Mullingar to Swords via Leixlip 100km
OMG! The last day!
I always hate this day on the cycle. Everyone is at ones and twos! Nobody knows weather to laugh or cry. A lot of writing down contact numbers and emails. Been meaning to get them all week. Now I’ve no pen! text me! Call me ! then ill have your number! A lot of that going on. But we still have today.
Its a 60 km trip to the food stop and having done the 100 miler on this route I know its relatively flat to down hill.
The midlands of our beautiful country is great for cycling if not a bit boring for the climbers. But suits us today as the legs are beginning to talk back!
Joe Dolan has obviously not taken offence at our antics last night, cause the sun is beginning to make a hesitant appearance. Warmers are rolled down, zips are retracted as we roll out, some 500 strong.
Lakeside wheelers are with us, in support of their county and its great to see the colour.
Catching up on guys in the peloton. Having the craic, going over stuff, assessing the 10 days. what was wrong , what was right. How can we make the message clearer ITS OK NOT TO FEEL OK AND ITS OK TO ASK FOR HELP!
Its simple!People have softened and melted over the week more and more and it great to be a part of this! Yes insulated and insular! But nothing wrong with that. Its only when you step out of the race do you see whats really real.
Mother Hubbards is our next water stop. I remember this place when it was caravan on the roadside. Now its a huge facility. I laid my bike on the grass, gently and join the throng for bananas and water. The last of the chocolate ices!
Whistle goes to cut short the reminiscences and we are off again. Mounting my bike I hear a grind!
Like my derailleur is rubbing. Have a look. See nothing> another spin, noise gone! All is good.
Oh Lord, don’t let me have a mechanical now! Amen!
Cruising now on familiar ground, looking for Hugh’s “mast’! Breaking off the main road cruising into Kilcock., Im nearly home. I could just turn off here and save myself! No! Things to do people to see!
Kilcock and onto Maynooth. Feeling exhillerated now being so close to the finish.
Our coffee shop in Maynooth, Main Street, past the Costa. Another regular haunt.
There is something unnerving about arriving in your stomping ground. I don’t want to be home just yet! I haven’t left the zone yet!
Rolling towards Leixlip that feeling leaves me cause Leixlip is dark side of the moon to us. Just somewhere we never go.
26km from swords and our triumphant finish. GRRRRR! GRRRRR! Chain off! Mechanical!!!
Stop! Chain is still on but pedals won’t turn! WTF!!
Peloton passes. Bike stopped. Marshall arrives . “we are 5 km from Leixlip! On the bus you go! We will fix it there” !
Im getting on no bus! Ive cycled every km every day for 6 years!!! F**K O*F! Give me a bike! ‘support’ vehicles arrives ! 25 bikes on the back of 25 who have abandoned! Great! Give me a bike!!
No Way!! Not giving you someone else bike!! F**K YOU!! Richard arrives on the mechanics support! GET OUT OF THE WAY!! Says Richard! truck abandoned on the middle of the road. 2 km of traffic stopped. Richard fixes bikes!! Tour de France wheel change ! Go Go! 3 yards the derailleur falls off! Your in the bus pal!!
Therese Moore a fellow clubman pulls up alongside! Whats up? They want to put me in the bus!
6 years, 8000km, 80 days, 160 schools and colleges, 100,000 students, plus families.
YOU CAN FUCK OFF!! IM GETTING ON NO BUS!!
Therese says ‘take my bike’! Ill get on the bus! You ride in’
Adjust the saddle? not time ! traffic chaos in Maynooth!
Paudrig and Greg our two lead Marshals lead me out. Knees up to my ears, Heart in my throat. Hyperventilating as we bomb it towards Leixlip. Weaving through the traffic! we are cruising eyeballs out , trying to catch up. What a ride! Knees around my ears ! bike too small! hammering it out! Ventoux all over again! Fantastic 6 km and caught the peloton entering the feed stop.
Star of the show was definitely Therese who gave up her bike! Hope one day she knows what she did for me. Hope too Paudrig and Greg, my drafters know how important that was to me, what they did.
Richard took my derailleur apart, had no lunch and got me going again. so I could roll into Swords.
Says everything about what this cycle is all about.
SHOULDER TO SHOULDER! We can break the cycle! I could never have done it on my own!
Source: Cycle Against Suicide Blog