Sadly Conor's mom passed away only just over a year after being diagnosed with Motor Neuron disease. Again Marie Curie initially got involved with her care as things progressed, and again they proved how dedicated a group of people they are to respite care. Thankfully Conor has a really close and supportive family and group of friends so hopefully we can all help make things a little better as the days go on.
On the flip side our friend Fintan had invited us to his wedding in Limerick the following week. Conor was happy to be involved with the celebrations which turned out to be a great laugh as the reception was held in Knappogue medieval castle and included "authentic" medieval singers and dancers to keep us all entertained. Unfortunately going to the wedding meant that we missed the fourth round of the Irish cross country race series BUT Limerick city is less than an hour from the Ballyhoura MTB trails - a group of designed xc trails totalling 90km, set in the Ballyhoura mountains and which will be the venue for the Irish MTB Marathon Championships later in the year. So we headed down not just to celebrate the big day but also get some quality mtb riding in too.
We managed two days of riding on some great off road trails. The first day saw us have a bash at the "Garrane" trail, 35km long and at least 80% twisty fast singletrack with sections of northshore built bridges and track, with the best section left to the last 10km on the homeward straight leaving us with big smiles at the end. Infact the weather was so good and the trails so dry if we imagined hard enough we felt like it might have been somewhere in Spain!
Day 2 was planned as a bigger day, both of us feeling a little less sensitive after the wedding. We were to do the "Streamhill" trail, however only 20mins into the ride Conor managed to come a cropper and came down quite heavily on his knee meaning a trip back to the van and the first aid kit. For the sake of giving the new trails a test we agreed I could continue on as planned and meet Conor back along one of the other routes on my way back. Three hours later and after riding mostly tight twisty and hardpacked bumpy trails I bumped into Conor, tired and battered on the hardtail bike but very happy with 53km and only 900m of climbing under my belt.