NI Coastal Cycle - The kick off!

And so, it begins. Our intrepid committee members (and friends) begin an almost 400 mile cycle along the NI coast. To help you stay abreast of their progress, Clare shares her thoughts.

So here we all are in Shipquay boutique hotel in Derry eager and ready to start our cycling coastal challenge in the morning. Well I say all but actually only Paddy, Philip and myself have arrived. Patrick and Jim will be here about 9.30pm and Greer and Leo even later about 11pm. And I say Shipquay boutique hotel but actually there was a mistake in the booking, receptionists fault, and so Patrick will be in our room here but Greer and Leo will have to go to another nearby hotel to sleep and come here for breakfast. And while I say eager I am afraid that the conversation on the way up in the train may have fatally sapped my will to live. Philip has a theory that we should distract ourselves from the length of each daily section by thinking up names for websites, and apart from the fact that I really don’t need to name a new website, his suggestions such as “Down Drains”, “Down Stairs” for a joinery or “Down Tools” for a workers union had me sliding under the table. It was however an improvement on the discussion about train spotters, plane spotters and how amazing it was that the train we were on had the number 4019 and the train that passed us had the number 4020. And does that mean that there are 4000 or more trains in Northern Ireland? Drive quickly Greer, please! If these are the starters what has Philip dreamed up for the main course?

I also realised that the last part of the journey covered the route we will be taking tomorrow, except that the train took less than an hour, much less than an hour whilst we will take— a good deal longer. The weather for the week according to the BBC just now is going to be Mixed or unsettled. That means there will be some wind, some rain and some sunny showers.

However I will not allow any of this to persuade me to turn back now. There is one thing you could all do to cheer me up and add positively to this experience and that is to donate some money to Mainstay DRP. We have already saved some money, which will now go to the charity, by having the hotel room rate reduced because of the mix up with the rooms. We could save more by eating frugally but fortunately the meal is already booked and hopefully Philip will be too busy eating to come up with even loonier distraction schemes. More tomorrow if I am not too exhausted

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