As Kennys cycling career draws to a close (and he turns to night feeds and nappy changing as alternative extreme sports) he reminded us that we will miss his navigational expertise as he guided us from Mast to Bath without a wrong turn ,kindly pointing out all the lines to COC . Then picked up right trail to post which “we” usually COC-up.

The late Brian Scullion joined us briefly but his catalan capers caught up with him and he retired early along with New Paul who had no suitable excuse except something to do with a wheelbarrow and 7 tonne of stone. John(bangor) also showed up again getting slaughter ready perhaps? Robbie returned and should be on his second unit of blood as I write after extreme bramble escapades.

Mr Power after last weeks cycling dyslexia was too embarrassed to show up , but will return when self righting mechanism perfected.


Ups and Downs

In which
Mr Suffern returned astride a new orange beast ,I think an Ibis is a sort of wild deer but given that Hugh has an ebay addiction I assume it wasn’t wild dear . He did his bit for wildlife today freeing a little bird , I thought 4 guineas was a bit steep for fee , he assured us it was a considerable discount .(I hope you all appreciate the musical reference) .

John (SCO) returns from two weeks of gluttony and is correspondingly speedy .

COC conquered the switchbacks despite protestations about use of alternative route ..jealosy is a terrible thing.

Cormac developed a falling down disease and Robbie is investigating how a rolator could be attached to his bike.

Dan fell off at least once , Eamon failed to get his heart rate over 100.

Kenny reports a clear round on castle bog to wall , but as suffern was his witness we have to be cautious with believing him

Herself had a sick note , as did DOC L who is as we speak in bicycle DT’s .

I fell off after the wall which is why the route looks a bit peculiar on map .GPS switched off for a bit .

Creaks and Cramps

A long roll of sick notes today , Scullion was away teaching the French how to drink wine , Doc L was on Babysitting duties , Mr Hull was telling Kenny McKinstry where to go .John SCO , PS and New Paul were AWOL .
The two and only Horse and Hound had threatened a royal visit to display the new wheels but cried off at the last moment . A better offer no doubt.

Ross and John returned for a rare visit , Robbie returned and regretted it! Mr Power had the audacity to turn up on a poorly serviced anthem which creaked its way around , this from the man who will not tolerate creaking in any other bikes . COC and Herself made up the posse for a dart up to fiddlers /viewpoint/ stone / style / knockshee/ formal. Poor Robbie hadnt been out in a while and how he loved that climb up formal not to mention the tech section to Formal . He was unable to cure his own cramp but soldiered on .Work needed for Thriller !!!

No Rossi in sight today .

Route Here

Clean Round Mania

The book of excuses went to a new volume today with chapters like..

Have you seen the forecast? Robbie
Its going to lash . Robbie
I would have done that except you stopped in front of me .Liz
My heart rate was too high. COC
I have to go and get the dry cleaning. Robbie
I think I have something to do but I can’t remember what it was. Rowan
My knee is hurty again .Liz

With the Fondo looming , Mr Stewart and Murray had absented themselves for the delights of the road .No note had been received and Kenny has it in his book.
However said forecast never happened ,it was warm and dry all morning bar a brief shower which left some of the rocks on the trails like ice , causing Doc Lewis some momentary consternation.

Route started with Giants pad , second right , shortcut , switchbacks with much effort put into the elusive clear round . Most folk got as far as the last hard bit , now called “Luciver ” by Kenny . The left line beat everyone although the line on the right is doable I did it . However an EGM will have to decide if that line will constitute a clear round

Tunnel , with DOC Lewis getting a clear descent which is possibly a first . Onto trails and out at the bridge . Kenny and Cormac the took themselves off on their new toys towards Formal . The rest headed over slieve meel to Yellow Water and down to bridge where the excuses practically vomited out . Leaving only COC and DOC to tackle Castle Bog . Tim still working on the elusive clear round from gate to leitrim lodge . Could be a while!

Up Castle bog with Tim having no respect for his elders and towards wall, Both initial attempts at clear round failed but COC did manage it at the second attempt…does that count?
Home by ulster way and way surprised to find the early leavers in the Church Cafe ..all those excuses Robbie …that laundry won’t do itself you know !

No word from Mr Power et al yet .

Route here

Scotland The Brave

Brought to you by kind permission of BL shutters ..always lead from the front

Rob ..Chief Guide , cook and bottle washer .
Finn..Personal Assistant to above.
Mr Power ..supplier of performance enhancing drugs ( Beetroot)
Mr Hull ..navigator and complaints ( making not receiving)
Mr Suffern MRCVS ..Teaser Provider
John ( SCO) ..translator and tartan specialist , swimming coach.
Mr Cooper .. Bus Timetables and Pub advisor . Wing Mirror Crash Testing.
Mr Stewart ..Music and entertainment
Herself …Laundry supervisor , and how to open the washing machine expert
COC ..Complaints ( receiver of) and archivist.
Lesley..assistant to Mr Suffern

Long drive to Torridon by the scenic route , we only lost one wing mirror. Roads were narrow and often single track so progress was slow . Kenny had Hugh up front reading pace notes and arrived first after only one tyre change .

The house was stunning with 360 views of lough and mountain . Bikes quickly unloaded and Cormac had PDI’s carried out in no time .The only tool he didn’t bring was a bike stand , still not sure why. Fed and watered ( well mostly watered!) and off to bed for bright and early start of local loop . Great climbing with PS setting the early pace until Liz had a word in his ear. Stunning descent which just by coincidence ended at the pub . Home for more food and water , well possibly less water as Rob promised big miles on tuesday.
Tuesday , stunning 2 climb/ 2 descent ride. Many punctures ..I curse those drainage ditches. Apart from a shower at beginning and a steady headwind it was fine. Once again by complete coincidence the ride spat us out by the pub .
3rd day was an easy ride to the beautiful applecroft and beach , followed by dinner in applecroft pub , super seafood with a view of Skye mountains in the distance .
4th day say a split with the elite ( Cormac and Kenny ) doing a monster climb / descent with Finn , and the rest with Rob for a more sedate affair . COC and Herself absconded with various poor excuses.
Final day was a great climb back up a previous descent , Paul took the crooked glass award having firmly lodged the point of his saddle where the sun dont shine. It has to be said John was in close contention. Bit of hike a bike at top and then a very rocky descent leading to a brilliant flowy descent to road . I managed a puncture about 3 milliseconds after Rob warned us about sharp drainage ditch…dohhhh. By complete coincidence the road home passed the pub so we felt obliged to call in .
Evening finished off by a fine venison casserole and some water .
Great weeks crack ..thanks to Rob and Finn and Baron Tollemache for the use of his country residence. Let down only by the absence of champagne glasses..well really!
Long drive home , held up by ministry of agriculture checkpoint where Liz was held fro trying to import a tick .Same safely removed you’ll be glad to hear .


So many Photos…so many views