Ring of Kerry 2012

By Mark O Keeffe

21/08/2012

 The eve of one of Ireland’s major sportives had arrived, and unlike most sportives I have ever taken part in, the major talking point leading up to this sportif was not the distance, the climbs or even where the social scene was to be, but how many rain jackets were you bringing.

Upon reaching Killarney, we registered in Scott’s hotel and sampled some of Kerries fine cuisine before heading to the Glen-Eagle hotel, which was SWCC’s base for the weekend. I was eager for a beer at this stage, so after quickly throwing the bike into the room, I headed to the bar and joined about 20 other club members for a social or two. The clever ones were already in bed at this stage.

Dawn brought clouds with no rain, and by Dawn I mean 5:40am. A crazy time to get up for a cycle but heading down for breakfast, I was joined by hundreds of other cyclists for breakfast. No time to mess about, as the clubs photo shoot was at 06:45

The cycle around the ring of Kerry, is a 180km spin starting and finishing in Killarney. 8,200 cyclists took part in 2012, making it Irelands largest sportive. The route can been seen below, with Killorglin been the first town in route after leaving Killarney.

After the photoshoot, we wheeled out of the Glen-eagle and onto kilometer number 1 out of 180. While the distance sounded daunting, we were assured the first 130km was relatively flat with two gradual climbs hear the end. What hit me straight away, was the crazy amount of cyclists on the road at 7am.

With about 25 in our group, we quickly began to eat up the ground before us and a few thousand cyclists between us and the first food stop at roughly 65km into the cycle. The journey to Caherciveen was pretty much routine stuff. With no real wind or hills to speak off, we were able to concentrate on the views out into the Atlantic as we passed Glenbeigh and other costals towns enroute.

After a few sambos in the local school we were back on the bike without any tea. The queue for a cuppa must have been about 500 meters long. A few kilometers in, mechanical issues hit Maeve. The front derailure was playing up, not a good thing with all the climbs still ahead. It should be noted here, that Marcus also stopped to give a hand but left before we were ready!!!

The spin to Waterville was handy enough with the first real climb of the day only starting out of Waterville. Not a steep climb, just a long steady one. The views help distract anyone really suffering, with the Atlantic to our right and mountain to the left. We finally managed to catch up with the rest of our group in Sneem. After a quick banana, we headed off towards Kenmare at a crazy speed, driven on by members off the sportif group.

Kenmare was to be the final food-stop of the day. After many apple-cakes, toffees etc we wheeled out off Kenmare and then we realized our mistake. The next 20km’s were straight uphill on the toughest climb of the day. Moll’s gap and ladies view laid ahead, a very nice thought in a car, not so after 5 hours in a saddle.

About half way into the climb the ditches give way to a clearer view of the landscape which can be daunting as the summit seems to be a long way away in the distance. After reaching the top my heart sank, I had anticipated a nice descent into Killarney but instead what I got was a very short descent and another climb to ladies view. Not a very long climb but enough to destroy my morale and see me getting dropped by the group.

It’s about 10km from ladies view to Killarney, and my poor legs felt every meter. The descent from ladies view is very spectacular and feels like you are in Tour de France. However it is a tricky stretch and many a body ends up sprawled across the killarney tarmac.

After about 390 mins on the bike covering 172km I hit the finish line at full tilt, just to show the hundreds of people who showed up to cheer me home, that the spin was really a piece of cake. At the finish line, straight across from the Glen-Eagle the organizers had arranged a BBQ and live band.

After a few social pints of water while planning the 2013 ring of Kerry, it was time to hit the killarney nightlife and drown the pain from the body.

 August 23, 2012  Posted by at 2:51 pm Sportives No Responses »
 

Tour of Kilkenny 2011

by Paul Mooney

I entered this years Tour of Kilkenny 160k event with a certain amount of trepidation inside me. The reason? 12 months earlier I had done the same thing and that had ended in abject failure. On that occasion I had what all sports people want to avoid. “A bad day”. We hope that our bad day will hit us while out on a training session. Unfortunately for me, it struck with avengeance on that very day. The first climb out of Graiguenamanagh was a torturous affair ,and I struggled up what is not considered a difficult climb. It’s a 6k drag with a 4 or 5% gradient, but to me it felt far more difficult than that. Any remaining thoughts I had of completing the 160k route were cruelly smashed as I began the climb of the famous Woodstock out of Inistioge. It was my Alpe de Huez that day and after rounding the switchback 1/3 of the way up, I climbed off and walked. In disgust. To make a long story short, long before arriving at the food stop in Listerlin, I had decided unwillingly to abandon any thoughts of following the long route, and instead chose to struggle home on the 110k route. And struggle I did. The final climb out of Bennettsbridge didn’t quite kill me but it came perilously close to doing so. I was never so happy to see the finish line, and I dismounted the bike for the 5th time since starting out 4 hours earlier. Put it down to experience I told myself. I just had a bad day. No, I just had a terrible day.

