A refreshing core of 14 riders gathered outside the agreed set off of point – Red Leader Coops Loaghtan, Hamish Loaghtan, Pete Mate Loaghtan, Neil K and Neill S, Alex, Richard, David, Pat the ‘Single Speed’, Matt and Mark Tiernan, Lee, Pete and Pete MacF.
Before we set off Dave and Richard were keeping Bolty’s feminine genes alive by comparing ‘bling’ foot wear and what they were wearing for this particular ride. Dave looked resplendent in his Planet X booties while Richard was sporting some booties with serious horizontal hold issues!! Pete Mate forgot both his lid and his shoes!!! After a quick rush around Governors Hill to various friends to beg/borrow/steal kit, he returned empty handed in time to find his lid but not his shoes, they were on the kitchen table remaining toasty and warm for him to wear when he got home!!
Although a familiar route to many this 16 mile round trip has a good combination of elements – A sensible road warm up – Dog Toffee Alley (by Clypse reservoir) up Honey Hill – a play in Conrhenny Plantation, a blast down the side track of Conrhenny, Barroose, Chicken Run, Baldrine main road, the Garey track via the farm, up to Little Coanrhennee Road via the stables, back down again then up Ennamona track to meet back at the Honey Hill gate and on back to the Cat with no Tail car park.
Off we set, ‘Pete Mate Loaghtan ’ got four faults for refusal at the road turning at Hillberry – his trainers just did not cut the mustard with his peddles.
The pace was fast and bordering on competitive, Neill S was looking for sticks to poke through the spokes of two newbie’s, two whipper snappers who did not offer him the time of day or an assist as they spat up pebbles while passing him on Honey Hill. However revenge was sweet when one of the whipper snappers had a technical in Conrhenny – Neill S was resplendently sarcastic when asked for help!!! The poor lad!!! After much verbal revenge, all in good nature, the mechanical was resolved and fixed by the elder lemons and the ride proceeded.
For the extent of the recent bad weather condition, the ground was mostly easy to ride. Not too water logged or muddy, surprisingly.
I met the now increasingly popular wildlife on the Chicken Run, the ol’ rabbit in the headlights again, I am getting paranoid about them, they seem out to get me, but we ploughed on through. I think the somewhat low wind count helped the pace as we steamed up through the farm. Neil K was surprised to discover that Coops was ahead of him as we stopped to re-group! I think Coops was quietly chuffed! I joined in on a good natured conversation where Lee was discussing the merits of riding Snowden in December, not only once but twice in the same day!!! Blimey….just cause they could.
On the home straight we regrouped at the Honey Hill/Clypse gate. It was here that Rich has a serious valve leak and he decided to get down to the car park to rescue the situation so he headed off with Dave – As we were about to head off Neil K’s bike developed a leaky rear tube as well. The fact that Neil was not on it did not matter as the banter rounded on poor Kerruish who had to take off his prosthetic right hand glove to help. He had leant his bike out but had to fix it! The mechanicals sorted and off we set, only to find poor Rich half way down the Clypse track having succumb to his puncture. With various pumps doing the rounds it was discovered that you can tell a lot about a man by the size of his pump, Coop’s pump won the day!!! Neil K was last to catch up having had re-dressing issues with the now fabled right hand glove, murmurs of ‘I’m off to Road & Track’ in the morning were uttered. However amidst all the general out wear disasters from Pete forgetting most of his and Neil K’s gauntlet of death, Dave was ‘expletively’ chuffed with his neoprene booties! Always good to end with a feel good story!!!
Honourable mention to Pat on his single speed and to Neil K who suddenly over took two riders causing him traffic issues ½ way down Barroose!!!
Pete Mate, I don’t even think the ‘Rut Slut’ award could cover the folly of your actions!!!
Hamish Loaghtan