Yesterday was a silver grey day with a patchwork of squalls coming across the drumlins and hills of south Sligo. The back road from my house to Ballymote and then from Ballymote to the N4, was fine some nice corners to drop the handlebars on and only one or two bits of road that had me talking to the bike “here’s a bad bit Alfie”. A couple of nice S bends and down sooner than I thought to the junction with the N4. I came out just opposite the junction for Riverstown and looked either way, nothing coming out I go, drop the wrist, flick the left foot 2nd, drop the wrist, left foot 3rd, wrist foot 4th, 5th, sit back and watch the road in front open to a black, clear, winding ribbon. Its a good road no pot holes and sweeping curves that you just lean on and the bike gives a little pull back up as you come out of the corner.
Coming into Castlebaldwin a squall comes across so I decide to pull in for a Garage Latte. Sitting in the restaurant one of the lads from the local bike shop (my destination) comes to look at the bike and we talk cost of insurance and bike stuff. The squall passes and I get back on the bike, leaving the service station and heading for Boyle. I look either side of the N4 nothing coming and off I go in a smooth ride up the gears. There’s little wind and the trees are not moving I sit back on the Harley and dropped the wrist a little hitting 100.
As Lough Allen comes into site, reflecting the grey of the sky of its waters and the horse man on it s banks the pleasure of been on the bike hits me and I am all over again in love with my bike. I like this bit of road, before I came to live in the West, it was the bit of road that made me feel I was home long before I bought my cottage.
The road rises so you can see the Lough, dips to the valley near the canal and then there is the bridge, beautiful and simple in its design but its a bridge I like. Under this bridge even though its high the sound of the Harley reverberates back down to me and I smile.
Up the hill and turn into the lane for Boyle, just slow down and take the turn, nothings coming so down we go into this small rural town we glide me and the bike. At the first mini roundabout no one else is around so I go straight on and the second mini roundabout no one around so I turn left and there in front of me is a car, and it HITS me. NO! not like that, thank god. Its hits me that from leaving Ballymote to arriving in Boyle a journey of over 1 hour the only vehicle I have seen was the bloke in the Garage who has a bike. Not one car, van, Bus, HGV not one vehicle of any sort on the main road from the North West to Dublin or anywhere along that route. Is this the recession in reality, the one that can be seen?