Big ThanksPosted by Paul Collins Sun, August 09, 2009 20:30:11
Many thanks to all who helped in any way to make the Half Way Bash such a resounding
success, especially everyone who bought tickets, turned up on the night and all the
sponsors of our big wheel prizes and of course the Wellington Park Hotel. Over 2.5k was
raised on the night so the biggest winner was Roses Gift.
STARPLAN......£500 voucher Stephev Convery
ANTRIM FLOORING.......£400 voucher plus bedroom floor fit Stella McCorry
EARTH NIGHT CLUB......Night at Lifford Dogs for 6 Donna Riley
O'NEILLS SPORT SHOP ANDERSONSTOWN....£100 voucher Pauline Hutchinson
MOYOLA GOLF CLUB........4 Ball plus Fairway Wood Stephen Drysdale
BALMORAL HOTEL.........Meal for 2 plus wine Peter Price
WORLD TOURIST ATTRACTIONS.......VIP Tickets for Belfast Wheel Peter Price
ULSTER COLLEGES........... Two All-Ireland Hurling Tickets Mickey Kelly
SEAN LACEY......................Two All Ireland Football Tickets Joseph Maher
JOHN DEVLIN..........5 Personal Training Sessions David Price
BELFAST CASTLE.......Meal for 2 Stella McCorry
WE WILL TRY AND GET ALL VOUCHERS AND PRIZES TO ALL WINNERS THIS WEEK .
TrainingPosted by Paul Collins Mon, August 03, 2009 17:53:55
After all the blood ,sweat and rashes of the last 7 months the pelaton finally rolled into John O' Groats, mission accomplished!! Exactly how this was achieved by this motely crew I'm still not quite sure, but we were welcomed like home coming heros by the WAGS and siblings and the overall feelin was one of relief!! Champagne flowed along with a few tears, hugs were exchanged and promises to never set foot on a bike again were solemony sworn.
How it was achieved I'm not so sure,why it was achieved, is easy.
Over the 12 days egos came and went and came back again, only to be banished by collective piss takin, thick skins were quickly acquired in spite of the copious amounts of sudo cream.
Everyone contributed in their own unique way to make this a trip of a life time.
Thanks to Jim we can spot Rose bay willow herb from 100 yards and are able to distinquish the call of the Osyster catcher from the Yellow Hammer(not a social disease!!)
Andrew has taught us that cheatin doesnt pay and has commenced community service, Neil's love of cycling was as infectious as swine flu and continued to be a strong motivational factor thru out!
Steve has promised to undertake an anger management course and has given an assurance that from here on will always share his fig rolls.
Sean"the map" Roberts has since been headhunted by TomTom, while Paul Abhs has been approached by Calvin Klein, not to model, Calvin just liked the cut of him!!
Eoin has decided to go back to pig farming in Draperstown and Posh Tom is workin as a huds man on a building site in Brixton,while Paul Kelly couldnt resist the bright lights and has returned to his day job as bingo caller(see above!!).
All in all a fantastic experience and one I was delighted to have played a small part in. Thanks to all who fed us, massaged us and drove the cars and van and to everyone who has supported us all the way.
My bike is now on E bay as I have officially retired from cycling!!
TrainingPosted by Paul Collins Fri, July 24, 2009 21:05:43
Day five followed on from day four....tuff!! Lashin rain, big hills and many miles, so much for Eoin's regular pre match talk" easy 60 or so lads today, big downhills...." The only thing he got right was the downhil into Fishguard..1 mile!
We got off to a great start with a 5 star breakfast thanks to Olivine and Kevin, followed by our now customary hill start and lashin rain. We was joined in the middle of the night by a new member of the sauf london crew,young Sean"lock up your daughters" Lacy.
Sean had an eventful first day with the pelaton, he cracked his head off the ceiling on the first night trying to get into the top bunk, shud have had his helmet on anyway, and then on the ferry crossin to Rosslare dropped his phone overboard!!
We hit the road still tryin to move after the feast and covered our normal 5 mile before we had a p stop, the pelaton got movin like a well oiled machine, unlike Andrew's chain, which must have came off at least 6 times. fell off! Andrew has now officially been christened Mike, half man half bike, he has yet to experience any pain, not too hot on the sleepin arrangements( will explain later) but shit hot on a bike.
We arrived in Fishguard to met by more food from Rachel and Rodger and to be waved off by Olivine and Kevin...surely we cant still be eating!!
The crossin was grand except that Paul Kelly decided it wud be a good idea to introduce the lads to poker and subsequently fleeced us all.
The landing in Rosslare resembled a scene from the Key Stone Cops, bikes one way, support cars another and Neil " I hate cyclin"Gallagher and Paul Abrahams still in the bogs. Jim and Norah's re uniting wud bring tears to ur eyes, think Heathcliff!
We were joined by four new riders, Joe Young, Tommy Ward, James Kelly and Niall. Now this cycle is tuff enough but James and Joe decided to do it on their kids BMX'S..NOT GUD!
We made great time into Wexford, found the digs and headed out for some pasta. Wat followed cud only be described as gruel,it was so gud that Lacy and Paul Abhs went for two curries chips!!
Finally got the head down about 11, in our room we had 4 bunk beds between 4 of us, naturally all claimed one each, the lower deck of the Hogan was the bed of choice for 3 of us, but Mike decided to head up into the upper Cusack, normally reserved for last man in and really handy in the middle of the nite, more brains in a false face!!
Tomorrow Dublin, then home for a nite, ill really miss Paul" i dont f******* snore lad" Kelly!!
