5b) Daily Update Aug 2010

My new slogo...

Trip 2010 data

80H43 hours in the saddle (Total)
1252km up to date
78.25km per day
2,5 rest days
Max speed 70.07 km/h (day 21) (with the trailer)
Most km per day, day 21, 116.21 km in 7H28 hours on saddle
Average of 15.54 km/hour in total
5 punctures on trailer (11th plaque)
2 spokes replaced and repaired
2 hour of repairs

143 Working gloves on road side
121 Wheel caps on road side

August 22, Day 16, Dunwalk to Dublin (R108)

Well rested and with excellent weather for the day, I was full of it to finish this trip on a high note. There was a note but not high. It was difficult cycling on the R108. Many up and down hills, but no rain.

At a town just before Dublin I decided that its time for my first Big Mac, and a BM I had.

I arrived at the airport at 18H00 and immediately went to the parking spot from where I left. There was no joy when I arrived at Dublin Airport.

A cloud overshadowed this trip of mine, starting a few months ago. All I can add to my treasure chest is that Ireland is a beautiful country and worth while cycling in it. Next time I want to cycle the ‘Ring of Kerry’ and see ‘The River dance’. For the day 80.96km in 5H28.

My flight was tomorrow morning at 6 so I had to kill a few hours at the airport before take off.

Arriving at Brussels I got to be escorted to department immigration, my favourite place. My visa was not valid and had to apply for a new temp visa. One big difference is the professionalism of how these people tread one as to the neighbouring countries of South Africa. My visa that was valid for 60 days were not for multiple entries. So my leaving for Ireland my single entry was used up and then the visa expired. Four hours later I could phone my friend Dewald and he was there before I can say snap.

This pram was on the A1 next to the road.....no baby

August 21, Day 15, Muckmamore, Belfast to Dunwalk (A1)

Just to prove I was here - Belfast Queens University

My second last day. Rainy day and the roads occupied. The traffic between Belfast and Dublin or maybe just Dunwalk. Reminds me of Joburg and Pretoria traffic. Cyclists are not allowed on M roads but on all A and R roads. M roads have a nice shoulder to cycle on but are warned that it’s illegal. R roads take you to the countryside where there is no shoulder, but more scenic.

I had to work extra hard today, to reach Dublin airport in time tomorrow. My friend Dewald has paid for a flight for Monday and to break up the bike for the flight I want to do minimum mileage.

This is how they support underprivileged - I love the conditions. rather do not give if you can't give your best

I could not reach Dublin and started looking for a B&B in Muckmamore. All B&B were fully booked and the only place I could find a place to stay is at Sandra’s house. Sandra invited me to stay for the night. This was also the first time I enjoyed a fellow Christian company on the trip. Thanks Sandra

Sandra was a blessing and brave to take me in
116.21km in 7H28.

August 20, Day 14, Derry to Muckmamore - almost Belfast (A6)

From Derry I took the A6 and with it a strong wind from the side (west) slightly behind me, and some down hills, that gave me a good rest chance and average for the day. At a town called Claudy I got my first puncture, but to add to this I also had to repair it three times. The tubes I bought were too small and then when you inflate them into an oversize tyre, it splices. Now at Claudy, that is literally a one horse town, I met this guy called Bryan, and what a blessing he was. This is the first donation I received on the trip up to date. He serviced the bike, gave me two tubes and wishes me luck. Looking at the shop from the outside you won’t expect much, but the moment you walk in ……… unbelievable. He has more stock than most of the best shops back home. I hope this shop of him double in the next few years.

Bryan with my cycle

In the mean time I crossed Northern Ireland territory. At this stage the road signs board change from kilometres to miles. The first signs I saw is 50 and thought that is only 50km to, not in Northern Ireland. It was miles and also the forex change from Euros to sterling.

This was not kilometers

Just amazing how many wheel caps and working cloves is dispersed or rather lost next to the road. I’m sure one can make a business out of it. 143 in total on the left side of the road

August 19, Day 13, Donegal to Derry (N15)

This is where they make coke, close to the N15 in Northern Ireland

August 18, Day 12, Tobbercurry to Donegal (N15)

Rested well at Aunt Anna, I also met a Italian, Enrico (I lost his photo). He does a lot of walking. On this trip he is exploring the mountain range not seen at the back of the house. Then he invites groups to have fun, trotting the mountains.