But the 2011 event would be different I told myself. I was ultra confident, without being cocky of completing the 160 without too much difficulty. I had trained long and hard since early in the year with my Sportif Waterford CC club mates, and we had completed many tough events already, including the Carrick Wheelers aptly titled “Irelands toughest sportive”. I wouldn’t argue with that one.

So I lined up on the start line with 17 of my SWCC club mates and off we went. Loads of banter and craic meant that the k’s flew by. At the hour mark having travelled 30k, the alarm bells rang for me, as I knew well that I could not maintain a pace like that on an event such as this. I eased off slightly, leaving my mates off ahead as a lot of them were on the 110k route. Mark, who I had travelled up with from Tramore, saw what I was doing, and he joined me at the slightly slower pace of approx 26-27kph. The climb from Graigue towards Thomastown at the 36k mark was on this occasion a far nicer experience. I sailed up pushing a gear ratio of 34/17 without any difficulty, encouraging those I passed along the way. After a quick 5 minute water/food stop in Thomastown, we were on our way to Inistioge and the afore mentioned climb of Woodstock. To those that have never had the pleasure of it, she (all hills are she) is a murderous 2.6k climb with a max gradient of 17%, which you meet right at the start. I must admit that I nearly knocked Mark off his specialized at this point, when my bike swerved left into his line while ascending the said 17%. After surviving that near miss, we ploughed on up slope with relative ease, and even managed a smile for the photographer on the switchback. With 2/3 of the climb still to come, this is where the men are separated from the boys. Several poor souls had given up (just as I had a year ago) and given in to her. Onwards and upwards, and before long I was on the descent down the far side.

To anyone who had not ridden this event before, or those who had only vague memories of previous years, a truly sickening sight was lurking on the horizon. Climbing the 800 metre max gradient 12.3% “mountain” at Brownsford on fresh legs would be a tricky affair. Doing it a few short minutes after conquering Woodstock is a different man altogether. Damn those Marble City cyclers for throwing this one in. But I knew it was coming, so I had time to prepare mentally for it, unlike the 3 lads in front of me who, on first sight of her, climbed off and fell into the ditch for a brief respite. Another unfortunate soul ahead of me on the climb was zig zagging from side to side. On passing him, he told me it was easier this way. Easier my arse, it’s twice the distance. Over the top and having turned right onto the Ross to Mullinavat road towards Listerlin, (and the luxury of a chair to sit on, instead of this lightly padded metal bar lodged firmly between the cheeks of my arse), we ascend the 4th climb of the day. We are around the 70k mark now, and face the long 3k drag up to the windmills on the left. This has been a regular climb for us on training spins, so I knew exactly what it entailed, and before long I was in the local school in Listerlin, gorging on all the tea, sambos, cake and fruit my stomach could handle. Thanks a bunch to the lovely ladies who greeted us all on our arrival.

15-20 minutes later we were on our merry way again. Having said our good byes to our fellow club mates who had shamefully chosen the easy peasy pussycats option of the 110k route, we were straight onto the huge climb out of the village. Lance Armstrong had some years earlier paid tribute to her during a previous stage of the Tour of Ireland. It’s only approx 1.5 k in length, but it has an average gradient of 8% and a max of 13%. Our club group broke up here and from here on in we remained in smaller groups. The nice approach and descent into Mullinavat was a welcome diversion from all the hills we had conquered so far, but that luxury would not last too much longer. Having passed the halfway mark we took on the 5k climb out of Mullinavat up past Poulanassy waterfall. I have been cycling for several years now, and have cycled most of the county, but before I bought a bike I would have said that Kilkenny was best known for it’s hurlers and Duxie Walsh, and not for it’s hills.  The lads in the Marble City CC have gone above and beyond the call of duty here, by finding every hill in the county and then managed to include them all on a single 160k route. The steepest part of this climb has a nice little 8.2% rating, but has an average of much lower than that. I left my buddies at this point and I pushed on solo to reach the summit. A short time later however, they came past me after an over eager gear change by me up on to the big ring resulted in my chain getting jammed in the front derailleur. No option but to dismount and sort it. I could see the smirk on the lad’s faces as they approached me, and in fairness to them they were going to stop but I waved them on and told them I would catch them. I reckon I lost about 1 minute to them but it took me 10 times that to reel them in.

