It was cold and dry this morning, but no frost. So went for a road spin south through Kildare and Laois. The original plan was to do the southern piece of the Wicklow 200 route, but I just did not feel like it. Can't put a finger on why, probably just the thoughts of all those big hills or something :)So instead the plan was to head to Portlaoise, and when I got there I would decide where to go after.
After about 15 minutes the cold started to take effect - mainly on my toes. This was annoying as I had my Assos Winter plus socks and Sealskinz. But it quickly go to the stage where they went numb. I stopped a couple of times to get some heat back into them but it was only a temporary fix. So, I've just bought myself a set of wind and water resistent overshoes. During the last hour my fingers also became numb - my own fault as I have a pair of Sealskin winter gloves, but for some reason I did not wear them.
When I got to Portlaoise, I was feeling ok and decided to head to Athy with the possibiliy of hitting Carlow before turning north and back towards Naas. Some really nice country side between Portlaoise, Stradbally and Athy. And just outside Stradbally there is a large estate with lots of forests and hills. Like Kilruddery but on a bigger scale. Might do some research and find out who the owners are and how they would feel about some mountain bikers pegging it around their land.
When I reached Athy, I did think about heading across to Carlow and then towards home, but in the end I thought it would make more sense to head home as I was worried about bonking out on busy roads in the dark.
So, apart from the cold, it was not a bad spin. Overall, the terrain was flat with rolling hills thrown in here and there. I felt pretty strong throughout the spin, but I was taking it easy for the first hour and a half. Will need to do 4 or 5 more spins on that length over the Christmas period to get the much needed base km's in.