After an exceptionally nice breakfast in the Inch School B&B there was a bunch of malingering around the bikes attending to last minute checks. It was quite understandable and I felt the same myself. It would have been much nicer to go back inside and have another cup of coffee. The reason for all of this was there was a cold howling wind out of the south and black ominous clouds hanging low in the valleys. We were headed west for about 25 kms before the route turned south. Nobody looks forward to riding 85 kms with 1100 meters of climb into a cold howling wind with almost certain rain.
There were two big climbs the first started right away and climbed about 175 meters. As it turned out the big climb was broken into a lot of smaller climbs none of were very long and most were less than 10% although I did note a few places where the grades hit 15%. So the big climb was a none event. The wind also turned out to be a none event as we were protected by high hedge rows and were riding down a lot of tree lined roads.
By the time we got to the 25 km mark the first sprinkles of rain were hitting us and a kilometer later there was no ignoring the rain so we stopped and pulled on full rain gear as we could see the rain front bearing down on us. No more than 5 minutes later we were hit by a total down pour. An hour later we are riding through huge puddles or through rivers of rain a couple of inches deep on the road. This rain would continue unabated for the rest of the day.
I only took a couple of pictures today as it was a heads down and keep rolling kind of day. One picture I did take was of Game of Thrones set which was being built out in a field.
We were targeting Newrly as our lunch destination as there was a big mall there and lots of places to eat. Newrly was at the 60 kms mark and when we arrived only a couple of fast food locations were open. Patrick and I hit the Burger King while Jos and Ken headed over to Subway. Sitting down inside out of the downpour to eat was really deluxe. Strip off the wet booties and rain coat then go stand under the hand dryer in the wash room to warm up. It was great.
After lunch was the second big hill and there was a lot of flinching and moaning about a climb on a full stomach but it turned out to be a pretty easy climb. Patrick and Ken got out front when I stopped to adjust my Garmin and Jos stopped to adjust his brakes. It was so wet that even his disc brakes were not gripping. The route took us down a bunch of little roads and even through a barn yard. We were glad that there was only 24 kms after lunch. At one point Jos hit a puddle which was probably 30 feet long and 6 inches deep then he plunged into a pot hole which was 3 feet in diameter and 8 inches deep. I thought for sure he would lose it and go down but he rode though both puddles. Everyone was glad to be in and out of the downpour.
The Innisfree House B&B we are staying is an early 1900’s Edwardian home which is decorated exactly as it was prior to world war one. Little ensuites are the only changes which have been made. The place is very cool.