Having crossed the bog road, our next challenge was Templeorum. I know every inch of this one, as again it is a regular part of club training spins. Having said that, it is by far the longest climb of the day at 8k. Having rounded the 2 switchbacks and on reaching the village at the 100k mark, riders are only near the half way point on this long but gradual climb. The prize having gone over the top is the lovely descent into the village of Newmarket, where we turned left towards the final water/food stop in Kilmoganny.  This part of the route was totally new to me so I had no idea how difficult the remaining 49k would be, other than the fact that I had been warned in advance about the Kilmanagh climb. I decided not to stop here as I had enough munchies and drinks onboard to take me to the finish, and was immediately greeted by the 3k climb out of the village in the direction of Callan. Again I was cycling solo, but 2 Dungarvan CC jerseys in the distance gave me all the encouragement I needed to drive on up the hill. I caught them just over the top and I rode with them for the next 10-15k, moving along at a cracking pace on a relatively flat past of the course.

On reaching Callan I came across the signpost that tells us to turn left for Kilmanagh. A pair of other riders cycled straight on at this point, and I shouted at them presuming they had missed the turn. They stopped and the look on their faces told me that they could climb no more. They were going straight back to Kilkenny and good luck to them. The new tar and chip surface on the approach to Kilmanagh is cruel on an already road weary and sore arse. I looked to my right and saw what at that point looked like the Col du Galibier, and I prayed silently that we would be turning left. But alas my hopes were dashed. The signpost informed me that is was 15k to the right to Kilkenny. This really pissed me off because my garmin said I had covered 149k at that point. I had myself mentally prepared for the last 10k, but now it was 15k. Just get on with it I told myself, and almost immediately I was at the base of the Galibier, which is 1.5k approx in length with a max gradient of 11.4%, and an average of not much lower than that. 34/27 selected and off I went pedalling for all I was worth, when this unidentified upstart rode up past me as though he was on a motorbike. F**k you I groaned, and I convinced myself that he lives in the village below us, and had climbed into the saddle just a couple of minutes earlier, unlike me who was now more than five and a half hours aboard. Two of the Kilkenny lads and a Shane McGowan double came up behind me offering all sorts of encouragement. I sat on a wheel and a short time later we were descending down the far side. No more climbing thank Jesus. The two lads along with Shane and myself drove on at a more than brisk pace on this flat and final part of the course, and before long we were over the finish line. I had hoped before we started out earlier in the day to cover the 160k in less than 6 hours, and I did so except the distance was infact 164k at the finish. Ride time was 6:04, a very decent time I think considering the amount of climbing we had done since 9am.

The organisation of this event is second to none, and much kudos goes to the Marble City CC for laying on such a great occasion. The marshalling was first class, the food stops even better and the route is superb. All you boardsies out there will be all too familiar with names like Captain havoc and Sr Assumpta to name but two. The captain lived up to his alter ego on planning the 160k route, causing havoc for many of the days participants on those savage climbs. Thankfully, today I was not one of them.

I had had “a good day”. No “a great day”.

 June 22, 2012  Posted by at 7:31 pm Sportives No Responses »
 

Andalusian Cycle Experience, Montecorto, Spain

by Niall Croke

A couple of people have asked me to write a review of the trip I took to Spain in March so here goes.

On the Rebel Tour sportif last September I was talking to a cyclist from Clare who was wearing an Andalusian Cycle Experience jersey,I asked him what it was about and he told me about a trip he and some friends had taken to a training camp the previous april and he recommended the trip and the company and explained about the fantastic cycling.I thought no more about it until I saw that I would have a weeks holidays in March 2012 and so I searched for the tour company on the web,I quickly came across Andalucian Cycling Experience (ACE) from a Google search and found their website informative and easy to understand.

From making my initial enquiry, via a form on ACE’s website, I was contacted within 24 hours and my enquiry answered in full.I then looked for Flights to Malaga via the Aer Lingus web site and having found Flights that suited I then followed the simple instructions as laid out on the website, I paid my deposit and experienced no problems.

