A Round the World Cycle
There are times when you tentatively leave the house in a half-hearted fashion, going through the motions of trying to keep yourself in shape and just getting out on the bike. For this story we have to go back to early June and a day or so after the Bank holiday. What an awful day that was! We actually had the fire on. It was like mid winter! Wet, dark, windy and cold. I waited until about Wednesday when things had calmed down nicely and headed out towards the Knocknagoshel area to explore a couple of roads I had on my to do list. The roads didn’t disappoint. Rough and ready and offering different options for “adventure”rides!
I decided to head to Castleisland down the steep Glounsharoon hill and have a coffee and snack at the local caves nearby. on arrival I noticed a bike loaded up with panniers and on an advenure. I don’t know about anyone else, it makes me very interested as to what the owner is up to. Once settled with my coffee I surveyed the area and spotted the potential owner. A guy in his 20’s, looking on the slightly weathered side. “Cycling far?” I asked. “Yes, round the World” came the reply. Time to drop everything and move in for a closer chat.
It transpired the guy’s name was James Johnson from London, and he was into his final weeks of his year-long journey on the road. He had flown into Shannon on Monday, yes that awful Monday that had us rushing for the logs and turf. Pitched the tent near Limerick and spent the day and night inside sheltering in some field. He had nothing to do, as his kindle had just broke. He had cycled to Castleisland hoping to tick off one of his bucket list do’s of sleeping in a cave. He was soon to find out these caves don’t do lodgers. So he wild camped in a field close by only to spend most of the Wednesday in reflective mood, trying to trace long-lost relatives in Killarney.
After a few tales and a run down on places where he’s been it was time for me to move on. I passed on my number just incase those long-lost relatives remained lost! As it transpired they did and he was in touch within a couple of hours. He then made short work of the trip to Tralee. On arrival he had his first shower in about 3 weeks (which made my teenage daughter cringe) and I’d like to think a bit of comfort away from a damp tent and sleeping bag.
With a character like that comes the stories and adventures. So he filled us in on his 2 weeks living penniless in a park in Tbilisi, Georgia due to a lost credit card. There he was taken in by professional protesters, protesting against a hotel that was to be built-in the City park. James learnt a lot from them. Then the trek of a life time in the Himalayas, where if it wasn’t for altitude sickness he could very well have been amongst the poor people who perished last October in the area due to an avalanche.
The Far East seemed routeen enough for him, apart from the lonliness of not having too many English speaking people around. After a flight to LA he then cycled across the US without spending a dime on accommodation and ticked off another bucket list idea. This one was to eat road kill. In this case a rattle snake! He kept the skin as a souvenir and yes it tasted like chicken! The next morning out of curiosity I gave his bike a clean and adjusted the brake and gear cables. He had been told in Texas that the bottom bracket might not get him to the end of the road, but he was willing to take that chance.
Our next move was to get him on to the Ring of Kerry, as the original plan was to meet a friend in Killarney and cycle it around to Kenmare, before heading off to Cork-Waterford-Dublin-Wales and finally London. We took the shorter route to Killorglin were on arrival we wolfed down some coffee and pastries in Jacks before meeting his mate on the Laune bridge. I have to say I was impressed by his cycling. He made easy work of the trip to Killorglin, which as most people know, involves a tasty 5 km climb.
So that was it. My part in a Round the World Cycle, all be it from Tralee to Killorglin!
Before I forget, James’ adventure in online at James Vs World.
By the pushbikeblogger.