TrainingPosted by Paul Collins Sun, July 05, 2009 13:23:03
Yesterday saw the last 80 miler for a few weeks, Jim and I decided to test drive the plan A Newry to Belfast route and the plan B route. The plan A involved nice country side and hills, the plan B one didnt so therefore won!! Much more direct but we will be on main road and therefore more traffic but there's good hard shoulder for a substantial part of route.
I really wasnt in the mood for the ride yesterday when Jim arrived all bright eyed and bushy tailed,a point he picked up on quite quickly......."**** this, im bo*****ed, its gonna pish,just get in and we'll drive up!!"
All to no avail, Jim was havin none of it and off we set with me still muttering!! It turned out to be really worthwhile. When we arrived in Newry we realised the original route was not suitable and after another fry up,two coffee and apple pie and fresh cream we headed for Belfast on route B.
We made good head way with tail wind and flat roads and decided that it was officially a no brainer..Route B!!
Two weeks exactly today, bit worried about a groin strain I picked up playin golf..yes I was using the clubs to hit the ball!! Just have to keep injury free for nxt 14 days, really lookin forward to it!!!!!!!!!!
TrainingPosted by Paul Collins Mon, June 29, 2009 16:27:19
Probably the last tough week just completed with close to 300miles accumulated. Started off Sat week ago in the Sperrins,followed by a really nice spin in the Mournes with Paul on Monday nite and again on Tuesday nite with Jim. Monday was harder and required two fish suppers at Castlewellan, the owner of the chippy now on first name terms!! Paul was so full of himself about his flashy new wheels that he forgot to tighten the aforementioned and decided to try uni-cycleing!! Lands End to J o G onone wheel no prob to the big man from Draperstown!!
Tuesday nite was note so long but we found it tiring, got up to Slieve Crobh,the source of the River Lagan. Following our previous bird sighting episodes I thought I'd impress Jim with my sighting of a buzzard in the distance.Turned out to be a micro light plane and Jim booked me into his clinic for an eye test!!
We went somewhere else on Fiday but I cant remember where...im having a grannie moment, but yesterday we did 110 in the Divis Challange. About 50 set off at 8 and it was really exciting being in the pelaton, I discovered a new gear ....reverse!! These guys were flyin and quickly dropped the Roses Gift team. Not too bothered we battered on. Paul did 60 as he had big week behind him(loser!!) and Jim and I finished a really demanding course in about 8 hrs.
Ended off a great week, miles done, Antrim win another Ulster hurling title and the footballers now face Tyrone in the Ulster final on 19th July...
BRING THEM ON,AONTRIM ABU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
TrainingPosted by Paul Collins Sun, June 21, 2009 21:29:19
BBC Weather Forcast for Saturday in Sperrins...."sunny spells,warm and pleasant in 63 degrees"..NOT.
Real Time forecast.." pissing down, cold and windy and not so pleasant 50 degrees!!!" Perfect Irish summer's day. Andrew , Jim , Paul and I set out at 9.30 from Draperstown hoping to get big cycle in the hills, would Jim finally lose his century cherry?? Started off well, tackled first big climb,two of us almost yaked up the previous night's chinese but generally feelin good. Headed on to Claudy where JIm carried out a spontaneous eye test for us on some passin females ( all passed 20/20!!). Spirits raised after quick coffee stop we headed on only for Paul to come a cropper again , another bust spoke and buckled wheel...at least he could go and watch the Lions match!
We headed on once Paul got sorted wit lift back and actually weather picked up a wee bit....for nano seconds!! Next stop Plumbridge for some grub and shelter. We found a wee cafe, the plum tree and were greeted by what has to be the only full blown cockney livin in the Sperrins, "alwite lads, wats it gonna be then, hows about the old spag bols for u cyclists like..." A total legend of a meal ,great value and a great owner.
Three very clean plates and two cuppas later we headed on to Omagh,then Greencastle were we split up. Jim and Andrew were determined to get the extra miles up to 100. I was happy to finish at 80 and watch the Leinster hurling championship match Kilkenny v Galway at 7....great game, great day, carlsberg dont do Saturdays...!!
I think the cherry has gone but havnt seen the Doc since,maybe he just kept going!!!
TrainingPosted by Paul Collins Mon, June 15, 2009 20:11:25
Not a reference to Stevie's age! Great day out yesterday with Jim,other two lads otherwise engaged..Andrew had trombone gig at a Christening and Paul Kelly was still reelin from his dismal golf outing the previous day..he had more dings than a Christmas card!!!
We headed around the Ards Penninsula again and took in the wonderful sights a Sunday morning has to offer...bare chested bloke doin walk of shame at 9.15 in Bangor," rite lads hows it goin", big chested female doin similar walk, though clothed and enhanced chested female,clothed, doin sunday mornin power walk in bright green high heels!
It was a beautiful morning but the forecast was for heavy thunder showers later so we blattered on hoping to avoid the worst. As we rounded the top of the penninsula we discovered some lovely wee beaches and decided to stop in Portaferry for some fish 'n chips. Now bearing in mind this is Jim who can ate fir Ireland,a financial crisis ensued as we realised that neither of us had a big pile of money out with us and we still had to pay the ferry across Strangford,bummer. Fish suppers scuppered, it was two b l t's, a poor substitute, but nonetheless welcome after 50miles.
Strangford to Belfast via Downpatrick was pretty straight forward and we finished off havin avoided some of the heaviest downpours for months. One hour later the mighty Saffrons had dumped Donegal out of the Ulster championship...Carlsberg dont do Sundays...............!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Big ThanksPosted by Paul Collins Mon, June 15, 2009 19:37:31
Big thanks to all at the Elks club in New Jersey and especially to my cousin Terri and her husband Bobby( big bad elk!!) for their fantastic donation,its great that Rose's story is spreadin and support for our cycle is worldwide. Brilliant!!