STAGE 2: Na Forbaha to Roundstone
Woke this morning at 7.20 for breakfast at 7.30!! But blue sky, sunshine and an altogether pleasant morning. We have a whole new group starting this morning. Forecast is for rain around lunchtime but going to take the sun till then.
What is it about Connemara and midges?? They are out in force this morning and typically breakfasting on me.!! Back to the luggage van to dig out my deet!
After our safety briefing we head out at 9.30 on the dot. They tell us the route is reasonably flat so Kevin our road captain, says we will be upping the pace today! Not sure that’s good news or bad news. But it is what it is.
So let’s go!!
A lot of traffic on the road through Spiddal and Inverin and we occasionally have to pull in to let them through. Wind is quite strong from the side and front so the order of the day is to tuck in behind someone big and get what shelter you can. Until it comes your turn to roll up to the front. Then the pain begins 😂!Kilkieran is our lunch stop, at about 50km. But by that time I’m in the second group having fallen off the pace. But we are motoring along nicely. Through some of the most beautiful countryside you will ever see. One time you are looking across Galway Bay to Clare beyond and then you turn into the sight of the 12 Bens. Magnificent! Lunch comes just in time. The most wonderful homemade chowder, brown scones, a selection of sandwiches and cakes and gallons of tea and coffee. Brendan, our lead driver, spends his break going around everyone’s bike and filling the water bottles. Such a nice man, a very experienced cyclist who knows exactly what cyclists need.
Lunch over! Time for the last 46km. Heading out all together into some rolling hills. I’m able to stay with them for about 10km. But the pace is too hot for me. So, I regroup with some like-minded riders and we ease the pace to suit. The route is a twisting one and sometimes we have the wind helping and sometimes not. But the sun is still shining and it warm enough to start shedding layers.
10km from the finish we are all over the road and when we turn into the wind we regroup to share the load.
Roundstone comes just in time but it’s on top of a steep hill and the final climb is energy sapping.
nto the hotel, the room, put bike away. Pint of Guinness and a seat in the sun ☀ what a life!! A little snooze before dinner. Don’t get better than this