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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Went up to Dublin this weekend. The weather forecast was OK for three days on the trot, so took the bike. Had all day to get there, so took the coast road rather than the new-fangled motorway that they're driving through the midlands.
Left home about 10:30am, sunny, warm-ish. Got east of Cork city and it got cold and gloomy. Bluddy weather forecasters. Had intended to take pictures en route, but light was rubbish. Rode on. Mid-day stopped in Dungarvan for fuel and a coffee at a bleak windswept petrol station overlooking Dungarvan Harbour. Began to wonder why I hadn't biked to Cork and got the train up.
Realised I had left I-pod at home. Began to wonder why I hadn't taken the car. Would have remembered the I-pod, because wouldn't have to have remembered boots, jacket, bike lock, helmet, gloves etc.
Dark clouds gathering east and I was in leathers, not real dirty-weather gear. Began to wonder why I hadn't driven the car to the airport and flown there. Would have been there by now.
Rode on towards Waterford. The Monavullagh Mountains stick up just east of Dungarvan, and there's a great climb and then zig-zag descent. Unfortunately a sea mist rolled in so you'll have to guess what it looks like. Picture a high-up place looking down a bendy, twisty mountain road, with the sea to the right.
Found Waterford by chance. Clouds rolling in from the East (unusual... that they're from the east, that is, not that there are clouds) generally lowered visibility to about 100 yards. Lots of photo opportunities didn't present themselves.
Sod this coast-road lark, I thought to myself, so the first sign to Dublin I followed. Up the N9 through Kilkenny and Carlow, stopped for a refuel somewhere, but it was so remarkable I've forgotten where it was, hit the M7 just east of Newbridge and was in Dublin for half four, just in time for the rain to start. Hotel I was staying in was in Dun Laoghaire. Fortunately had an underground car-park. Magic. Tucked bike up in bed. Had already negotiated a B&B price for a 4* hotel, got to Reception and I'd been upgraded to a sea-view, executive, "extra chocolate biscuits and a trouser press" room, so was quite happy.
Went out, ate, drank, watched Arsenal lose FA Cup semi-final to Chelsea by playing like zombies, and generally made merry.
Got back to hotel. Bright idea of putting leathers in trouser press. Fortunately fell asleep before motor functions kicked in.
Woke fresh as a daisy, attended my writing seminar that I'd come here for, ate, drank and made merry, but resolved to go to bed early. Due respect for the road etc etc.
In bed at 10:30. Pounding music coming from function room two floors below. Never mind, will finish soon...
Still awake at 11:30. Ah, well. They're pretty relaxed about closing times here... Don't be such an old git...
Still awake at 12:00. Fer fecks' sake.
Still awake at 12:30. Enough. Calls to reception, talks to hotel manager, offers of a new room (what? At one o'clock in the morning you're going to move me to a different part of the hotel? I've [ostensibly] been in bed for two and half hours. WtheF are you talking about?)
Have difficulty hearing night-manager's reply over soundtrack of large Afro-American Bronx-born individual inciting me to "move-it-move-it" through the vibrating carpet beneath the soles of my feet, but do make out mumbles of "it's going to end at 1:30 sir".
Assure unhappy and profusely apologetic (I must be the 50th call) hotel-chain, short-straw-drawing, employee that I will resolve issue to my satisfaction in the morning and hang up.
Hear the slow numbers start and realise they must be near the end. Relax a little. Bit of a flourish to the end with some trad numbers. I've always loved Galway Girl, for reasons that would be obvious if you saw my other half, but just not through two floors of reinforced concrete and some plate glass two hours after you wanted to be asleep. It kinda fecks up the acoustics...
Resolve the issue to my satisfaction in the morning, and jump aboard. For some reason, inspite of having only had five hours sleep, actually feel quite fresh. Maybe it's the sun...

..overlooking Dun Laoghaire harbour.
Set off, and resolve to do the coast road proper, so ride down past Powerscourt, the Sugar Loaf, through the Devil's Glen. Stunning roads. Glimpses of the sea on the left, the Wicklow mountains on the right. Past Wicklow, Arklow, on into Wexford. Stopped in Clonroche for a fuel/coffee break. Lots of bikers on the road. Passed a Harley and a lime green trike riding together just north of Wicklow. Saw many riding the opposite way. Few acknowledged my nod. Hmmmm, thought that was universal...:confused:.

(Only one squeaky moment as a country gent decided to amble across the road at the top of a hill. I saw him start across from a long way off, and started to ease off, but either he didn't see me, or didn't care, just kept ambling. At 60 yards away and closing at 30 yards a second I decided to pass behind him rather than in front of him, reasoning that it would take him more time to turn round and run back the other way than carry on. Fortunately the old geezer came to the same conclusion and exhibited a startling propensity for acceleration when he finally clocked that the single headlight coming up the hill towards him wasn't Seamus's one-eyed Ferguson 20 doing 8 miles an hour.)

Anyway, then down through Enniscorthy, New Ross and into Waterford again. Cold but clear and sunny, riding hard and really enjoying it, and I'd got to Cork before I realised that I hadn't taken any photographs. Refuel just west of Cork city. As I stand rehydrating and clearing the bugs off my visor on the garage forecourt, about thirty bikes go one way, and about fifty go the other. Hmmm. Lot of bikes about today, I think to myself.
Jump back on, on the home stretch, and run into traffic.
The reason why, I find out, is that the West Cork Motorcycle Club have closed the road and are drag racing up the airport bypass.
Hmmm... Going to be home a bit later than I thought...

Lots of sport bikes howling up and down the fourlane. Thought of entering my poor old workhorse...

...but figured the rucksacks were less than entirely aerodynamic.
Wandered round the paddock and found this...

Thought it was horribly clean and shiny, and then realised it was brand new, with 09 Cork plates on, so come on - don't be shy!

Took a few other photos, part II...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
From sea to shining sea... Part II

Also in the paddock was this fine, thirty-seven year old machine...
DSC_00600001.JPG

Now, any guesses as to what this might be?
49'er left0001.JPG
49'er right0001.JPG
49'er rear0001.JPG

Yes, that 1949 numberplate is genuine. I chatted with the owner for a while and he said that it starts first kick very time. He jumped on, kicked it, and it started. He then rode off into the encroaching sunset, at which point, I thought I should too.

I got home and reviewed the contents of the camera. I hadn't really taken many scenic shots, I realised. So I went up the hill behind the back door and took this one. Spoiled. That's what I am.

Back door0001_1.JPG

From sea to shining sea. See?
 

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2004 Daytona 955i, 2018 Indian Roadmaster, 1980 CB650C in resto
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I hope the sense of humor in your writing was with you for the whole trip! Great story!
 
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