I’m looking out on a Cork summers day, thinking about a Kerry one. I couldn’t write this post yesterday, it wasn’t possible to sit at my desk you see, my arse just wouldn’t allow it!
In fairness I had pushed its cushioning to the last having spent most of Saturday cycling the Ring of Kerry. AMAZING was my repeated word of the day because, apart from the complaints of a blistered bottom, the cycle exceeded anything I had imagined.
The adventure started on Friday night, I got to the hostel late and checked in with an angry Kerry woman.
“You’re in the Penguin Suite,” she snarled.
I thought she was joking until I searched out my room. Kangaroo, Buffalo, Guinea Pig, Lizard, Snake, Giraffe…ah ha Penguin. I pushed in the door and was greeted by an Arctic welcome.
“You’re late!” Dee my cycling partner snapped (she didn’t really say that but Arctic and penguin go together so I’m taking artistic license!)
After a quick snoop of the dorm to assess our fellow sleepers…
“Oh I bet they’re taking part.”
“Look at size of their pump! I’d say they’re fellas.”
“Imagine if they were gorgeous!!”
…we headed down to get our bikes. Then it was bed for the night, our plan to go early, Enda Kenny was heading out at 7.30 and we couldn’t let him beat us.
The next morning, sleep still sticking my eyes, I was in Killarney race course without a notion of how I got there. We found our numbers, I took my first Instagram and we were off, out under the start line to join the mayhem. And it was mayhem and madness and all good words like that. The roads were filled with cyclists, most wearing luminous yellow jackets, like a brigade of pedalling council workers.
Chatting easily, we meandered back roads through breath taking spots, I haven’t seen the whole world but I imagine there’s not much to surpass Kerry’s offering. I had been nervous about the day. Would I be fit enough? (a pointless question when I hadn’t trained, training for events is a downfall of mine, it takes away the surprise!) Would the place be full of Armstrongs in lycra, syncing gps to rps to mps and muttering about splits as they careened round hair pin bends?
But it wasn’t like this. All sorts of people sat ontop all sorts of bikes. I passed a man with one leg as he persuaded his steal replacement to take on a steep hill, another for charity rode a bike with no gears and no brakes, I presume he got home. I played cat and mouse with another man well in his 70’s, he wore knee high wool socks, brown brogs and an aran jumper and would easily fit on the front of any postcard. At every stop there was music and banter, a festival feeling, even the sun made the odd appearance.
At the finish, bikes and cyclists covered the Gleneagle lawns. The atmosphere seeped into town and that night Killarney was packed with tales of the road. The best I heard was the line of male cyclists following a woman up Molls Gap.
“Sure she was wearing a thong. Surely she knew her pants were see through!”
“She must have been out for the ride.”
“Jasus it worked though, a line of us, I’d say at least 50, what do ya think lads, followed her up that gap. I didn’t feel the hill at all!”
It felt as though everyone was on the road that day, all in it together, pedaling hard for Killarney. And it didn’t matter when or how we got there, whether we struggled up the hills or pulled on brakes the whole way down, it just mattered that we got there. It was the experience, the people, the craic and the countryside.
I’d do it again, without question. Next time I might even wear see through shorts and a thong!
4 thoughts on “See Through Shorts and a Thong…”
Enjoyed that,glad you had fun
Thanks Mam, glad you figured out how to leave comments!
Hahaha! Broke my arse laughing at this! Helena you’re a wordsmith. The Bard himself would new impressed! “like a brigade of peddling council workers”. Best simile ever? I think so…
Thanks Olivia, you’ll make hats and I’ll write about them, we’ll both have our perfect jobs!
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