Drude Rides Ireland

 

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Background

When riding the ~900 miles from John O'Groats to Land's End with my friend Andreas in ten days back in 1995, we raised over £3000 for the cancer charity causes. It showed what was possible so, rather than pass my fortieth birthday celebrations with a social gathering, another endurance ride seemed to be a more memorable event. It had the bonus of achieving some benefits for those charities that we'd helped before.

I picked Ireland as it's a place we've come to love over many holidays, since our first trip back in 1990, with its beguiling mix of wonderful scenery, charming people, relaxed atmosphere and good pubs. We've also taken our bikes over on many of those holidays, so know that it's a great place to cycle, although very much at the mercy of the weather, just as in Britain.

Before we go much further, some of you may wonder where this ridiculous Drude nickname came from. It's entirely stolen from the maverick musician and all-round loveable loon, Julian Cope, the self-proclaimed Arch-Drude of Wessex. Given my interest in Ancient Britain and the mysteries of all things neolithic, I thought I'd claim the Chiltern end of the Ridgeway for myself, as we lived nearby, and so I became the Arch-Drude of Eaton Bray, shortened to BrayDrude as my pseudonym in cyberspace. Having since migrated a little closer to my roots in the North West, and resident on the English\Welsh borders, I've adopted the role of ArchDrude of Mercia. So, it's this daft amalgam of druid and rock 'n' roll dude. As The Drude, I continued such daftness into this ride.

See the Links page for some musical connections that you may enjoy following - although Back In The Saddle may seem appropriate, there are no extra plugs for Aerosmith. Most of you will already have heard of them, but you get the idea that it's easy to come up with a soundtrack. I'm sure that (amongst others) singing some Waterboys or Tragically Hip songs were an important part of encouraging myself on the more challenging sections of road, such as going up the Connor Pass on the way to Dingle, with some of Ireland's wonderful landscape and ancient monuments to enjoy along the way too.