Last Saturday morning Anthony was working so I headed off solo for the morning spin. Not feeling very motivated I decided to take the back road to Kilsheelan for the simple reason that I like to look at the colours of the leaves at this time of year, and there are plenty to see in the shadow of the Comeragh mountains.
Approaching the turnoff for Kilsheelan itself I considered the climb up Kearneys road but took the easy option and hung a left for the village and the prospect of a flat road home.
Crossing the River Suir I stopped to look at a few ducks in the water. Then I noticed the new path along by the river and became curious.
Over two years ago Alan Kelly came to Clonmel to announce that funding for a 20km Greenway between Clonmel and Carrick on Suir. Work on the Clonmel side seems to have slowed and I wondered how far down the work now was between Kilsheelan and Carrick on Suir 12km away. There was only one way to find out.
I rolled the Giant TCR Advanced 1 down onto the fresh tarmac but was soon squeezing the disc brakes as I approached an elderly lady with her dog on a long lead that was stretching across my path.
I remarked that the dog looked grand and warm in his dog blanket and we began to chat. She was well into her eighties and perhaps even nineties and I often find that people of that vintage call it like they see it. They are gone beyond political correctness and worrying about what others might say, which gives them a great freedom to speak their mind and offer some wonderful insights. When I am out on my own on the bike I like to stop to chat with people like that. They start up a conversation straight away and see no discomfort in chatting to a complete stranger. A few minutes and you set off on your way again and you both feel happier.
On I rolled along by the castle and followed the route of the old towpath down past the back of MSD. I decided to try sharing the experience on Facebook live and it became a little surreal as people posted comments, I answered verbally and they posted more comments in reply.
There I was, enjoying the silence of a traffic free environment, with just the sounds of the river flowing alongside for company in a very timeless moment, but at the same time conversing live with people all over the World.
Eventually I found myself on the outskirts of Carrick where the path narrowed and the pedestrian traffic increased, but I had made it all the way down.
Then Stephen Spratt, commenting from Murphys Law pub in Pattaya Thailand suggested that a lap of the town would be a good idea, this was OK but he was pushing the boat out a little too far with the suggestion of Seskin Hill. Rolling up the main street Spratty was picking out the finish line of the Nissan Classic outside John Hearns Hardware shop, a race that he was on the Irish national Team for.
On through Sean Kelly Square I soon found myself at the park back at the start of the greenway once again. There was no way I was facing the busy main road after the enjoyment of the traffic free environment so back up I headed along the bank of the river once more.
The wind that enabled me to float down like the tide was now against me but it was still an easy spin back up to Kilsheelan.
It was a fantastic place to cycle the bike once you get out past the pedestrian traffic where it is narrow and just like the Deise Greenway in Dungarvan perfectly suited to all types of leisure cyclists.
As Nike would say – Just do it !!
Here is a clip from Facebook live :