One stone. One dead bird, and one mortally wounded

I finally managed a century today, passing the magic 160km (100mile) mark on the bicycle. My total for the day was 189.6km, which is 10.4km short of a double metric century. Why did I not just cycle that last 10km and make it two birds with one stone, then?

While I still felt strong, and think I could have done it, by that time it would have taken me at least half an hour. And I didn’t have half an hour. I had pizza and wine and a man waiting for me at home.

Also, I was truly, really, absolutely knackered. Never so glad to see my little car.

The feat was accomplished when I set out to cycle around Lough Neagh, which is supposed to be a 180km (113mile) trip. I was happy with how I did, got a flat tyre and thanked heaven I’d bought a mini-pump just Friday. If I hadn’t, my trip would have been over then and there. As it was, I had tyre levers, a spare tube and a mini-pump, so I was okay.

I was quite astonished at 148km to find myself in Portadown already. This was not on, so I got onto the Newry Canal Towpath and cycled down just past Poyntzpass. I did have in mind to cycle 25km out to make it an additional 50km, but realised I was going to be very late if I carried on and turned around before the magic number which would have seen me to 200km. That will be for another day.

The route is very flat and easy, so in all honesty, I cheated, really. However, it was the best way to break trail into a new dimension of cycling for me. The mystery and awe is out of the magic 100 now, and from here on I can gradually do more difficult routes.

There was also a special significance for me to the 180km mark.

I really am very knackered, and many things hurt when I use them. However, when I did my first metric century, I was also very tired. It’s not a big deal for me to see the speedo click over to three digits any more. Perhaps one day I’ll get to the point where 180 is also no longer something to get all excited about.


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