Sunday September 16th, 2018. Last race in the season for the club. Summer gone south with the swallows. I saw one, maybe the last, swooping out beyond the water tower.
Riders arrive in ones and twos. There’s hesitation: run it out and back like a normal league race? More riders arrive. Nope, stick with the plan. 60km+, out further to the Galway Plaza and back.
‘Plaza’ still feels alien to me. ‘See you at the Plaza’. Plazzza. Or ‘Applegreen’. Howdyalikethemapples? ‘Circle K’. Don’t get it. Don’t want to look it up. Things change. Things are always changing, underfoot or overhead or right through the middle.
The format is familiar. Club league race anticipation. The same faces might show up every Thursday but you can never know how it’ll work out. Bunch sprint or solo break? Nothing is written until it is.
Wind the legs up, fight for scraps of shelter, dig in and dig in again. If will and energy persist, get up the road. Lean into the landscape, ride into the pain. Count up the miles or count down the kilometres- whatever keeps the mind in its arrow. Dream of graveyed spuds or hot showers. Let a caught tune chase its tail round your noggin. Whatever keeps the body in the bid. Pedal pedal pedalpedalpedal pedaledaledaledaledaledal edal pedpedpedped edaledal pedal edaledaledal pedal pedal
Today the club races for itself, against itself, every rider together and every rider alone. Paul Giblin rode these roads, and rode them well. Rowed and road, powering across the landscape. He’s probably somewhere up ahead, in a break, pushing on. And so it should be.
Horseman, pedal on.
Taken on the semi-functional 50D Canon. Few different lenses. Shutter button fires every so often, and the battery drains fast, and the sensor is dirty and the autofocus lazy. But it's not about the camera, mostly.