Life breaks all of us and after we are strong in the broken places. Hemingway
It was lovely to meet Adrian today and to find him recovering so well. We all have accidents on the bike but it's how we recover that matters. The one thing that never seems to change is the love of cycling. When I was hit by the truck in 2000 the first and only question I asked Mr Nasser, the Consultant in the Louth, was "when can I get back cycling again"? Mr Nasser didn't know I had worked in Saudi Arabia and thus had a smattering of Arabic. So I can safely say that the next words out of his mouth can be loosely translated as "headcase"! "Shukran gezilan", sez I, thank you very much.
Anyhow, we had a great old chat with Adrian in Strandfield House. My group, the sensible group, was the first to reach it and find him there. Then the strong group arrived, having done Hilltown, Rostrevor, Warrenpoint and Newry. They had a tough cycle today because the headwind on the way to Rostrevor was brutal (I gather). Newry to Strandfield was a challenge as well because we took that route down from Meigh. (I abandoned the idea of going around the Peninsula as it would take too long).
I heard some very positive feedback about the loveliness of County Down and of course that made my day. It's a county we rarely visit but having spent years hill walking with the Wee Binnians I must admit I am very fond of it. In fact, after the lake in my home town Loughrea, Tollymore Forest Park near Newcastle is probably the second love of my life. I've gone to that Park, in good moods and bad moods, walked through the woods and sat beside the Meeting of the Waters (Shimna and Spinkwee) and always left renewed. It's one of the most beautiful places I know.
Stepping Stones in Tollymore

So it was good to hear that everyone enjoyed the cycle today because the forecast was not good. The balmy summer weather is well and truly gone yet 10 of us pulled out from Felda today and picked up another 3 at the Bridge. It's just great to get out every Saturday, regardless of the weather. I did find out today that some people think we only cycle from Felda to Strandfield, drink coffee and then cycle home again. One look at my records should prove otherwise as we range from 40k to 60k, and there are some who will take you for 100k. We are a serious bunch, most of the time. Allahu Akbar - God is Good.


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