This post is about a 11 day hiatus in the journey due to bike troubles.
After the last trials and tribulations I faced with the basically brand-new bicycle, with the chain snapping, the kick stand breaking off, and the extreme struggling on anything more than a mild incline, I headed back to Dublin to see if there was anything else that could be done by GreenAer, the company that kindly helped me choose the bike.
Unfortunately, after a lot of backwards and forwards, and them offering me a different bicycle as a loaner that in reality also would not have worked, we agreed that the needs I have of a bicycle carrying myself, plus pulling a trailer weighing over 70kg (including trailer and gear), plus +- 40kg of weight divided between my rear panniers, front panniers and handlebar bag, they had nothing that was up to the task. In fact, trying to find something that was both capable of carrying all the gear and my not too-light self, have a battery capable of lasting over 100km per charge pulling all the weight and have a strong enough motor to help me up and over those beautiful, but steep and long Kerry hills, wasn't an option that I was going to easily overcome. Certainly not in the short time that I had left for the campaign. Plus, it took me 10 days in Dublin before we came to that conclusion, which meant over 500km missed.
Needless to say, I was panicking quite a bit. I realised that in order to get a bike built to my needs, it would cost me close on €8000 and waaaayyyyy tooooo loooong. So after discussing this with Dr Cummings from the Wellington Eye Clinic, we agreed that the best way to take care of the issue, was to rent a van that would carry all of my gear, and that I could drive from main location to main location, and then to cycle around each area, capturing the countryside photographically and speaking to people. They not only sponsored the vehicle, they also organized magnetic signs for the sides of the van, advertising the campaign.
Admittedly, this change in my plans feels somewhat like cheating (okay, a lot like cheating 🙁 ), as I had planned on cycling the entire route. But this was really a case of making the best out of a bad situation.
Needless to say, I had to make sure this change was made public, because I don't want anyone feeling that I'm trying to pull the wool over anyone's eyes. I am only making this public about a week and a half after starting with the van, as I wanted to make sure the van was doing what I needed it to (which it is, YAYYYY!!!!), so I wouldn't have to come back with egg on my face again, and let everyone know that the van wouldn't work. Hence, the long period of time between blog posts. I really appreciate everyones' understanding and support. I couldn't be doing this without you all.
I will have to rectify this change in plans in the future, once I modify a bicycle specifically for this purpose. It may take a year or 2 unless I get the financial help to get it organized earlier.
So, without delay, here are my favourite photos of Dublin Zoo.
My absolute favourite, is right at the end.
I'd love to know what you think of the entire blog, including the photos in the comments below.
I'm starting with this one, because I feel a bit like an ar$e, or in better English, a rear-end with all the issues mentioned above.
Sorry for the above, so here are a few animals laughing at me :-).
Is this Rhino where they got Shreks ears from?
I'm still not sure if this Rhino was injured, or just something had spilled on his face. Although, it does look like tears under his eyes :-(.
If I was superstitious, I would say this looks like a gnomes hat. But, luckily, I'm not. After all, I believe that being superstitious is bad luck!!
And my favourite.