What I learnt in Kilty – Leitrim Cycling Festival 2021

I learnt that I will never win a slow bicycle race 
Or ride a penny farthing
And that cycling round and round 
a village roundabout is mesmerising

I learnt that a colourful friend 
is the key to colourful gear
And that for some, moving clouds
is something you can hear

I learnt you can take a line for a cycle
And that bikes are instruments too
And cycling up hill is not easy 
after two platefuls of stew

I learnt you can fit six people on a single bicycle
(according to the Rock)
And that wise men like Ken
know how to take a knock

I learnt that the Tottenham Estate 
cleverly grew within their grounds
pineapples and lemons
while famine raged all around

I learnt that the ‘nuachta’ of old was always the ‘buamai’ in Belfast

I learnt that the fiercest streets of Dublin 
are learning to care
and that within every community  
there are gardens to share

I learnt that when the measurements are wrong 
a curry feast can go on 
and on and on..

I learnt that ‘Kilty Live’ 
brought life to the street
and watched with glee as the Wandering Bandstand 
brought people to their feet

I learnt that the pub has only 24 pint glasses

I learnt that you can dance in the rain
with the Cosmos in an awning
and that sticks for the fire 
can be delivered at two in the morning

I learnt that Leitrim
is even more beautiful than I knew
And that Kilty can definitely 
teach me a thing or two

So thank you Kilty
From all of us cycling crew

Jo Sachs-Eldridge

A poem inspired by a wonderful weekend 
of playing, listening and gathering stories
 inspired by the 
Human-on-a-Bicycle Library project

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