It has been relatively quite on this website for the cycling season just gone but that does not mean that we were lazy. Actually the opposite was true. We were working on a joint project that we will be bringing you news of early in Spring of next year so please bear with us. We were, however on our bikes a lot this year, in fact probably more so that usual. Here are some personal photos that are my favourite from the year of cycling that has just past. Enjoy!
I was off of the bike for a month or two last winter and only got going again in February and went for a cycle around Slea Head. This photo was taken during a quick break in Coumeenoole Beach. A stunning day from memory but bitterly cold!
During March the cold weather was still persisting with lots of dry weather. Some muscle memory was coming back into the legs and a spin around the Gap of Dunloe was decided on. Beside the still scenery the Pancakes and cup of Earl Grey in the Strawberry Fields Cafe beside the stove was well up on the highlights list that day.
For some reason I had a habit of getting lost a lot in March. I can’t imagine how I would survive in another country! The only thing I remember about this road somewhere near Anablatha was that I definitely did not intend on ending up where I did, but then again it turned out to be the highlight of the cycle!
The coming of the month of April meant warmer temperatures and more of an inclination to head farther afield. Here is a picture of Ladies view on a stunning day during a brief stop before continuing in the direction of Sneem and Moll’s Gap. There were two ascents of Moll’s Gap that day.
On another day in April I headed in the direction of Glenbeigh and decided to incorporate the Rossbeigh Loop into the cycle. Here is a picture of Rossbeigh beach having stopped whilst trying to climb the lovely hill up towards Droum (segment details). I promise that I stopped for photographic reasons only :)
May was my busiest Month this year with that later half of the month enjoying a period of stunning cycling weather. It’s not often I head to the extreme North of Kerry, and there is no good reason why I have been avoiding it. The quiet roads and varied scenery on this May cycle will be remembered for a long time. I would recommend it.
The Ring of Beara, arguably my favourite route of all time. I participated in the organized Ring of Beara cycle for the first time with this event and it was very well organized and enjoyed. The day was probably one of the warmest of 2016 and it the weather and terrain meant I had a sore neck at the end of the day from trying to enjoy the view. A contender for 2017 no doubt, let’s hope the weather is as good as this year’s.
In June, the weather took a turn for the worse with a lot of rain. I did get the chance however to visit an old friend I had not visited in 5 years, The Priest’s Leap (segment details here). I still contend it’s the hardest climb I have ever done and would challenge anyone with a liking for climbing to give it a go. Reaching the top was a welcome sight that day.
Two cycles that stand out in July were a trip from Glencar to Waterville and back to Glencar via Sneem and Ballaghbeama. Here is a photograph of me enjoying the views from near the top of Coomakista. Miraculously the skies cleared up for the photo and was an otherwise overcast day.
The Skellig ring was another cycle that I had not done in years. It’s amazing the cycles that are on offer in Kerry that are not traveled and publicised more often. This photo was taken during a brief rest on Valentia Island just before getting the Ferry in Knightstown.
August was a busy month work wise for me so options for exploration were limited enough to local routes.
I did however get a chance to revisit Ballaghbeama and the Gap of Dunloe with a route that began in Killorgin; very similiar to the route that is done as part of the annual Ring of the Reeks event. And yes, you guessed it, another visit to the Strawberry Fields Cafe.
September saw me heading back in the direction of Valentia to take part in the inaugural Mick Murphy memorial. Mick was something of an inspiration to myself, the stories of his life are almost beyond belief. If you are not familiar with him I would recommend a listen to the following podcast.
An Indian Summer occurred in Kerry in October. The highlight of this month was a cycle with old friends. And what would a cycle with old buddies be without a big dirty fry up in the middle of it. Who knew Rathmore would be famous for their Fry Ups, well they are now.
In November, the nights drew in rather quickly and I began to hear alot about Zwift. I was never a fan of indoor cycling and the lack of scenery and variety that comes with outdoor cycling always made it a tedious effort. I was an instant convert with using Zwift, finally something to make indoor cycling interesting!