Blessington Bike Ride

TLDR- Maddex and I went on an overnight bike ride to lake Blessington, and the Russbough house maze.

We’re off

Loading up the bikes about to leave.

First stop of the day, Marley park playground. We made it to the park entrance quick enough. Here we waited and waited and waited some more for a gaggle of runners to pass by. Maddex figured there must be 400-1000 runners. His first guess of 400 seems closer, but they were passing by before we arrived so we might never know. When the runners finally thinned out enough for us to use the road we carried on to the playground. By the time we made it there, the fastest runners were finishing in front of the playground.

End of the race in front of the play ground
Maddex sure loves to spin

After playing in the park for about 15 minutes “Dad do we have any food? I never ate breakfast this morning” -Le Sigh; We stopped at a Circle K a short ride away for a muffin.  Next stop, Watergate park playground in Tallaght for some more play time. Along the way every 30 to 49 seconds Maddex asked me how much further we had to go. The park has this long suspended rubber walking surface held up in the middle. If I jump on one side and Maddex is on the other side he shoots into the air – we had some fun on that thing.

Strange things are afoot at the Circle K – So are muffins for the boy

For lunch we stopped at, can you guess it? McDonald’s. Bonus points it had an indoor playland for Maddex to play in while we waited for the food. Next door to the McDonald was a Tesco Extra we stopped into for some bread, meat, and cheese to snack on later. You did not enter directly into the Tesco, the entrance was through a bit of a mall like area. Near the front door of the mall, space was a flying tiger. I gave Maddex 3 Euro to spend. He came out with a small dinosaur and some kinetic sand – Dino good, sand messy. From Tesco, it was a straight hour and a half ride to our BnB on the lake. We had planned to stop at a smaller lake for a snack but the beach area was closed off.

On top of a climbing thing
Lunch at – sigh – Mcdonalds

Made it to the lake

The town of Blessington is not much to look at. A few shops, some grocery stores, a statue, old church, and then you’ve passed through it. I was a bit disappointed we could not see the lake much while riding around it. The biggest glimpse we had of the water was crossing over a narrow bridge onto the peninsula we were staying on. Was hoping for more riding along the water being able to stop and toss rocks in the water or play in the sand. Lacking water to see was not horrible, the roads were well tree lined and enjoyable to ride on – Find the positive.

Our living room / Kitchen space for the night
Maddex all comfy on the couch in the living room zone

We missed our BnB and passed right by it. The GPS was not 100% sure where it was, so we rode down the road another 2k looking for it before we decided we must have passed it. At one point Maddex was turning his head and his bike at the same time and rode off of the road into the gravel. He managed to pull out of the wobble before crashing. By the time we arrived, it was time for another snack and a break. We fiddled with the internet until we managed enough bandwidth to watch Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters. We’ve been reading the book and finished it the night before.

I might have napped a bit in there somewhere. While I was napping Maddex looked at the map on his phone and figured out how we could get to some beach on the lake. We decided the weather was shit, so we’d skip the Maze tonight and Glendalough tomorrow. We’d do the maze tomorrow morning and ride home via Tallaght. Tonight we’ll go check out the beach Maddex found.  Maddex is in his happy place digging in the sand and the water without any care how wet and sandy he gets. He loved the idea of the beach. His big project in the sand was creating a small lake connected to the larger lake he called Mad lake. His lake had a small area call sandy boy beach. Great name since he is now wet and covered in sand.

The Narrow bridge we crossed over when we crossed over to the peninsula

Back at the hotel we had some cereal and watched Odd squad until we passed out. The bed in the room is amazing. No stiff hotel mattress, it’s a right proper soft pillow top mattress. Quiet and peaceful on a comfy bed had a marvelous nights sleep. We have two rooms a small living room with a fridge, kitchen kit, toaster, kettle, dishes and TV, and a bedroom with large bed, plus the huge bathroom. The BnB is top-notch – would love to stay again. The owner even let us park our bikes in her kitchen so they were not rained on over night.

Dad I might have gotten wet – no way to tell
The sleeping boy passed out next to dad.

Maze and home

We slept in until about 0530 then we laid in bed and played with our phones a bit before moving to the couch. On the couch, we took in some odd squad and foods before starting the pack up process. The bed was super comfortable, we slept great! Around 0830 after chatting with the house owner for a bit we left the BnB and went to sand we played in last night. We had to stop at the beach to check on Maddexs Mini lake. Maddex was sad the lake was not as deep as he thought it was last night when you could not see the bottom because the water was so mucky from his construction activities.

Lake Mad with sandy man beach the next morning

The Maze did not open until 1000 and it’s only about 20 minutes away by bike. We stopped into town and went to a Super value for some more food to kill some time and explore the town. We picked up some Chicken and bacon for breakfast and ate on the sidewalk in front of the store. Maddex decided we should wear our helmets in the maze in case we’re separated. With the helmet coms, we’ll still be able to talk to each other. As soon as we packup and mount the bikes to ride to the castle “Dad I need to use the toilet” – Sigh “Hey kid can you wait 20 minutes?” – ” Sure” Maybe he is getting better and giving warning before it becomes a right now issue?

While I was locking the bikes up at the Russbough house Maddedx found a toilet. As he was coming back talking about how rank the toilets smelled a gentleman exiting his car informed there are much more civilized toilets in the gift shop. We thanked him and chatted for a bit. He’s here for a car club show that’s about to start out front; cool we can check out the cars after the Maze. Maddex and I walked right into the playground and checked out the maze. Access is controlled by a Token we have to go purchase. On the way to purchase the tokens Maddex needs the toilet again – Not sure if he was scared off the last time or who knows what.

We both used the nice clean washroom in the gift shop. While he was wrapping up I bought 2 tokens and cruised the gift shop. Then it was on to the maze. The maze is a great proper hedge maze with walls you can hardly see through and surely cannot see over the top off. We both took a camera and started running around the maze. I made to the middle before Maddex. He made it to a dead end with a small opening into the middle. I passed him the map through the opening then he took off again. About 2 minutes later he made it to the middle.

Lets split up and race to the middle
Looking over the top of the maze from the middle
Maddex checking out the map

We ran around in the Maze for a good half hour until I found Maddex on the outside of the gate. He asked me to let him back in but the button only let me out and not him in. Not sure what he was thinking but that was the biggest let down of the trip for him that he was not able to get back into the maze. He was kicking himself as we were talking around looking at the cars and art and house grounds. Eventually, he gave up kicking himself and we loaded back onto the bikes and rode for Tallaght. At one point on the ride, Maddex flew by an older bike rider. I heard the guy say ” WTF was that a kid?

Some of the cars at the car show in front of the main house

A bit further on Maddex and I were waiting for a cross light and the guy flew by us. We passed him again shortly after our light turned green. Maddex was so proud himself passing the guy a second time. He kept asking how far back the guy was. We averaged about 29kph for the ride from Blessington to Tallaght. McDonald’s for lunch, then back to Watergate park for playtime. No way I could talk Maddex out of McDonald’s, oh well he’s been great on the ride, so whatever.

From Tallaght we followed GPS most of the way home until we could see the Beacon hospital then Maddex took over navigating us home. He’s learning all of the roads around the house and turning out to be a great navigator. We had a great ride, already planning the next one.

A few more pictures

Maddex on top of the tower 
Climbing up a climbing thing in watergate play ground
Checking out a waterfall
Made it to the middle of the maze
The map of the maze
Time to leave?
Not sure why Maddex left the maze – but he did – he really wanted back in
Trenton likes the Miata but hates this car – not sure why?

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