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Tips for Wild Camping

While cycle touring or multi day hiking, wild camping is our preferred method of spending the night.  It offers greater independence and options for you to choose where and when to set up tent for the night. It can also be the only way to spend the night when remoteness or lack of facilities means you have to lay your head where your hat falls! Read More

Outdoorsy Design in Ireland illustration by Laura McMorrow Crank and Cog
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Outdoorsy Design in Ireland

We have put together a list of some of our favourite designers and makers in Ireland. Whether you enjoy hiking, camping, cycling, surfing or if you are an armchair outdoorsman or woman. Here is our wish list of ethical style and eco-friendly designs for an outdoor lifestyle. We have selected designers whose approach we admire and all products are designed and/or made in Ireland.

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Mongolian herder herding his sheep. Open blue sky and green hills. Crank and Cog blog post, 'Outside the Box'
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Outside the Box!

Travelling by cars, buses and trains to take us from our houses or flats to work in offices or factories, we seem to move from box to box by boxes! We spend a lot of our time contained in boxes and equally as much time trying to break out of boxes! Read More

Wild three cornered leek recipe. Foraging for wild food. Crank and Cog.
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Foraged Three Cornered Leek Recipe.


Three-cornered leek, also know as three-cornered garlic, is quite abundant along the roadside where I live in North Sligo, Ireland.  The plant is originally of Mediterranean origin and was brought to Ireland about 300 years  ago. It’s an invasive plant that can easily spread and become dominant if unchecked.  So I suppose the most environmentally friendly way of  keeping it under control is eating it! Read More

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Magic Roads, Tragic love Stories and Nonchalant Sheep! One Day Cycle Loops in Ireland.

music by Aglow Hollow

On October 30th when the clocks were wound back to signal the start of shorter winter days, I wasn’t expecting the summery phrase “Grand day isn’t it?!” uttered with such frequency!  Luckily, the unaccustomed mild winter has increased such positive weather musings and in turn, cycle trips in the countryside.  It’s hard to beat a brisk cycle along twisting rural boreens in unseasonal winter sunshine. Read More

Countries to cycle tour, 2017. Crank and Cog.
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Five Countries to Cycle Tour, 2017.

It certainly was an eventful past 12 months , 2017 has a tough job cleaning up after a messy and boisterous 2016! With the new year comes new plans.  Unfortunately as is my habit, my initial epic and grandiose plans gradually shrink over the course of a year to more manageable, minuscule arm-chair versions!  But there’s no harm in dreaming big! Read More

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Books to read before, during and after a cycle tour

bookstoreI’ve been asked ‘What do you think about when you’re cycle touring?’ on quite a few occasions, or ‘You must have so much time for self reflection while on the bike?’.  In truth,  I actually don’t think about a lot! Usually I’m either cursing the persistent head-wind or dreaming of chocolate coated swiss-rolls and king sized snickers! Life on the bike can be very simple!  Your main concerns are getting from A to B, food, water and shelter.  This leaves room for appreciating, observing and focusing on what happens along your journey.  Enjoying the moment as it happens.  Your surroundings, the weather, the people, the hills, they all remain with you long after you’ve stopped cycling.  It’s great fodder for travel writing with many great books  written on cycle journeys.

There are certain books that encourage you to dream of cycle adventures ahead; authors whose words keep you company during your trip; and books that allow you to reflect philosophically on bicycle travel.

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One day cycle trip, ireland. Watching the Atlantic waves.
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Local Loops, One Day Cycle Trips in Ireland

Ireland has almost 100,000 kms of roads. Some of these roads are a pain to cycle on (particularly urban roads) and others are a joy. Cycle far enough from cities and towns and you’ll find grassy roads, naked of any road markings or signs. Roads lined with bramble ditches, fuchsia and hedges.  These are the magic roads sought by sauntering cyclists like ourselves.

It’s almost a year since we returned home to Ireland.  Winter has robbed us of the will to camp overnight, so instead of multiple days on the bike we’ve shorten our trips to single days.  Over the course of the next few months we will write about a series of cycle day-trips around the country.  The lesser known local loops!

As we are now based in Sligo in the beautiful north west of Ireland, we will start here.

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