Many thanks to everyone for their words of support and donations for the Maracycle at the weekend. We are all overwhelmed by the amount raised to date for wee Ronan Henderson’s Charity (Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital) – www.justgiving.com/KillinchyCycleClub
Ross Galway, Stephen Carson, Drew Murray, Andrew Evans, Paul Crossen and Neil Parker set off from Belfast at 7.40am on Saturday morning of 29th June in perfect conditions. The KCC riders took a leading role in the front pack early on, with the pace hitting 20mph frequently. Drew Murray got frustrated after realizing that he had forgotten his whistle but soon managed to organize a mix of Dromara CC, Dave Kane Cycles and KCC riders into a tight pack. Coming through Newry (45 miles in), the pack began to split and KCC remained strong up over the hills though South Armagh. Drew held on tight to the bars of the Focus and made a break for the front like he was avoiding a sniper.
We quickly realized there was no one else on the road to catch only the lead car so the group refocused and stayed tight on the downhill over the border. Coming into Dundalk (60 miles in) the KCC group led the way like Team Sky at the Tour de France.
Then disaster struck as the both Ross and Neil were hit with 2 punctures within 2 miles. With punctures quickly fixed, we got our first rest at 65 miles, approximately 15 minutes behind the leaders.
After a short stop, we set off again in good formation down the old A1 heading for Drogheda, with the wind in our faces. As we crossed the Boyne, Murray, Crossen and Evans pushed up the hills fast, whilst Galway, Carson and Parker held a steady pace behind (90 miles in). With the end of the first day in sight, the front three arrived in Dublin behind just a handful of others, whilst the remaining three cruised in around 15 minutes later.
Day 1 Total mileage 110
Sunday 30th June was again an early start, heading off from Dublin at 8.00am. The legs were tired and while some wanted to just cruise home at their own pace, the KCC riders again got caught up in the lead pack. Five miles in and the route started to climb for the next seven miles. The guys felt good and pushed on hard, with many pulling in top 10 Strava cups on the early climbs out of Dublin.
Over the Boyne and the lead pack pushed on hard to Drogheda (30 miles in), but as we hit the main road again, Galway and Parker decided to let the lead group go. Whilst Murray, Crossen and Evans kept the lead group in shape, Galway and Parker pressed on at the slightly slower 19mph average!. With the wind behind us we all enjoyed the spin to lunch just outside Newry (68 miles in). Being Strava obsessed, Galway and Parker created their own route to lunch via Crossmaglen, putting an extra few miles and hills in en route.
After the refuel, all coasted home at a blistering pace, with many not feeling their legs for about the last 20 minutes. Murray held on tight to the reins of the group and was first home overall with an average speed of 20.5mph with Crossen and Evans close behind. Meanwhile Galway, Carson and Parker crossed the line at a more “leisurely” 19.2mph average, some 40 minutes later having been hit with a puncture in Scarva.
Day 2 Total mileage 110
A great weekend was had by all and we look forward to further KCC challenges and events throughout the remainder of 2013.