The title is misleading. Geographically speaking, we were riding on the edge. Also known by it’s less daunting name, the coast. Emotionally speaking, we were not riding on the edge. We were riding just off center. Within our limits and taking it steady. The title was just an opportunity to shove a U2 pun in the oven.
This was a mini adventure/city break ride. It was an intro to cycle touring for Rose and an excuse to visit Ireland for the first time. Sightseeing and coastal cruising on the Celtic Costa del Sol.
The plan was to drive out to Wales, jump on the ferry with just the bikes and our luggage and do some exploring by bicycle. All straight forward enough. Our car didn’t break down. The ferry somehow defied logics and didn’t sink. The bicycles didn’t explode. Health and safety lottery winners.
Credit where credit is due. The ferry did try to tip over, it really did. If Costa had any more €5 euro pastry’s on board it may have just made it. It didn’t though. We stayed upright and made the crossing safely. After a semi-sketchy ride out the docks, we were welcomed into the city’s belly. If the river Liffey was the city’s gullet then we tantalizingly tickled our way over its lips before sliding on down. Like two expensive two-wheeled mechanical oysters. Sensual.
Cycling through the city was a pleasant experience. Plenty of cycle lanes, wide roads and shared use paths made everything stress free. Dublin definitely feels more European than UK.
Our route involved a trip out through the docks from the city centre. We then followed the coastal paths all the way to Wicklow. We passed through Blackrock, Dalkey, Shankhill and Bray. All really nice places worthy of a visit on their own.
Easy going pedaling and cruising was the order of the day. I don’t want to speak on Rose’s behalf, but I think she was enjoying the introduction to cycle touring. The sun was shining and the seal were blubbering around in the water. Chatting to each other about current affairs and the price of seal accommodation. Doing what seals do best.
The final part of the first day gave the trip a slight emotional turn. Moving events from type 1 to type 2 fun. The final stretch of the coastal paths were closed for a running event. The marshall waved us away like Gandalf and we joined the main road. The rain started pouring. Our directions got hazy. The hills got steeper. It all got a bit character building.
We finally found the nights accommodation thanks to the friendly un-named stranger who pushed us in the right direction. I’m not suggesting the guy didn’t have a name, I just didn’t ask it. He looked like a Derrick. But in our eyes. On that evening. In those slippers. He looked like a hero.
After a very satisfactory night sleep and a more than adequate breakfast in an above average kitchen, we jumped back on the bikes to head away from the mountains. We took a roll down the hill and a pedal into Greystones to catch the mid-morning train to Dublin.
After jumping off the train a few stops early we were treated to a pleasant canal cruise. A steady spin into the city via some segregated paths and pleasant suburbs. Obviously, we bumped into a capoeira performance/dance/installation? I did a bit of clapping and tapped my feet a few times. I think I made a reasonable contribution to the atmosphere. I participated but didn’t invest emotionally. A curious and open-minded observer. An everyman.
This is where I need to put a poignant summary. Riding bikes in nice weather, in nice places, with nice people is… awesome (you thought I was going to say nice didn’t you). A great way to spend a long weekend.