Right I could blab on and on about how amazing the Ring of Kerry is and how the beautiful scenery made me contemplate on life's great matters, but as much as I love all of the amazing 180km of the Ring of Kerry there really is only 7km that I really look forward to each year. That is the infamous Molls Gap. As climbs go in cycling its isn't one of the toughest, as it is only a category 3. But throw it in at the 160km point of a 180km cycle and it’s a whole other story. Why the obsession with this one small stretch of the cycle you ask? Well last year was my first time doing the Ring of Kerry and I was absolutely left for dead by my dad on Molls Gap. So I swore that this year I was not going to let the same thing happen again. I was mentally and physically prepared and with the Fitzgerald's stubbornness surging through me I set off at the bottom of the climb determined not to lose again.
As you can probably tell from the fact that I'm going into so much detail that I did bet my dad but that’s not going to stop me talking about it. It's the competitive side of me what can I say.
We stayed together for the first kilometre before I decided to try the same trick my dad pulled on me the previous year by taking off in a short burst of speed for a few hundred metres. I took a quick glance to see if my dad had followed. I could see him just a few meters behind with the head down, so before he looked up I took off again trying to put enough distance between us to make a counter attack pointless at such an early stage in the climb. I was about 100m ahead before I slowed back down to our original comfortable climbing pace for the next few kilometres. As I rounded each hairpin, and believe me there are many, I kept thinking that I was going to be caught by my dad but thankfully after one last stitch effort to put some more distance between us I reached the top with a great sigh of relief. I'm an awful to be bosting bout this but it's the little things really.
The last 20km of the cycle after that was a breeze and as we crossed the line I glanced at my speedo on the handlebars and was gobsmacked to see that we had beaten last years’ time by an hour. Well proud so we were. And what did we do to celebrate but have an old pint in the pub while discussing when we will be doing it again.
ar an rothar
endurance cyclist, adventurer and usually hungry