As a solo traveller, I opted for the town house accommodation and was happy to share my room with another person. There was an option available to pay extra for exclusive use of a room, however I didn’t mind sharing accommodation. I also arranged for the return airport transfer of myself, my luggage and I also opted to rent a bike from the company.

On the day of my arrival, I was met on time at Malaga airport by Jez a cycling guide employed by ACE and taken by minibus transfer with 4 other cyclists from the U.K to the picturesque village of Montecorto. En-route to Montecorto, we stopped off at a large supermarket in Ronda to pick up supplies, as we were advised that the village’s shops were not going to be open on arrival. Upon arrival at Montecorto, after dropping off the bikes belonging to the lads from the U.K at the bike workshop/storage, we were then driven to our accommodation at the top of the village.Montecorto is one of the Andalusian white villages and is built onto a mountain so everything is either up or down when giving directions,the village is made up with whitewashed houses in tiny little streets and is very pretty and very very quiet.

My townhouse accommodation(which I shared with two brothers from london ,Will and Rich) was extremely impressive, equipped with two bedrooms (I had a double and the lads shared a twin room), full kitchen, lounge, television and DVD player, rear garden and swimming pool (too cold to use, but which was brilliant to sit in at the end of a day’s cycling to cool aching legs) After unpacking and changing into cycling gear we returned to the fully equipped workshop/store and the lads were assisted by Ashley, ACE’s owner, with putting the bikes back together,I just had to put my pedals on the Trek 1.2 alpha I had hired. A short ride of about 30-40 minutes followed to check that all the bikes were working properly and any problems were solved. Also included in the price was a ACE cycling jersey and two water bottles with the ACE logo on, but also with a contact phone number for ACE, which should you have a mechanical problem, is useful for contacting them so they can quickly assist you.

I I quickly became friendly with my housemates and other guests staying with ACE, and went out for a meal at the local bar/restaurant, La Piscina. For less than 10 euro I had a good meal,La Piscina became a regular haunt and we returned a number of times during the week. Another local establishment which became a popular place to relax was the Bar la Bodega, a small pub popular with the locals. The drinks here were extremely cheap €1 for a beer,wine or a coffee. Another great night was the Paella night on Monday night at a local restaurant, definitely one to experience, and a great way to socialise with your fellow guests.The 18 other guests were a mixture of sportif cyclists , triathletes and one chap in training for the Lanzarote ironman,most of the cyclists were from the UK with a couple of Swedes and a Dane.

 

The first day’s spin was on Sunday and we went straight into the mountains!The village of Montecorto is on the edge of the Sierra de Grazalema national park with its mountains and forests,the area is sparsely populated and contains just a few villages and is a complete contrast to the costa del sol .This is rural agricultural Spain and very green in spring a big contrast to what we would see in summer on the coast.The spin was an 80km route with the first half over rolling countryside to the village of el Bosque where we had a coffee stop(the coffee stop was a regular feature of the spins and the well thought out routes would have one or two coffee stops as well as a lunch stop built in).We then started the climb of Puerto del Boyar or the Beast as it is called,this is a H.C climb from the Vuelta ,16 kms in length with an average of 5.5% gradient ramping in sections to 8/9%.According to my Garmin and Strava the climb took me 1 hour 44 minutes of relentless pedaling to the carpark at the top which is at 1300 mts.This kind of climbing is unknown to us in Ireland, the distance and the height cannot be found here but the basics apply that if you are fit and you pace yourself in a comfortable gear you can get to the top,the time it takes doesn’t matter. The group I was with all came in under 2 hours, the fastest at 1 hour 15 with just one chap unable to complete the climb and he was brought to the top by the broom wagon. http://app.strava.com/rides/5700765 We all regrouped at the top and decended to Grazalema village where we had our lunch stop.After lunch were completed the spin with some more short climbs and some brilliant decending back to Montecorto.

After showers,recovery shakes and standing in the freezing pool we went for food to Bar La Piscina,as with most nights during the week there usually would be around ten gathered for dinner.The owner of the bar would give you a menu and then tell you what they had on that evening,the food was good and the owner having been tipped off that the “cyclistas” liked pasta would have plenty ready he also knew that the “Ingles and Irlandes” liked their “patatas” so chips would appear with all meals.We usually got one bill and divided it up between us,it never cost more than 15 euros for 2/3 courses with beer/wine.

