Wet morning with a lot of mist on the hills and cold wind to cut you in two. But it was ok because Barra said ( according to Robbie) that it would clear at 10 . Maybe he meant 10 pm who knows ? In any cause we got a soaking despite resorting the that old favorite when the weather is bad …The five hills of the ulster way …as you can see from the map we gave them a fair doing today .
Mr Power as usual spent the time off the front miserable as his ex-friend ( he who must not be named k***y) has deserted him in favour of oval balls. PS who had been billed as “flying” by the absent Scullion spent the day trailing at the back .Its not looking good for the alps. Robbie spent the day enjoying the route especially when we went off piste and looking for “k***y”.
John (Sco ) was not here either and after todays performance by his countrymen may never show his face again .
A contingent including New Paul , Dan Duffy and the Other Dr Lewis are reported to have headed for a bit of real gravel in newcastle , fairly sure they got the same soaking as us .
Very few photos as the weather did not lend itself to stopping.
The day started badly with Mr Power forgetting some vital bike component , I lent him a bike and we eventually left when he had completed a full service .
Only the stalwarts today , Robbie , Mr Power , New Paul , PS and COC . Doc Lewis had entered a passable excuse , Kenny was off watching grown men chasing a ball. We are struggling to remember him now , echoes of the brother. Scullion was again so late he never arrived .
There was a competition for the best Kennyism …
>Who Shot KH?
>Kenny Who ?
>The Kenny I knew so well
>Who is Kenny Anyway?
>Waiting for Kenny.
It went on for longer but I won’t bore you . The lack of route complaints was noted.
Commiserations /Congratulations to New Paul on achieving the ripe old age of 50 ..its all downhill from here , believe me.
Started up giants pad , fallow corner , ascent to reverse bath , over shoulder of Knockshee , back to Sallys without getting lost for a change , post , reverse to almost mast and left climb towards ballnagelty. dropped down to the stone , viewpoint and home by bins .
It was beautifully dry today and its the first time this year I have arrived home without having to hose off a significant portion of the mountain .
Today was a sad day for those of us who knew Pat Dunbar . Over the years we had cycled on the road , off the road , run , walked , canoed , sailed, done powerboat courses,climbed mountains , done adventure races (including the transalp and the clec ) ,laughed , talked rubbish and drunk pints . In fact he was famous for finding the cheapest pint in Majorca and had us( me and him) thrown out of Noel McKinley’s training camp for skipping a days training in that pursuit.
He excelled at many things but his foremost skill was the art of the excuse and we have documented here before that worthy tome “Dunbars book of excuses” and we laughed as we recalled the many chapters today , “wrong tyres” , “too much air” , “not enough air” , “tickly cough” , “bad pint ” to name but a few .
He was also master of the late and unexpected sprint , nearly taking Kevin , Eamon and me out in a transalp sprint for 582nd place. I will remember him every time I reach the cairn on Slieve martin or the summer seat at the end of the burma road. Two places where he always found a little extra speed.
See you on the other side Pat .
Our Thoughts are with Winifred ,Ciaran and Sara.
Todays snaps , a beautiful day to remember Pat.
After Paul called Robbie ” Kenny ” for the fourth time we thought it would be easier just to call everyone Kenny , This got a bit confusing after a while as kenny wasn’t even there . At least we all assumed that from the lack of complaints about the route . This took us up Sallys yard to the post , right to shoulder and then contoured round Slievefadda to Fallow corner . Despite the absence of our erstwhile navigator we made rather a good job of that .
From fallow corner onto the trails at slievemeel and home that way , stopping only to fix a puncture while Kenny( caraher) caused by sitting on Kenny (mcconveys) bike.
We missed Mr Power today , apparently with him being temporarily a gentleman of leisure , he had to send his cat out to do some scanning , clever cat . Hope he( the cat) did well.
After an overdose of cairns ,Kenny insisted ( and for once we agreed) that an expedition was in order . The usual argument ensued about the start time and location ( which Kenny lost as usual ) .
Leaving the pub formerly known as Davey’s we headed up the road and onto the mountain . The lane on the map was more like a river bed with the river still in it , but we persevered ,and thanks to the fine navigation of Mr Hull we made it to the Mast where the wind chill was sufficient to turn at least one of the girls back home at this stage .
So Liz left and Tim remained for a while eventually baling in the direction of Skull alley. How I wished I had joined him as we slipped and slithered first down and then up parts of the yellow brick road .
Mr Power led a ferocious charge up the poc fada hill with Robbie not far behind, fuelled only by butter and mini pizzas. From the mast we headed back the way we came ( after a short discussion) which was wet ,slippy and full of babies heads but great fun nevertheless.
Maybe not an epic in distance or time but my legs are singing epic loud and clear.