Nerja Training Camp!

For the fifth year in a row, ambitious members of our cycling club have travelled to Nerja in Southern Spain, where they are enduring a rigorous and demanding training schedule under the focused direction of the Chef de Campo, Tess Quinlan. The members of this A team are under the strict supervision of Sheila Blake, who insists there is no drink, intemperate language or impatience even during the most trying of circumstances. Talking of trying circumstances Tommy Markham continues to annoy, provoke, and challenge the weaker members of the team, especially the shy and self-conscious Eamonn O Murchu. The most successful of cyclists has to be that elephant of a man, Dave Blake, who continues to climb the highest of mountains in Southern Spain with the greatest of ease, followed (at some length it has to be admitted) by Piston Tess and the 90K Ken Brennan a considerable distance back. The find of the current season is the man himself Granny TQ, so aptly named because of his use of the most modern of technology on his yellow sleek machine – the Granny Wheel). Betty Markham is again this year Masseuse Extraordinaire to the Head Buck Abbot, Lugs Ludden, whose sinews and muscles glisten while on the bike, and whose vocal cords enhance and enliven as he sings on his bike and makes the hills alive with the sound of music.

Seriously though, it was a wonderful two week cycling event for the nine cyclists concerned. The nine cyclists, Terry & Tess Quinlan, Tom & Bettty Markham, Dave & Sile Blake, Jim Ludden, Ken Brennan and Eamonn O Murchu each cycled over 500 miles ,in all kinds of terrain, flat, hilly and mountainous. The ultimate achievement was that by Dave Blake and Tess Quinlan when on the last week they climbed a 16 mile category one mountain. This was an outstanding achievement by two great cyclists. Great credit is due also to Tom & Betty Markham and to Sile Blake for cycling a considerable distance up the same mountain on the same day. The title “King of the Mountains” is still retained this year by Jim Ludden, who constantly and consistently led the field over Ludden’s Hill, named after him by the local Municipal Authority last year – each day. And watch out for Ken Brennan. Based on this year’s performance he will be Jim Ludden’s greatest challenge next year in Nerja. After a hard day’s cycling the group used dine well, and after dining retire to a local hostelry, nicknamed “the yeacht” because of its lack of opulence. Such was the intensity and ferocity of the debate there each night, that these discussions became known as “The Senate in the Yacht” . Cathaoirleach of the Seanad was the one and only Tom Markham who had so much to say that all others had to shout and clamour over his loud and increasingly voice to be heard! Our grateful thanks are due to Terry and Tess Quinlan whose gracious hospitality and limitless patience made this tour possible