The week continued on and each day(except Wednesday which was a rest day) there was a choice of three spins of varying lengths and difficulties led by one of the guides of which there were four, Bryan Mckinney from Northern Ireland who is currently riding the Ras,Josh Swords an English Junior Cyclist,Jez Parton cyclist and mechanic and Ash Higgins the owner of ACE.The routes were well thought out and offered a bit of everything but mostly you climbed!On the spin you could do your own thing ,at each section the guide would describe the next bit and where we would regroup so you could climb slow or quick or descend as you wanted always knowing that the group would wait. The local roads were amazing there was rarely a pothole in sight and the surface was perfect (which makes a big difference when climbing,it says something when not one rider experienced a puncture in a combined group total distance ridden of over 5000 km.Also the motorists were very courteous and friendly as were all of the Spanish people we came in contact with.On the Wednesday rest day a sports masseur came to the village and most of the cyclists had a rub down,we rested for the morning and in the afternoon myself and my flatmates went on a beer spin to Zahara a village around 15 kms away,getting to the village included a cobbled climb of 1 km with an average gradient of 16% which gave us a great thirst!

The final cycle of the week was a 12.5km time trial up a HC climb called Puerto de Las Palomas ,standing at 1357 meters high. The mountain had built up a somewhat mythical and fearsome reputation during the week and some of group were competing for the king of the mountain jersey(This trip was the second or third visit since December for some of the serious lads that were in training for upcoming events) .We assembled in Montecorto and cycled 11 kms to the start of the climb. Having regrouped at the base of the climb we were sent off in minute intervals,I was sent off in the first couple of minutes in my Full SWCC kit. I had just one aim GET TO THE TOP! Thankfully the first couple of kilometers were not too steep and I settled into a nice pace and I caught some of the lads that had started ahead of me,the serious KOM guys were now starting to catch me but were offering plenty of encouragement as they passed .As I continued to climb each section of road and round each hairpin the road seemed to get steeper and it went on and on. Just when I was running out of steam I heard shouts of encouragement from the finishers up above me in the car park and they were telling me to hammer the last 1.5 kms,I gave a last effort and two hairpins later I was in the finishing stretch ,head down ,up out of the saddle and as fast as I could pedal for the finish line,as I crossed the line Ash from Ace shouted 61 minutes!Great time for my first effort ,I would still have liked to come in under 1 hour but I’ll try again! http://app.strava.com/rides/5935309 After regrouping and putting on gillets etc there followed a rapid decent into Grazalema a small village/town about 3 km below the summit of Las Palomas and lunch before another fast descent back to Montecorto.

 

The final night saw our group of riders head out for a celebratory meal at a local restaurant, where the top rider of the time trial was presented with a polka dot King of the Mountains ACE cycling jersey and a week’s ACE training camp with flights and accommodation. The week I had chosen to go was a week where all the top riders of the previous couple of months time trials had returned for a champion of champion’s week. Despite being a complete novice in comparison to the other riders, I was made to feel extremely welcome and learned so much more than I would have done perhaps on a less prestigious week.The following morning we were collected and driven in good time to Malaga airport for the flights home.

To sum up ACE offers a great cycling holiday experience,with great accommodation, perfect cycling weather (not too hot or cold in the time I was there), amazing pothole free roads and good local food and great knowledge of places to eat whilst out for the day riding and if you can get your chin up off the handlebars fantastic scenery. The cycling guides have a great passion for helping guests getting the most out of their holiday by doing what the guests want and were happy to wait to ensure no one got left behind on the rides,the guides were also great for sorting out any mechanical issues that arose on the bikes. The group spirit and craic was excellent and the experienced cyclists that were part of the group gave great encouragement and advice to the less experienced members of the group. It is also testament to ACE that so many cyclists and triathletes return again and again to train with them.

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Spain and hope to go back next spring if funds are available and the Boss says its ok!

 

The cost approx

  1. ACE training camp 350 euro
  2. Flights 170 euro including a bag both ways (flights with Aer Lingus,could be cheaper or dearer depending on?)
  3. Return transfers from airport 60 euros
  4. Bike Hire 130 euro. I’d have liked to bring my own bike but when you factor in bike box ,Aer Lingus costs,worry of mech issues I don’t Know.

 

Did I mention that Beer was a Euro!!!!!

