Tag Archives: cycle

Rebel Tour Glengarriff 2013

Saturday the 14th of September 2013 saw 2500 cyclist arriving in Glengarriff Co. Cork to take part in one or other of the routes for the 2013 Rebel tour. What a turn out the town was swimming in bikes all warming up for which ever route they had signed up to do.

I believe that there were about 1200 riders doing the longest route of 160KM and I wonder how many of those riders realised how tough the route would be. I was lucky as living on the Beara Peninsula I knew what was going to come around every bend and rode my bike slower in some easy sections to recuperate before the big hills that were to come.

An Post Rebel Tour

I started right at the front behind the lead car so that I could avoid any delays and we sped up through the town and headed up the tunnel road, after about 2KM quite a few stronger riders had passed me out but I held my own and was not put off by this. Through the tunnel at the top and a great fast ride in a bunch all the way to Kenmare in 52 minutes. Then on to Lauragh staying with the same group of riders to Tuosist. Here there is a climb up and over into Lauragh which is a bit of a warm up for the Healey pass.

Lots of riders who were ahead of me stopped for water at Lauragh but I kept on going as I had enough with me and got to the top of the Healey pass in 1 hour and 57 minutes. Flying down the other side passing a number of riders all the way down to Adrigole where there was a food stop which I ignored therefore passing more of the riders who were ahead of me.

A lone plod into Castletownbere where I was caught by the group including Sonia O’Sullivan who had been yoyoing with me since the start of the ride. An outstandingly fit woman who blew me away on every hill, but my speed on the flats and fast descending meant we were always close. We chatted to the hill “Goula” where she again left me on my own and I rode into Allihies and stopped for a minute at home to fill my water bottle.

rebel tour

Photo: thanks to Liam Kinsella

The tough part was to come, I knew this, the section from Allihies to Urhan was going to be the hardest part of the ride, first the “Wall” past Annie Gouldings house out the saddle in first gear 39 * 23 (not low enough) was a tough one, followed by the hill past Steven Hanley’s place towards Urhan, When I topped that hill I was thinking I would be delighted but no, I had a fear that I would not recover enough for the last ride up the Healey pass 25KM away. I rode steadily till Eyeries and allowed myself a stop for a few minutes for a cup of tea, I had no intention of stopping but was worried about the “bonk”, I met Sonia there again and she left a few minutes before me. I rode alone till Lauragh and started to feel better again, on top of that at Lauragh we were meeting riders for the 85KM route so I was riding up the Healey pass with a lot of riders again which kind of made it easier.

At the top of the Healey pass I said hello again to Martin Sullivan and my time was 5 hours and 7 minutes, I was then thinking I would not be able to break the six hour barrier, but luckily a fast descent and then a slog up the hill out of Adrigole towards Glengarriff and I was rewarded with the 7 downhill KM to Glengarriff arriving in 5h 58minutes and just in time to hear Sonia do her speech, I don’t know by how many minutes she beat me but it could not have been too many. It would be nice to know what the quickest time was, but again not so important as the only race involved was against myself.

What a great event followed by a couple of pints in Bernard Harringtons.

Thanks to the organisers, volunteers, medics, food stops etc it was brilliant.

irishwordpress and the rebel tour report

Live your life cycle

Saturday 20th July 2013 Live your Life Cycle

The Live your life cycle (link) sponsored ride took place to raise money for Motor Neurone Disease charity, and what an event it was with over 300 participants cycling from Ballincollig to Allihies in West Cork. The Rue family made a tremendous effort organising a fantastic event that everybody enjoyed. We were blessed with a fantastic summers day to make the ride, and of top on that they even organised a tail wind, result….

The Route

Ballincollig – Crookstown – Copeen – Ballylickey – Glengariff – Adrigole – Castletownbere – Allihies, 130 KM of undulating West Cork roads with a height gain of about 800 meters in the sweltering heat of probably 29 degrees. Luckily the event was so well organised there were plenty of feed stations offering water and food to keep all the riders in tip top condition.

The Ride

From my point of view it was a great route and on top of that being a resident of Allihies I knew every stretch of the road as I have driven and ridden it many times, normally on a  motorbike though. We set off pretty much on the 9:30 time scheduled and I was aiming on a five hour ride so I wanted the first half to be fairly fast knowing that the second half was going to be hard work. Off we went and I settled into a nice pace all the way to Crookstown and up the hill to Béal na Bláth. I was on my own now so put up the pace passing through Copeen without stopping, sure I had water and a few bars in my pocket. The Cousane Gap appeared ahead of me and I rode up it suffering the last 500 meters where I was given a welcome bar of chocolate which I ate riding down the hill drinking the rest of my water arriving in Ballylickey just after the riders left on their shorter ride from there to Allihies. I stopped and took one foot out of the pedal to fill my bottle and get handed some food, I was totally shagged out and did not recognise anyone who was talking to me (sorry about that) I thought now I would slow down and meet up with some riders who would help me along, luckily in comes Aidan Forrest from Blarney Cycle shop and we rode on together with me following his wheel all the way to Glengariff recovering. Once there I was feeling much better and it became a more amicable concern of riding together up the hills out of Glengariff (tough climbing) and getting some more water at the top where we met up with most of the lads who had set off from Ballylickey. I was handed my water and just kept on riding not wanting to let my muscles seize up by stopping, the bottle drank by Adrigole and Aidan passed  me the “pouch” just like Froome in the tour de France my EPO for the day (Caffeine and Honey by the way) great stuff sorted me out and we rode on to Casteltown where we bumped into Niall Duffy who took this snap of us.

Live your life cycle

Photo Niall Duffy

Aidan still had a bottle of water and I had half so we did not stop at BikeNbeara and kept on going. I was not looking forward to Goula before the ride, but all my training (and yes I did a fair bit) paid off and I was elated by now the ride was coming to an end Goula went fine just like at the end of a shorter ride. We were spinning past Cahermore football pitch and a guy called Rob (No Surname) joined us and we rode into Allihies totally happy with our performances. I set off for my ride and made it, racing no one but myself which is the way I have always been, a few pints later and I was “Delighted¨”

Much thanks and praise to Ollie and his family they did Betty proud, I sincerely praise them for all their logistical expertise, the bus to Cork, the sign in , the support crews vehicles and motorbikes. The list is endless. If you have not donated to the cause please do so now here.

Live your life Cycle 2014….

Please do have another one in 2014 I will sign up for it tomorrow, cheque in the post.

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