Saturday, November 22, 2014
As I wait for the binding of my first endeavour into the world of published matter I can finally sit down and thank everyone who have helped make this happen. This is long over due. There is no particular order to this, but I will start with the supporters I met during the tour. These people and many more made the trip what it was. They supplied the laughter, shelter, encouragement and most importantly put up with the hangry episodes.
Ben King and Emily, major foodies and BBQ fiends; Nancy Cuervo and Eric Appleton, Touring Royalty; Sara and Pedro, Matt Roth, Meredith Dauksz, Eric "air-mail" Mitchell, Holly Budd, Kalabran and Vivienne from the Fairie Fest Mike Vanderburg and his glorious beard, Sara Duffy, Georgios Cherouvim, Jordan Lowe, Maarten Vanhaverbeke(aka The Red Baron, aka Bockton), Annie Long or jointly known as Martini and finally the love birds Kevin and Jeanne.
I can't forget everyone at home. Thanks, not only for the support but the messages reminding me that you were keeping track of me. Also some of you were involved helping me with editing and design ideas and generally putting up with me when I couldn't make up my mind on something. Again in no particular order.
Cian O'Donoghue, Eimear Ni Neill, Sara Maxwell, The Loughlin Clan, Kieran Craven, Dominic Turner, Dermot Byrne, Richardo Silva, Nicolas Quenard, Eve O'Reilly, Derek Young, Patrick Clarke, Jamie Maxwell, Eleanor Duffin, Darina Hynes, Sarah Forsyth, Gaia Narciso, Amie Lawless, Davey Moor, Claire Weir, Mark Curran, Nicola Maxwell, Daniel Orchel, William Hamilton, Diarmait Grogan, George Moor, Annmarie O'Sullivan, Grainne Foster, Damian Nash, Aleksandra Szymbara, Stephen Gentleman, Anne Grumelard, Niamh Doyle, Diane Whyte, Jeffery Bright, Paul McArdle, Dyana del Canto aka Caxixi, Karl Gallagher, Edwidge Ducher, James Barry, Francis Matthews, Nicholas Grundy, Alan Brennan, David Greene, Caroline Callaghan, Niamh Eagle, Lorraine Keogh, Stefania Franconeri, Sarah Whitford, Carol Dunne, Eimer McGlinchey, Nicola Timmins, Eoin Shiel, Stephen Lavelle, Adrian Reilly, Margaret Brown, Claire Byrne, Miguel Moreno, Babara Mac Nelis, Fiona Olivier, Eoin Bailey, Pat Constant, Liam Kidney, Johanne Heraty, Gavin McEneff, Pieter Vanhaverbeke, Andrea Birtig, Ciaran Dolan, Darragh Basquille, Lynda Devenney, Tania Toniolo, Roisin Morris, Cian O'Muilleoir, Joe Conway, Wayne Daly, Kate Kelly Murphy, Garvan Gallagher, Elizabeth Hynes, Bennie Reilly, Amanda Quial, Donal Murphy, Kai Wagner, Aoife Murphy, Koen DeClercq, Aine Byrne, The Beautiful MacPartlins - Conor Libby and Noah, Donough Ryan, Gillian Power, Anna Przybylo and Joanne Arnold.
So to you all a very BIG THANK YOU
Monday, August 18, 2014
Between Spaces is ready for print. With your help I can cover the printing cost. Any support would be gratefully received and rewarded.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Reaching Bodega Bay the after the day I actually planned to arrive in San Francisco and breaking two rear spokes in as many days was somewhat stressful. I was running low on time and energy after a hilly, two day detour I took the previous week. The Golden Gate Bridge was so close but it was starting to feel unreachable. After an extended rant, a near breakdown, a sunset on a closed of beach and a long sleep, I felt confident that the rear wheel would make it at least to Fairfax on one less spoke, where I would get a spare.
After my last night of camping (this year, in America at least), I was a short ride from Fairfax and a new spoke. The stress I experienced a few days previous was long forgotten; the wind was on my back and I knew within a couple of hours I would be on the other end of the Golden Gate Bridge.
I was told by a cyclist that the end is always an anti-climax; there is no one there to say "well done" and hug you. I expected this to be the case for me, but I was too excited not to celebrate. I shouted out my achievement to the first person that spoke to me once I crossed the bridge, and I happened to bump into a group of people I met in the Redwoods (which was almost dreamlike).
San Francisco was the busiest city I have been in since New York. My time there was hectic and I would have to wait until the flight to rest. Besides some steep streets it's an easy city to cycle around. Bike theft seems to be an issue there, two cyclists I traveled down the coast with had their bikes stolen on separate occasions.
Stopping is the hardest part. Being static and not making my way to a new place each day will be a shock to the system. I have definitely got the bike touring bug now. America was a good place to start, with such a variety of landscape in was hard to get bored.
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are...
Thursday, October 17, 2013
My first couple of days in California were stormy and I was lucky enough to get shelter in building provided by a local church. Here I met a bunch of wonderful people who changed my opinion of coastal cyclist. It was two days of cheap bear, card games and laughter. I took advantage of my extended stay to spend some time in the Jedeiah Smith Redwood State Park. This was my first encounter with the Redwoods. I was amazing by how peaceful it was among the giant trees. The 35mph winds were having no effect on the interior of the dense forest. It was peace, I couldn't even hear birds. I became a little obsessed with the silence and spent several hours in it during my time in Crescent City.
Marijuana is widely grown throughout northern California. I happened to be cycling through during the harvest season and the smell was constantly in the air. Many towns are full of young travelers waiting to be called for work on the farms dotted around he outskirts. Locals seem to turn a blind blind eye. There are over 40,000 growers in the area known as the Emerald Triangle.
View California (part one) in a larger map
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
While travelling down the remaining Oregon coastline I seemed to encounter more travelers than locals. Drivers were courtious, but the attitude of the majority of the cyclists was really "clicky" compared to the cyclist I encountered while traveling across country.
Luckily the weather cleared for the final few days before I enter the last state of my trip. As I travelled south the landscape continued to get more and more impressive.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
My first few days down the coast was like a walk on the beach (excuse the pun). The sun was shining, the wind was still and the people were welcoming and quizitive, the salt air was refreshing and the nights were warming up again.
After Pacific City there was a sharp change in the weather, with heavy storms blowing in from the east. I was forced to remain of the road one day due to 35mph winds. Drying my tent and swampy shoes were becoming an issue. Besides those minors problems I'm still enjoying the landscape and the beautifully violent seas that batter the rugged Oregon coastline.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Nine days in Portland. The longest I have stayed in one place in the last five months, and I could have easily stayed longer. The city is sprawled with pockets of activity scattered around in various neighbourhoods.
The coast was calling though and after the long break I was ready for the final leg of the tour. After a few very hot days in Portland I was happy to see some rain as I made my way to Astoria.
Starting out, I feared that I wouldn't have the motivation to carry on once I reached the west coast. That couldn't be further from the how I feel about it now. I feel like I am about to start a whole new trip which is considerably shorter, more managable and fueled by a more balanced diet.