The unbearable duckster
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
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.
Written by Guest Blogger J.Hargreaves
"Full or half?" The nice lady stood in front of the pig said. "Full. I'll have full". The lady prepares to hand Peter a full baguette filled with freshly carved pork from the hog roast put on by Kilmallock cycling club. I see a flash of indecision motivated by his disappointment at his performance on today's hub tour. Indecision turns to resolve, "no, I'll have a half". Looking pleased Peter turns to me and says, "did you see that?"
Peter reflected on the speed in which some of his club mates shot up today's climbs as he generously squirted mayonnaise on his demi-baguette.
Later the Strava stats showed that he was slower up Christ the King today than three years ago.
"Only nine weeks until Dartmoor", Peter splutters whilst sharing with me one of the cupcakes from the generous post-cycle spread laid on by the club.
Not being in training for Devon's famous sportive myself I head back up to the buffet table for a second round bringing back an apple for the Duckster.
"I won't thanks" says Peter "watching my weight Jac, watching my weight!".