IN WHICH ANOTHER WEEK DRAWS TO A CLOSE WITH SOME FINE SPRING WEATHER, HOLLY GETS A MUCH-NEEDED HAIRCUT, AND I REALISE THAT I MAY BE RUN-FIT, BUT I SURE AS SH!T AIN’T BIKE FIT…
The wheel spins. The world turns on its rather odd axis of about 23.4 degrees. Or obliquity, if you prefer. Good job too, whatever caused that particular global wobble, otherwise we wouldn’t have these glorious seasons. And by dint of accidental geographical meanderings, I have grown up in the rather temperate British Isles; not a bad spot to appreciate the seasons as they change.
Anyway, where were we?
Yesterday turned into a rest day. It’s not that I planned it that way, but there was the small matter of three games of rugby to fit in (the end of the Six Nations, and for the record, Ireland redeemed their season with a good win over a strong Scottish side, Wales blew Italy away, and England went to the Stade de France and collected the Grand Slam after a nervy match).
Holly get her annual scalping, and even though I know it’s coming, each time I collect her, I still think they’ve given me back the wrong dog. S and I took her for a walk, and despite the fine Spring sunshine, it’s still nippy out there, as a light breeze is flowing down from the North so it’s struggling to get over 10 degrees. Poor little thing didn’t know what was going on.
Sunday (today), and hallelujah; I was off on the roster, and I could actually break out the bike and go for a spin without enormous amounts of hassle and phone calls to get cover. What I had forgotten is just how much faffing about there is actually getting out onto the road. The lovely thing about running is that it’s more or less throw on a pair of shorts and out ya go.
It’s just a question of being organised, I suspect. And I am not the worst. I managed to find all the bits I reckoned I needed and was able to get on the road without too much drama.
I like to carry the phone with me for several reasons. Mainly, if I have a mechanical problem I can’t fix, I can hopefully phone someone for a lift. I can also take pics, and record the journey on SmartRunner. I also take a small rucksack with a few bits, like money and gels or bars, and it’s handy for stashing your rain-jacket for the random Irish weather. The pump, tubes and tools are all on the bike. Then there’s the shades (Lidl’s finest), and gloves, also from our favourite German discount store… and the yellow jersey too… come to think of it, the bib, leggings and socks are all Lidl brand…
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… they should really consider that sponsorship deal!
The route was out through our local park and on into Confey. A Buzzard was taking in the open fields and hedgerows as I scooted along and turned left down Kellystown Lane over the Rye River and on towards Kilmacredock. I detoured through Castletown House and ended up down the main drive and into Celbridge Village. All told, quite a busy way to go; not sure what the brains trust were thinking when they took us this way… must have a quiet word in their ear.
Crossing the busy bridge over the Liffey, I made sure to remind myself I was in clippies these days, as random and forced stops on the bike could be the cause of nasty accidents if you were to forget you were locked into your pedals. As I weaved through the traffic to get to the centre of the lane for turning right, I briefly contemplated the etiquette of resting on the car in front but discretion being the better part of valour, I voted against it, and wobbled slowly to the turn.
Out the Newtown Road, past Temple Mills and on to Ardclough and Boston Hill. Familiar stomping ground. At the entrance to Oughterard Cemetery, I took a quick break. A herd of cows in the field were busily munching away. One stopped and looked up and we exchanged glances. I have no doubt it was thinking how crazy this person looked. Gary Larson has several gags along these lines. Moments like these are clearly an inspiration.
Out towards Athgoe and on the home stretch through Newcastle. The hill here is nice and fast; the app records a top speed of 62.2km/h and the bike speedometer (yes; from Lidl) said 63. All told, it was good to get back in the saddle – literally – and clock up over 40kms. The pace was slow at just under 24km/h and certainly there was a bit of huffing and puffing as I went looking for my bike legs only to find that they weren’t there.
No matter. We have plenty of time to reacquaint ourselves.