After a full nights sleep I was up early for a breakfast fit for a king prepared by Richard.
He brought in his new bike for me to have a good look at . A super Kalkoff electric bike which he has just taken delivery of. A beautiful machine. (NOTE TO SELF! GET AN ELECTRIC BIKE SOMEDAY). It's a lovely machine that does about 125miles to a full charge on a particular Eco setting. He is very proud of it and rightly so.
He transported myself and my bags to the start line and we said our goodbyes. Hope we will keep in touch. in fact I know we will.
The morning at the start was cool and sunny but had a lot of heavy showers in the vicinity. Stood in during the showers waiting for our start time which should have been 9.30 but moved out to 10.30.
Standing around give us all a chance to meet and catch up on all ther craic from last night.
Riding out of Derry today and heading for Enniskillen via Omagh. 98km
We are about 300 strong and riding two by two we stretched for a long way. The PSNI (Police) were brilliant. They escorted us all the way and were there in all the towns and villages along the way. The roads were narrow and we were causing huge tailbacks but the motorists were very patient. When we pulled over the tailback took about 20 minutes to pass. I feel comfortable in the group, even though there are some inexperienced cyclists in the group. The marshalls are good and seem under strict instruction to keep things under control.
The weather is still very changeable. Sporadic locally very heavy showers . We caught about half of them. But somehow it wasn't as bad a yesterday. The temperature was slightly up and there wasn't that icy wind that froze us to the core. And when the sun did make some short appearances it was warm. Everyone's mood is changing with the weather and we are told to expect dry days for tomorrow and Friday . BRING IT ON I SAY.
Rolling in to the college in Omagh we were greeted by a huge crowd of pupils and parents all lining the roadway at the approaches to the school. I never get used to that experience. Lunch was pasta and tea and coffee. Most welcome.
I have to be extra careful with my bike and where I leave it. Cause it's not unusual to find five or six bikes leaning against mine when I come out. Im proud of Lullabelle and I want her to take me all the way around so i need to be kind to her.
With the slight improvement in the temperature there is a bit more craic on the road and it's getting more fun.
Arriving (in the rain once again) into Enniskillen we are all tired and hungry. It's 7.30 in the evening and most want to get to their digs, get showered and hopefully, fed.
We were given tubs of ice cream by the students of the school and tea and coffee before being united
with our home stay hosts.
Estelle and Arthur and Joseph and Joe fellow travellers
I'm staying with Estelle and Arthur along with two other cyclists, Joseph and Joe. Arthur has made roast beef and roasties.....delicious . Followed by apple crumble and custard and cream. I had seconds of both.....I'm a growing boy ;-))
After a lovely evening with a few beers I'm happy to turn in.
Some of the guys on the trip
Ray and Joe and me (eating something)
Dave, Gavin, Dermot, Niall, Richie and Steve
Kathleen (super gran) has done this 3 times!
I'm loving this trip now. Looking forward to the rest of the trip. Things can only get better.