Club Spin (Touring Group) 2nd Feb
By Andy Lakes
Nine riders set off on what was a cool Saturday morning for the Touring group. We made our way up the Embankment and took the turn near Brittas for Manor Kilbride. Patches of frost were soon joined by frozen puddles which had us doubting our choice of roads. Close to Manor Kilbride we hit a section of road covered in ice and slush. A less than considerate motorist in some sort of four wheel drive decided to accelerate as they approached us on this patch. Somehow we all kept relatively calm and resisted the urge to brake. We sailed through gracefully and emerged the other side with nervous chatter and mock bravado.
Rather than risk the lives of our merry band, we headed back towards wider, warmer roads and emerged at Blessington and back onto the N81. We introduced some group riding techniques and kept a good rotation of riders on the front until we got out towards the far end of the Dunlavin race circuit. We spotted our pals from Lucan heading off on their Carlow weekend as we headed back towards home. We further spiced things up with a section of rolling through until we approached the drag at Poulaphuca where we split the group so the more energetic riders could have a simulated race to Blessington. After some jumping and attacking, new rider Michael emerged victorious after some good riding where he whittled the leaders down to three. Mick Dempsey managed to hang on even with air rapidly disappearing from his rear wheel.
We regrouped again and carried on through Blessington. I unwittingly performed an interesting experiment over the next few miles. Firstly, we cycled through cement which was followed by a wet section of road. Not long after this, my bike used these ingredients combined with the small space between wheel and mudguard to mix its own concrete. I literally ground to a halt and had to chip away at my mudguard to release my wheel.
Some very promising riders were out and everyone rode in a disciplined fashion which brightened up what would have been an otherwise bland route. I’m sure we’ll be seeing a number of these riders doing very well in the future.