The AGM of the CI Off-road commission was held yesterday in Carlingford, Co. Louth - one of the coolest places to ride in Ireland.
Originally a plan was hatched that we would drive up there early in the morning, ride some of the Marathon Champs course and then attend the meeting. I agreed to take Ryan's bag up for him as he would be cycling up (120km) That all fell to pieces when Morgan bailed out and decided not to go riding up there, and as I had Ryan's rucksack, I couldn't really join him for the ride up with Robin and Niall. So it was an 8am start on a very windy day to get some solo road miles in before taking the 1.5 hour road trip with Morgan for the meeting.
As meetings go, this one was as banal as any other, no real sticking points or heated debates. MAD had a strong representation of 4, Morgan, Fergal, Ryan and myself, possibly the largest group from any club. No trash-talking and only one major argument early on, with CI president Micheál Concannon becoming embroiled over something that nobody seemed to know about.
After the meeting ended, Ryan, Morgan and I toured the town for some food and found a small Pizzaria. Due to a mix up with the Italian monikers, I ended up with the wrong pizza - olives, anchovies and capers - none of which I like, and even after I expertly picked off the toppings, there was a woefully fishy taste from it. The others enjoyed their pizza though.
Sunday morning saw 10 riders assemble at the YH for a trip to Djouce, a route I've done several times lately. The pace was quite slow - myself and Chris dropped everyone going up Ticknock hill while at conversation pace! After much stopping, slowness and a bit of frustration on my part, we eventually reached Djouce with the piéce de resistance, XTC, riding beautifully as always. There's a rather large hole after appearing on it though. I spent the whole day in cruise control and unfortunately this carried through to my descending, I just wasn't concentrating and my mind was elsewhere.
By the time we reached Maulin, I had given Tom my second bottle after he had finished his Camelbak and lost his remaining bottle, fortunatley I know my body well enough to be able to control myself and get through. I wasn't exactly exerting myself anyway. 5 hours after leaving home I had still only had taken on 500ml and wasn't feeling any worse for it. I filled up with some water in Enniskerry and took on some Coca-cola and some jamtarts in the garage, which was fine for getting me home. Need to take on extra water tonight though :-)
I arrived home at 16:15, 7hrs30mins after I had left and feeling no worse than I would have had I just popped around to the shops!
Spins like that won't go any way towards the top end of experts this year.