Hot! Bar Hardware Bicycles

The sign above Foxy John’s in Dingle, Ireland doesn’t mix words, only begs the question: Really?

The windows are clouded and the door nothing but a few pieces of wood. Opening it is one of those acts of faith. Would confused mechanics holding beers and wrenches greet me on the other side?

But like Hansel and Gretel, I can’t resist the strange promise of a houseful of treats and with a push take a peak inside. There are no confused mechanics, only several patrons holding pints and one Foxy John behind the bar. As I step inside, I see the other half of the room. Boxes and drawers of tools as mismatched, scattered and dusty as the clientele fill the opposite wall. An old cash register sits on the counter. With a few extra stools, it easily doubles as another bar.

The only sign of bicycles are the two tourists in gear talking about their ride around the peninsula that day. I grab a seat in the corner and listen to the locals as they dish out knowledge and stories. Soon I have met most of Main Street and have the inside word on Dingle nightlife.

I had come to the Dingle Peninsula to hike but after a pint or two, the people of Foxy’s have me persuaded to rent a bike instead. I’m instructed to return at 9 am for my ride.

The next morning, I open the door to the same scene of drinking patrons and a wall of tools. John leads me to the back and I see Foxy’s third offering. Stored behind kegs and empty bottles are the cycles. He fits me with a model, a helmet and a side bag held together with string and safety pins.

He hands me a map and offers up a morning pint. I politely pass. Today I read the sign in reverse. Bicycles first. Bar later.

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