Wednesday 2 September 2009


Riding a bike is one of the best ways to get out into the country and actually experience the environment. You get the smells, the sounds, the fresh air and the weather. Of course there can be a downside .... the wildlife.

No cyclist is complete without their collection of shaggy, or should that be chasing, dog stories. Why country folk feel it's fine for Fido to play in the traffic is beyond me. It's not only a pain for the unsuspecting cyclist to have to suddenly switch to sprint mode when some mutt decides to dart out from his farmyard but it's dangerous too. I'm sure statistically there's not that many dog chasing bike related deaths or injuries but it feels like it sometimes.

However this weekends spin turned out to be a more varied menagerie for me. For a change no dog races his week. Instead it was a wasp and some chickens!

I was just heading out through Coolock when I met the wasp. Somehow it got under my collar. First I knew of it was the pain in my neck as the bugger stung me. I got him off pretty sharpish, without ending up in the traffic, but boy did it hurt. I haven't been stung since I was a kid and had forgotten how much pain there is. Thankfully there was no swelling or anything so I was able to go on.

Later in the ride, in a lane near the Nags Head, I came across a rustic scene I've not seen for a long time. Chickens pecking around out on the road/boithrin! There was a small yard on the right with the gate open and about ten or so chickens and ducks wandering about. Three of them were out over towards the left side. As I approached one of them made a dash for the gate but the other two reacted later. Just as I got to them they decided they should run for it too .. right across in front of me. I don't think any dog has come so close to taking me down. But at least they weren't shouting (barking!) about it.

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