Given the forecast a good spin was in order .With Mr Power shredding himself at enduro practice and Mr Hull on nappy duty ,It was left to PS,Herself , COC, The Late Mr Scullion ( yes he was) and Doc Lewis ( less half a toe-nail) to make up the numbers . Also joined for the first time by Richie who n his FB messages appeared concerned he might not keep up…Ha! Flyin Machine . Look out Mr Power .
The Route took us up giants pad , Low fallow corner , down along the river to nurses cottage , road to Glenloughan lane , up Finlieve , back down to Formal , Milltown lane , losing a few early birds here and Tim who was suffering after near self amputation. PS , Richie and COC then headed back up Kilfeaghan lane in order to appease Mr powers request for at least 1000m climbing . Over shoulder of knockshee , across Sallys to Ballynagelty and home by viewpoint and river walk . A mega spin . Mountain as dry as it ever has been . Mr Scullion was full of music today with a “hey Jude” ear worm .
1300m of climbing should keep Mr P quiet .
Despite the good weather forecast the mist smothered our intended route initially at least . Mr Suffern, a guest from Dromore Running club attended along with the lesser spotted Mark Cooper . Stalwarts, Kenny , Cormac, Paul(M) and COC along with Eamon made up the numbers .
Mr Power had planned a “CLIMBY” spin and we headed to Reverse Formal up the green road . Unfortunately when we got to the Fallow Corner the visibility was dreadful , EVEN Kenny and a number of GPS devices left us low of the path and walking most of the way to the river where a correction was applied and normal service resumed . Great spin down Fallow . Lost eamon and Paul at Kilfeaghan before the lovely climb to bath and onward to Fallow corner . How Mark loved it…… Ah well at least the sun came out.
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.
Despite the dreadful ( dare I say Evil) forecast a good turnout including Dan , Eamon ,Pamela , Robbie ,Shane, Tim , Kenny , PS ,Mr Power, Herself and COC . The open mountain was not looking attractive so we headed to The long mile , dropping down on black to Ulster way and on to Leitrim Lodge , Castle bog and home by trails . The very slight precipitation kept even a semblance of ROSSI away.
Courtesy of Greenbikes Newry I was testing a demo Evil Following ,the “must have” steed of 2017. A full sus 29er that looks ready for some serious terrain. I felt I really should have had baggies and a goatee to be seen on it as I’m sure the folk at Evil Bikes would frown at the plethora of lycra on display today.
It is a beautiful looking Bike in Day glo orange full carbon.
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By Connors own admission the bike was not presented to show it in its best light . The “brakes” produced loads of noise but little stopping power , The forks were a tad sticky and the tyres had less grip than a road tyre . Despite this all who tried it were impressed , mainly with the rear suspension . It was very fast on trails and rolled over open mountain with ease. The cockpit was very short and I would have liked a longer stem ( I know thats sacrilege) .
I suspect that with a good build and some tweaking to the set up this bike would be a winner . We all felt that it did lean to the trails/going down side rather than climbing and I’m not sure I’d want to do a long race on it , having said that I did keep up with Kenny and Robbie on the Castle Bog Climb . Hoping to compare it to the Camber carbon 29 tomorrow…. should be interesting. Cormac’s Evil Wreckoning review to follow soon .
Verdict ..defintely in my final two bike choice..