I have had a little muscle strain in the last week so had to stay away from running and ball skills. So inspired by the start of the Tour de France I took to my bike on Saturday morning. Living on the southern fringes of Dublin I’m lucky that within ten minutes pedalling of my house I’m in the countryside. Also heading south brings me to the Dublin Mountains which make for a strenuous cycling work out. As I pedalled towards the steeper sections of the road towards the Hellfire Club my chain started slipping. The only way I could correct this was riding in a high gear which meant a very tough cycle to the top of the hill.
One thing I love about cycling is you are really close to nature, unlike when you drive the same routes. In the Dublin Mountains when you get up high the views back over Dublin Bay are also amazing so it makes all the hard work worthwhile. I’m also an avid follower of Le Tour de France. Ireland’s only winner, Stephen Roche was raised just up the road from my wife’s chiropractic practice in Nutgrove and now I follow his son Nicholas who is now also a top cyclist. What I love about the tour is the fanaticism of the fans and the toughness of the competitors to go on day after day. Some day soon I’ll get over there for a mountain stage.
Later in the day on Saturday last I headed to Pearse Park in Longford to watch Longford play Tyrone in the All Ireland qualifiers round 2. Tyrone were the favourites but the media had been talking about the possibility of an upset. In Aussie Rules it would be the equivalent of Gold Coast beating Geelong. Everything went well in the first half for Longford and they went in one point up. Things were looking good but after just 5 minutes of the second half Tyrone got a goal and we could never get any closer than three points after that. Final score 1-17 to 0-15. We’re out of the championship now, next year….
If there were one player I’d love to recruit for the International Cup it would be Longford’s Paul Barden. For more than a decade he has been a star of Gaelic Football. He’s one of the quickest players in GAA and can kick as well of either foot. He has previously played in the International Rules Series for Ireland so I think he’d pick up Aussie Rules fairly quickly. If we had him playing it would be like having Carlton’s Chris Judd on the team.
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