Republic of Ireland Day 14. 80km

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September 14th 2017
Published: September 14th 2017
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Day 14 Woodenbridge. 90km
This was the first day that I never used my wet weather gear - marvellous. Whilst we only did 90km it was not as easy a day as I had though it would be with 900m of climbing. No big hills but plenty of rolling stuff and I often wondered why I ever bothered to shift the chain onto the big ring. We sauntered through Wexford and then hit a headwind for a long way as we headed north just a kilometre or two from the coast. It improved as we took a minor road to Blackwater as we became shielded a little by the trees. The houses along this coast are generally much better with many newish ones and quite a few thatched ones on various states of repair. A number of farms also have wide, walled entrances and tree lined drives like you may see in Montana. I was amused in Ballygarrett to see that someone at Gina's Bar could not spell Guinness properly - see photograph. The best, and certainly the biggest, scones on this tour were had at Kate's Cafe in Killmuckridge where we all tucked in to the generous amounts of jam and cream. One of the staff also told us about the bike tools available to use since they have loads of cyclists call every day. Bill jumped at the chance of using the track pump to top up his tyres following the thorn puncture he found before we set off today. Just further up the road we saw two vintage cars, one with the bonnet off and two puzzled men trying to establish why it would tick over and not accelerate. I suspect the main jet was blocked but they did not seem keen to discuss the matter and were keener on calling for help from the Vintage Car Club Rally organisers. The running car was a very smart circa 1930 Lea Francis, whilst the non runner was an extremely interesting 1910's GN autocar. The GN took its name from the owners Godfrey and Nash (of later Fraser Nash fame). It had a V twin engine, two speed gearbox and weighing 300kg could achieve 60mph. Very desirable. Courtown was a nice seaside place where we stopped at the pub for a light lunch before more up and down to Arklow, which actually seemed more up than down even though we started and finished at sea level. Arklow was a typical seaside town with a working dockyard and harbour and sits on the side of a steep hill which caused some grunting to get up. Before this, of course, coffee and cake was required to help the legs a bit. Woodenbridge was found at 4.30pm just as it started to drop a few bits of the wet stuff and we were saved. Now to rest our legs ready for tomorrow's Wicklow Mountain stage. We now know how Chris Froome feels.

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