Giving it Willie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

ImageThe Beast of the East Tri was cancelled. The small sea side village of Dunmore East mourns. A broken hearted mother has to bury her three strong sons. Drowned within sight of shore, while pulling lobster pots into a tired boat…Isnt it strange for that family, that fishing community, that as a dark cloud engulfs them. For us, life goes on. The cancelled tri, free’s up “the boys” for a serious Saturday morning 100k spin to Athy. Now the birthplace of my first real tri.
So wihout a second thought..life goes on…we meet on the square at 7.30sharp (Except for Joy, who never sees the “sharp” at the end of starting times.)
With side on winds and a mid day threat of rain. We strike while the iron is still hot, the skies are blue and the sun is up, the roads quiet, the route flat. We quickly slip into a steady rhythm.
I fill them in on day 4 of Liams epic Landsend to John of Groats adventure, of days soaked through to the skin, of prevailing winds pushing him on, of the blonde at the bar that turned out to be a fella, of bike troubles and a broken chain fixed by a fella full of porter..and yet he ploughs on, averaging 150k a day, well on course to finish in six days…The making of a legend.
On we cruise Mike, Frank, and PJ with pent up energy to burn, taking the lead, setting the pace while we mere mortals shelter in behind (big hairy men) free wheeling, clocking a comfortable 26k an hour…
These days all the small talk is of Ironmen challanges, and Roth in Belgium next July, and who’s signed up, and who’s paid, and how are we getting there. The numbers are growing, the chat infectious, and if your not careful, with a belly full of beer you could end up, signing your life away. But most of all the talk is about January, and the prospect of the all consuming training that will be required to compete…dawn swims, lunch time runs, and evenings spent turbo training while watching repeat episodes of Father Ted…I realise now, , as we cycle on this laid back Saturday morn, not a care in the world, the “boys” still setting the pace taking the lead, that these free wheeling days, of easy small talk, rolling over, sheltering the “wimmin”, cruising pelathon, with its Coffee shop stop, and its poached egg and bacon treat, and Mikes by now obligatory facebook photo…come January, all will change. Minds will become seriously focused, and every spin will be a training spin, of pace and time, and building the miles..Ah yes all will change…a terrible beauty is born…
But for today, we roll on, enjoying the company, tiring, as the return head wind saps our energy, We hitch a ride from a Zetor tractor hugging the hard shoulder, dragging us up the long incline out of Carlow heading for Ballon. Where PJ gets a puncture, the group begins to fragment, Mike and Colm hang back, while Frank me, Lorraine Joy and Ciara plough on struggling to hang on to Franks wheel. Burning energy.
And then it happend, on the out skirts of Bunclody, the gentle hill, aching the legs. I try to close the gap on Frank, calling Joy to get on my wheel. I take off and Joy shouts “Give it willie!! oops I mean give it wellie”..And that was that my lungs empty with laughter. my legs die, and both of us limp home while frank free wheels down Carrigduff down into the town…The end of great Saturday spin…long may they last.

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ps The last time someone told me to give it “willie” was on my wedding night, and I had to have the bestman escorted from my room…

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