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I sometimes wonder do bicycles see sailing races the way humans see horse races.

Is a day at the boat racing in Kinvara( to the Purple Bicycle) akin to a day at Ascot for us mortals.

Ah Yes! The Purple Bicycle !(sister to the yellow bicycle)

Tall and elegant, prim and demanding,  she is everything the yellow bike is not.

A true Diva of the bicycle world.

And she is very fussy about where she travels.

She does not ‘do’ mud or wet or rough and will soon let me know if I force the issue.

Once I tried to take her along the royal canal as far as Mullingar hoping that because Leopold Blooms daughter(In James Joyce’s Ulysses) studied photography there, she would see it as a cultural outing!

How naive of me!

As the path became progressively muddier, she showed her disapproval with three successive punctures, at which point I used up all the tube patches and not wanting to be stranded with no means of mending yet another one, I turned her round and we headed back to Dublin’s leafy suburbs.

Needless to say once I turned her she picked up speed and even riding over a patch of brambles didn’t bring on a puncture.

Ah yes! As soon as we hit the first row of shops she happily admired herself in the glass as we sailed by and settled down to a steady pace.

She is truly a city bike except for that one exception.

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The Crinnui Na Mbad festival in Kinvara.

Crinnui Na mbad  (gathering of the boats). takes place every August in Kinvara Co Galway. A festival where Galway hookers(Traditional boats once used for ferrying turf,cattle and other livestock up and down the western seaboard), mostly from Connemara spend the weekend racing,

There are four classes. the ‘puchan'(the smallest) the gleotaoig( up to 28 ft) The ‘LeathBhad and the biggest of all the Hooker..


It is a glorious weekend of not only racing but also singing and dancing, music and craic. and the town of Kinvara is filled to to the gill’s with all sorts….including the purple bike.

For once she will not throw a tantrum whatever the weather and Kinvara being in the west of Ireland is prone to the odd bit of rain.IMG_20130819_082348

In the morning She is happy to wander along and admire the hookers moored against the harbor walls, often bumping into old admirers from previous years.


If the day is sunny we will head to Tracht strand for a swim (well I will swim and she will hold my towel) and she won’t let me down with a single puncture.

IMG_20130819_112731and we will admire the cottages and hedgerows on our way back along the country roads.

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But her favorite time is when I set out our little table with wine and bread and cheese and we sit and watch the glorious red sails bloom like puffs of russet smoke and unfurling, lean the boats into the wind and away they sail along the far shore and out to the open sea.

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In the evening she will forget the sophisticated wine bars of Dublin and head to Connolly’s pub for a pint or two of Guinness ..though I wonder if this is also a fashion statement , she does like to accessorize.

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She will even camp along the flaggy shore with me, (She considers it ‘glamping’ of course) watched by the ghost of Lady Gregory whose nearby  summer House , Mount Vernon, hosted many parties attended by W.B Yeats, AE Russell and other writers of that era…

And I will recite Seamus’s Heaneys Poem ‘ Postscript’ to her as we settle ourselves down by candle light…


And when we get back to Dublin she will tell tales of her adventure’s…always exaggerating a bit of course …to the yellow bike who will be happy for her , for they are good friend’s.


for the yellow bike is a kind and generous bike…

yes thankfully the yellow bike is everything the purple bike is not.