NI Coastal Cycle - Day One

We had a great night last night in Derry but you would amazed how quiet the city was. We had a choice of bars- the one in our hotel only seemed to possess one CD of Ed Sheeran and I m afraid he was too mournful and dreary for me. We tried another with music that prevented you hearing any conversation from 10 yards away outside the bar but Leo found us another with decent music at a decent level and a load of character. There was a general consensus that we would probably need a good nights sleep so a couple of pints an doff to our rooms? Greer and Leo snuck off Down an alleyway that they said was a short cut to their hotel and I choose to believe them. Mind I also believe that most Russians adore Salisbury Cathedral so much they are even prepared to come for a 2 day holiday to view it!!

This morning we were up, fed, watered and ready to leave at 9.00am as the itinerary demanded. Would you believe that some people here have not yet read the itinerary. This morning we had a shower of rain early on and then very little more rain until the last stage of the day despite the forecast of steady showers all day. Philip has put a huge amount of preparation into this whole project and it is paying off had been very clear that there was only one notable hill during today’s 68 miles. It’s just a pity he forgot to tell us that it lasted for about 10 miles and was at the end of the journey.

Leo was great as a shepherd, he was there when we needed to turn off the main road or take care on sharp downhill bends and looked after all our needs all day. We saw some great views but don’t be lured into a warm slushy feeling because it was hard work. We kept up a good pace taking turns at setting the pace. Greer noticed that whoever was taking point seemed to set off at a huge pace and in particular Paddy is not going to be allowed to lead tomorrow. Personally my legs were aching from about 50 miles onwards and at one stage I was in my lowest possible gear and no one was looking to overtake me! Maybe I should have prepared more, done more cycling in the last few months rather than pretend it was never going to happen and there was always tomorrow. Well tomorrow is here but I have had a lovely long hot shower, put on four layers of clothes and who knows maybe something will happen and I won’t have to do it all over again tomorrow!! Now I am going to ask all the others for a comment. Paddy’s comment: we were lucky the rain stayed off TIL the end and that the wind was behind us. ( has he seen the weather for Saturday, wind cutting across us and more rain).and the company was great- (at least that won’t change).

Jim says we should stay closer to make it less likely we will be hit by a car( Greer agrees, he thinks cars take more care when there is a larger group of cyclists but a little voice at the back of my head says that if Greer or Jim are going to get knocked down then I don’t want to be cycling anywhere near them-lol).

Philip says I have to explain about my sausages. You see I can’t eat breakfast so I take it with me in my back pocket instead of chocolate bars. Works for me. I was trying to have a bite of my sausage as I rode along but then struggled to get it back into my pocket. He also wants me tell you about the dodgy man we keep seeing hiding the bushes and jumping out on us. He looks a lot likes Leo. Jim has a fear for tomorrow- is it his fitness? Is it that his two friends are joining us for a time tomorrow and will they fit In? Is it whether we can dodge the rain tomorrow ? No. It is that we are going to be passing Ikea tomorrow and Leo has already informed us that the water bottles on our table tonight can be bought for a competitive price in Ikea. He is concerned that the van will be so full of tea lights and crockery that there will be no room for our bags and bikes.

Enough for today. Tomorrow I will explain the fun that Philip had when booking the Marine hotel that we are in tonight.

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