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.

--Ernest Hemingway

The Plan

I am not a 'touring cyclist' - not that there's anything wrong with touring cyclists. I consider myself to be a 'roadie'--if it can't fit into a jersey pocket, then it doesn't come along for the ride. So when you picture me biking in Ireland don't think about panniers and saddle bags and back packs. There will be no tents, sleeping bags nor camp stoves anywhere near my bike.

The plan is to rent a car so that I can drive about the island and ride in much the same way that I would at home. If all goes according to the vision, my life over the next 14 days will fall into the following routine: drive to an area, ride, hike, eat massive amounts of food, drink Guinness (amounts may vary), sleep, repeat.

The idea for this trip is to be fairly flexible; it'll be a bit by the seat of my bib shorts. Here's the best I can do for an itinerary:

> Fly into Dublin on Aug 13
> Connemara (northwest of Galway)
>Inishmore (the largest of the Aran Islands)
>The Burren and the fabled Cliffs of Moher
>The Dingle Peninsula
>The Iveragh Peninsula (Ring of Kerry)
>The Beara Peninsula
>Fly out of Dublin on Aug 28

I've perhaps saved the BEST FOR LAST! From Aug 21-23, I'll be following the three-day Tour of Ireland. I'll watch Stage 1 on the Category One Mount Leinster climb, take in Stage 2 on The Vee, a Cat. 2 climb and watch the last stage in Cork which finishes with a with three-loop city street circuit including the 23% gradient climb of St. Patrick's Hill.

Oh, almost forgot to mention that seven-time Tour de France Champ LANCE ARMSTRONG and 10-time TdeF stage winner MARK CAVENDISH will be riding the Tour of Ireland. It doesn't get a whole lot better than that.

So come back to this little blog often to read about my adventures with my bike on the Emerald Isle. And please, if you're reading this stuff, leave me a comment; it's nice to know that people are out there checking this stuff out.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Link for Tour of Ireland

Arrived safe in New Ross. Am in a scary hostel - feeling like the lead actor in a horror film who's audience can't believe he's actually going to spend the night there. It's at the end of a back road out of town on a farm. I'm all by myself out here, except for the scary owner who has the look about him that if he were a character on Scooby Doo, by the end of it, he'd be claiming that he would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for those meddling kids and their dog. Oh, and I guess there's also the rooster at the kitchen window who's freakin' me out.

Anyway, check this out.

Highlights of all three stages of the Tour of Ireland will be streamed live here on RTÉ.ie each evening of the event. They will also be available on-demand.

Where I'll be:

Aug 21 - Top of Mount Leinster
Aug 22 - Top of The Vee
Aug 23 - in Cork on St. Patrick's Hill

Also, if you're interested, it's fun to follow Lance's Twitter. He's pretty active on Twitter, giving text and pic updates on where he's at and what he's up to (before and after the race obviously). Anyway...

Will get a proper post up about Dingle when I can, but in a word, it was WET.

Good night,



  1. Hey Buddy

    Thanks for link, I couldn't find a live feed anywhere???? Will be watching for you. Maybe you could wear that guy's helmet with the horns???
    Glad to hear from you and excited to watch the Tour tommorow, don't forget to call your new buddy when you get to Cork on Sunday.

  2. I'll try to get online tomorrow. The girls lost tonight so they play tomorrow at 4:30 to be in either the 5th&^th place game or 7th and 8th. Our parent reception went well and the BIG news. Mens Bball are in the final on Saturday. We are very excited. One of our cyclers placed 3rd in the road race. I got to watch this race. It was really cool. Just to let you know I have found another way to keep track of you.....if you don't put up a post I check your VISA to see where you are and the last time you used it.....sorry I get worried.
    Have a blast tomorrow. I know your have a great time....Get pictures please.
    Love S

  3. Ok, that (Selena's comment) made me laugh out loud in a Cafe in Kilkenny - people were looking at me funny (funnily).

    Saw the Stage - it was quick, managed to get one decent pic and several other crappy ones.

    Details to follow (maybe not tonight, but the next night, I'm in Cork and should be able to get something done there, but then those of you connected to my Visa account will be able to decipher that one your own - hee hee.

    Go NS and Go Dolliver

  4. Hi Shane...apart from the fact that I very nearly (well, maybe nearly...) rolled over your camera sitting on the middle of the road at KOM Mt Leinster today, I was delighted to meet and chat with you. I've emailed on some photos.

    Just so you know, we don't put cameras sitting on the tarmac on our highways here...we just wait a moment or two till an obliging local comes along and offers to take a snap.
    I figure you will have driven through Dungarvan on your way from Dingle to the farmhouse in New Ross.

    Btw, if u get to read this before tomorrow's stage on the Vee, watch out for 20 or so "Minnies"...they'll be there in force!

    Check out our club at

  5. Hey Shane;

    The recycling note on the wall by the rooster is signed Brian and Jenny. Funny name for a rooster ... Jenny.

    Do you feel like the Friendly Giant, and wouldn't it be even freakier if a giraffe popped by !?!?!?

    Beaknik Watcher

  6. Hi Shane & Selena, Things are looking good but the cliffs do look scary. Selena perhaps you should send us his visa link. Joff was in for a short visit . Just in time as the GPS has died - he had some suggestions, but no solutions yet. Our company left yesterday.
    Take Care, Love Mom and Dad


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