Thursday, 24 December 2015

Christmas Eve cycle with Otley CC

What a ride this morning! 
High fives all round to the 10 souls who turned up in Otley for the Christmas Eve ride out to Bolton Abbey.
My mum and sister watched from the kitchen window in sheer puzzlement as I disappeared into the sleet and gale force winds for the 10km cycle over to Otley to meet the others.
Mum thought I'd turn back, but not a chance.
I'm so aware I couldn't even walk this time last year. 
Rain? Sleet? Gale force winds?
I'm celebrating I'm able to cycle again!

Despite the mental celebrations, it was a relief when the high winds eased after 5 mins. 
The sleet also thankfully stopped, but the cloud above continued its downpour of tonnes and tonnes of water.
I was cycling along, drenched to the bone and starting to get cold.

By 7km the rain had stopped and cycling into Otley was calm enough.

People in Otley were out shopping already and queuing up for their Christmas lunches outside the butchers.


Approaching Buttercross I was jealous of anyone living in Otley who would arrive dry and warm.

But no one was at Buttercoss. 

Just a guy sitting on a bench, smoking a pipe.
Had they all turned over in their beds when they saw the storm?

Nope, one by one people turned up.
Nicole, Ken, Christine, Aeesha, Wayne, Stephen, Sandra, Andy and Matt.


Brian made a brief appearance but his brake cable snapped and that was it for him. Luckily for him we were only 5 mins outside of Otley, though I'm sure Ken has a spare cable somewhere in his saddle bag if we'd left the town.

The cycle over to Bolton Abbey was taken easy enough, there was a battle against the wind but everyone ploughed on, chatting and cycling.
Sandra was doing some faux complaining about being out cycling rather than being at home in bed with a handsome fella, but as every cyclist knows, the glow of happiness you get after a good cycle is just as good.

The scenery on the cycle, as with all Otley rides, was stunning.
Christine was explaining how she fell in love with the hills just as we reached a most spectacular scenic point.

It blows me away everytime.
I simply love it.
There's something in the Yorkshire landscape that's like nowhere else, and possibly because I live in Dublin it kind of overwhelms me every time.

'Just look at those walls' I said as we were cycling back.
'Do you not have walls like that in Dublin?' they laughed
'No, not like that'
And it's true, there isn't.
There's not the same buildings, landscapes, or walls.


Lots of other cyclists were out at Bolton Abbey - great to see.
I recognised one of the lads in Alba Rose from Drakes bike shop in Harehills, where I bought my bike.
I went over and thanked him for swapping out the wheel last time I was home.

After coffee, we cycled back via Sandbags? Passed some more beautiful old walls (I have a thing for walls) and an old velvet making factory which Ken said used to make Spitfire engines in the war.

60km round trip, home by 2pm.
Seriously good day out, thanks to all for turning up and making it so enjoyable, thanks Nicole for organising and big thanks to Wayne for your dry, warm gloves.
We'll let you out of the stocks soon.









Sunday, 6 December 2015

Storm Teresa Mannion

Easy 40km today.
Usual route: Home-Kilmainham-Phoenix Park-Strawberry Beds-Confey-Leixlip-flooded farm roads-Sandpits-Phoenix Park-home.
Was refreshing to be out after the relentless rain and wheelie bins blowing across streets kind of weather we've been having lately.
Lots of midges along Strawberry Beds which was surreal for December.
Shouldn't they be dead?
They were very much alive and partying en masse in swarms every 10m or so.
The rise of the River Liffey after Storm Desmond obviously disturbed the midges immensely.
Was glad I was wearing shades and a Buff to cover my mouth.
Temp dropped to 4.6c, it was cold but manageable, not bitter to the bones cold.
Was good to be out.
Discs / muscles tensed up little when I got home. 
But compared to last year when I couldn't walk, any cycle now is fully appreciated- so it really was good to be out cycling.
Took few shots to make sure I took the ride relatively easy by stopping a few times.
Pics look a lot bleaker than it was.