Saturday’s club run was well supported. On a good day for cycling Terry elected to take the group over some of his favourite routes. Below is his report.
Hills, Hills and more Hills !
At 9 am on Saturday about 20 of our members were at the complex getting ready for a bit a exercise on what promised to be as decent day. The ladies, lead by Bernie in her “Pirates of the Caribbean” scarf headed for the North Pole, while the men opted for some serious hills, building on last weeks climbs of Kinnego and Tremone Bay. In our group we had chairman Gavin, Pat Mc Caff, Ed, Terry Mc L, Brian McL, Richie, Joe M, John O’D, Peter Mc P, Feargal, Dermot and myself…hopefully I haven’t forgotten anyone. We headed for Buncrana and stuck by the hilly coast road past Neds Point and Stragill and before long we were at the Dunree where we turned and started climbing towards Mamore. The plan was to do Pinch and gather again at Clonmany where people could decide whether to try the daunting windy side of Mamore or take the easier options via Buncrana or Ballyliffen. We went up Pinch with the wind on our backs and before long we were all at Clonmany…and thats were all the whingeing started. John O’D was getting over a chest infection, Richie had the wrong block, Joe just wasn’t ready for it, a few had too many clothes on, three of four hadn’t done it before and would have liked more time to think about it etc, etc. When we were finally ready to go, all of the bikes were facing Mamore, except Joe and Richie who refused point blank to join the rest. The main bunch tried to encourage them reminding them that they had come so far, that they were now only two miles from the top of one of Ireland’s most famous climbs, that with the help of their friends they could make it…and even if they had to get off their bikes, well at least they would know in their hearts that they gave it a real good try. But it was no use. They had made up their minds. As we were leaving, I didn’t hear it myself but, apparently, a few names were called, which involved words like chicken, yella, mammies boys etc but this changed nothing, they had made their decision and were standing by it. Then someone asked them how they were going to feel when they and all of the other 100+ members read about them in the Saturday report. As we cycled off they stood looking at each other and 30 seconds later they shouting “hey, wait for us !” as they pushed hard trying to get on the main group….so, the pen is definitely mightier than the sword !
As we approached Mamore the wind was fair in our faces and it was obvious it was going to make our struggle that bit harder. There’s no easy start on the windy side and before long we were well strung out, all taking it at our own pace. Having passed three of four hairpin bends we could see the last stretch before us, the steepest bit which passes the grotto. From some distance behind, I was one of at least six people who witnessed what can only be described as a miracle. John O’D, who had previously had a serious chest infection for four weeks, had made it to the grotto, and while passing the Blessed Virgin herself, she must have given him a complete cure, as he suddenly jumped off his seat, stood on those pedals and rode up the rest of the hill like a man possessed ! The rest of us struggled to the grotto hoping for similar transformations, but we had to rely on mere earthly powers and were very glad to get over the top. We then had a very swift descent, dodging the sheep, and regrouped at the junction at the bottom of the hill. To finish the day off right, we opted to take the left turn which took the hilly route towards Buncrana, where we took another left to climb Grainnes Gap to finish a great day in the hills of Inishowen. The final stats were 49 miles, 1200 metres of climbing, at 15 mph average and 2480 calories used….not a bad mornings work. Its likely we will have more climbing in the few weeks as we approach our Inishowen 100 event. Make sure you get out on a Saturday morning and get that training done.
All the best…Terry
Sunday’s opening of Derry’s soon to be famous peace bridge was the focus for today’s club outing. Over 30 club members showed up at the complex at the usual hour eager to take part in the fun and celebrations.
It was great to have Evelyn back to take some of the photos at the complex. She is looking very well the club hopes that she is now on the road to a full recovery.
Also present were some of the LoG lead by one of their stalwarts, Tony M whose celebratory slippers reflected the festive mood of the day.
Lead by chairman Gavin, who had planned and executed our involvement with military precision, we traversed the new crossing point three times in total. The first time across was to get the feel of the bridge and to indulge ourselves in the special sense of what was indeed an historic day. Pictures were taken by Brendan Mc and other friends from Foyle camera club. Charlie had stationed himself on the roof of the City hotel to get that special shot and hopefully his picture will be used in future tourist brochures and promotions.
After our third ride across when our senses had been sated and Ilex officials were done with us the majority headed off towards Lifford for a somewhat abbreviated Sunday club run.
Heading up the old L’kenny road I was struck by how well the newer women riders have developed during their short involvement with the club. Our pace was not slack up the hill and not one of them faltered as we summited at Nixon’s corner and headed on to Carrigans. Who would have thunk how well they have progressed!!.
Whilst the majority opted to turn for home at Carrigans, seven of us headed on to Lifford and the Newtown, Galdonagh circuit. Charlie took the left turn at Lifford as he had been on the road since 0700, testing his telephoto lens, whilst the remaining six picked up the pace for the final run back to Derry.
A good day’s fun, a part played in a historic day, some good camaraderie and fun with our friends, miles in the bank!
Congratulations to Danny Logue on finishing in the top 20 in Saturday’s Irish Road race championships held over the tough Emyvale course. A truly magnificent achievement considering the quality of the opposition.
Congratulations also to local rider Ronan McLaughlin on an excellent 6th place finish in the men’s elite Irish road race championships this afternoon.
Best wishes to all those heading off to US, Canada, England, Spain, Italy, China, Tenerife and other parts of the globe on summer holidays. Enjoy your visits. You will be missed…especially at the inter club league races!!
As mentioned last week round two of the inter club league race series will be held near Gweedore on Wednesday evening. Please leave yourself lots of time to get there and also wear your club shirt at the event.
We will need all our available riders as many of the team are on holidays or heading on holiday. So please show up at 6.45 p.m. ready to ride.
From Letterkenny-take the n56 to Termon and take first left after the Lagoon restaurant,stay on this road out over Errigal, pass Dunlewey and continue out to main T junction.Turn left and go Past An Chuirt hotel on the right and take right turn just before the bridge,stay on this road for about 1 mile and McFaddens tiles is on the right.Please park here as this is where we start.We will have it signposted from An Chuirt hotel anyway.
Finally riders and volunteers are needed for the Inishowen 100 event which takes place in mid August. Please let Terry(email above) know whether or not you will help marshall the event. You can register for the event thru our web page so please do so.
See you on the road.