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..
Great turnout this am at the glen with plenty of tinsel and balls . Even some christmas lights on Teresas bike. Its a long time since we had 17 out , couple of Rossi diehards ,2 Wheelers although the wheel was very noisy!
Fallow , Tunnel, Mast . Here Eamon forgot he was riding a mountain bike and broke into cyclocross mode carrying his bike to the mast , impressive but such hard work!
JOD returned from the 6.1 secret training camp on his new secret weapon which I suspect was filled with Helium , not to mention the Cassette ring bigger than Jupiters rings .
Mast to Knockshee , beautiful descent even if a bit moist .We clain the world record for the most Santas on Knockshee at any one time , I await confirmation from GBR . Back to Sallys Yard and across to post . Down fern gully where Cormac demonstrated a left hand power slide with twist and pike.
Home by wall and Burma .
Great Spin…Merry Christmas to all . Expect a low/ zero turnout xmas eve but back to normal following Sat .
First Snow of 2016 brought with it two newish attendees to improve our somewhat biased gender mix . Pamela returned after a long abscence and was joined by Teresa , both of them put Molly to shame and he’s off to the gym now ( ..when he recovers).
The advertised route started well with switchbacks , out to post and back up Sallys to mast . Dropping down to Fallow Corner for a lovely descent to the Nurses cottage . Bar one river crossing all rideable . Dropped down to Kilfeghan lane and up to gate below Knockshee . At this point there was dissention from planned route and Kenny thought it would be better to stay on south face of knockshee , Seamus then entered the fray with route advice . Upshot was a good route but a fair amount of hike a bike.
Met a clatter of 6.1ers who looked somewhat lost without their leader BG . Four of them were fixing a bike and there was talk by Paul Stewart about how many 6.1ers required to change a light bulb! In fact they were just changing batteries on the E-Bike.
Home by Fern Gully and along the wall . A great spin even allowing for the pedestrian section . With a bit of work a great route and one maybe to try in reverse.
We were all shocked to hear of the untimely passing of Gerry McCabe , A gentleman and a tremendous athlete . Our thoughts are with his brothers Johnny and Declan and all his family . We had a moment of reflection at the top of Finlieve lane , a place I am sure he would have loved.
Nice route today with the new descent off finlieve and back up kilfeaghan along the river to fallow .