A request by Andrea Ellis to take part in a charity cycle on the Waterford Greenway in aid of The Jack & Jill Foundation had to be supported and provided the motivation to complete the section from The Quays in Waterford to Kilmacthomas.
Weather held up and a slightly crosswind was no impediment to progress.
Two groups set out to meet in the middle, the second group starting in Dungarvan. The event was hosted by Bank Of Ireland and it was great to start from the Branch where Waterford Blaas and sausages were provided before we set out! Nice goody bags provided too and all while supporting a good cause. Nice to meet Hugo Jellett, formerly of Carlow Arts Festival too who gave a short chat on behalf of the Foundation.
The Blaa is unique to Waterford and the name is protected by the European Commission as a local product under the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) – just like Champagne can only come from the Champagne region of France!
The cycling was easy, these old rail routes are always relatively flat and straight and the section completed today pales in comparison with the Kilmacthomas to Dungarvan section.
Return distance today was 48kms.
Journalist and Author Malachai O Doherty in his book ‘On My Own Two Wheels’ wrote about getting back in the saddle at 60. A good read and he describes cycling on the Western Greenway as ‘boring and tedious. I wondered how this could possibly have given such pleasure to Ethical Traveller, the Irish Times writer who had covered it on an electric bike’. Having cycled now on Greenways in Ireland and France I can understand his point of view. The Greenways are linear and for long sections can be between steeped banks which restrict views. The Waterford Greenway has sections like that but not too much and the views along the River Suir are the best part of the first section; the Kilmac to Dungarvan section is a wonderfully scenic section. The activity along the route is proof of its success in getting people out and active and while it is not for everyone it is a massive resource for Waterford that has regenerated Kilmacthomas in particular. The Waterford Greenway is going from strength to strength and will continue to attract increasing numbers of visitors as it develops in the years ahead. I will be back!