Puncture, Knocknagoshel, horses, smashed lights and rain
Tralee-Dan Paddy Andy-Knocknagoshel-Castleisland-Tralee
The Nitty Gritty:
Height gain: 515 metres
Head away from Tralee to the North, towards the IT north campus. Cross the N69 roundabout and keep on this road, which is a steady climb through Kielduff towards the Tralee Landfill. The climb goes on for a good 5 km but is steady and the road is quiet. Eventually you pass the landfill entrance and drop down to Dan Paddy Andy cross roads.
Straight across the cross roads and a steady climb on not the best of road surfaces in a boggy/hilly terrain. After 27 km take a right towards Knocknagoshel GAA pitch, down what looks like a big dipper of a road, swing to the left, coming out on the old main road between Castleisland and Abbeyfeale. Take a right, up the hill and join the main road (N21). Take a right towards Castleisland. This can be a bit of a slog, but on a clear day you have nice views at the top of plenty of South, East and Mid Kerry.
A fast decent on a good surface and take a left at the roundabout down the old Castleisland road. At the lights take a right and that’s Castleisland centre. Here you have plenty of places to refuel. Our usual favourite is the Country Kitchen.
From here follow the signs for Tralee and eventually rejoin the N21 and you have a 16 km ride on a flattish road back to Tralee.
With rain threatening and gusty winds it took a bit of discussion to decide this route and make the best of a hard South-West wind.
Anyway 12 of us headed for the hills and within 8km yours truly got that bouncy feeling in the back tyre followed by the dreaded rim to road feeling. Anyway half the group kept moving and 6 of us set to work fixing the offending back wheel. I’m not a fan of getting a puncture, as it puts slight pressure on you and especially when it’s on a mountain you are working that bit harder to make up lost time and as a consequence…knackered by the summit. Anyway our obliging group waited and we were soon 12 again and thundering towards Knocknagoshel. Halfway there the back half of the group went missing as Siobhan’s back light fell and disappeared into a ditch?
Knocknagoshel was negotiated without too many problems and the slog up the N21 was just that…a SLOG…windy and wet. Anyway a speedy decent into Castleisland and a warm room and coffee to look forward to…wrong…the place was chocca-block with horses and chickens. Castleisland horse fair day, Nov 1st.
Everywhere was full except the garage on the Tralee road. Good move really as we were wet and cold and a short stop was the best bet. The rain came down harder on the way back home but we worked it well between us and got back just after 12 bells.