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Project Rás

I thought I was returning to Dublin after my stint of snowboarding in Colorado but I in fact landed on Planet Bike. This is a wonderful place that allows me to sleep and eat as much as I like while allowing me to feel productive and lose weight at the same time. Indeed, it seems like everything on this planet is turned on its head. My twenty euro winnings for placing sixth in a mid-tier race is an acceptable return on the thousands of euro I invest in the sport. In addition, everybody in this world gets to be a super-hero judging by the amount of lycra suits, how cool is that? Also, I don't feel poor when I spend absolutely all my money on my bike, instead I feel fantastic as I am now going 0.0002 kph faster (the marketing folk tell me that sport is all about the margins you see). I am so busy tinkering with my bike and dreaming about races that I have forgotten about my friends and even girls; on what other planet would it be possible to substitute a bike for human company and not feel lonely? This is a strange land but it's a deadly place for now.

There is one problem however, it's not sustainable as there is not enough oxygen here. For some reason I'm always gasping for more air. You would want to be a rare breed of mortal to live here long-term but for now I'm enjoying it. Now and again I defy gravity and cheat the wind and that makes me feel good as I escape the confines of my fleshly form. I don't know how long I will stay but it has always been a dream of mine to visit Planet Bike, so now that I'm here, I'll stick around for a bit.

The main reason I landed is because of the Rás (a gaelic word for race). This is an 8-day stage-race where riders race about 100 miles each day around Ireland. That in itself is an achievement but it doesn't help when they introduce a whole load of top quality foreign teams into the mix to make the race even faster and thus, much harder. It was because of the Rás that I returned to bike-racing (and likely Ireland). Well, while out riding in the depths of middle of nowhere places surrounded by anonymous landscape, the dude realised that as much fun as bike-touring is that his constitution is really made for racing. Honestly, if I could only get this competitive streak out of me my life would be a whole lot easier ... even if a whole lot different.

The next series of blog entries are about my next bike adventure, the Rás. It's not quite bike-touring but it's still traveling by bike, albeit in a blur.

I hope the form is mighty

the bionic dude

the dude awaits the start of the hill-test. Photo © Dany Blondeel - The Belgian Project

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