Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Dundalk to Dublin June 20 2017

Everybody was pumped to get on the road as we prepared to leave this morning.  Staying in the Innisfree B&B was lots of fun it was such a jewel box.  However there was electricity in the air as we were doing the final ride of this tour.  And what a tour it was.  The weather for the final tour was excellent as well.  There was  nice blue sky with big puffy white clouds offsetting the deep blue. 

The ride out of Dundalk was non eventful even though we were down some busy streets.  Soon enough we turned off the main road and were cruising down some country lanes in what had turned into bright blue sky.  The wind had picked up considerably and was blowing at around 25 kms/hr.  Strangely it seemed to be coming from all directions.  One minute it was knocking you over in a vicious cross wind and the next a head wind and then a tail wind.  
We turned down one lane and suddenly we were riding along the seaside with a beautiful beach on one side and sand dunes on the other.  Unfortunately it was only a few kms long and too soon we back on the busy highway.

The Garmin routes for this trip have been a thousand times better than paper route sheets and maps of large enough scale would have covered far too many pages to be practical.  However the Garmin route which was built off Google maps did a strange thing today.  We turned a corner and there was an army base.  Big gates and no entry signs. This base had been there for years so how did Google put a road through it?  We had no choose but to turn around and ride back to the main highway and continue down it until we found the route again.

We pulled in to Balbriggan where we found some sandwiches in the now familiar Super Valu.  We only had another 20 kms to our hotel in Swords and it was only 12:30 so there was an executive decision to ride on into Dublin and drop our rental bikes at Cyclebikes in Dublin.  This would give us a full day to recover before getting on the plane home.

The completion celebration was held right in the hotel where we are staying.  One of our traditions is to have rider awards after a ride.  As tour director it was my job to hand out the jerseys.  This being a budget tour we didn’t have real jerseys to award but had colored paper jerseys.  I gave Jos “The King of the Mountain” jersey, represented by a red paper dot, as he never walked any of the hills.  His big 34 rear cassette and 28 front was a winning combination for the hills.  To Ken, I awarded him the white jersey.  The white jersey is still awarded on the Giro to the “Most Promising Young Rider”.  Ken is only one month older than Jos and not quite 60.  This left Patrick with the coveted Yellow Jersey.  He really did earn it.  He was to the top of every hill first and lead most of the time.  Patrick could be in the back and would zoom past everyone to the front. 

Tomorrow is a rest day in Swords.  Time to get packed up.  Catch up on some sleep. And generally unwind.

So stay tuned for further adventures.



Margaret Kavanagh said...

Great trip, safe travels home.

Merle R. DiVita said...

An-mhaith!! For those not on The Emerald Isle, that's Gaelic for Well Done! And Terry, you have certainly earned that recognition! Many thanks to you - & Agnes! - for all of the hours and hours of preparation and logistical organization I know this Grand Tour took to bring to fruition. And to your both:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Jim said...

From Denver, sharing your blog with Bob, Jean, and Sandra. What a great trip you have completed! Lots of grand sights, meals, biking challenges, Garmin navigating, and finishing with the same number as you started. Another grand accomplishment😀🚴🏽

Anonymous said...

GOLD MEDAL to you Terry for the fantastic job you did putting this trip together. It is tough enough putting together a tour at home, but overseas is doubly tough. It is not in Gaelic, but, WELL DONE! Later, Earnie

Howard Brown said...

Enjoyed all your reporting and pictures. Must have been a real challenge but rewarding. Looking forward to your first hand reports.

Ross said...

From a "flatlander" in Winnipeg, thank you for sharing your adventure! Your daily reports gave me a sense that I was on the road with you, hills and all. Congratulations!

E.T's Bike Tour said...

Hi Terry, Eamonn here. Met you and your wife on your return journey from Ireland. My email is etsbiketour@gmail.com I'll be in Kelowna on the 14th. Would love to meet up