Wexford County Council are proposing a new greenway for Co.Wexford. What a fantastic idea! May they continue it all the way to Rosslare Harbour.
Link to article about it here: http://www.rte.ie/news/2015/0706/712964-wexford-greenway/
So as some of ye know by now, I will be tackling the inaugural TransAtlanticWay Race in June. A race of this nature takes skill, self sufficiency and piece of mind that all your equipment is up for the task ahead.
So .... I'm absolutely delighted to announce that Mack Workshop have come on board to sponsor me with a bespoke frame bag and top tube bag for my bike! Seriously chuffed and can't wait to see the final product!
Thanks to Jon from Mack Workshop! Have a look at their website by clicking on their logo below ... some pretty awesome gear!
Did a little scouting earlier in the year for the Transatlanticway race, while on holidays. Gotta love those bends on the Healy Pass
First Sportive of the year done and what has to be the best post cycle food I've had at a Sportive.
I'm the yellow guy in the group :) Barrow Wheelers 100KM Sportive 2016
Sooooo.... About that last Transcontinental post....... Well I may have altered my plans for next year after finding out that the first ever Transcontinental style race will be taking place in Ireland next year.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the TransAtlanticWay. It’s a 2500km one stage, self-supported, road-bike race between Dublin and Cork via The Wild Atlantic Way.
The race will begin on 17th June 2016 outside Trinity College, Dublin. From here, each rider must navigate their own route to the first checkpoint in Derry. From Derry, racers head south on a designated route of The Wild Atlantic Way towards the second checkpoint, Kinsale town. From here it’s back to the racer's own navigation to the finish line at Blarney Castle, Co. Cork.
Despite being shorter than the Transcontinental, I'm under no illusion that it will be any easier. With the fierce weather of the west to deal with, along with cycling into the prevailing wind for the majority of the race, I think this will be one hell of a challenge and quite an adventure.
I'm delighted to be part of such an amazing inaugural event and I promise that there will be no more changes to my plans. Mainly because I have already paid the entrance fee ...
Check it out, my name is on the roster already :)
So what's the craic with the Transcontinental No. 4 picture you ask? Well I've mentioned a few times that I had big plans for next year. Those plans are to hopefully compete in the fourth edition of this insanely brilliant race.
For those you who don't know what the Transcontinental is, I'll briefly explain. It's a self-supported, non-stop bicycle race with no set route. Each rider must visit mandatory control points but beyond that you are allowed to freely to plot whatever route will suit you best. Each edition has varied slightly in length and course. So far, they were all in and around the 4,000km mark, TCR. No. 4 is no different.
With the recent reveal of the controls for TCR No.4 it wasn’t long till the plotting of routes commenced. I think Darren Franks picture below of the route sums it up perfectly.
But Ciarán I notice there are a lot of 'lumpy bits' in this photo. Why on earth would you want to do such a race?
Good question there, made-up person. To be honest, it’s a race I have wanted to do for a long time. It caught my attention from the very first edition. Its non-stop, multi-day aspect was something quite new to me, as I only did day-long races back then. I was instantly hooked and have followed each race since. During our bicycle tour this year, we tailored our route to arrive in Croatia around the same time as the TCR No. 3 would be passing by. With some strategic dot-watching, we were able to bump into three of the riders - Gareth Baines, Stephane Ouaja and Paul Toigo. It was great to hear first hand what the race experience was like. It's one thing reading about it and following blogs, but sitting down and chatting with the riders, mid-race, was invaluable in coming to the decision to enter the TCR No. 4.
So now that my applictaion is in, there very little else I can do but wait - something I am really shit at. So instead I'll go cycle my bike over some mountains to put down the time .....
The 'Driving in Iceland with Elfis' video has to be one of the funniest instruction videos I have ever seen in my life. I swear to god there was so many dad jokes and puns in it you just couldn’t take it seriously. I was made watch the video before I was given the keys to the jeep I hired. Anyway, at one point in the video it says that the most dangerous animals in Iceland are the sheep. There are more sheep maulings per year in Iceland than there are people killed by car accidents in India. I won’t lie, I just made that up. Apparently, one of the most common causes of car accidents in Iceland is people swerving to avoid sheep that are on the road.
So, when an oncoming jeep swerved violently into my lane, barely missing me, I presumed it was some city slicker trying to avoid a sheep. Well, the first thing that came to my head was the word 'gobshite', and then came 'it must be a sheep'. After my middle finger had been withdrawn from an upright position and my hand put back on the steering wheel, I noticed it wasn’t a sheep at all, but a swan. I flicked on the winking light and pulled over into the grass verge just down from where the swan was sitting. A German girl in another car pulled in just behind my jeep and got out as well. It was an odd sight and she was as curious as I was as to the situation.
We walked slowly up to the swan. Like most people, I had a healthy wariness of swans. As children, we were always told to never go near a swan. It could break your arm, we were warned. Despite this, I stretched out my right arm and inched towards the swan, trying not to make to sudden of a movement. It didn’t seem to take any notice of us. I looked back to the German girl to see what she thought. She could only contribute a shrug of her shoulders. She was as confused as I was about the situation, it appeared. I decided, feck it and began to gently rub the swans back. There wasn’t a peep out of him. Not even when I rubbed his head. At this point it was pretty clear that he must have been in some sort of accident. With no signs of any external breakages or damage the swan must have sustained internal injuries.
Now we had the predicament of what to do. Neither of us wanted to just leave it there. We were worried it would get hit again, or worse, cause a serious accident like what nearly happened to me just moments before.
I gave the girl a look of ‘well what do you think?’ She gave a returning look of ‘why the hell is he looking at me like that?’ and then asked what I thought we should do. There was only one thing for it really. Pick up the swan and carry him off the road. Not the greatest of ideas at the best of times but I was willing to ignore that due to the swan's poor state. I was just about to suggest playing rock paper scissors for the honours of picking him up when I noticed the girl had already retreated a few steps back. Guess it was me then.
I stood behind the swan. I felt it would be the hardest place for him to peck me if he did decide to turn. Taking a crouched position, I prepared myself. It would be the biggest bird I had ever lifted and I had no idea how heavy it would be. So with one hand under each of its legs, I braced myself. One, two, three…. Hup!
The thing weighed nothing. It was like I was holding up a chicken. I couldn’t believe it. I turned to the German girl to see her standing there laughing. The whole scenario was a bit ridiculous. There I was, standing in the middle of a road in Iceland, with my arms outstretched, holding up a swan in the lashing rain. Not your usual morning to say the least.
I carried the swan to the side of the road and gently placed it down on the grass. Unsure what exactly to do, I tried to make it as comfortable as possible. He began to bow his head. Every now and then he would get a surge of energy and bring it back up, only to bob back down again. It was as if all it's cares had gone now that it was in a safe place. At this point, it seemed only a matter of time until the inevitable happened to the poor fella. So the German girl and myself stood near the swan giving it rubs. Anything we could to comfort it in its final moments.
After about five minutes the poor guy eventually gave up the ghost. We laid him in some high grass, hidden from sight.
Was out for a cycle over the weekend and came across this little girl who had been dumped in a ditch in the middle of nowhere. I'm happy to say that she is now in the process of being rehomed. How could you dump that cute little face???
Brilliant day yesterday at the Cycle Against Suicide Wexford SpinOff Had loads of chats and the scenery was only made better by the cracking sun#itsoknottofeelok #cycleagainstsuicide
Looking forward to be joining Rake of Cakes tomorrow at WellFest 2015. It's always nice to give back to the sponsors!!!
ar an rothar
endurance cyclist, adventurer and usually hungry