VINEYARD VIGNETTES – Part 2.
My Tour De Francis Ends in Ignominy
Saturday evening following my arrival back in the Mother Island, I sallied forth towards Killinchy on the bike for a little leg loosener prior to Sunday’s big ride. The rear tyre was suspiciously soft but having inflated it, things seemed ok.
Sadly near Deryboye crossroads the tyre collapsed and I hastily changed the errant tube for a cheap Chinese made one whose valve broke before it could even be properly inflated.
My second cheap Chinese tube reacted in the same manner as the first.
Up a creek without a paddle I phoned the team car and asked Mrs Parky to rescue me.
Postcards From UR
As some of you will know I don’t invest in a season ticket but do not miss many matches. Whilst UR benefits from ST money in the bank in advance, they also benefit from me paying more for my ticket, so it would seem to be a fair deal.
I was irked to discover you couldn’t meet new coach Mark Anscombe unless you were a ST holder. When I received a postcard from UR and saying, ‘Tommy’s back are you?’ my irked factor multiplied.
A non ST holder is treated like some sort of appendage to UR plans, available to be called upon by Johann when ticket sales aren’t too good and left in the dark re ticket availability when the cash is ringing through their debit card tills.
I’m getting rightly pissed off. ST holders won’t sustain UR’s season, so why treat the rest of us as though we are in an apartheid state!
Postcard & Warning from History
The Olympic ceremony was truly epic, a tour de force of all that is uniquely British, from Mr. Bean to Mr. Bond. Disturbingly a jarring note was struck and no I don’t mean Macca’s singing, (GC & Rooster!!).
The shambolic figure of Muhammad Ali, formerly the Olympic star Cassius Clay, struck an oddly clumsy note as if like a warning from sporting history to all those aspiring boxers out there.
Postcards from the Coast!
Unlike the GB team in Saturday’s Olympic road race, my brother and I cycled from Carrickfergus, through Larne up to Carnlough in the spirit of mutual co-operation in the face of headwinds and fitful driving rain.
There I sampled the delights of home baking and strong cappucuino at Cafe Segafredo. (Not sure of its proper name!).
We returned by the same route, powered from the rear by a huge tailwind and empowered by the stunning land/seascape of the Antrim coast.
Not having travelled this route for many a year I was awakened to all those trips many years ago as a passenger and a reluctant one, in my da’s car. Back then we went on family day out to Portrush via the coast road!!
(I seemed to have remembered sitting in traffic jams up the coast rather than the beautiful scenery.)
That’s childhood I suppose.
A Plan with Secret Route!
My trip up the coast took me through Glynn and that stalwart club Larne RFC. I note from the FRU site they are holding a fund raising cycle sportive Saturday week.
I would be keen to support the old duffers.
One minor problem is they have elected not to publicise the route in advance. I have a secret fear that I might find myself pedalling an hors categorie climb towards Slemish or Glenoe.
Can you let me know what route you have in mind and by return I will be down to Glynn Saturday week to ride out with the Larne stalwarts!!
Breaking news … I microscopically checked their website and found the route. Not so sure Le Tour De Islandmagee is as flat as you make out guys. Seem to remember at least one category 5 hill on thon route!!
Just time to once again thank Le Paul and his good lady Kate for their hospitality during my stay in France. Also to Claire and Connor his son, all pictured above. (Is there a harder working teenager out there than this man?)
Some of you will know that Le Paul suffered badly broken bones in a fall from a great height last October. Sadly some of them are taking their time to heal with the result he has had to endure continued misery of having a cast round his lower leg, greatly reducing his mobility.
Fortunately his morale remains high and he retains a decent sense of humour.
Mr. Love’s Travelling Salvation Show!
Mr. Love’s world tour shows no sign of ending.
Yesterday with The Claw in the Sin Bin, today with Tommy Bowe in the lounge at Ravenhill and tomorrow..?
Meeting Micheal Phelps in London perhaps?
A phone call from Barack Obama will seem miniscule by comparison to Mr. Phelps when the boul Stevie comes calling for a photo opportunity!
Mind, one expects him to be present at Glynn, Saturday week, to cycle out in support of Larne RFC, with another legend in his own lifetime … me!!