Everybody was pumped to get on the road as we prepared to leave this morning. Staying in the Innisfree B&B was lots of fun it was such a jewel box. However there was electricity in the air as we were doing the final ride of this tour. And what a tour it was. The weather for the final tour was excellent as well. There was nice blue sky with big puffy white clouds offsetting the deep blue.
The ride out of Dundalk was non eventful even though we were down some busy streets. Soon enough we turned off the main road and were cruising down some country lanes in what had turned into bright blue sky. The wind had picked up considerably and was blowing at around 25 kms/hr. Strangely it seemed to be coming from all directions. One minute it was knocking you over in a vicious cross wind and the next a head wind and then a tail wind.
We turned down one lane and suddenly we were riding along the seaside with a beautiful beach on one side and sand dunes on the other. Unfortunately it was only a few kms long and too soon we back on the busy highway.
The Garmin routes for this trip have been a thousand times better than paper route sheets and maps of large enough scale would have covered far too many pages to be practical. However the Garmin route which was built off Google maps did a strange thing today. We turned a corner and there was an army base. Big gates and no entry signs. This base had been there for years so how did Google put a road through it? We had no choose but to turn around and ride back to the main highway and continue down it until we found the route again.
We pulled in to Balbriggan where we found some sandwiches in the now familiar Super Valu. We only had another 20 kms to our hotel in Swords and it was only 12:30 so there was an executive decision to ride on into Dublin and drop our rental bikes at Cyclebikes in Dublin. This would give us a full day to recover before getting on the plane home.
The completion celebration was held right in the hotel where we are staying. One of our traditions is to have rider awards after a ride. As tour director it was my job to hand out the jerseys. This being a budget tour we didn’t have real jerseys to award but had colored paper jerseys. I gave Jos “The King of the Mountain” jersey, represented by a red paper dot, as he never walked any of the hills. His big 34 rear cassette and 28 front was a winning combination for the hills. To Ken, I awarded him the white jersey. The white jersey is still awarded on the Giro to the “Most Promising Young Rider”. Ken is only one month older than Jos and not quite 60. This left Patrick with the coveted Yellow Jersey. He really did earn it. He was to the top of every hill first and lead most of the time. Patrick could be in the back and would zoom past everyone to the front.
Tomorrow is a rest day in Swords. Time to get packed up. Catch up on some sleep. And generally unwind.
So stay tuned for further adventures.