it’s always great to see a good turnout, eager to clock up some kms. The routes for both the touring group and the not-so-touring group were announced and we all rolled out in the direction of Enniskerry. Our route took us up the climb to Johnny Foxes, immediately getting the blood flowing. It’s been a while since I’ve been up this way and had forgotten how nice it was.

I managed to get into a comfortable rhythm immediately, spinning away at the front until the descent to the crossroads at Johnny Foxes, where we regrouped again. Everyone was so eager to get going again we were forced to sneak through a red light. Once everyone was warmed up after the climb, we organised ourselves and started the steady up and overs, that was until Mick decided to launch an attack off the front that broke the group up for most of the climb up Cruagh road. We regrouped once again at the viewing point, though Dave Comiskey appeared to have decided not to continue, following his 2 week break, and it was at this stage that Niall had decided that the previous few days of socialising had caught up with him, and it was not to be a day on the bike for him, so he headed down Stocking lane in the direction of home, while the remainder of the group continued to power on to Glencree.

While ascending Military road, Dave also decided to depart from the group and headed down the descent to Firhouse. Our slowly diminishing group headed on over Featherbeds and in the direction of Glencree, where everyone put in a great effort on the ascent, and I neared my limit, with thanks to Richies mind games and change of pace. We regrouped once again at the gate for Kippure, and it was at this point that Daragh was forced to turn for home in order to make it home at a reasonable time. Our group was now down to 6 riders as we returned to some steady up and overs to the crossroads, that was until James appeared to launch an attack with 1km to go and the group was broken up slightly again. Once at the crossroads, one of our new riders in a red coat (who’s name has temporarily slipped my mind) decided to peel off here and head for home via Blessington, while the now 5 man strong group continued on to Laragh, with the fantastically clear conditions allowing a fast descent into the village, and rather than stopping here (apart from a short pitstop at Joe’s car) we made our way in the direction of the famous Shay Elliott memorial, ascending the hill from both directions (where everyone once again put in a great effort) while admiring the fantastic landscape of the Wicklow mountains in ideal weather conditions. This is what cycling is all about, right? At this stage, we had definitely earned every bit of the coffee and cakes we gorged on in the coffee shop

While stopped, we discussed the originally planned route, which was to take us up the Wicklow gap and home via the lakes, and decided that it would be better off leaving that for another day and heading back via the Sally gap. It was here that we bumped into Orwell’s Jack O’Connor (the u14 rider that won the Sally gap race in the ICL) for a brief chat before we set off once more, with Jack shortly behind us. He eventually mustered the courage to roll up to us and continue the conversation, before dropping us like hot potatos on the climb, though Richie dragged me up at a steady enough pace to catch him once more when the terrain got flatter and the wind got stronger, and kept the pace high enough not to allow him to past us once more, with me really starting to suffer now, I was delighted to see a flat section, where we decided to wait to let Mick, Fergal and James regroup. Mick appeared first and decided he wasn’t waiting around, but with no sign of James or Fergal on the horizon, Richie decided to head back and make sure they were ok, while young Jack and I waited for their arrival. As it transpired James was experiencing some cramping due to a big effort in the gym earlier in the week.

We started moving once more, where Jack decided he was going to up the pace to try and catch Mick, and I foolishly opted to follow him at a blistering pace in the direction of the crossroads, and was doing well til he dropped me with 500m to go, finding Mick sitting waiting for us. We turned and headed back towards the others so as not to cool down before heading for the most direct route home. After descending Glencree, Richie, Mick and James headed for Enniskerry, while Fergal and I opted to head home via Featherbeds. We were really starting to suffer at this stage and our bodies were switching into survival mode. We were both happy to see the beginning of the descent, and even happier to get a bit of shelter from the wind on Stocking lane. Once at the bottom we parted ways and headed for home, tired and hungry.

A great spin in fantastic conditions for the most part! I hope the touring group enjoyed their spin too!

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