Just when you think the season is over, Eamonn Eaton makes another foray into the world of leisure cycling - this time to Bray and the Joe Loughman. Take a read of his account of the day below!

Joe Loughman Randonée

Eamonn Eaton

As the summer season started to draw to a close a small group of dedicated Orwell cyclists headed out to Bray for the Joe Loughman Randonée. It was a calm warm morning, just perfect for a quick 100k Sunday morning spin. Did I say quick? We went out like a rocket! Peter and Mary were the only ones who used their common sense and decided to take a more measured approach to the event.

The Orwell team took off at a frantic pace sprinting over Bray Head and descending at such speed that we swept up lone riders as we went. Leaving Greystones the group had expanded and we managed to drag a number of assorted cyclists along the old coach road as far as Ashford. We decided to follow Rodney's leadership and set a more realistic pace to save energy as we started to climb up to Roundwood. This strategy worked well until Greg decided to speed up a steep incline taking some of the assorted cyclists with him. At this stage Eugene was really starting to warm up taking up position at the front of the group and he announced that it was great to be getting a spin as he hadn’t been on the bike since the Rebel Tour on Saturday!

The core Orwell group stuck together and held firm till we reached the food station at Kirikee Hall where we found Greg settled into a comfy chair having a sandwich and a cup of tea. There was a great spread and friendly ladies who wanted us to eat everything in sight but we knew the Shay Elliot was only 5km away. I made a quick break at the start of the climb but should have had an extra Jaffa Cake to get him up the hill. The regrouped Orwell team attacked the hill and conquered it with style.

We crossed the top picking up speed and continued down the other side without even pausing to catch breath. Rodney claims it was to save us from the cold wind at the top but we know that he is such a lean, mean cycling machine that he could not resist the thrill of the descent. At Laragh we caught sight of some of the Orwell elite riders who were taking part in a road race coming in the opposite direction. From there it was back to the familiar territory of Old Long Hill, Kilcroney and back to the Bray Wheelers Club house for tea. Shane had quietly maintained a steady strong pace all morning and in the final stages pulled ahead with the lead group bringing them through Kilcroney while Rodney, John and I enjoyed the scenic way home – did we miss a hill?

Well done to all on a really great spin. A special mention must go to John who completed the route in just over 27kph average speed which is his personal record for the season. Well done to Rodney Phelan, Greg Farrell, John Anslow, Shane Phelan, Eugene Dillon, Mary Brady and Peter Carty on a great day out.

What a great way to mark the end of the cycling Summer of 2014!