Friday June 21th ’19. Day 9. 7th day in the saddle.
I'm not even sure if today counts toward my cycling. I woke up this morning, and was wondering if I should go into the city of Waterford to see the sights as part of my trip, or if I should just keep going west.
After a short moment of reflection, I realized that all along I've been saying it's the journey, not the destination. Plus, who knows when I'll get back to Waterford, so why not stop off now for a gander, while I'm in the area. So, off I went, in search of adventure in the oldest city in Ireland, Waterford. Established by the Vikings in 914 AD.
After a short time in the city, I got lucky. I found a small little shop, right next door to an old ruin of a Church that had exactly what I needed. Bicycle parts. I had noticed that one of my brake cables was fraying and my gears were not switching correctly any longer. The chain was wearing down, and the steering also felt like jelly for the last 50 kilometres. Plus, my seat kept adjusting by itself. And each time I coasted, the rear wheel felt like it was trying to hold me back. Of course, being in Ireland, and hearing many ghost stories, one wouldn't be too far off track to think that the bike was haunted. Luckily for me, the bicycle store owner, was able to do a thorough inspection of the bike, and assured me, there were no ghosts, demons or fairies trying to hold me back, it was just that the bike couldn't handle the strain and abuse that I was putting on it. I was wondering if I should at least try an exorcism, just in case. But considering that I don't believe in superstition, because I think it's bad luck to believe in that type of thing, I went with the more scientific, and mechanically sound explanation instead.
So, even though I wasn't lucky to have acquired a scrapheap for a bike, I was exceptionally lucky that I didn't have some sort of serious malfunction that could either have hurt me (or worse), or left me stranded miles and miles from habitation, without a working bicycle.
I wasn't happy, but I was exceptionally grateful and ecstatic.
I called the company that I got the bike from and they agreed to discuss taking the bike back from me the following Tuesday. So, that meant a train ride from Waterford, back to Dublin for the weekend.
The Waterford bicycle store owner was very kind and offered for me to leave my gear in his shop until I got back on Tuesday, so I cycled up to the train station, bought a two-way ticket and hopped on the train. I have to say, even though I wasn't cycling, it was very enjoyable to be able to really soak in the awe-inspiring views around me, without having to keep my eyes on the road, or worrying about steering and pedaling. And of course, without swallowing bugs that kept insisting on committing harikiri by diving down my throat.
This gives me a few days to recuperate a little from the 254 kilometres cycled so far.
Now I just have to figure out how to organize another bicycle. I'm working on that, and I guess I'll be updating everyone over the next day or so.
Wish me luck :-).
See you all on another road.