IN between bike rides my old mate Hamish Telfer and I formed some plans the other day for our upcoming bike ride through Ireland in a couple of month’s time.
A few glasses of wine saw us trying to work out distances on a road map of Ireland and we were beginning to depress ourselves with the distances involved when we realised all the routes were in kilometres!
Biggest difficulty of a route like this is working out how to get to the start and how to get home from the end, and in the big end-to-end rides we’ve tackled so far (LEJOG, then La Manche to the Med) this has been the most awkward.
We’ve managed to get to the start in a complicated kind of a way. I’ll pick up a hired van and we’ll take it to Holyhead before dumping it. Then it’s a ferry to Dublin, a night in a hotel then the train, with bikes, next morning to Cork.
From Cork we’ll spend a day and a half cycling out to Mizen Head, the actual start point of the trip.
At the other end, Malin Head, we’ll cycle to the Magilligin Point ferry and then cycle down the Causeway Coast back to Larne where we hope to pick up a coach that bring us back to Scotland, as far as Glasgow. We’ll part company there – Hamish to return by train to Kendal and Sedbergh and me to get the train north to Badenoch.
We’ve worked out a total distance of about 570 miles, shorter than both LEJOG and La Manche to the Med but we suspect the riding will be harder than either of the other trips. Hope to be well fuelled with Guinness though…
If anyone has any other ideas about the start and finish I’d love to hear their views, and indeed about any other aspect of the route. We’ve worked out the journey as follows;
Mizen Head to Kenmare
Kenmare to Kilrush
Kilrush to Doleen and Aran Islands
Aran Islands ro Rossaveel then Westport
Westport to Sligo
Sligo to Donegal
Donegal to Buncrana
Buncrana to Malin Head
Malin Head to Greencastle ferry
Magilligan Point to Cushendall
Cushendall to Larne
Any comments/criticism gratefully received. We’re keen to stay west as much as possible and keen to visit the Arans and also have a night in Matt Molloy’s pub in Westport. Indeed, we’re keen to pack in as much music as we can en route.
Once that’s all taken car of we plan another good ride later in the year – Newtonmore to Oban, Oban to Barra, up the length of the Hebrides to Butt of Lewis then back to Stornoway. Ferry to Ullapool and cycle back to Newtonmore. I’m going to be seeing spinning wheels in my sleep…