Monday, April 2, 2012

On My Bike in the Spring Sunshine - Out and About Around Lovely Lismore

At Ballyduff Bridge in Hi-Viz!
The past week we have had fabulous summer weather in late March and this unseasonal weather was such a treat that everyone tried to make the best of it.

We did some gardening and planted some new shrubs in a bed near the patio and I finally got out on my bike for some longish cycles around the beautiful countryside. I've been very bad with getting going on the bike and hubby Jan's put me to shame by keeping up his cycling during the winter, but this is my first week of proper cycling, apart from trips to the shops for the messages (a Hiberno-English expression for grocery shopping).

Like everything I tend to defer the moment but once I get started I'll  be on track for a few times a week and aim at the Sean Kelly Challenge 50km charity cycle in late August. This will be the third year I'll  be doing this event and I've enjoyed it immensely for the past two years. You can read about 2010 and 2011, and watch this space for 2012.

I came home from work two consecutive evenings and went out on the bike for about an hour,  doing the same circuit of 15.2km both evenings and glad to see I'd knocked a  minute and a half off my time the second day. Yesterday I went for a longer cycle of 22.5km and didn't expect to do too well time-wise as there was a strong headwind on the home stretch, so I was pleased with the end result.
The River Blackwater at Ballyduff - towards Fermoy
River Blackwater at Ballyduff - towards Lismore

Cappoquin - R. Blackwater and the old Railway Bridge

New Cordylines and old banana trees
The Knockmealdown Mountains from Glencairn
There are some wonderfully picturesque cycling routes around Lismore, with the river valley providing circuits out one road and home another, with no major hills to wear down the weary start-up cyclist.

I only wish I had the stamina of our world-renowned cycling author and travel writer extraordinaire Lismore resident, Dervla Murphy, whose exploits on her various bikes and other modes of more exotic transport have been documented in her numerous books for the past almost-fifty years, since Full Tilt - from Ireland to India on a bicycle was published in 1965. 

Rozinante was the name of that bike and she surely was an Irish Don Quixote tilting at more than windmills, certainly she threw the book at the stereotype of Irish womanhood in those pre-feminist wave days. We are very pleased and proud to call her a friend and have spent many a pleasant evening in her company.

Here are some of the lovely scenes around Lismore and Cappoquin and Ballyduff, and our newly planted shrubbery out in the back garden. Hopefully the banana trees will flourish again this year with a nearly-frostfree winter, and the cordylines will thrive and grow.

My trusty steed - nameless
Ben and our newly planted garden
Dromana House at Villierstown
Horses on R.  Blackwater Inches

Enjoy the beauty of our Blackwater River Valley - and if we only had this kind of good weather here we'd be living in the best place on earth - in fact it's pretty good as it is despite the weather, as it's the rain that help the Emerald Isle live up to its name!
River Blackwater from Cappoquin
Reflections from the Kitchen Hole, near Cappoquin


Stephanie V said...

Oh, Catherine, these are just beautiful photos. Summer in March! That would be such a treat. Good for you to get on that bike. I think you see so much more on a bike than in a car. You've proved that.

darlin said...

I admire your stamina, time is irrelevant when you're out shooting photos and what magnificent shots you've captured of things you might not see if you were in a vehicle.

Have a fantastic week! Cheers.

Catherine said...

Thanks girls! Well the summer in spring was short-lived and we're back to winter today with snow in the more northerly reaches of the country! Lucky here was sunny but cold and too windy for a wimpy cyclist like me! Yes, I love the photos when I'm going around and I don't mind stopping as the clock stops too!
Stephanie the group at knitting circle loved your socks were in absolute awe at your skill in adapting the pattern for them from a pic of the cable! I look forward to Ravelry having the pattern soon!
Darlin, you certainly see things differently from the bike than a car. I hope I can build up stamina to endure longer and hillier cycle routes as the summer comes in! Thanks for visiting and commenting!
Catherine xxx

Nicolette said...

Hi Catherine, What a beautiful place. I have never visited Waterford, although we did drive down to Wexford once to catch the ferry to travel to Brittany. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.