This weekend Orla McEvoy (Bray Wheelers) organised a ‘Ras na mBan’ Training Weekend on behalf of CI Women’s Commission. On both Saturday and Sunday over 20 girls/women/ladies climbed and descended their way around North Wicklow under Orla’s (and Larry’s; thanks Larry!) guidance. We had glorious sunshine and a trip to Mount Usher Gardens on Saturday, and we had misty rain and National Champion Mel Spath for company today. Other than the requisite suffering (whoever christened Slaughter Hill wasn’t being ironic!), it was a most enjoyable weekend.
There were a few of us in the group who had tackled Ras na mBan previously, there were several who will be taking part for the first time this year, and I genuinely think the remainder (well, other than Larry) may contemplate making the trip to Sneem next year. Everyone I cycled with both today and yesterday would definitely be capable of doing Ras na mBan, and I hope they all do some day; it really is a privilege to be able to take part. (It is easy to write that as I sit here on the couch……. half way up Lugalla today I would rather have eaten my bike than take it to Kerry).
This weekend was also the first time in a long time (eh, Ras na mBan last year, possibly…) that I have spent two days in a row doing hilly 100km spins (sorry Scott!), and my legs (recently hewn from marble) knew all about it this morning. Nonetheless, a meal, a shower, a pair of recovery tights, and a quick nap later and I’d almost say I could do it all over again tomorrow, ….. and the next day,….. and the next day? Yes, Ras na mBan…… 5 days of suffering, a lifetime of patting myself on the back. Priceless.