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WILD ATLANTIC WAY AUDAX in batter with a chili dip. A Lucozade. Refuelled I make the turn for Dohoma. Once more into the wind. Gweesalia, at the start of a short loop to Dohoma, Meyrick outside a shop. He’s done the loop and is waiting for the others, Nick amongst them. I continue on, without getting something to eat. A mistake, for when I exit this loop the shop will be closed. Dohoma is quiet, though I note there are two pubs, one a little back up the road. Two young lads kick a football about. The leg to Blacksod lighthouse is much further than I think. I regret not stopping at the shops open when I pass. But nothing to be done. In Belmullet, kids are jumping off the bridge into the waters below. Such joy on their faces, their laughter echoes in my mind. I get a few greetings, including a well done keep going shout from Nick as I pass riders in opposite direction, me outbound a strong headwind to Blacksod, they on the return. Small greetings but they lift my day from the trough it had entered at the start. Blacksod is a wild and empty place. The lighthouse, a small beach, a few boats, a row of houses, a pub back up the road. I’ve been riding into a hoolie for a while, but here in the lea of the lighthouse all is calm. I go onto the pebbled beach, remove shoes and socks and let the waves lap over my feet. I absorb Blacksod past and present. There is a poignant connection with the Second World War and I think of the terror of those days, contrasted with this moment. Night layers on. I return with the wind. The sky turns black and not 200m from the lighthouse a storm envelops me. I’m buffeted and whipped by the heavy hail and

soon soaked, but the storm blows onwards within 20 minutes and I am clear of it. Near where the route splits in Belmullet I find an Indian. Sheesh kebab and cokes. I opt for 3 cokes to see me awake for the night section. I turn the phone on briefly and exchange messages with my wife and Idai. I get warm and dry. I’m feeling good with no physical issues and in good mental spirits. As I leave the Indian I meet Stu on his Elliptigo and a couple of riders heading out to Blacksod. Perhaps 2.5 hours behind. I take a photo as we chat. He’s in good spirits as well, and I feel warm knowing he’s doing just fine. Sadly I hear Andy may have had to stop. I pick up a tailwind as I leave civilization behind. I’m wired, the caffeine clearly having the desired effect. As I head out to Ceide the Neothlithic site I catch sight of a rider ahead. All is dark around, the only sound the waves crashing against the cliffs. I put on a spurt of speed, another rider for company would be good after spending most of my day alone after my mistake early on. I can see their PBP gilet in my lights, their taillight shines red. I crest a rise and they evaporate as morning dew in the sun. The blue cycle signs I’d seen either side of them have also faded from my vision. Further on, a lion crosses the narrow lane, illuminated by my lights. It turns to regard me for a moment, before continuing on its way. I come to a junction and need a wee. A car is coming on the other road, so I stop 20 yards short. I look to my left and there in front of me are little people made out of bushes, two girls and a boy. They smile at me, the boy puts a finger to his lips. Stay quiet whilst the car passes. Yet further on, a man

Stuart Blofeld, in good spirits, heading out to Blacksod Lighthouse

with a parachute hanging in a large tree on the left. He smiles at me, with affection in his eyes. Others lurk in the trees and shadows but do not fully resolve themselves in vision to me, though they stroke my senses. I am having hallucinations, for the first time. Something I’ve complained about to others before. At the lack of them! Normally I’ve just get sleepy on these long rides. Others have spoken of monsters and other such. But none of these are monsters. A profound and overwhelming calm settles over me, everything is going to be alright. In this night, with my friends watching over me, guiding me. I move across dimensions and realities with ease. I am the wild of the night, and wild of

Climbing the hairpins on Achill Island

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Arrivée Summer 2016 • No.133

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Arrivée 133 - Summer 2016  

Arrivée is the free magazine of Audax United Kingdom, the long distance cyclists’ association, which represents the Randonneurs Mondiaux in...

Arrivée 133 - Summer 2016  

Arrivée is the free magazine of Audax United Kingdom, the long distance cyclists’ association, which represents the Randonneurs Mondiaux in...

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