I've been cycling since my Dad pushed me forward without stabilisers and I didn't fall over.
One Christmas I asked Father Christmas for a Raleigh Chopper, then I asked for a BMX Grifter, then when I was older I asked for a Raleigh Wisp.

I got none of the above but Father Christmas did bring me a girl's fold in half (?!) bike one year and a Raleigh Champagne racer another year, which wasn't a Wisp but was just as good.
I used to cycle all the back roads of Harrogate on that, the freedom it gave to travel around and explore.
It's still in the shed at my parent's house.

Since I've lived in Dublin I've cycled on and off for the last 10 years, mostly to and from work, 9km each way and trips into town.
I'm lucky I haven't had a bike stolen yet, it's an epidemic at the moment in Dublin.

Once a couple of years ago a few of us cycled our hybrids down to Strawberry beds and back, we did about 20km, I thought that was a truly amazing.

This year (2013) I decided I'd treat myself to a proper road bike.

For my first spin I cycled down to the Strawberry Beds again, found myself continuing on towards Lucan, then Celbridge, where I had some lunch in an old castle and thought 'this is the business'.
By the time I got home, I'd cycled 82km.

I bought myself a Garmin edge 800 so I'd never get lost, and signed my new bike 'Hannah Hauxwell' up for Strava.

Strava - the orange line which tells you so much - and so little.
It'll give you distance travelled, average speed and place you on a leader board of Segments you covered along your journey.
But it wont tell you how you were feeling that day, list some of the things you saw, show the scenery you passed, people you chatted to, whether you enjoyed the cycle, what the weather was like or how bad that headwind actually was.

I decided to write this blog to add an extra bit of colour to the orange strava line.

for example, this :

was this, in photos:

Off the N81 there's a turn off which takes you to the Sally Gap, it's the R759 - in my opinion - probably the most gorgeous route in Dublin/ Wicklow. This is the start and it just takes you into complete remoteness with stunning scenery along the way.

The stone as you enter the Coronation plantation (entrance on the R759)

One of my favourite spots, the Liffey making it's way through Wicklow - Coronation plantation.

R759 climbing it's way up towards Sally Gap. I won't lie, I found climbing up this hill difficult, actually I think I got off my bike twice to breathe.
These 3 cruised past me.

Great Sugar Loaf Mountain Wicklow, in the background
I stopped so long the midges got squatter's rights.

The bike symbolises my inner strength.

pretty different right?
So that's the kind of thing you're going to find on this blog.
Photos and strava maps.