There was a giddiness on the racing forum all week. It started when David F posted a request for short sleeved cycle tops..Which soon descended into farce with requests ranging from, long sleeved tops, to club socks, to running vests, to tops with bells on it, and a pair of cycle shorts for frank. In the  end the  shopping list was a mess and nobody knew who really wanted what. The only thing that was certain was that Frank definitely needed a new pair of cycling shorts, as he put his finger through the last pair…

Then Dena posted “And so it begins….” An invitation to a 100k Sunday morning road spin from Ferns. After a week of early mornings parked at computers, logging on, signing in, Hook or by Crook, Beast of the East, Hell of the West, and the old reliable Tri Athy with names that sound more like heavy metal bands then Triathlons …and even harder to get an entry into, then it is to get a ticket for a Springsteen concert.

And so the posting gathered momentum, club members slowly emerged from a winter of self centred training..Dena and gang kicking of in Ferns at 8.30am meeting up with the rest of us on the square in Bunclody after 9.00. And before you knew it we had a pelathon..Even the mountain bikers made an appearance, tempted down from their beloved mountain, raggle taggled and unshaven hydration packs strapped to their backs and heavy bikes whose broad tyres sucked hard on the tarmac…But boy can they cycle…

So it was, on a perfect spring morning in March we pulled out, forming an impressive group, two by two, losing our selves in idle chat and catch up conversations Comparing notes and checking in on “what have you signed up for this year”.

On up. A steady drag out of Bunclody skipping potholes and craters,, up past the  Half Way House, slipping through the sleepy village of Kiltealy, turning right towards Mount Leinster, easy in one another’s company…But alas as we skimmed Mount Leinster, the call of the wild became to much for our mountain bikers, who peeled of at the first exit for the nine stones towards the wilderness and their beloved mountain trails…, free at last…we bade farewell.

On we cycled on a perfect spring morning, easier to cycle in a group sheltered by the front runners, laughing and smiling, clicking gears, taking on fluids. Dena offered Rudolf “half a ride”, and after that the conversation went to the dogs. Ah yes this is the life. And somewhere on this beautiful Sunday morning, slipping through the Blackstairs valley, up over its nine stone summits, sweeping down its steep descent, on a good to be alive day we became a real club……..


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