Tour de Ireland

A Cycling Fan’s Ride Around Ireland

Emmet Ryan

To my family

Author’s Note

Tour de Ireland – (A cycling fan’s ride around Ireland) is the story of an ordinary cycling fan’s journey around Ireland and into Ireland’s past, but it is also a journey into his sport. It represents a journey too from wanting to write this book to its realisation. I hope that you enjoy reading it as I have enjoyed writing it. Ireland and cycling is a perfect marriage. Both offer much, but together they give much more…

Emmet Ryan (2014)


‘…What they call their loyalty and their fidelity, I call either the lethargy of custom or their lack of imagination’

Oscar Wilde

How to avoid being a bit of a dick? You could start by not telling everyone you know that you’re going to ride your bike around Ireland, and then omit the act of riding your bike around Ireland. Or, you could actually ride your bike around Ireland, after you’ve told everyone that you’re going to ride your bike around Ireland. That’s the harder option, but it doesn’t guarantee that you’re really any less of a dick.

Mother of Divine Holiness – what are you actually doing? This would have been the opening question in the little chat I needed to have with myself, but the palm of my hand was pressing a peeled banana into my open gob when the thought came. I was late. I was running late at least and breakfast was running after me. I didn’t know where exactly I was going, but I knew I was late. Sleeping in on the day you intend to begin a bike ride around Ireland wasn’t an ideal start. Rushing out the door wasn’t either, but it was done and before the banana was down, I was on the road. The waiting was over. My plan had given birth to action –the umbilical cord severed by the shutting door behind me. My wheels were turning. I was out and gone.

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