When I woke I found that I had now gone back into cycle touring mode, I vowed to no longer give myself a bashing (just this once) and enjoy the day. It was sunny and there was a brilliant tailwind as I set off for Galway. I had never been there so I was looking forward to exploring when I reached it. I was loving riding my bike again. No more beating myself up and felt better in myself. I was again a cycle tourer, exploring new villages and towns, and service stations, chatting to people and managing to not feel rubbish about everything.
Freddie just hanging around at the bank….how much for Guinness and pizza in Galway when we get there?
I arrived into Galway in super quick time and found my, ridiculously overpriced, BnB on the edge of town. I had booked it for the night before but they wouldn’t let me cancel the booking so I said I would use it the following day. A short days riding only 80km but never mind. I walked back into town, had a Guinness to celebrate The Meg’s birthday (she was still battling like a trouper alongside Jenny Tough through the rough roads on the west coast not far from Kinsale). Izzy had also had an amazing 24 hours actually going back out into the storm at 2am in the morning. Philippa was also pushing on and Lucy too (I saw one picture of her face down at the top of a pass!), and still getting quite wet. Laura and Rishi were pushing on too. Rishi was struggling with knees and Laura with some really troublesome stomach pains I later discovered. Legends one and all :-).
The best thing about TAW for me was the amazing people I met on the journey and learning so much from them, seeing how they ride, what they go through and their different ways of approaching the rides. I know the lessons I learned from everyone will remain with me and help me in my own riding too.
I hung out in Galway, checked the route for the following day. I would ride straight through to Kinsale. Looked pretty straight forward – yes, perfectly straightforward, there would be absolutely no route problems tomorrow at all.