At this stage I'm in Sligo and have to do few things before leaving for Donegal. My ribs are doing well, but I'm sill aware of the pain caused by coughing.

At Derry I decided to cyle through the town, to get a better start for the next day. This is the Foyle Bridge one of the three bridges that one can cross to go to Belfast.

Foyle Bridge

70.07km on a down hill just before Letterkerry, made me a little worried. I did not want to have a fall at that speed. 92.08km for the day in 5H54.

August 17, Day 11 Galway to Sligo (M17)

The ribs where manageable and though it will be a good day to cycle. the weather was perfect with a little rain. Also I need to get my confidence level up. I also needed to get my focus on finishing. I enjoyed the trip up to date and can not see that this situation can put a lid on it. Well 110km and 7H06 later I almost though I'll reach Sligo, but I had enough time to end this tour in time. Just past Tobbercurry I found a B&B called Forthill (Grandma Anna). The sightseeing was still amazing and I wish I could capture it on camera.

Grandma Anna and me, she loved the trailer

August 15 and 16, 10km from Galway

The previous day I found a B&B that was affordable, and decided to rest there for a couple of days. My ribs got bruised and realized what part you lungs and ribcage play in the body. Sneezing, sniffing, coughing, hick-ups, spitting and sleeping made it known that I got a beating. Belmond B&B, the owner Mary, took care of me, and directed me to a pharmacy close to where her she were. At the pharmacy I bought nurofen ointment and pills. This proved to be a good choice. While in bed Sunday and Monday we Ireland experienced the better two days of weather, a pity that I could barely move. So for the next 2.5 days I watched TV and got familiar with their national sport Hurling.

August 14; Day 8 Galway to Charlestown M18

At this moment I’m in an Internet cafe updating my blogger and FB. Just before this I had a good fall of the bike. It’s the first day that I had to cycle in the rain. Misjudging a curve that was wet, I ploughed myself into the side walk. Before anyone could say snap, the whole of Gort came to my rescue. I can feel my ribs have taken a good knock, but otherwise I’m back on track.

The funny language above all road markings is Gaelic.... Do I have to explain it?

August 13; Day 7 Limerick to Galway (Gort) R465

Passing Limerick I had to head north on the M18, but my GPS batteries had other ideas. So by accident I got to cycle a country road and ended up on Feakle. This was not that a bad cycling experience. Almost no traffic and excellent view.

But on my way I met this uncle below. He bought this bike in 1950, yes, 60 years old. Pat Rodgers (very heavy accent) bought this bike for £14.50 way back then. And it’s still in excellent condition.

And in Limerick I stopped and helped these guys, they were struggling for a few years.

Pass Limerick, I rested for some sight seeing.

Total for the day 96.92 in 6H15. Slept over in Feakle a B&B called Laccaroe House.

August 12; Day 6 Killarney to Limerick (M21)

Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
• Is to testify the gospel of the grace of God

The ring of Kerry is another cycle route around Killarney. It’s a planned route that takes 3 days. I am coming back one day to do just that. Through Killarney I took a right turn on the M21 passing the Kerry Airport. This is confronting to know that one can fly on from Europe and do this cycling adventure. South Africans do not need a visa for Ireland.

In New castle rest I decided rest over. With 101km done for the day in 6H28. An average of 15.48 in total and 33H14 in total in the saddle.

August 11; Day 5 Ballincollig to Killarney (M22)

Acts 15:11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."

a Typical house in the country side.

All though the roads are well manage and marked, the problem will always be traffic, not the driving skills but more the volume of it. On These roads while cycling I can see allsorts of traffic passing, truck with trailers, small cars, big cars, construction vehicles and other cyclist. And one of the things that are well marked is the remembrance of people that died on the road. This is not comforting and will always make me wonder how many of them were cyclist.

On the M22 today, the shoulder of the road were missing. But I must admit, that all motorists give cyclist the right of way…..I enjoy that.

Today 49,75km in3H22, totalling 411km, in a time of 26H46.

Remarkable how many wheelcaps (121 in total) and gloves is next to the road.

August 10; Day 4 Dungarvan to Ballincollig (M25)(Past Cork)

Very noticeable, one can see a lot of 'for sale' signs on many houses. Also many small businesses closing down. Ireland is also going through a recession. Burt one thing is clear, they are all are positive and in one mind, that. 'Things will get better'

One of my favorite cars is a Nissan Micra (I own one). And there are millions of Micra's on the isle land. One of the better cars Nissan has build.

