Mark “ Lenny Armstrong” Leonard reporting directly and exclusively to you on behalf of COA
After the day of rest and recuperation in the magnificent Missoula,Montana the legs and mind felt ready for another day in the saddle pedalling through the Rockies.
To set the scene of the day in question ,I was rudely awoken by a certain room-mate William “snores like a bear” Kerwin at 6.30 am with the question “are you awake Leonard?Are you awake?there’s a storm Leonard,there s a storm.Did you see the news?Get your big a$$ out of bed” In a thick Wicklow brogue with an expression of utmost dissatisfaction.Surely this was just a bad dream?I wished
From the moment the man they call “the Kerwinator” uttered those fateful words the scene was set -today was going to be a disgustingly horrible day.A day to be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
I took a quick glance at my bike sitting there beside the bed and thankfully there was no mysterious early morning punctures (which is ongoing investigated with young Kerwin the prime suspect)
From the outset today was a day you would want to be in the support team( or even in the local county jail) rather than one of the cyclists. Everything seemed to have to been going against us- the weather the ridiculous climbs, the traffic the poor quality of the road but Akin to Armstrong the COA team are made of stronger stuff.
In cold, wet conditions far worse than you would expect to see at home in Ireland we commenced the cycle to Deer Lodge.
After just 5 minutes of cycling we realised we were lost and boom tragedy struck while trying to find our feet boom a puncture on the dreaded back tyre. This is where the fun and games were to begin. The team had 5 punctures today, would you believe?
And whats more! All 5 were on my bike! DISASTER!
Before I began to blame the innocent until proven guilty tyre-slasher William Kerwin for the punctures I found the culprit (a staple on the inside of the tyre) 4 more were to come. Fixing punctures tyres in torrential rain without any shelter on the side of an interstates with 50 tonne 100 feet long juggernaughts whizzing by at 70miles per hour ant no fun,but I’m not one to complain
But this was only to strengthen our resolve as a team.
After battling with a number of tasty hills and passing through towns such as Clinton, Bonner and a short lunch stop in Drummord (which seems to have a massive problem with Meth judging by the copious amount of signs around what is a small town-see pics)Mysteriously young McNamara seemed to fly out from the blocks from Drummord onwards.Perhaps this was due to his “stop off” in Drummord perhaps not. We finally arrived in Deer Lodge never more happy to see the faces of Rob and Donal.
After a quick ice bath and shower each (not together!) we went for dinner at the local diner by the Budget Inn Hotel where we were staying
Coincidentally of the 10 hardy soles in the Diner which you would expect to find on Gordon Ramseys Kitchen Nightmare were father and son David and Gregg from New Jersey whom were also doing a cross country cycle .We exchanged war-stories of our respective cycles and mutual respect and contact details were exchanged
Overall as challenging as the day was, I am always quick to remember and remind ourselves just how lucky we are to be fit and healthy enough to be partaking in this cycle.
Our minor whinges and moans are a small price to pay for the goal of raising funds for Cancer and cancer patients.