Thursday, October 24, 2013

Farmer Joe, now 83, Visited a Year Later

Ran up with Farmer Joe today while out hammering the back roads on the Eagle.
Last time I saw him I was on my recumbent. On the HiWheel this time, I got a picture of 
him with his beautiful wife Kathleen, who he went to the same one-room
schoolhouse with. You can hear his amazing story HERE


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

One of the Many Homes Reclaimed by Irish Nature

Inside this gate at the left is (was) a stone house.

The three pictures below are closer views of it.

Complete with tress growing out of the middle of it,  this is sadly a common sight 
over here in the west of Ireland, ten miles from the Atlantic Ocean. The stories 
some of these homes could tell. 

Were they abandoned by victims of the Great Potato Famine?
 Had their thatched roofs been raised by English landlords who had evicted a 
great number of Irish for non-payment of rent (see also 1886 Occupy Ireland)
because the crop failures that persisted during the famines times?

Nor does anyone seem to know as they fade further and further into nature.....

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Garden Variety Irish "Back Road" Beauty

I see so much of what you are seeing here, I have to remind myself these are not common sights. This is the kind of stuff I see EVERYDAY on my rides here in County Mayo.

The grass fed cattle here can often be seen "mowing" a lawn...

Tractors are everywhere..

Can you spot the one sheep painted in red and green, the Mayo sports team's colors?

There are many homes like this at the edges of town.

The view I see over the hedges (8 feet up on the Eagle) that line most of the back roads, which most are....

Saturday, September 28, 2013

RAAM Winner, Strasser, Also Wins Europe's Toughest Cycling Challenge, The Race Around Ireland

Christoph Strasser , the Austrian who became RAAM's fastest cyclist when he covered the 2993 mile course in 7 days, 22 hours, a few months ago (June 19), recently won the 1367 mile Race Around Ireland.

Billed as Europe's Toughest Cycling Challenge, he completed the 4-year old race in 3 days, 21 hours, for an average of 23.69 miles an hour! And extra admiration  is due indeed, these roads are tough over here. They have much roughed up all three of the bikes I use to roll on them, Especially the Eagle...

Add the heavier air because there is so much moisture in it, and this guy's feat is truly amazing!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Irish Superbowl Signs All Over the Countryside

County Mayo plays Dublin in the All-Ireland Gaelic Football final this Sunday 
Sept 23rd. And since Castelbar is in County Mayo, where they have not won the 
big game for 61 years, there are signs everywhere! 

This is a huge game here on the Emerald Isle, on a par with our Superbowl, sans 
all the half time commercials - they play a solid 35-minute half without interruption!

Gaelic football is like our American soccer with the addition of specific use of the hands.