To buy a sim card also proves to be a bummer. Not all shops sell it, yes, not even the post office can help. Hopefully I'll get one tomorrow in the City of Cork.

Good weather for the day and I can see a little tan coming through, a cycling tan. This will be the forth day of good weather. The reason I chose August was that its the best summer month in the Europe.

One of the many preserved castle in Ireland, this one close to Cork, called 'Barryscourt Castle'

For the day 101.88km in 6H39. With an average of 15.61. ODO 361km

August 9; Day 3 Enniscorthly to Dungarven (M25)

Bypassing Waterford on the N25 I decide to try the new Toll road, put misjudge a plastic rail that reminded me that two wheels always need concentration, ..... I fell like a bag of potatoes. Luckily I only scraped the skin of my knee and some ego damage in front of the passing cars. If that was not all, a friendly traffic officer directed of the toll-road and warned me to cycle on the old road going to Dungraven. She said 'its saver'... ja right.

The Bridge over the River Suir, just before the Toll-gate.
This fall reminded me of my previous falls while training a couple of years ago. On one of them I got concussed, and couldn't remember nothing. I ended up at a friends of mine's house, with only the wife to help, she kindly took me to a hospital in Malawi-Blantyre. Because of the concussion, I had to undergo a cat-scan to see the damages done. Well the cat scan concluded one thing.... I had a brain.

The country side is still the best and I wish the camera can tell the story as it is. A lot of farming activities out of the cities, makes any photo a postcard picture.

Close to Dungarvan I started noticing more local cyclist that were cheering me on. Soon I also found a B&B just before arriving in Dungarvan, owned by Marie. B&B's are available around every corner and all are run well by there owners.

Cycling today, 97.08km, took me 6H04, and a average of 15.97. ODO on 259 now and in total I have cycled 16H43.

August 8; Day 2 Wicklow to Waterford (M11 Coastal road)(Famous for Crystals)

The sun sets at 11 at night and rises close to six o'clock. This makes it ideal to cycle longer hours and do more site seeing. Highways are good and well marked. So without having a map, one can get directions from all road markings. Enough cycling roads has been created, so Ireland is cycling friendly. Even the motorist acknowledges cyclist and give way to them.

No rain for the day and the sun comes out in stages. A lot of fruits are available, so I decided to make my diet more fruity. Budget also restricted me this decision.

Strawberry sales, everywhere.

At one stage I saw an advertising board called killcastingconcrete.com. Thinking there is campaign against concrete. So you cycle one can see wooden fences all along the side. With this in sight I though that they were against concrete. But a few miles on, the village's name was concrete.

Many of these signs along the road in town.

In John 17, God reminded me of how we should live our life so that the world can start believing in Him. This sounds like a tall order, but I know that the Word Of God can replace our doubt so we can become bolled. Father, help us to show the world who You really are, in Jesus name.

Arriving close to Waterford I found a comfortable B&B in Enniscorthly, called Teach Failte, I slept for 12 hours.

In total I cycled 89.10km, 5H58, 15.27 km/H average and ODO on 162km

August 7; Day 1 Dublin to Wicklow (M11)

The 1H35 minute flight form Charleroi, Belgium early the morning went well. All though the flight was jammed pack and every other minute a promotion were announced over the PA, we landed safely and with a bank of clouds over our heads. Ryanair.com is the airline and thats what the flights are all about., short affordable flights.

In the parking bay of Dublin International I had to scramble to set the bike and the new trailer, a friend of mine, Dewald bought for me specially for the trip. The fun part of it nobody notice it. all set I was on my way, with some light rain drizzling down. But its like the advert says, 'its not the weather its the equipment'

My first stop was when I noticed that the GPS I had was 4 years out of date and directing me to another country. With a little common sense (I think), I got back on track.

Following the coast line, the view immediate attracts you to Ireland and I new that this trip, even alone will always be with me.

That night, I got to Wicklow after cycling 4H40 minutes, 73.56 km, average of 15.72km/H and I reached a maximum of 45.5 km/H. In Wicklow I found a hostel called Knocknee Hostel. It will be the best for my budget.

contact details



Mobile number +27 83 644 3167



financial support

Account Name - Felix Starker
Standard Bank of South Africa

Cheque Account
Account Number - '41-131-598-6'
Branch - Montana
Branch Code - '01-59-45-00'
Swift Code - SBZAZAJJ