Cherbourg to the Iranian/Afghan border !
Whether it’s the average speed of a spin, the total kilometres cycled year to date, or how many metres of climbing were achieved last month, I think it’s fair to say that most of us club cyclists have an unhealthy fixation with statistics and measurements when we turn our attention to cycling, which let’s face it is about 82.37% of the time !
Aided and abetted by the likes of Garmin devices and apps such as Strava, our world is one where progress and speed are continually monitored, and where one can always set a new target to go faster, climb higher, or cycle further than previously, and it’s the latter category I beckon you to now.
As a fellow club cyclist, I know you’ve probably had your fill of statistics, and have enough of your own to fill the largest spreadsheet – but wait up, I think you’ll like these ones !
The idea was hatched many months ago – cycle the 300 kilometres to Kenmare from Naas on Sat. June 2nd, and then just for the hell of it, do it all again the following day to get back home. The Tom Crean 600 was born ! Obviously our proposed endeavour resonated in the corridors of power as the UN then announced in April that Sunday June 3rd would be designated World Bicycle Day to drive awareness about the multiple societal benefits of using the humble bicycle for transport or leisure. What more incentive could we need ?
Impressively, eleven riders signed up to take on the challenge – even more impressively, all eleven did both legs of the journey ! When I was last at school, eleven times six hundred was six thousand six hundred, and that’s a lot of kilometres. I found myself wondering had we done them in relay formation, just how far would that take us ?
Allow me poetic licence here – I’ve elected to start the relay from the port of Cherbourg having stepped off the ferry from Dublin, and as it’s for charity, hey ho, we’re allowed to use motorways, autoroutes, autobahns, call ‘em what you will.
Nett result is our little jaunt to Kenmare and back would have collectively taken us from Cherbourg right across Europe and Turkey and finishing up in the city of Mashad on the Iranian/Afghan border. I don’t know about you, but I’m impressed with that – though to be fair, I AM easily impressed !
….and so to those numbers I promised you –
6600 – kilometres cycled
12 – ‘99’ cones consumed (road captain was allowed one on both days !)
3 – pints of Guinness in Florry Batt’s bar in Kenmare before hitting the hay for a few hours sleep 1 – mechanical (wheel change executed in minutes)
3 – punctures
40000+ – total metres climbed
8 – villages grottoes passed
Ray Roland, A Group Captain