Yesterday I went for the longest spin for quite a while outside of the 100km metric challenge spins. It took me across the border into Co. Tyrone to Strabane and Newtownstewart before returning via Castlederg and Drumquin for 80km.
As the weather had been settled and dry all week and I had an extra day off for St. Patrick’s Day I managed to ride my bike for 5 days and this spin brought me to 232km for the week. This spin wasn’t just about the mileage though. It was a great day for the bike with dry, bright weather and very little wind for most of the ride. What made it so enjoyable was the ability to lift my head and take in all around me and enjoy the day.
- birdsong in all the wooded areas, noisy and full of life.
- the miniature horse with legs so short and hair so long he looked like he was floating above the ground.
- the old man out for his slow, careful walk smiling at the nonsense of me taking photos of my bike on the pedestrian bridge in Strabane.
- the weir at Sion Mills flashing white through the bare trees.
- newborn lambs bleating in the fields and anxiously staying close to their mothers.
- the group of swans swimming in a flooded area of a field briefly glimpsed at just the right time across the top of a high hedge.
- the colourful giant display of a gnome family along the river in Newtownstewart complete with decorated toadstools.
- meeting an ex work colleague passing through Newtownstewart and stopping for a half hour chat.
- the brand new display board for the International Appalachian Way in Baronscourt forest.
- windmills turning lazily, catching and reflecting brief glimpses of sunshine.
- pigs squealing in a farm shed outside Castlederg making me think of banjos and a film I haven’t actually seen.
- roadside displays full of bright yellow daffodils.
- spotting the often seen but recently missing horse from a roadside paddock in a new location in another field.
- the hound with long ears and short legs that barks and valiantly tries to chase every time I pass his house and making me smile every single time.
Not many photos but lots of memories.