BY SEÁN P. FEENY
AN award-winning blogger and author began cycling the Wild Atlantic Way on a wooden bike and is inviting Donegal cyclists to join him.
On Monday morning Waterford man Mark Graham started the 2,500km journey along the new tourism route which he hopes to complete in eight weeks.
With support from Discover Ireland, The Irish Independent and RTÉ’s Marian Finucane Show decided he wanted to give a first-hand account of what it is like to travel the Wild Atlantic Way. “There have been a lot of articles about the Wild Atlantic Way already, of course, but I felt there weren’t many first-hand accounts and what better way to travel the route than by bicycle. It’s the best way to get to see places,” he said.
Mark is cycling the Wild Atlantic Way on a Woodelo Performance Wooden Bicycle which are made by a friend of his in County Tipperary.
“My friend in Drangan, Thurles makes hurleys and decided to started marking bicycles, carving the pieces for the frame out of ash and joining them. It’s top-notch and I have more fear of my body giving up on me than the bicycle,” he laughed.
Over the past week the former Irish Times columnist travelled down from Inishowen, through North Donegal and made his way to Gortahork tonight (Thursday).Only into the journey a few days and Mark said he has already been on some of the most beautiful routes he has ever cycled on. And this comes from a man who has cycled across the French Pyrenees and from Bangkok to Hanoi in Vietnam.
“From what I have seen so far this week the routes I have been on are as nice, if not nicer than anywhere I have been before,” he said.
Mark has been to Donegal on a number of occasions, including visits while he was writing his book, A Year Of Festivals in Ireland (New Island Books), for which he visited over 180 events in one year, including Earagail Arts Festival and a number of festivals in Ardara.
Don’t miss tomorrow’s Donegal News on Friday print edition for the full interview with Mark Graham.