Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Mizen to Malin - Bikes, Beers and Bloody Awful Weather!

So we completed our ride from Mizen Head to Malin Head up the West coast of Ireland and it was amazing, unfortunately we picked the worst week ever to do it!  Here is what we learned...

1) If you're riding 950km on road, use a road bike!

Paul thought his £200 mountain bike would do the job, he quickly realised how wrong he was!  Luckily Paul's brother Colm was on hand to lend him his lovely Cannondale road bike to stop Paul from dropping out.  Paul was instantly happier and lots quicker, Colm probably not so delighted that he had to ride the beast back to Cork!
Lads at Mizen Head - Beast bike 2nd from left
2) It rains in the West of Ireland!

Yeh, state the obvious but I mean really rains.  We had to be physically removed from the bus at Mizen Head and we huddled behind it for shelter until it buggered off.  We then had about 9 hours of dry weather in nearly 7 days!  There were severe weather warnings, don't drive warnings, poor visibility warnings, flood warnings etc etc and all along we had to plug on to our next stopping point.  The last two days were basically back to back 100 mile time trials riding as fast as possible into headwinds and sheet rain, nice!

Ian on one of the drier days!
3)  It doesn't hurt your legs, it's the other bits that'll get you.

I'm in good enough shape and contrary to belief Ireland is actually very flat so the riding is easy.  If I'm honest my legs and lungs never suffered.  Luckily for me I ride bikes a lot and so with waterproof shorts and a great pair of cycling shorts my barse (look it up!) stayed intact unlike some of the lads who were running to the pharmacy for various creams.  For me it was my wrists from leaning on the bars all day and my digestive system that suffered.  That last one actually got us all, burning an extra 5000 calories a day means you hoover up every possible bit of food, any old crap.  Us healthy bunch aren't used to two packs of fig rolls, a pack of Haribo, 2 Double Deckers etc on top of three huge meals and a few Guinness and so Rennie and stinking were the order of the day.  I really felt sorry for anyone who had the misfortune of sharing a room with us!

4)  Touring on bikes is great fun!

I'm a mountain biker who loves going fast and the whole touring thing never really appealed, carrying all your stuff, travelling slowly all day, making your bike handle like a bus.  BUT in actual fact it was brilliant.  With the right company (cheers lads) and the right country (thanks Ireland for the sights and people) it is just such a laugh.  I'd totally recommend it and all sorts do it.  We met cyclists of all ages, shapes and nationalities and they were all smiling.  We ate some great food, drank some great beer and stayed in some spectacular places.  Get your mates together and plan a route...  See you on the road!

Job done.  Next stop the pub.

No comments:

Post a Comment