Hello to old friends and new - CycleBlaze

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Hello to old friends and new

Emmet Farrell

hi all,

I only recently became aware of this site, having been away from the bike touring community elsewhere, and not having had a bike tour for a few years. 

Looking forward to the new year when hopefully I will be able to plan some bicycle travel, and to journal it here.

I'm out of touch with all the latest news! Do we still debate vbrakes vs discs? Marathons vs goat heads? Helmets vs statistics? Dynamo vs batteries?

Looking forward to some good discussions. 

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1 month ago
Graham SmithTo Emmet Farrell

Hi Emmet,

Great to see you pedal onto CycleBlaze with a flurry of questions. Welcome.   
Did you get to do the tour in Croatia you were planning?  

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1 month ago
Emmet FarrellTo Graham Smith

hi Graham,

I made it to Croatia. We ate a lot and drank even more. Cycling... Not so much :D

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1 month ago
Graham SmithTo Emmet Farrell

Emmet it’s always good to set priorities when cycle touring, and my list usually has drinking, eating well and having fun higher on the list than pedalling heroic distances. So well done you. 

How’s the cycle touring situation in Ireland at this stage of the evolving COVID19 situation? (Assuming you are still in Ireland) 

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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Emmet Farrell

Welcome to the site, Emmet.  A shame you didn’t bike more (or at all?) in Croatia.  We were there for two months this fall (https://www.cycleblaze.com/journals/zagreb2020/).  Ate our share, drank a bit less, biked a lot.  It was awesome.

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1 month ago
Emmet FarrellTo Graham Smith

Hi Graham,

We ended up going to Dubrovnik for a wedding, so that was the main anchor reason for going, and between all the parties and festivities, we kind of forgot to cycle anywhere!

Yes indeed, still in Ireland. Well the weather is never great here and December is not the best time even by our standards! 

As for cycle touring, I guess it would be just about possible, we are "locked down" to some degree though being outdoors and alone / socially distanced would probably not raise too many eyebrows. 

The main issue is probably food and accomodation. Supermarkets and some restaurants are open but the restaurant situation is patchy and based on rules. Hotels I would pretty much expect for the moment are effectively closed to casual traveling, though they are technically open.

Restrictions are set to ease in the coming week or so ahead of Christmas, though with warnings left right and centre about getting too close! 

However I do expect that by the time the weather is reasonable again - i.e. May onwards, we will hopefully be back to some level of normality. The vaccine will begin to be rolled out here very soon, though it will take months to get everyone, and even then, it is unknown if that will truly "solve" the issue.

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1 month ago
Emmet FarrellTo Scott Anderson

Hi Scott,

thanks! Yes, I visited Dubrovnik a few years back though as said to Graham above it was centered around a friend's wedding and in the end we decided to focus on that and not add any pressure of climbing the hills - OMG the hills around that place!

I'll hopefully get a chance to go through your journal over the weekend. I've only just discovered this website having looked for some old contacts that I knew from another touring website but seems to be in decline and losing people. 

This seems like a refresh, new interface, more mobile friendly, which for me is important, and seems like Graham, Leo and others made it over here, so kind of like "home".

Cheers!

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1 month ago
Graham SmithTo Emmet Farrell

Emmet your post brings back precious memories. My (now) wife and I spontaneously jumped off (in Dubrovnik) a 1989 ferry to Italy from Greece. The rest is history. 

The Berlin Wall fell, The Balkans War. Decades passed. Marriage, kids, career etc 

All of that but we didn’t ever cycle tour in Croatia. The Croatian hills and traffic looked too daunting. We stored our bikes with a lovely family in Dubrovnik and jumped on a train to Austria. We did eventually return to Dubrovnik, reclaimed our bikes and cycled to the Brittany coast. There we waited for a ferry. 

Plymouth or Ireland? Whatever boat turned up first we would board. We ended up in Plymouth and cycled to Oxford.

With the clarity of 20:20 hindsight I wish we’d waited for the ferry to Ireland back in 1989. 

 

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1 month ago
Emmet FarrellTo Graham Smith

Graham, that's a big claim. I'm all for the butterfly effect and even in these political fake news times, the claim that hopping off a ferry instigated the fall of the Berlin wall and war in the Balkans... a bit of a reach! 

:P

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1 month ago
Graham SmithTo Emmet Farrell

Emmet never underestimate the ripple impact of two badly loaded touring 1989 bikes gormlessly rolling into Dubrovnik. We plead guilty. We ended the Cold War, started the bike packing trend, and ensured the cheapest, best ever ice cream outside of NZ . :)😂

  

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1 month ago