Saturday, September 29, 2012

82 yo Irish Farmer Joe!

 A couple of days ago I was out riding when a herd of cows blocked my way. As I waited I began taking with the very humble man in charge when I had the presence of mind, with his permission, to switch on my recorder. Listen to a man who at 13 in 1942, ran a 30-acre farm when his dad died of a heart attack 

Today (10/24/13), a year and one-month later, I saw Joe again. This time I was on the Eagle 
and I got to meet his beautiful wife, Kathleen!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dublin Airport - Bike Friendliest??

Had a chance to visit the Dublin Airport yesterday. 

Bike lanes and signs directing one to the bike parking facilities were everywhere. 

There are even Bike Lanes right up to the hotel entrances!!

In terms of bike friendliness, this looks like an air facility that ranks at the top for bicycle access. I know Portland and Chicago are both excellent in this regard. However, I could not find a list that compares the world's airports. Is there such  a thing?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Irish Country Home Beauty

I see homes like this on a regular basis on the country roads I travel over here......

Here it is from a distance..

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Irish Billy's Lake & 1968 Electricity

In this short one minute video taken 3 miles from the town of Castlebar, Ireland, I met the cattle rancher named Billy who owned the beautiful lands you see here. Located not far from the windmills that now supply power to hundreds of thousands of homes here on the Emerald Isle, he tells me electricity did not make it to his beautiful home you will see off in the distance, until 1968 (below is a better picture of his home, I took it a few months later).

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Irish Windmill (and Bog) Scene & WWII Vet Creates Bird-Friendly Wind Turbine

The above two min slide show is of a  recumbent bike ride I did  to the windmills that line the ridges of Castlebar, Ireland. It comes with a surprise impromptu explanation from Paul Kelly of the bog lands that lie at the base of much of this wind turbine farm,

Because wind farms kill half a million birds a year in the USA, according to a US Fish and Wildlife estimate, my attention was raised when on my Twitter, I saw that an invention had been devised that creates power from the wind but does not kill birds.

WWII veteran creates bird-friendly wind turbine

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Annealing My Eagle Hairpin Spokes

Jim Spillane thought it was crucial that I heat treat my hairpin spokes since they would be skipping less spokes (6) than what they were designed to skip (14). The task: use my MAPP gas torch  to heat up all 36 elbows (for the 72 spokes) to red hot. And then let them cool naturally.

I hope to start building the wheel this week!!

What's Made in Ireland? Very Little :( But.....

As more and more production in America shifts to Pacific Rim countries, Ireland has never made many of the goods it uses, and makes even less today. Starting Sep 13, TG4, the Irish TV station, will be airing a 4-part series that speaks to this based on the findings of one its reporters, Manchan Magan who tried to "travel around Ireland using only Irish transport, eating only Irish food, wearing only Irish clothes and listening to music played only on Irish instruments".

In his pieces he notes:
Bicycles: Raleigh closed 1980
Cars: Ford closed 1984
Ireland imports 50,000 tonnes of British potatoes a year!

See his report 



American hi-tech companies have been investing massively in Ireland. 25% of Europe's computers are now made in Ireland. Ireland is the world's largest exporter of software. The European (or regional) headquarters and/or customer service operations of Google, Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Dell, Intel, Motorola, Oracle, Lotus, and Boeing Computer Services are all located in Ireland.