The foothills were alive with the sound of chain lash as nearly five hundred cyclists took on the first of the three tours that Naas Cycling Club will host in 2011. Rumours in the peloton that Julie Andrews was spotted running down a slope near Hollywood were later discounted. But there was no doubt that good weather, a challenging route and a great welcome home are A few of our favourite things.
In only its third year the Tour de Foothills has built a large fan-base. Such was the turnout last Sunday the start from Naas GAA club had to be delayed. If you ride it you will see why. There are two main routes along with a family-friendly 20 km ride. The 55 km route is tougher than many longer rides but the rewards are great with the wonderful scenery of the Blessington lakes as a backdrop to some lung burstingly sharp ascents. The 100 km adds to this with a trip through Hollywood Glen and the Glen of Imaal, real foothills country and then a return to Naas via Dunlavin and Brannockstown. As usual the pace was hot on the approach to Blessington as the eager beavers scented the lakes ahead. Then as usual everyone settled into a rhythm and a group that suited their ability. The spring lambs on the Wicklow grass started at the sight of fast moving predators on two wheels. Some were sheep in wolves clothing however and there were many tired legs on the run back into Naas.
Fortunately these tired bodies could look forward to a decent bit of grub (no lamb chops though) and all the KARE and attention a cyclist could want after a tough day in the saddle. The pun was intended because what makes the event nigh on perfect is the fact that you get to enjoy wonderful scenery, camaraderie and a great cycle whilst contributing to very deserving charity. We couldn’t do it without KARE and they cannot do what they do without you supporting them. So get out there and start preparing for next year.
Do-re-mi come after you….