I am having insomnia right now, so I just bought my train tickets for the beginning of my cycling journey. I will board the 7:20 train from Dublin Heuston station for Waterford, and change trains there for Carrick-on-Suir, where I will begin my cycle. While the first day of cycling from Dublin to Glendalough is supposed to be fantastic, the journey from Glendalough all the way to Carrick-on-Suir is reportedly pretty boring, so I've decided to cut the first 4 days of the 35 day tour and get started just past Waterford. I'll arrive around noon.
My plan is then to follow roughly the route laid out in the Irish Cycling Guide grand tour, penned by Brendan Walsh in 1991--it came highly recommended by Irish cyclists; here's hoping its not hopelessly outdated!
I will skip the Dingle peninsula, shaving 3 further days off the trip, and Achill island (I've already been, and camped, there!), saving another day. Hopefully I can have a rest day once a week from doing this in order to keep from injuring my weakened knees. I also have physio tape, a bike fitted to me, and will be forgoing my typical clipless pedals in favour of regular shoes that won't lock the knee in place and cause strain if even slightly maladjusted. (I will take plenty of time to find clipless pedals that work for me before cycling across America in 2013, however, as I prefer using them.)
According to the bike fit guy I saw today, who also fits people for custom orthotics, my knee problems are caused by walking, not cycling. I think he's right; my knees only HURT after a 10 day vacation from the bike that involved a lot of walking. Before, it was only strain from overuse. Unfortunately, this means that I will require more physio, and custom insoles for my shoes in the meantime, when I return to the U.S. (as I won't have time for that between now and then... arrrrgh).
Anyway, I'll cycle clockwise around Ireland and then go up thru Donegal and into Northern Ireland. I hope to make it as far as Belfast, then take it easy there for a day or two and take a train home from there.
I may not be able to keep up with an average of 40 miles a day--I may not make it as far as Belfast, or I may feel the need to take shortcuts via train or bus along the way. I'll listen to my body, and my knees, but will not let my weaknesses prevent me from dreaming big and living large.
And my biggest weakness right now? Internet addiction.
Recently I've been consistently staying up till 2 or 3 am faffing about on the internet, usually watching youtube videos or compulsively checking facebook and forums. While there are cool, inspiring people on youtube (if it weren't for wheezywaiter and the vlogbrothers I wouldn't be making videos or blogging nearly as often, for example)--I usually run out of cool people to watch really quickly and degenerate into watching random clips from the "recommended videos" sidebar, jumping from clip to clip looking for my next fix. I'm such a junkie it's giving me headaches, blurred vision--I haven't cleaned my kitchen in ages, I've stopped doing my pushups/situps routine, and my sleep schedule has imploded.
I intend to quit the internet cold turkey on this trip, except for email and blogging.
I might get on facebook once or twice a week, but if it starts to be a daily thing I'll uninstall the app or give it up completely.
Having email on my phone means you can, theoretically, reach me on the road if you would like, either by leaving a comment on my blog posts or emailing me directly (jameverywhere at gmail).
I will be able to post short blog entries via phone as well, and intend to do so every-other-daily at the least.
I think nervousness for the fact that I'm leaving on Monday is part of my insomnia. The lazy me wants to put it off, but I just paid for my tickets, so I can't. I'm in it to win it now.
The sun is rising outside. I'm going to try to sleep again.