Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Change of Scenery

Magilligan Point, Lough Foyle
On the day of my arrival, the temperature reached a scorching 68°F and the sun came out for the entire afternoon! Yes, summer is in full swing in Northern Ireland. I have relocated here temporarily - to the countryside along the coast, not far from the city of Derry and the town of Limavady. As I write this, a sheep is looking over my shoulder. A mountain looms in the distance. And the breeze is so gentle, I am almost tempted to remove my wool blazer. 

What am I doing here? Mostly two things: writing and riding. I've brought over my roadbike and I have a Brompton on loan from the lovely Chris Sharp. The nearest town is 3.5 miles away. The nearest mountain is just around the corner.

The food situation is pretty straightforward. There is plenty of fish in the Lough Foyle and berries in Ballykelly Forest. In a pinch, there is also the Tesco down the road. 

I am still getting my bearings after 2 days of no sleep, but posting should be pretty regular. The wifi is fired up and working splendidly, so long as I add coal every half hour or so. 

Later this afternoon I am off to watch a time trial. What more could a girl ask for?

34 comments:

  1. Is there ever a bad tale of travel on the lovely west coast of Eire? Enjoy your stay; looking forward to reports of your riding and writing.

    --Tom in Miami

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  2. I am a little jealous.
    Please write about the raw weather, terrible riding and endless boredom - that would help me feel much better.

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    1. I will try to not disappoint you! if it's any comfort, last year I was here in May and temperatures never rose above the 40s.

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  3. Enjoy the lack of cars and the people.
    Try hard NOT to speak in an Irish accent - its so easy to pick up.
    Malc

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    1. Oh come now, it's not all that. I saw at *least* 5 cars today!

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  4. My family is from Port Salon up in County Donegal. Bicycling in Ireland is the tops unless it rains - which is does all the time - which is OK if you dress for it. The other wonderful thing about Ireland is the food - big servings but complete with vegetables and potatoes - healthy food. Have a grand and wonderful time and enjoy the Brompton.

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    1. It rained every single day at least a little last time I was here...

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    2. I live in the southwest of Scotland, and believe it or not, I got caught in the same hailstorm as you last year, the day you went to see the Dark Hedges, except three or four hours later – we get Ireland's weather next. I was out walking the dogs; I couldn't figure out how there was gravel in my wellies, then the 'gravel' melted! You've picked the right month this year – this May wasn't nearly so wet, but even colder. So far, June has been lovely, yet not too hot. Perfect cycling weather.

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  5. Two of my favorite bike blog writers are both in Europe for the time being. I'm excited to read more posts from both! When you get a chance, check out http://gypsybytrade.wordpress.com/
    You should enjoy it:)
    Matt

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    1. Heh I thought you meant bikeyface who is also off in Europe - I even bumped into her at the airport! I read the GBT blog, great blog.

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  6. The only thing which would have added to my envy is if you mentioned you had also brought golf clubs.

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  7. Oh, you can practice living in the Pacific north west! Is it a way to get away from the heat of the eastern seaboard? I am sure the coast of Northern Ireland is a bit more wet and breezy, but only just. I am eagerly waiting for the few weeks of summer that usually kicks in in the PNW in July. I recall summer in the UK spent wearing woolly thick sweaters the entire time. But proximity to Chris Sharps bicycles? Wunderbar!
    Quiet, solitude, I would love it!

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    1. I do love the weather here, though that isn't the primary reason (I'm actually getting pretty good at dealing with the heat and humidity back home). Need to visit the west coast soon for sure.

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  8. Interesting! Why here and not where you stayed last year?

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    1. As far as cycling, it is better here IMO then in Antrim where I stayed last time. I will elaborate in another post.

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  9. As you change scenery don't be elusive, your blog is more vibrant when honest. Why a need for a change? What is your bicycle agenda? Fiction or nonfiction?

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    1. As far as writing... Both? There's some photography in it too. Not trying to be elusive; I've always kept the details of my non-cycling activities out of the blog.

      As far as cycling, I guess hills and speed. The landscape here is amazingly good for both.

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    2. As you mentioned before, bicycles are not art, they're just well crafted machines for us to enjoy and move about in the world. For whatever reason, you've found meaning in both the object and the experience. I assume you've grown from it all and thus the blog exists. How you've evolved, suffered, nourished yourself all matters--like it or not, this has become about you. I hope it's less a marketing tool than a personal journey and shared experience. Everything is connected in some ways and if this blog is to make any sense and remain fertile it needs to keep honesty at the forefront. Best to you.

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  10. ScottUK(Eirelover)June 19, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Hey Velouria, Do you have Irish family or ancestry? Only you have the hair for it!

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    1. I do have family living here. But I am not ethnically Irish. The hair is more of a Transylvanian red : )

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  11. As a lover of green and rain and as one presently trapped in the perpetual sun globe that is San Jose, I look forward to a (daily?) escape via Lovely Bicycle in Ireland. Enjoy your stay!

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  12. I'm headed there in Sept. How may I ask did you transport your road bike? Better yet, how's about a post on the subject. Enjoy.
    DummyDiva

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    1. I'd also like to know how that went.
      The thought of having such a valuable frame crushed between random suitcases would certainly have kept me awake for the whole trip!

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  13. This sounds like a great corner of the world for the vacation/remote office that you are looking for. Have fun!

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  14. Welcome back! It's been a miserably long winter here in Ireland but now the sun is out, at least occasionally, and it has stopped raining, again occasionally! Enjoy it while you can.
    If you are still around and want to hop across the border to Donegal, I'm planning a cycle to the lighthouse on Arranmore island in July.

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    1. I will definitely be in Donegal. Heck, I can almost see it from my window now : ) Drop me a line.

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  15. Hello Velouria,

    Welcome back to Northern Ireland! Are you going to be touring around different parts of Northern Ireland or mostly in the North West?

    Anyhow, enjoy your stay!

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    1. Staying in the same spot, but will be doing some long rides to Antrim and Donegal across the water.

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  16. Lovely to have you here in the UK. Are you coming to England? If so, you should consider going on one of the London Brompton Club night rides.

    John

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    1. No England for me just now, though I do miss it. Brompton Club night rides - are those like regular events? Pretty cool. There are more and more Bromptons in Boston, I would not be surprised if something similar were organised there soon.

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  17. That's one smart sheep. :)

    Seriously, seeing as how you're a townie and you're out in the countryside now, if you're out cycling and you see a sheep lying on its back in a field with its legs sticking up in the air, it's not sunning itself, it's stuck – if they're left like that they can't get up, they die and then eventually they explode. So park your bike (hide it behind the hedge so that nobody steals it), climb over the gate and as long as it's still alive (it'll thrash its legs when it sees you coming – that's how you know – it's not waving, it's just scared), grab its legs and help it to its feet. It won't thank you but you'll have saved its life, at least for a while.

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  18. Enjoy the change of scenery, looking forward to blog updates from Ireland! =)

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