I got my bag back about 30 minutes after posting yesterday’s blog post! The system works: one of the crew noticed the bag in the morning and dropped it over to the night bag truck. I was very glad of it as I could put on long cycling trousers instead of the thin summer shorts – with that weather I needed them!

Even better, Anne-Marie and her brother, David, came up to cheer us on at the start. She brought a goodie bag for me in case I hadn’t my own bag back, awesome stuff. She’ll be joining us in Cork after finishing some exams and will be with us all the way up to Dublin 🙂

Yesterday was a dreary wet day, but a fairly easy spin from Birr to Limerick. I had some tricky mechanical issues that stopped me using half the rear cassette gears. This resulted in the lads from City Cycles giving me a spare bike for the afternoon leg. I’m hoping they can repair the broken shifter so I can continue on my own. If it can be fixed they’ll manage it. 

It’s amazing how your spirits can go up and down so easily with minor things. Cycling out of Longford I was pissed off about being late and not being sure about my bag. I was cycling with a  guy who had once run a business employing more than twenty people but which had disappeared with the recession, leaving him to have to lay everyone off and sell the family home.

He told me he looked down from a motorway bridge, but thankfully couldn’t make his fingers let go. 

Fuck the bag, really!

I have had some very deep and meaningful chats with some people,  and just had the craic with others. The talking makes the miles fly by unnoticed. 

The constant is that everyone has their own story. Many, sadly, are cycling in remembrance of a loved one, others in fear for someone going through a bad patch right now. I’m cycling against depression – I’ve written a bit about that here – Cycling against depression.
I believe in the message of Cycle Against Suicide, I think that people need to know that it’s ok to look for help when they’re feeling crap. 

You can talk to a trusted friend or one of the many trained professionals from the organisations that are out there to support people who need to talk to someone – you can find a list of phone numbers here:  

It’s looking good out there, onward to Tralee!