Some time to follow up with the Staff Ride photos has been presented to me this chilly morning in Dublin.

I have been fortunate to grab some much needed ‘Decompression’ time before heading home (via Toronto, of course) to a little break from this chaos in the Backroads world. Spending a week in Dublin staying with my friend Jill in her flat has been more then perfect. Armed with the resolve to see as much of the city when I can (Who knows when I will be back?), run every day and try a new coffee place every day I have spent many a wonderful afternoon wandering.

The end of the Piedmont season was the chaos of the first part of the season, repeated. Finishing off the trips brought a huge exhale of relief that has slowly been sinking in as a true 'I'm finished!' notion.

The Staff Ride was, in one word, crazy. I feel like this one word can't possible cover in all its completeness, but allow me to try to explain.

The biking was extraordinary, both in scenery and difficult level. Every day we climbed over a mountain pass; every day we gained hundreds of feet of elevation. 10-14% switch backs, slippery cobblestones, wet leaves, high rims all were biking realities. It was grueling, challenging days that were long: the shortest being 60km and the longest being 109 and 115km respectively.

The people were crazy. The party continued (for some) 24/7 in what felt like a ditch effort to continue frat life left off at University. Some people were wonderful, and I had the ability to catch up with folks from all areas of my Backroads life. Some people were not so wonderful. But they all had that 'crazy' Backroads energy.

The whole deal was an experience worthy of my time and energy, but much recuperating was required after the fact...

And now a brief pause before the season wraps up. Enjoy the photos.

Thought you also might like a little peak at Dublin and Halloween 2008!

The guy in the pink is one of Jill's flat mates, Jerry.
Ah, A Canadian Mountie we ran into at the Bar! He is an Irish lad who studied for a year in Canada... small world...