To a wedding by bicycle, or was it really?
THE parish priest said it was a first for him.
I officiated at a wedding in rural County Meath at the end of June. Without my car, this was the first time I had to give a second thought as to how I would get to my destination. The wedding party had kindly offered to drive me there but I declined as I wanted to get there under my own steam.
I cycled from home into Dublin city centre, Bus Éireann 103 service to Ashbourne and from Ashbourne to Kilmoon Cross, which is approximately two kilometres from the church in Rathfeigh, with the 105 bus.
Arriving at Ashbourne I had 20 minutes to spare waiting for my next bus. Went across the road for a cup of coffee, where I got talking to two men having an early-morning drink. We had a great laugh. I thought €2.70 was on the high side for an Americano but they were not concerned about coffee prices. They had two nice pints in front of them.
Back to the bus-stop, and waiting there was a youngish woman with her daughter and her daughter’s school friend. They were off to Tayto Park for the day. The two girls had finished first year in secondary school. They had travelled by bus from Dún Laoghaire and were all excited about the day ahead.
I do not know how it came about but mum told me that she had older children and that she was part of a ‘blended family’. I had never heard the expression before but I knew what she meant and we smiled at the term. She thought my fold-up bicycle was a great idea.
When I asked her if she had ever seen anyone going to a wedding on a bicycle, she thought it was hilarious. And then when I added that I was the officiating priest we both got great mileage out of that.
Our bus arrives. It drives right up to the entrance of theme park. I had never seen it before and it looks exotic and must be a great place to take children.
I got off the bus at Kilmoon Cross and just as I was about to cycle
off I spot this man, in his late 30s, early 40s. He had got off a bus coming from the other direction. We were on a minor narrow road and I spontaneously asked him if he was going to the wedding. Yes, he was. He was a friend of the groom, who had asked him at the last minute to video the ceremony. That was the end of my two-kilometre cycle to the church.
It was a hilarious walk. For the 15 minutes or so, he regaled me with what he does for a living, that his wife teaches maths and they have a small child. He had come by bus from Galway to Drogheda because his wife needed the car to bring their child to school. Someone suggested he get a taxi from Drogheda. He was having none of it and decided to take the bus to Kilmoon Cross and walk from there. He was a charming man and so funny. He had me laughing all the way to the church.
The parish priest assured me it was the first time he had ever seen the officiating priest turn up for a wedding on a bicycle.
Should I have told him that I had got off the bus approximately two kilometres away at Kilmoon Cross?