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C Group Braves the Elements and Potholes

posted 26 Mar 2013, 16:38 by Kevin Monaghan   [ updated 27 Mar 2013, 15:09 ]
(By Kevin Monaghan)   
No group hug
Following the excitement of Friday night and Saturday morning in the company of the living cycling legend Seán Kelly, it was back down to earth on Sunday morning (24th March) for the usual Sunday spins.   Despite the biting easterly wind and snow showers, there was a good turnout in all groups at the ORS - the biggest problem being to find a bit of shelter before the groups rolled out.  Various strategies were adopted, from hiding behind concrete pillars, behind fellow Wheelers and even a suggestion for group hugs!  Unfortunately the call to action came before the latter could be implemented.

The dozen or so C Group troops opted to take on the easterly winds straight away and a route along the back roads to Mother Hubbards was the plan for the morning.  As if the elements wern't enough, the by-now infamous Curraghmore road was included in the route plan - just to give things that spring classics feel.

Once the potholes and gravel were overcome it was on through The Downs to Killucan and Kinnegad.  The group was reduced to eight by Kinnegad to to an unfortunate mechanical at Killucan - not a day to be forced off the bike when you're warmed up - as well as a few of the more sensible ones deciding to cut the spin slightly short and heading back from Kinnegad via Milltownpass.

The grit-like snow flurries sand-blasted the faces of the remainder of the group as the battled their way up the old N4 to Moyvalley. Every tactic in the book was used to minimise exposure to the headwind which was very strong and gusty, especially on exposed stretches.  Finally everyone arrived in one piece at Mother Hubbards where the tea/coffee, toast and scones were welcome.

While still cold, the return trip was a much easier spin with a welcome tailwind blowing everyone home.  The N4 was abandoned at Coralstown in favour of a route via Knockaville and Russellstown to avoid the single-lane traffic and bollards.  Yours truly suffered a late  visit from the puncture monster (it's not a fairy!) with about 6 miles to go - just to round off the day with a bit of extra hardship.  Thanks to David for his help and company back to ORS.  Well done to everyone for a good spin on a challenging day.