Coast of Ireland: Day Five

Lisdoonvarna to Leenaun 107 miles

I should have heeded the advice! As we left the Rathbaun Hotel in Lisdoonvarna the Hotel owner mentioned the Corkscrew Hill. She said that it had formed part of a local cycle racing circuit until the town doctor had fallen on it and broken his arm.

Leaving the hotel we headed for the said hill. I took a call and Pete pulled ahead. Once I had finished my call I headed down out of the Burren and onto the flat lands into Galway. Unfortunately all did not go to plan. Overnight it had rained and roads in the morning were greasy. Heading down the hill I was followed by a car the driver of whom decided to take an interest in the make of my bike by driving very close and thereby requiring me to ride more quickly than I would have liked. On the last hair pin bend about a mile into the hill my brakes locked and I was thrown off the bike cracking my helmet, and landing heavily on the side of my head, my left shoulder, elbow and hip. The car following me narrowly avoided running me over given the greasiness of the road surface.

So gathering my thoughts I texted my trusty support team of Chris Belton and Chris Smith and proceeded to walk to the bottom of the hill, my confidence at this stage completely shattered, seemingly as was the gears on my bike. Once the team picked me up we headed to DIY Pursuits in Kinvarra where in five minutes the owner had completed a repair and a quick service.

We then met with Pete who had by this stage arrived in Galway and set off for Oughterard and the wilds of Connemara. The ride to the west along the Wild Atlantic Way was superb although I was unable to extend my left leg in the pedal rotation. We reached Clifden and turned north east into the headwind and the rain began. Just above Clifden after a steep climb you reach and open area not covered by trees immediately after passing the last line of trees I received a cross blast of wind that nearly blew me into the railing on the side of the hill. At that stage I decided that with everything that had happened that day I was call it a day. The rain was by this stage horizontal into your face but Pete completed the day looking very wet and sorry for himself.

A gentle reminder to all that Brendan and Peter are cycling the coast or Ireland in aid of Home Start Uttlesford. Please give generously!


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