Day 161 – Blazing Saddles

Posted: June 13, 2012 in June
Tags: , , , , , , ,

With all the kerfuffle about Belfast Marathon and TriAthy, and my focus being on running, then swimming respectively, I’d really neglected the bike of late. I’d done plenty of turbo sessions in the darker months but I can’t remember the last time I went out for a proper, long spin on the road. All that changed this week though with a mail from Race2Glory reminding me that it was only five weeks away. Five weeks until Spanker Hill. Five weeks until pain! Time to get my arse in gear and back out on the road.

I got up early to watch Ireland get eviscerated by New Zealand, get a good breakfast into me and then head out but of course my natural predilection for procrastination meant that hours later I was still at home, sitting in front of the computer. For once this worked out for me as the weather, which had been stereotypically Irish all morning, took a turn for the better. Fearing that I’d only have a short window of opportunity I got changed, limbered up and set off.

The route I’d selected took me to Athy first, which was 22km of very flat, if a little dull, cycling. With the sun beaming down however I was more than happy to just spin along at a nice steady 32 km/h or so, basking in the sunshine. Athy itself took a few minutes to negotiate with traffic crawling along but soon enough I was back out on the open road and headed for Stradbally. This was a road I used to love taking on my motorbike, but sans engine the lovely sweeping curves were being taken considerably slower. Another thing I didn’t notice when I was being powered by Japan’s finest was the gradual climb, which combined with the temperature creeping ever upwards, had me sweating profusely. Getting towards the brow of the hill I even had to switch to the granny ring, which instantly got me thinking about Spankers Hill. Pushing thoughts of that nightmarish ascent to the back of my mind, and just thinking pleasant thoughts, I soon reached the top and from there I could almost freewheel into Portlaoise.

The 25km from Portlaoise to home are pretty flat and uneventful, and though my average speed had dropped a few km/h, I still enjoyed the cycle for the most part. Apart from one thing – my bloody arse was killing me. The last 15km or so there was sensations coming from my nether regions that caused me to stand up out of the saddle, seeking temporary relief, while cursing endlessly about my inability to locate my good shorts before I set off. There was parts of me seemingly grinding and burning that are really not designed for such things, so when I arrived home, some 59km later, I was more than happy to drag my weary carcass off my bike. Tired and sore as I was though, I was delighted to get my first proper cycle in months under my belt, and I got myself some cracking tan lines to boot.


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