A big contingent head for the Limerick border.
Like rabbits popping their heads out into the fresh air after the big bad fox had moved on, we had an unusually big turn out this morning. Plenty of familiar faces coming out of their own bolt holes. Cycling matters got off to a slow start in 2015 for the none “etapers.” Well between the dodgy weather, clashing of events and resisting the urge to get back out!? all contributed to the lack of numbers, but today was different!
Decision made! The route was to be Feale Bridge and then onto Brosna. I had my doubts. Too much too early prehaps for some? I was not going to find this spin easy, what with the long, steady and sapping climb up the Castleisland by-pass to the Meenleitrim turn off followed by a rollercoaster of a ride out of Brosna, this had the makings of an interesting day.
With the weather smiling kindly in our favour, things started well on route, with a sensible enough pace on the N21 to Castleisland. The expected split came as gravity reared her ugly head, but by the time we all re-grouped at the summit there wasn’t a huge time difference. The descent into County Limerick and Dillanes was uneventful bar for 2 gardi taking pictures of their “panda” cars?
Dillanes for your coffee break, is what your “spit and sawdust” bar is for a pint of the blackstuff. Just a plain and simple shop, a few stools, a counter, 1 drinks machine and kettle as well as the traditional outside loo. But this place more than does the job. It’s good value for money and sadly a rarity in 21 Century Ireland.
Revived and relieved we headed out on the flat R576, back into Kerry and off to Brosna. On reaching the Brosna “commuter belt” disaster struck as Chain Gang father figure Tomás hit the deck following a coming together of wheels. Thankfully no bones were broken and he was able to continue.
The hills out of Brosna had other ideas though as they found the weak point of the damaged bicycle. A broken derailleur forced him out, roughly 30 km from home.
One aspect of that area is that, although it is quite hilly, the hills are gentle enough climbs, nothing too steep. So the actual thought is way worse than the reality.
Getting back to reality, the down hill cycle into Castleisland is quite long but considering it’s a minor road, the surface isn’t too bad. Most of the scenery consists of hedgerows, single houses and farms, typical for the area. Once into Castleisland we where back on familiar ground. The remaining group worked well on the flatish N21 to reach Tralee for a respectable 1 pm.
Overall it was a great morning out on the bikes, with good company and a nice route. I have to give a massive KUDOS to the group in general. This is a testing enough route in Summer, so for a good number of the group to come back to this type of ride and after very little road hours under their belts showed courage and much determination!