Category Archives: Cycling

Day 16: 150 km, four minced pies, three coffees, one puncture and 1000km reached under a Cavan full-moon.

I hadn’t planned any more 140km+ stages on the cycle since doing Dunmore East to Cork city in a day. That nearly killed me. But when my planned visit to the Organic Centre in Leitrim didn’t work out, I had to improvise.  I decided to rest on the second half of day 15, relaxing and reading the weekend papers in a pub in Kilala.  I’d stay the night with Arlene in Crossmolina again and try to make it to Belturbet in Cavan in a day. This was the route I took:

I was chatting to a woman in a shop in Carrigallen in Leitrim (near Belturbet) that evening and I was telling her where I’d come from. She didn’t believe me for a while and then told me that she’d be knackered if she’d driven that distance.

It was frosty and bitter cold first Continue reading


Scoil Bhride Community & School Garden, Shantalla, Galway City

This primary school visit in Galway was a real pleasure.  Adrian Carey, one of the support teachers, showed me around the excellent garden project on the school grounds and I got a chance to meet a group of sixth class pupils to tell them all about my adventures and hear about their experience and opinions of the garden.

with the pupils in 6th class

I was then invited to meet some of the other teachers at break time and got treated to some tea and cakes by the charming school tea lady.  A really enjoyable visit.

The garden is unique in a number of ways.  One is that it is a joint community and school garden.  The school is located on the west side of Galway city; it has disadvantaged status and hence qualifies Continue reading

Day 5: Ecstasy to agony and back again

I left Dunmore East at 8am yesterday.  Hector woke me up and helped me to loosen up the stiff body and overcome the icy backroads out of town.  This is what lay ahead.

140km of road to Cork city, by far the longest stage of the cycle yet and probably one of the longest that I’ll do overall.  I was averaging about 23km per hour so far so I knew it would take me the best part of the day.  I’d also been told that the scenery was great on the coast road between Dunmore and Dungarvin.  The weather was perfect for cycling, cold but really Continue reading

Day 1: Shit, my pedals are falling off.

The day started well, I set off at around 10.30am.  There is a steep climb out of Eniskerry up towards Roundwood which, in hindsight, wasn’t a great place to start as I didn’t get much of a warm up before the climb.  The first hour was tough and it took me a bit of time to get used to the drag caused by the added weight of the panniers on the back of the bike. But about an hour in, the road leveled off and I was settled in to a nice rhythm. Marion Finucane was interviewing a guy who’d been adopted at birth and found out in his twenties that his birth father was Phil Lynott, and there was peace in the valley.  Peace, that is, until my pedals started to fall off! Continue reading