 

Regards Niall

 May 29, 2012  Posted by at 9:19 pm Sportives No Responses »
 

Mount Leinster Challenge 2011

By Maeve Egan

I decided to take on a different more difficult Sportive event this year, that being The Mount Leinster Challenge which took place in Enniscorthy last Sunday, organised by the Slaney Cycling  Club.

140km scaling Mount Leinster twice seemed like a good idea two months ago when I signed up for it, however as the time came closer I grew more anxious.  But the day came and 26 Sportif club members made their way down to take on the mighty challenge of cycling Mt.Leinster(twice).

The atmosphere was a mix of excitement and nerves at the start,  but we cycled as a group at a comfortable speed.  Everyone chatted and laughed along the way, however once I turned into the first climb of the day, my smile disappeared and all talking stopped. The line between staying on the bike or getting off when you feel your legs just won’t work anymore is VERY thin, But with words of encouragement from some, and shelter from others and even a push from one, I made it to the Corribut gap, the first summit.

Next was the nine stones which was a long drag traversing the peaks of the mountain to the second summit. A sense of elation came over me when I reached the car park at the top and met up with the rest of the Sportif gang, who were waiting with congratulatory comments.  At this stage my body was in need of a caffeine hit and some food, so it was on to Kiltealy for the food stop.  Well done to the Slaney CC on the food stop as there was an abundance of sandwiches, cakes, buns, tarts, sausages, chips, flapjacks, you name it.

After fueling up we took to the bikes again, all refreshed and head into the Third challenge of scaling the mighty mountain(Again).  To add to the monstrous climb(Again), the dark clouds that were hanging overhead all day, eventually opened up and emptied themselves on us as we slowly but surely made it up the nine stones from the Bunclody side this time.  It was tough going, with tired legs by this stage and 100kms already cycled, I made it to the summit of mt lenister(Again).

Now, at last,  down hill and the  wind behind us made the journey back to Enniscorthy that bit easier.  As the song goes “Oh, what a feeling…” when we came into the Slaney GAA centre.  There were refreshments and medals in the club and everyone chatted and shared stories of their day onMt.Leinster.  Well done to all and I look forward to many more outing with you over the Summer.

Well done also to Slaney CC for organising and running an excellent event, one which I and many more in the Sportif Club will be attending next year.

(View gallery for more pictures)

 May 27, 2012  Posted by at 10:10 pm Sportives No Responses »
 

Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford -2011

by Brian Smith

 I joined the sportif club about 3 months ago,I can remember my first group 1 spin was about 25km in the pouring rain with katja was probably the furthest I had ever went on a bike that was ok followed by a few 30-40k spins with one in particular I can remember stood to me quiet a hilly one with Ian,Maeve,and Mike0.

After that I doubted my ability but stuck at it week in week out.I wanted the Sean Kelly to be my first sportive.Originally I was going to do the 50k even after been out on a 65k with a few of the guys last Sunday.We did some of the 90k route but I was still unsure about which route I would do,maybe the 50k would be the easy way out so I decided on the last day of registration to do the 90k.

I didnt know what to expect.I headed up with ray mannix this morning the atmosphere was unreal with about 1600 riders music the works and the sun splitting the rocks.By now all the nerves were gone and was really up for it.I did the first 45km in 1hr 45 mins where we had a food stop in tramore race course,also had a gearing problem for about 20 mins before hitting tramore.Great setup at the racecourse,kevin from spokes sorted my problem.Stopped for about 30 mins.

Was speaking to a guy at the stop who told me the way back was tougher but didnt let it put me off.First hill was annestown I think tough auld b@st*%d but made it up next hill was even tougher little did I know there was about 7 more steep hills ahead,but I stuck to my plan wasnt going to get off my bike for nobody,even though I felt as if the muscles in my thighs were going to burst!and as the great Lance Armstrong once said pain is temporary,quitting lasts forever.

Saw alot of riders walking up hills but didnt opt for the easy way out!Arrived back in 1hr 45mins,so overall took me 3hrs 30 in which I was pleased considering it was my first sportive and had never did more than 65k on a bike.Day went really well even got Sean Kellys autograph and photo taken with the great man.Thanks to Ray also for sticking with me on the day,who also put in a great performance,well done Ray.Looking forward to going out with group 2 now.

Onwards and upwards from here cant wait for the next sportive.What a day!

 

 May 16, 2012  Posted by at 10:10 pm Sportives No Responses »