Back to back zowie days! And I am not kidding. It really was one of those days from which cycling legends are born. I am sure this one will be handed down from generation to generation. Those of you who suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) probably have the needle buried in the red.
The day started with a full Irish breakfast in McCarthy’s B&B which was really a full breakfast. They had everything ham, egg, sausage etc. We waddled out into brilliant blue sky and temperatures around 17C, in other words a drop dead gorgeous day. We were on the bikes and rolling by 8:45Am. It was a 97.2 kms day with a total climb of 1114 meters.
The road was down a nice peaceful country road with low rolling hills and a very pleasant tail wind. You could not have written a better ride.
At the 28 kms make we rolled in Cahir and there was the Cahir castle. It didn’t take one second to decide we were going to visit the castle. Once inside we slid into the castle preview video, and who is sitting in there but Agnes and Sally. They had arrived just moments before. The castle was built in the 11th century and was re-built and reinforced several times. It surrendered to Oliver Cromwell and is therefore in excellent condition. The tour guide said that the castle is used for movie and TV sets 5-6 times a year and has been the backdrop for Game of Thrones.
After about an hour tour we were back on the road. We passed the turn to Ballyporeen and I wanted to turn up the road as a friend was born there however no one else did so we rolled on. It was so much fun just rolling along though the country side in the warm sun. Before we knew it we were in Mitchelstown where we stopped for a sandwich in a beautiful park. I could have stayed the rest of the day there but we were only half way and the big hill for the day was still in front of us.
We dropped down to a large river over the course of about 7 kms and crossed a bridge then made a sharp left straight up the big hill of the day. There was about 3 kms of 6-9% before you got to the steep part which was about 3 kms of 13-15%. Ken and Patrick made it about 1 km into the steep part before they had to walk. I decided I was going to beat the hill and started grunting it out. There was a sharp right just as I passed Ken and Patrick and the grade shallowed out for 100 meters before the steep section resumed and I found a second wind and got past the steep part. There was another 2 kms of 6-9% before a little dip and then a second climb of about 4 kms of 4-9%. By then I knew I beat the hill.
We had 25 kms to go but it was mostly downhill although there were a couple of grinders along the way. The tail wind had picked up and was providing a nice cooling to what was now a 25C day.
We sailed into Cork feeling like a million bucks. We are staying in a gorgeous period hotel called the Garnish House on an island close to downtown Cork. They had tea and fresh scones laid out for us when we arrived. Agnes and I lucked out and have a king suite. We have a rest day tomorrow.
Did I say this was a great day or what?