My original plan was to do my August metric spin on Sunday past. However, a combination of tiredness and general meh! meant I spent the early afternoon with Catriona and the boys visiting Fanad Lighthouse and then went for an enjoyable 40K later in the day.
As the month is clipping along and we already have plans for the coming weekend today really needed to be the day to avoid unnecessary pressure at the end of the month. Morning weather was promising but my planned 8am start was delayed due to initial foggy conditions and subsequent drop in motivation. However, I was eventually on the road for 945am.
My route took me down the valley to Lifford and then along the Foyle through St Johnston and very picturesque Carrigans to Nixon’s Corner.
This first 30K was into a growing breeze and lots of rolling hills that made it a bit more work than normal but once I turned for Newtowncunningham I had the benefit of a pretty good tailwind pushing me along.
My recent short morning spins have created a habit of pushing pretty hard that wasn’t going to suit today’s longer spin. My legs took a while to warmup and I wasn’t long into the ride before I decided I wasn’t going to push too hard and take time to enjoy myself. Part of this was a proper tea break in Newtowncunningham at 50K for a cuppa and scone at an actual table.
After tea the tailwind was still there to help me all the way through Manorcunningham and along the dual carriageway to Dromore and the only real prolonged climb of the day that bypasses the steeper and traffic heavy Lurgybrack hill out of Letterkenny. At this stage I was feeling pretty good and although it wasn’t my best time up Dromore (all set on group spins) I was still pretty pleased with today’s effort.
After Dromore it’s always a bit of a slog to Trentaboy before dropping down through Drumkeen and into Stranorlar. Despite my decision to take today easy it’s virtually impossible to ignore the temptation of making the most of the descents on this section and I was soon pushing hard on the descents and up the following hills as the road dips up and down all the way to Kilross before a brilliant, fast descent into Stranorlar. At 80K I decided this was a good time for a short stop for a drink and a Snickers.
The last stretch for home was back into the breeze that was strengthening quite a lot as the weather was deteriorating with the imminent arrival of Storm Ellen. This was a bit of a slog as far as Liscooley as the main road is quite exposed. Going straight home was going to leave me 10K short so I crossed the river at Liscooley and pushed on to Castlefinn along the hillier but more sheltered back road. The bonus then was having a tailwind after the turn to take me back towards home and the pleasure of the 100K beep on my Garmin as I came up the drive to the house. Definitely my most enjoyable 100K of the year so far.
Excellent! Cutting it fine with 100km plus 30 metres though! Hahaha!
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Good route planning 😆
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