Thursday 21 June 2018

TransAtlantic Way Cycle Race Day 4

Day 4 (191k)
Day 4 was a difficult day. Difficult to remember the exact sequence of events. Difficult to make decisions when feeling an air of despair. Still pretty awesome mind and I came 10th overall on Acres descent! Just saying...
The day started well, although we were very tired. We went to bed past midnight last night and had awoken at 5:30 today. First plan was to cycle and find something to eat. Breakfast happened at a Spar store where we indulged on scrumptious scones and washed this down with hot beverages. At our breakfast stop we saw other riders come and go and one asked if we had done 'the loop'. Of course we hadn't, that was still some distance away.
See the bat cave?
The loop, like the name suggested, was an almost complete circular track that was very undulating in nature and very beautiful. The roads were clear and the views stunning. A bat cave could be seen cut out in the rock wall.
The weather was still great and it had not rained as yet. Chris Hodge et al had remarked 'why cycle Ireland it's all the same and you'll be very wet, need thermals and waterproofs' (paraphrased). Truth is, the scenery was ever changing - coastal one moment, mountainous the next, tarmac one minute, gravel the next and sun tan lotion was what we required not thermals and waterproofs. So there ;) !
Once the loop was complete we continued past an awesome looking rock face with a great crack or ridge cut through the middle. Jamie remarked it didn't look dissimilar to the crevice that could be seen through my Assos shorts. Both were windy!
Finding food proved to be a little more difficult today. Jamie convinced me that the Coolera House did food. We went inside and had a liquid diet and chat with the locals. (Of course we found lunch later and ate much salami, cheese, tuna, crisps, etc).

We had started to experience sore bottoms by this point in the adventure but found 'bum creme' worked wonders in keeping us on our saddles. Badger rub or rather Tiger Balm worked wonders on our sore muscles and better yet, it smelt awesome. We sniffed the stuff until we got high.

Our high didn't last forever. Oh no. Menace came in the form of not one, but 2 broken spokes for me. I think a little bit of panic and angst set in. I truly believe this was probably the lowest point of our adventure (short lived as it was). Making decisions became difficult and blurry. However, we agreed that 'sleeping on it' was probably a good idea and like 'that', boom, a suitable wild camp spot was spotted.
A perfect sheep barn, complete with palettes and straw/hey was found. A cosy, warm shelter. Just perfect for one (well two) to sleep and think up a master plan. What an awesome adventure this was!

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