Today was the first official ride day of the Ireland bike tour. The first ride was from Dublin to Carlow and a distance of 89.6 kms with a total climb of 996 m. We rolled out of the apartment and took a group picture in front of a bunch of row houses which wasn’t very exciting. So the decision was to ride down to St Patrick’s Cathedral which was about 2 kms down the route and take a picture. This would then be the official start of the tour.
St Patrick’s Cathedral is a huge place and a national land mark. It was closed so we couldn’t go in which was too bad. I set the camera down on the pavement set the time and ran over to get into the picture. We had finished taking the pictures when Agnes and Sally rolled up.
The road out of Dublin was down a very busy road but it had a bike lane so we didn’t feel too threatened by the cars. All of the signs here are in both English, and Gaelic which was quite interesting. We are also on the left hand side of the road so everyone except Jos are learning the rules and trying to remember that when you make a right hand turn you have to go away across the street not just hug the curb.
After we got out of Dublin we came to the big climb of the day which was not all that long but was something like 300 meters high. My Garmin showed grades 15% in a number of places. Patrick and I have only 27 teeth on my rear cassettes so it was a pretty tough grind. I was huffing and puffing by the time I got to the top.
The route took us down all kinds of interesting roads. Everything from main roads which had excellent shoulders or even bike lanes to over grown country lanes with grass down the center. Most of the roads were only one lane wide and almost totally devoid of cars. The Garmins worked perfectly and the down loaded routes took us right to the B&B.
We came upon an old set of ruins which had a number of grave stones around it. The ruins were in the middle of sheep pasture. So we walked out to look at them. The head stones all seemed to be from mid 1700 although there were some which were so badly weathered you could not begin to tell their age. The latest ones were from 1914 so were probably soldiers who died in World War I. The ravens were nesting in the tops of paripits which gave the place kind of a creepy feel.
Tonight is in Racy Barnes B&B. It is a lovely older country inn which has been lovingly maintained. Delightful décor creaky floors and big high ceilings.
To day was a great first day. Everyone had a wonderful time. It was mostly broken cloud with only about 15 minutes of rain which we spent under a tree.