Aran SheridanLucy CarterMartin McMullan
read more about the authors
Blog ethics

Daydreams of a Cyclist...

Posted on April 22, 2010 @ 2:44 PM in Cycling

In the spring of my daydreams, I spin along quiet Northern Irish lanes.

The office and the city outside fade away and vivid cycling memories flash past in colours as bright and clear as the view of the Scottish coast from the Torr Head Road in April.

Gorse flowers yellow under a cobalt sky and fills the air with a faint scent of coconut. Then I am speeding downhill surrounded by blackthorn hedges, full of blossom, birdsong and the promise of summer to come. Next on I'm riding around Rathlin Island with my dad or skimming past the lakes and country houses of Fermanagh. Then there are the roads kissing the edge of Stangford Lough, it's drumlin studded waters as blue as the Adriatic in the afternoon sunshine.

If I'm feeling energetic, a climb across the lonely passes of the Sperrins or the Mournes might follow. Otherwise I might be sharing a Sunday afternoon train from back Portstewart with a gaggle of homeward-bound cyclists. We brag of miles ridden and summits conquered while remembering lying in the heather, bike cast aside, searching the cotton wool clouds for the tireless Skylarks.

Come to think of it, why am I dreaming about all this, rather than actually getting on my bike? There are so many choices for great cycling in Northern Ireland - from multi-day epics to gentle afternoon freewheels - and there are some brilliant ideas on this site. Using the Belfast-Londonderry rail line can seriously extend your range by opening up new starting points or offering a pedal-free return route. And if you are not lucky enough to live in Ireland the ferry and air connections are excellent.

This is a fantastic time of year for cycling, so I'll see you out there, making some new memories!!!

Tom Cooper is the author of Cycle Touring in Ireland. To buy the book, priced at £14.95, please click here.

Tom Cooper
Tom Cooper  Author of Cycle Touring in Ireland

Tom has worked as a journalist and editor for newspapers in both England and Australia. When he decided to explore Ireland by bike, he couldn’t find the guidebook he wanted. So he set out to write 'Cycle Touring in Ireland' to help others enjoy cycle touring as much as he does.

4 comments have been posted in reply to this article

Posted by Travel Medical Insurance on February 4, 2011 @ 3:44 AM

I have wondered about cycling vacations overseas. Is it better to ship your own bike over or to rent one when you get there. It seems like it would be less hassle to rent a bike once you are there, but then you wouldn't be used to it.

Posted by Beverley on February 7, 2011 @ 2:15 PM


It really depends on whether you would prefer to cycle on your own bicycle or not. There are a few companies that offer good road bikes for hire so it wouldn't be a problem to hire a bike here once you arrive.



Posted by rayban on September 22, 2011 @ 6:41 AM

I think the post is very good ,you look at it ,and you ?

Post a Comment

Name *

Email Address * (will not be published)

Comment *

Northern Ireland's Outdoor Adventure Blog