Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Beer, Mince pies and plenty of ice

Still doing my best to single-handily clear the house out of the Christmas goodies which were bought. Only a couple of mince pies left and a bottle of wine (or two) left. On Monday myself, Gene and Mark decided to do the Taylors to Powerscourt spin. The weather has been very cold over the past few weeks, so by the time we hit the boneshaker at Ticknock we here struggling to overcome the solid ice / frozen snow.

We did think about just bombing around 3 rock for a bit, but we all wanted a good, long spin, so despite the under-wheel conditions we decided to press on. When we got up onto the Wicklow Way the fun started - the trail was solid ice for 20 to 30 meters at a time, so it was fun trying to stay upright, even moreso when we were on inclines - yeah, cycling on ice going downhill :) . To be fair, I don't think the Maxxis Ignitors were not designed for ice, but they did a great job keeping me upright.

When we got around the far side of Fairy Caste (easterly facing) things improved slightly with the right side of the trail less icy than the left. we made it to the Wocca's without too many problems and onto the short road section.

When we got to the base of the Prince Willies climb, the icy conditions returned, and I had my first fall of the day. Cycling up hill I hit a spot of ice and fell like a ton of bricks. As I'm sliding uphill I hear a clatter behind me - its Mark, who after seeing me fall, braked and came off too. No damage - in fact Gene had a great laugh watching it all unfold. The further we climbed up Prince Willies the more ice/snow we had to deal with - it was easier to cycle just off the fireroad. But we made it to the top and had a quick break for some food and off again, dropping down the other side and away from the wintry conditions. It actually started raining at this stage, but only for about 10 minutes and we were lucky to have some shelter.

After that we headed across to Crone in the ice and onto Djouce. We were running out of light at this stage, but managed to get in the Best Descent (properly). When we were leaving the main gate at Powerscourt I went down again, getting some nice road/ice rash on all knees and elbows and bringing down Gene into the bargain. After dusting ourselves down we gingerly made our way back to Taylors on the road.

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