DestinationIona Bicycle Ride

August/September. 5 capital cities, 4 ferries, 3 ancient Celtic centres, 2 wheels, and 1 train, now that is what I call sustainability. And to add to the gloss how about a hammock thrown in. The journey can be found at in photo and video form or simply go to my Facebook page for a watered down version. What made this journey more special was the fact that I visited various environmental projects along the way including a few botanical gardens. There are some stunning images of flowers and plants; plus some real funky stuff happening at The Green Gathering in Chepstow, Coed Hills in Cardiff and Tipi Valley further north. My only regret is not staying one day longer in Edinburgh during the Vote for Independence and visiting the gardens there as the alternative motive. A video blog will be produced and this journey’s write-up will be found on an alternative platform in the future. It is in my interest to continue cycling around the world and I have Catalonia to Africa in mind for this winter in spite the Ebola breakout. I am always meeting cyclists on the road and the possibility to collaborate with cycling organisations abroad looks promising. Any budding cyclists should come forward.

Beyond the rooftops there’s a mountain, and beyond that a sky
Beneath of which flutters a bird above the arboreal hillside
There’s a stream of smoke wandering, a shadow behind a window wondering
Below meandering through a gravel scree the tinkling of a spring
A car motor onwards direct in its object of destination
It hoots and flashes with intent its motive of deliberation
Beneath is a road that’s lifeless, an encroaching weed its enemy
It bakes in the summer and cracks in the winter in its oily indifferent melee
There’s a cyclist who travels the world carrying what little to boot he needs
But most of all he shares in his experiences and his most adventurous deeds
The people come out to greet him from behind their doors and windows
In their own small words they reminisce of a life they remember as a child who grows
They want to be free and travel and dream of flying the open air
But always they must return to the eaves and sills of their cagey lairs
When will they let go of their material possessions? Can they buy a holiday to the sun?
They are anchored in the roots of a tragedy that binds their hands and feet as one
Sinking ever further into the floorboards beneath the layers of their wrath
They can all but let go if they would even dare to join the cyclist in his laugh
But to keep him here just a little longer to see what material goods are on show
Surely the cyclist will stay and dither and plant a little lower his own soul
Oh no, he has foreseen these lonely trappings, he smiles and waves goodbye
Wondering if ever just one will leave it all behind without so much a sigh
Every valley opens her groins to receive him as a fish would follow the rivers
They kiss his feet in the Boine as a memorial his brief presence delivers
A protruding rocky fort gives him protection against her moist enveloping clouds descending
So that in his sleep he may travel into her most dark secrets as an eternal child returning
With the rising sun so Dunaad offers him shelter from the wind, a trio of horned sheep to witness
The shod foot sunken into the footprint of his ancestral grave sealed with a deathly kiss
Upon the steppy slopes of Aintree the giants prepared the way millennia in advance
So that the descent into the sea is marked with a volcanic heritage, the world of man in penance
The eruption is deep enough to cause division and strife among the floundering masses that pretend reverence
But the wise traveller who always returns to the caves of antiquity knows better than to brandish a needling lance
Instead he enters the great womb of the land’s boggy interior feeling his way back in the familiar darkness
And lays down his head into her peaty cushions and drinks of the knowledge in quiescense
These mnemonic waters washing from him any cultural bonds that might embark him into political angst
Close up the boundaries between north and south so that every hill is a dimple of thanks
Could the cyclist repair the rent that so religiously tears at the fabric of the earth?
If only to return the Scotti into Dalriadic ecstasy in the name of spiritual rebirth
Will the castles now ruined be reconstructed into pilgrimage sites of reconciliation?
In order that Ireland and Scotland will remember again its roots as a single nation