Having spent the previous 20-something years commuting to work by bicycle, the events of this year have prevented my riding in even once (so far). A knee operation, back trouble, a five year old starting school and the fcking virus have all got in the way. I also just got out of the habit.

However, what I’ve done more of in 2020 is to get up early and head to nearby Lough Cullaunyheeda and spend an hour or so paddling before travelling in to work. I’ve been going into the factory every day of the COVID-19 pandemic and it’s been a stressful place to be. An hour of socially-distanced bobbing around on the lake (there’s no-one within a mile or two of me) has been the perfect counterpoint and preparation for the day ahead.

If I’m feeling particularly organised, and I break out of the comfort of bed in time, I’ll take along a stove, coffee making gear and occasionally a pan and pancake batter.

It’s a remote spot, with no busy roads in earshot. The sun rises over County Clare’s tallest hill, Moylussa and burns off the mist that often sits over the lake and the low-lying surrounding areas. In the centre of the lake is a tiny island with a lone tree. For 8 months of the year, the island is underwater, but for a spell in the summer, it’s home to a crazy amount of gulls and other noisy birds. If I get too close, all hell breaks loose as they take off and fly around complaining about being disturbed.

Anyway, here are a few pictures from my early morning trips this year…

I wrote a similar post four years ago, when I was driving to work but stopping off for coffee. Read it HERE.

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