Blog 9 – Cycling the ‘Meanway’ in Dungarvan

The close of the summer holidays saw myself, my friend and my two delightful teens go to Dungarvan for a few nights R n R. It was a mini-break just before school started. We had a few activities planned, a girl’s trip to Cork on one of the mornings, sea swimming was on the list and generally getting to know the sights and sounds of this lovely Waterford watering hole. All was well with the world.

One of these activities was to cycle the Dungarvan Greenway.

The sun was shining, we had our picnic packed and off we trotted to rent our bikes. The lovely man in the bike shop kitted us out and we were released into the wild.

Immediately I sensed growing anxiety as I pushed off from the shop into oncoming traffic. Panic and terror took over and I was to be found off the bike quicker than my son disappears when asked to do a chore.

Heart palpitations abated and I decided to walk with my bike to the greenway. I’ll be tots fine I told myself when I get to the safety of the greenway. I yelled at the others to go on ahead, I would catch up.

I got on the bike and shoved off at the start of the path. I figured it would only take me a few minutes to calm down, stop shaking and settle into what I envisioned to be a delightful afternoon, cruising down the path, chirpily ringing my bell at the other cyclists, a smile on my face and a song in my heart. I saw myself as a kind of Julie Andrews in the sound of music, back straight, gayly waving ‘how do’ to all and sundry as I beamed a smile to brighten their day.

Well, I wasn’t totally off point. There wasn’t so much a song in my heart as an anthem in my head but it was more ‘Symphony of Destruction’ by Megadeath rather than a Julie Andrews ditty.

The path immediately narrowed as I wobblily teetered forward and somehow the vision of oncoming traffic made me wobble even more.

There seemed to be a magnetic attraction for me on my deadly iron machine, and any and every other cyclist coming in my direction. As soon as I sighted a bike coming my way, the handlebars took over, began to quiver and shake, possessed by an epileptic ghost, and I was propelled straight into their path.

What was this strange madness that took over the propulsion of my bike? I persevered, but, as a teeny tine toddler approached me, with all the grace of a Tour de France yellow jersey rider, and my bike began its ‘Herbie’ like driving, I decided it was time to disembark. It was safest for all and sundry. I told myself that the little kids flying past me had a lower center of gravity and tried to bolster my crumbling ego.

Meanwhile, my friend and my kids were shooting off into the distance, enjoying the day and all delights the scenery had to offer.

I walked on, pushing my death machine uphill, sweat pulsing out of every pore and panting, I came upon a delightful bench, at a wonderful crossroads, with a magnificent view.

I sat my sorry ass down and petulantly decided that cycling was not for me.

It occurred to me also that there must have been a reason that I have not been on a bike in over thirty years when at the tender age of nineteen, I was gifted a bike for my birthday, I cycled it into college and it was promptly stolen before I finished the day’s studies. Thank you guardian angels or whoever is in the ether protecting me.

I lay down on the bench and channeled my inner hobo, letting the stress of the day’s activities wash away with the cool summer breeze. I watched as other competent bike riders of all ages and sizes whizzed past and I happily sat there resting.

My son appeared back to me at one point and encouraged me to continue but to no avail. I was ensconced on my bench, the view stretching out before me was soothing my frayed nerves and I declined his entreaties.

The Greenway was a Meanway and I had no interest in continuing. I picked up my fellow riders on their return journey and I managed somehow to get back to the start of the path, walk the bike back to the shop and delightfully and with glee handed it back.

The moral of the story, never ride possessed bikes, don’t continue with a journey if you’re not enjoying it, and cycling with get you very well acquainted with your anatomy.  

Try our new ‘Crystals For Healing’ bag by clicking this link.

The crystals in this bag are good for healing the mind, body and spirit. I needed it after my experience.

Breathing exercise:

I did a lot of deep belly breaths to calm my nerves.

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