June 14 – July 5 (with Mike and Marie returning June 24)
Around parts of Ireland, landing in Shannon.
What to Expect
As everyone points out to me, this trip will be different than my typical bike trip, for a variety of reasons. I’m used to buying maps at the airport when I land, doing what I want, when I want, and dealing with adversity along the way. In touring I’m close to 100% self-sufficient on a day-to-day basis.
Part of the preparation for this trip is going to try to end up with something that works for those who are going that still, to me, encompasses "touring". Factors include but aren’t limited in comfort level, costs, and pre-planning at the very least!
And that doesn’t even include what to see along the way (You mean there are other things than castles in Ireland?)
What you need
Well, that’s the purpose of the rest of this. In many cases I’ve included notes to the actual equipment I use. In general, my focus for my gear has become light, light, light. However, that’s not really a requirement. I think since I started I’ve replaced one to two items each trip to decrease weight in order to get where I’m at, and spread the cost out over time. But the first trip was 4,500 miles, and I survived with all my non-high-tech stuff so there’s a lot of ground in-between.
That being said, equipment cost is likely to be non-negligible. Most everyone has some basic camping equipment, so the cost there is likely to be primarily either panniers or a trailer (pannier vs. trailer is a cycling religious debate).
Airfare to Ireland was $650-$750.
Food costs are likely to vary depending on the decisions as to where food is coming from. I tend to make and prepare all of my own food, for money reasons, dietary reasons, and because, when cycling, I eat a LOT more food. My expectation at the moment is breakfast and lunch as a group, and dinner being more up for grabs.
Lodging costs will again, vary based on the decision for where and how we’re staying. Advantages to camping include a much lower per night cost, and being able to find a place to stay for a crowd of people. Minuses include needing to have camping equipment, being slightly more limited on where we can stop (Ireland has a LOT of B&Bs), and more vulnerable to the weather (although I think every campground I stayed at had a fairly large indoor or sheltered area).
My current thought is to stay at a nice hostel/hotel (which I’ve stayed at before) right outside of Shannon on the first and last nights, and mostly camp for the other nights. Some of that will also depend on what I end up looking at for a route.
Really, there don’t appear to be a lot of people I can talk into this. Those having expressed some at least vague interest in going:
- *Rick & Marnie
- *Mike & Marie
- Galen & Lila (who I think we’re going to lose due to children)
- Andrew & Kristina
- Jennifer El-Sherif (my now 16 Ironman cousin)