War Of Attrition

Or ..The day of the Big Excuse or 3 Good Men , Take your pick .

The challenge was thrown down with a route announcement and it obviously tickled a few fancys as the numbers were well up (initially) .

Rowan came out of hibernation and I immediately wished he hadnt ..fierce fit , Stephen and Shane came for a brutal initiation . Rory reappeared or whats left of him . PS made a return ( briefly) , Dan was here and John (SCO) , Karl , The brother , Herself and COC . Scullion appeared late following a mechanical which we all agreed was very unusual .
Route was Sallys Yard , Mast , drop to Fallow corner , ,Reverse Formal and down to road . here the excuses began .

Paul went home to see his imaginary friend , John (SCO) had to collect his Kilt from the drycleaners , Rowan had a text from Annemarie so was the only one with a real excuse . Dan  was missing a road spin and wanted a good workout chasing Rowan up the road …good luck with that .

The rest of the motley crew headed to Glenloughan lane and up over finlieve , it was I have to say beautiful and excruciating at the same time as witnessed by the fact that Rorys legs had dissapeared below the knee when we got to the top , even a hard boiled egg wouldnt help but a few jelly babies did the trick. Stephen and Shane were just LOVING the climbing , Tricking drop down to fallow but again Beautiful lush grass with occasional holes waiting to flip the unwary .

Out to fallow where the excuses started again . Brian was his own excuse , Stephen had left something in the oven , Shanes Di2 battery was running out , John’s batteries ran out ,Rorys legs had disappeared again , Liz needed a cup of tea . PATHETIC .

That left only 3 good men , The brother , COC and Karl to climb up tunnel , mast and home by the stone . Hats off to Karl and Kenny who got clear rounds from tunnel to mast ..I had to play the age card!

Great Spin


And then there were 5

With kenny off carb loading in Killarney and Tim cycling to Mozambique on the single speed to save the air fare it left only COC , herself , Scullion , Rory , John (SCO) and Ross our new addition . If he doesnt get some suspension on that bike soon he’ll need to see a well known dentist for new teeth .

Some real mountain today , wall , sallys where herself ran out of battery , knockshee , back towards fallow then rather than dropping to fallow corner we trail blazed our way back to mast and down to tunnell , hopped into the trails where we had a few fallers in the rock gardens, (I just dont get those rock gardens AT ALL) and home by giants pad and wall .

Sun shone all day…shadow of the thriller looms however .

Apologies for useless pics , had to use camera .



The Lough Shannagh “Triathlon”

Sponsored by Tullyraine Equine and Mullholland bespoke plumbing , this long established race (which can trace its origins back to Hugh of Pink in 1773 ) took place today . It was very considerate  of the Orange Order to arrange for us all to have the day off .

Race HQ was at LOL 56 ( lovely old legs with average age 56) . The Banbridgers started at home and ” raced ” to the 1st transition at Ott car park . Hugh and Dermy must have had at least three punctures as Lorcan arrived long before them, not so shortly followed by Les. The Rostrevorers had arrived earlier and started with a road loop including the Spelga S see route below  .
Runners were donned for a lap of the Lough Shannagh Horseshoe stopping on the beach at Lough Shannagh for a swim . The water was surprisingly warm , but not warm enough to tempt Dermy to get wet! .

Home over Carn and repaired to K’s in Hilltown for light refreshments and witty banter , mainly it may be said at Mr Sufferns expense.

And like the music says …”my legs are weak”



NTLR…Not The Logical Route

Given the precipitation , the cloud and the wind speed Mr Spock would have suggested that the Logical thing to do was to stay low in the trees ,Or perhaps pull up the quilt tighter like John (SCO) and worry about the excuses later .

However we are nothing if not illogical so we headed for Castle Bog with the vague intention of getting Tievedockdaragh done for Cairn2Cairn . The climb up into the teeth of a head wind and driving rain was interesting , we consoled ourselves with the fact that ” at least its not cold” . The bog itself was boggy but still riding well . When we crossed the fence the view up Tievedockdaragh was …absent and it looked, well miserable so we headed down to the ford , losing a drowned Liz here. Kenny and I headed over the trails in reverse to Fallow , very bold I know but didnt meet a sinner .

Up to Tunnel in the shelter of Fallow then out to the open mountain ..oh bliss! But at least two clear rounds which given the rising Euro were well worth it .

Down the Glen with Kenny stopping only to park his front wheel in a massive sheuch and launching head first to the muck below.

Home by a slippy Badger .



Four go mad in Exmoor

The snooze button should be banned!

Leaving Rostrevor to check in for an 8.15 boat at 7.10 is cutting it fine , only Kenny appeared at the gate we would be still here! However having picked up John (SCO) we managed to get to Dublin Port at 8.20 and just squeaked onto the boat ..perfect timing some might say .

Then then small matter of the drive from Holyhead to Exmoor , TOM TOM whoever he is ,said 6 hours . TOM TOM is obviously not aware the the English appear to make a sport of digging up the M6 and parking there for hours at a time . Kenny who was the only one of us who could drive ( properly ) took control and we arrived at the ship Inn in Porlock just after 8 …wrecked . We met Rob and Finn the proprietors of Wild Bikes and Jenny of Pure Mountains along with a smattering of ex eu members  Ed , and his brother Rob , Neil and Helen , And Marianne from Finland via Plymouth.A fine few pints of englands best beer went down well.

Saturday dawned, as it does, and we geared up for the day after an alfresco breakfast from Robs Kitchen . A quick briefing and off to the trails which started literally 10 m from our very nice campsite …BurrowHayes if you must know.  Rob and Finn quickly ascertained that not everyone had had their performance enhancing drugs last night and split the group roughly into the Celts with the Brothers,  and the rest . We got the benefit of an extra climb and an extra descent before the big climb to Dunkery Beacon at over 500m  . Great views and fantastic trails . Stopped for lunch at a quintessentially english T room where we felt obliged to have the ploughmans salad washed down with lashings of ginger beer . Then off for another loop with the ploughman in tow!

Route Here   in case you wonder I did not have autopause on !

Home for a welcome shower and then Robs Kitchen opened up for the BBQ and lashings of Beer/ wine etc.

Sunday started with lovely Bacon butties, a quick briefing and another split in the group . NTSR off with the fantastic Finn ( not Marianne) who proved a super guide and certainly appears to have had all his PED’s as he beat Kenny up the hills on his almost downhill bike. Respect!

Met the others at the top of Hawks Coombe for a brilliant descent and onward to Porlock Weir for lunch by the seaside . Then a quick extra loop for some and home for the big pack up. The journey home via Pembroke was much less exciting so I wont bore anyone Severn or otherwise  .

Route Here

Thanks to Rob , Finn and Jenny for wonderful hospitality. Rob knew every inch of every trail and coped well with diverse skill and fitness level . I can highly reccomend Wild Bikes  and Puremountain  , in fact we are hatching an evil plan for next year  😉 .