Biking in the wind: Nate vs McKayla

This is a re-post from a section in our 2011 Ireland travels.  We got caught in a pretty big wind storm.  You can read each of our versions of the day.  We plan to do this type of blogging more in our upcoming world travels so let us know what you think.

Nate’s account: 

The ten miles back to Dingle were ten of the toughest miles I’ve ever biked.  If you weren’t pedaling, you were moving backwards or literally getting blown off the road.  I’ve been in hurricanes with less gusto.  We could actually see Dingle when the rain started, it couldn’t have been more than a half mile away.  Well a lot can happen in a half mile.  So now our 50 mph winds are accompanied by huge raindrops.  Oh what’s this? A bridge with ocean water blowing over it?  Hooray.  By the time we made it across the bridge I couldn’t see out of my sunglasses but I didn’t dare take them off and risk getting sea water and rain pressure washed into my eyes.
At this point I was yelling and cursing into the storm as loud as I could looking for the first pub I could find to take refuge.  When I looked back to check on McKayla she was as miserable as I’d ever seen her and with a sad desperation in her voice she yelled, “Let’s stay in that B&B!  I’ll put it on my credit card!  Let’s just get out of this.”
I couldn’t help but laugh, she was absolutely right and the sincerity in her face told all; it was time to get out of this shit.
The woman at the front dest answered and very quickly and sympathetically lowered her price to 30 euro per person.  They took us in and got us a room immediately even though we had no cash on us.  Which was the only form of payment they accepted.  “You can pay me in the morning, no worries.”
Within ten minutes we were signed in with everything inside but the bikes.  They’d given us a lower level room with a terrace so I could pull the bikes around, unload, and hop inside.  Hot showers, hot tea, sandwiches, and Irish Harry Potter.
By the time we were ready for dinner the wind was still kicking but the rain had mostly given up.  We split a shepherds pie and an order of mussels with a white garlic sauce, mmmmm…   Afterwards we went out for a pint and saw the same couple we sat next to in the restaurant.  Leeanne and Jake from D.C. were on a week long vacation.  We had a few pints and talked for a while.  I think McKayla and I convinced them to take a trip to Glacier National park but you never know.
Dingle’s been nice but hopefully the weather will be nice enough to get the hell out of Dingle.  Get it?

McKayla’s Account:

    We should have known.  The day was calm when we arrived yesterday.
But the trees and shrubs grew slanted.
Frozen in eternal wind.
Just trying to grow up
when there is sheer force pushing them east.
Now as I pedal into that same force, I think about those trees.
We’ll never make it
traveling inch by inch
This must be a hurricane.
Then the sky opens and my face is being pelted by water drops.
My mouth is open, panting as I push my foot down again,
water flows in.
It tastes salty and wild.
I realize, the sea is accompaning the rain in the beating.
There are waves, big white caps emerge as the water curls over.
There should be no waves, this is a bay.
We turn left down a hill.
The wind is now to my side, trying to pust me into the ditch.
not trying,
success.I begin again and see Nate crossing a bridge.
Now I am agraid.
I beg the cross wind to allow me to cross.
I place my fingers ready at the breaks as I propel my bike onto the bridge.
a big gust
I break and crouch.
the gust subsides.
I’m still on the bike.
I’m still on the bridge.
I continue forward.
another gust.
I repeat.
I make it across and begin around the round about.
It spits me out to face the wind and rain once again.

Where is Nate?
My tired legs carry me to catch him.
Then we hit a wall.
Another gust forbidding us to pass.
And yet, we continue.
He’s not going to stop I realise.
He thinks we can make it over the pass in this.

I yell, “Nate!!!”
He can’t hear over the howling.
He stops.
“Let’s just get a B&B!  I’ll just put it on my credit card!”
My voice must’ve had more pleading in it than I had intended
because he laughs and agrees.


Categories: adventure, travel

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