Generally speaking the route is from Dublin to Dublin around the island clockwise.
But because I’m trying to include all of the historic 32 counties, and those counties aren’t in fact lined up in nice loop, the route in detail will in fact be quite squiggly.
And yes I’m aware of changes in the status of counties on both sides of the border, but the historic 32 makes for an easier and a more comparable measurement.
When I say squiggly, I mean like this. It is deliberately vague and indeed not intended to be accurate but to give an idea of the likely length and extent of the route.
When I plan cycle tours I think in blobs rather than lines.
That means it’s general areas I can reach that I focus on rather than specific routes to them.
So in putting together a plan for this tour I envisage a series of blobs scattered in such a way that they are far enough apart to allow progress in cycling the overall trip, but close enough obviously to be cycled in a day whilst leaving several hours for painting.
And also ensuring that all 32 counties are included.
But unlike my previous big cycle tours I’m not planning this all by myself – I’m letting the location of people on twitter/facebook determine where the blobs are.
Because I want to to do the trip in 2 months, starting on July 1, I can guess dates based on on drawing a line from the trip start/finish in Dublin across the country.
Roughly speaking so, I should cycle the southern half of the country in July ending up somwhere near Galway city at the end of the month.
And then through August I intend to cycle the northern half of the country.
It’s simplistic, and both halves will probably last a couple of days longer so that I finish a week or so into September, but it gives me a good general idea of a timescale.
Getting more specific I can think in terms of a week’s worth of cycling as a large blob, so that the entire trip is 9 connected big blobs.
Again, it’s rough but gives me an idea of feasibility and whether I’m on schedule. It should give you a rough idea of whether I’m likely to be near you on certain dates.
In reality I’ll probably switch days from some weeks on the east for some in the west, and add a couple on anyway, but this is close to what I’m thinking.
If no extra days were taken then the following dates could be applied to the map.
Even if I did know at this stage all the places that I’m going , I could still guarantee that these dates will NOT be strictly kept to.
Without even considering problems, I expect extra days of non-cycling to be spent in Cork, Galway, Derry, and Antrim. Throw in extra days not yet specifically anticipated, and add them cumulatively to the following weeks and the final week could easily be a whole week out. Or more.
But anyway, real blobs are now on the map. And the blobs have names. And avatars. This is the main map so of people who are have offered to host.
In some cases hosts are only available on certain dates and we won’t know until I’m nearer them on the cycle if the dates I’m likely to arrive will work.
And some people are good enough to be on standby because things can change for all parties.
As these avatar-shaped dots are joined together it means I will have less flexibility in being able to say yes to people who would like to host the way I did when Ireland was a blank sheet of paper.
Day 1 is Dublin to north Kildare, and Day n is Meath to Dublin. The rest of it is still being joined together.
The gold stars are the commission spots for people who would like a painting but can’t host – either because I’m not cyling their way or somebody else is hosting me in their area. A total of 10 are available.
Please Note: I’ll only add the avatars of hosts to the map if they are public about their general location or else have given me direct permission. Please let me know if you’d like me to exclude you from this map and replace with an anonymous image.