From ‘D’ to ‘D’ on a High Nelly
At the turn of the last century, in a time when the bicycle was still viewed as somewhat of a wonder in Rural Ireland, a man named William Bulfin braved the sometimes hazardous weather conditions and rough terrain of the Irish countryside to complete a three thousand mile round trip on his brand new High Nelly bike, purchased from Pierce Engineering in Wexford. The big man from Derrinlough in Co. Offaly pushed his strong steel-framed bicycle, mile after mile on the roads of Ireland, conquering everything in his path and returning home to a hero’s welcome in the winter of 1902.
In 1907 Bulfin published “Rambles in Eirinn”, a travelogue about this unique cycling adventure that encapsulated the rich beauty of the Irish landscape and the historical importance of places such as Tara, Skryne Valley, Vinegar Hill, the Rock of Dunamaise, Roscrea Castle and other historical sites. For him these places were sacred ground, evidence of an Irish heritage that existed long, long before his time. Having completed over 3000 miles of this daunting adventure, recording on his journey one of Ireland’s earliest cycling “road books”, William Bulfin could truly be regarded as a pioneer of Irish High Nelly Heritage cycling. Now, a group of high nelly cyclists and heritage enthusiasts have come together to pay tribute to this man and his unique adventure.
What better way to remember and honour this remarkable man but to jump on the saddle and cycle through some of the most beautiful countryside anywhere.