400 km cycle challenge

By | June 22, 2021

Another member who doesn’t mind an early start to his day is Vincent Guerin. Vincent completed a 400km cycle challenge in County Clare last Saturday. He sent us in a report of his adventures on the day:

On Saturday 19th of June, I travelled to Clare to take on a 400km cycle around the Banner County organised by Audax Ireland. 13 people arrived for the start in Ballinruan at 5.30am where we signed on and received our Brevet Cards (these are used to mark off when we have reached certain points along the way and later submitted to verify you have stayed on the prescribed route).  We travelled along minor roads for a lot of the day, far away from cars and tarmac.  After a short delay I headed north up through the Burren towards Bell Harbour as day broke to my right and the bare limestone rocks and colourful flowers appeared on my left.  The route zig-zagged towards the west coast before the run down for Loop Head Lighthouse, ticking off the kms and the control points along the way.  It was great to see normality returning as swimmers, golfers, surfers and strollers enjoyed the sunshine in the seaside towns of Lahinch and Kilkee. Photo and time taken to confirm I’d reached the lighthouse I headed east into the wind along the boreens towards Kilrush. I found this the hardest part of the trip as I clocked over 200kms cycled in 11hrs.  A (healthy) takeaway there had me ready for the next leg towards Shannon and after that my home roads of East Clare and hopefully making the distance.  Passing Thomond Park (it’s on the Clare side of the Shannon by the way) at 10.45pm meant another 100kms in the bag. Then  it was full lights on as myself and another cyclist I’d met after the ‘Bridge headed out of the city and into the dark night.  The last stretch was very tough with maximum effort needed up and over the Gap Road to Killaloe and full concentration on a forestry fire road out of Mountshannon towards the finish.  By the time I got back to the start it was 4am and four of us finished within minutes of one another, each with their own tales from the day. No matter what the sport, the encouragements you get along the way from others really helps, and Saturday was no different as we leapfrogged one another at towns and villages throughout the county during the day and night. Lots of lessons learned and a savage day out. BannerAbÚ.