For 1 week I was the lucky recipient of a free trip to Ireland! Luckily, I had a day to ride two wheels and here's my brief story. It all starts with a surprise trip to Ireland on behalf of my husband, but without my husband. Let's just pretend it was a secret mission where I was preoccupied for 6 days and was able to rest on the 7th. So I decided to rent a BMW F650Gs, from Celtic Rider.
It was sooooo nice out! Maybe mid 60s and a few clouds but mostly blue sky. I rented a Garmin just in case and ended up heading south into Wicklow Mountains National Park. I had to stop and take this pic.
I felt like the clouds were moving away from me so I kept going, pretty slow ~45mph. The road was windy but no blind corners and hardly any traffic! This was probably the most cars I'd passed at once. Eventually I found some sheep and a couple of postcard perfect scenes that I had no choice but to photograph. I had to stop, pinch and remind myself exactly where I was. IRELAND!
Eventually I made it to this small junction, where a small parking lot looked good to stop and plan my next route. I met this lovely man named Eddie who was fascinated by my fancy Garmin.
And this is where it gets rainy. After leaving this cute parking lot, it started pouring about a half hour later as I wandered further West. I rode for awhile in the rain and eventually I got sick of it so I decided to find a spot to dry off and get comfortable. I found an underground parking garage, had lunch and waited until it dried out. I then tried to get lost and wander some local towns since my Garmin wasn't cooperating.
Sadly I didn't get as far as I wanted to go. I stayed within 30-40 miles of downtown Dublin instead of heading west where all the good roads seem to be. :(
I relied on the 2 short suggestions that I was given and ended up not riding very far. Even with these minor disappointments I still had a GREAT time riding around Dublin. The people were so nice, the scenery was breathtaking and the BMW was awesome! I think they had a stock 2008 F650GS, and it was perfect. It only took me a short while to get used to the other side of the road too.
I definitely plan on making Ireland a riding vacation destination so I can explore the rest of this beautiful country. I know there is lots to see and I can envision renting a bike for a week to see and experience far more than I was able to.
I also managed to take a tour of the Guinness Factory! Freshest Guinness you'll ever drink, tapped straight from the newer factory across the street.
I was also able to wear this fantastic GORE-TEX outfit from Alpinestars, which made my wet ride perfectly comfortable. I stayed warm and dry the entire time.
For a longer ride report and full gear review, please tune into Episode 25 of my podcast at Moterrific.com.