Day 1 Beautiful weather, Sun, sheep and spectacular scenery. 150km at 30kph. Plan was to take it easy toady but predictably I raced around to the point of exhaustion.
So I’m sitting in the bath watching Quintana winning the Giro and soaking my muscles in Epson salts. I stand to adjust my drying cycling gear when I hear a child’s shrill voice from the street 2 floors below
‘Look Mummy, a man with no clothes!’
I leap to the window and crane my neck left and right scanning the street for this deviant. My eyes fall on an open mouthed woman starring at me while she hugs her daughter from behind, her shopping discarded on pavement all around her. The young girl has freed her eyes from her mother’s blindfold and she too is starring open mouthed. A small crowd is gathering. Next I notice a teenage boy, likely her son. This smart lad has his smart phone out and is hoping to capture the moment.
I bid a hasty retreat. Second thoughts, my La Vie Claire top is a little too distinctive. I dash to the window and pull it from the hanger and clutch it to my naked form. Best wear something else tomorrow.
No doubt Grainnne Ni Seoighe’s beautiful brown eyes and pouting lips will be starring out in the next episode of Crimecall pleading with viewers to help catch this deviant. Garda Mary Flynn will be standing next to a photofit of an as yet unidentified man in a La Vie Claire cycling outfit. Grains will express her hope aloud that this monster is apprehended quickly. She’ll sign off with ‘So goodnight and please don’t have nightmares’
Bernard Hinault will have some explaining to do to his wife. He will likely say it was Greg Le Monde and Le Monde will tell his wife it was Hinault.
I only hope the photofit doesn’t make me look fat and the eye witness description does me justice
It is 12 years since a stage of the Rás finished in Charleville. The day was sunny and warm just long enough to watch Austrian rider Jan Sokol receive the applause from the Crowd as Stage winner. He was in an eight man break away for much of the day and out sprinted the others to claim the stage.
just as the riders left the stage the heavens opened and a 30 min lightening storm ensued.
The riders head into the hills in the next couple of days. I would love to see the finish on seskin but I gotta work
Stage 3 Giro D’italia 2014 Belfast to Dublin. Final bend 300 metres from the finish. Peleton 15km away
Giro arrives in Dublin tomorrow. Only one place to go. Cycled up Glenmalure to pay respects to the first Irish man to win a stage in the Giro- Shay Elliot (1960)
The lady standing behind the table of sandwiches pointed the scissors at me.
‘Bacelet’ she demanded.
I had travelled a round trip of 560km (400km by car and 160km by bicycle) to collect my ‘Tour of Sligo’ bracelet and complete the set (An Post: Tour of Waterford, Tour of the Burren, Rebel Tour and Tour of Meath). I had survived the 160km route only to be denied by the mean lady in charge of the Sligo IT caterers.
‘I collect them’, the man in front of me pleaded’
She shrugged as the scissors cut the bracelet from his wrist. She handed him the bracelet so that he could hand it back to her as he should have done when she first asked. He looked sheepishly at the slice of Ham between two slices of white pan. The theme music from Platoon played on the tan-oi as he turned away.
‘I need it to get my collection’ I also pleaded.
‘I need it to get paid’, she replied curtly.
A obvious solution was to keep the bracelet and thank her for her help but I decided not to upset the ‘sandwich cart’. Its not like me. I usually like to start hassle and spread disharmony wherever I go but I was tired and I let it go.
When I look back now I realize it was only a paper bracelet and a lousy sandwich. I regret it all. I should have gone for it and said something that caused a fuss. and made Mean Bun lady cross.
Ah well- I got the final laugh on her- I took a second cup of coffee and took two of the Green Tea cakes even though there was a clear one sandwich, one coffee and one bun policy in place.
The An Post Tour of Sligo was fantastic and I am glad I left without my Bracelet as I will be going back again next year to get it.
The scenery was rugged and beautiful and so was the route. A soft Irish day brought out all the beautiful colours of the landscape in the Nort West. Nothing short of stunning. The tour of Sligo is my new favourite sportive.