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Touring & Leisure Update

posted 6 Sept 2010, 13:07 by Kevin Monaghan
(By Tom Carolan 6th Sept 2010)
The evenings are definitely beginning to shorten and it won’t be long before the after-work spins are just a fond memory. I remember one particularly pleasant trip on a Wednesday evening a few weeks back with Tom Shaw at the helm which took in a few miles along the canal path and, for me, embodied all that is good about summer cycling – the less than frantic pace, the company of friends, the warm air and the chance to clear the mind after the working day.
Sunday spins, on the other hand, are more about clearing the mind after an outbreak of drink the night before. I was in the grip of a moderate to severe hangover this Sunday when I remembered that Arthur Dempsey, leader of the C Group, was away at some event or other and I had promised to step into his cleats. Arthur was in Cork for the weekend at a wedding or something – the perfect excuse to get himself outside as much alcohol as possible. The turnout at ORS was good and so I was grateful to Liam Whelan and Tom Shaw who offered to lead some of the C Group cyclists in an effort to keep the group sizes down. Three separate C Groups headed off in the general direction of Ballivor.
There was no sign of Conor Isdell to lead the B Group so I don’t know what they got up to. I’m pretty sure the A mob had a good spin though – they went hurtling past the window of Mother Hubbard’s in a very businesslike fashion as we were enjoying our tea and toast. Liam Whelan’s group joined us at Mother Hubbard’s and I asked him if he knew what had become of Tom Shaw’s lot. Tom later reported that he was leading a group when the Bell Ranger Mk. 2, with the eponymous George at the controls, developed technical difficulties (a spoke came loose!) and was forced to divert to the nearest airstrip (or bicycle shed). Tom decided to put the Wheelers’ major incident plan into action and accompanied George back to ORS where the Bell Ranger Mk. 2 made an emergency landing. Thankfully there were no casualties but the accident investigation division of the Wheelers have launched an inquiry and have impounded both the Bell Ranger Mk. 2 itself and the relevant maintenance logs for technical examination. And I’ve just heard from Tom himself that they hope to have the Bell Ranger Mk. 2 restored to roadworthiness in time for the Galway spin this weekend – a good outcome to what looked like being a tricky situation at one point!
Great to see Liz Hoctor back after her sojourn in Australia! Welcome home Liz. Out on the road I spoke to a few riders who had participated in the Seán Kelly tour in Carrick-On-Suir last weekend. I hear that it was a tough but rewarding day in the saddle and, for the record, the Wheelers who completed the course were Joe Duffy, Shay O'Toole, Noel Kennedy, Pairic Devine, Conor Isdell, Dermot Hogan, Mark Monaghan, Karl Moran, Paddy Gorman, Darragh Caffrey, Ken Mulligan and Paul Murtagh.
George with a scale model of the famous Bell Ranger !!