Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Long Cycle Home

View towards Ballymakeera
I have been getting out and about a bit of late, mostly short hill runs over Bweeng mountain ( perhaps a bit of a misnomer as it is only 414mtrs) and trying to keep fit for the Gap Triathlon which was due to take place last weekend. Yet again the Killarney walking club lived up to their growing reputation and cancelled another event, so being left high and dry and not a little disappointed I decided to do a cycle route that I have had my eye on for some time. I cycled back to Banteer (7miles) and caught the train to Killarney. From here I went on the main Cork road until Ballyvourney. This was the least pleasurable part of the cycle as the road is very busy and it is always a little nerving having cars and lorries whizzing past sometimes very close. Anyway this stretch of road involves a good climb of over 230mtrs before the descent into the village. Here a sharp left turn leaves the hustle and bustle of the busy road behind and you immediately enter a lovely leafy lane and start the long climb up towards Mullaghanish. This is a very noticeable mountain, marked as it is by the very impressive communications mast on its summit.
Mullaghanish and its mast

Soon the leafy surrounds are left behind and you enter more open ground. As you rise ever higher the rugged expanse of ground that sweeps from the summit to the forested and rough ground above Ballymakeery makes a very pleasant sight. Though the climb is relentless it is never too steep and you are able to enjoy the atmosphere. The day was lovely and fine, warm with little breeze and I was enjoying it immensely. The pass between Carrigrathduff and Knockullane is at 400mtrs and so after another 230mtr climb I stopped here briefly for a drink and a bite( literally) of a chocolate bar. Next came the reward of the long and swift descent on a mostly good road to Caherdowney and onto the Millstreet to Macroom road. Straight across this and another long climb to St Johns Well ( a little detour up a cul de sac adding a couple of K and 50 mtrs of a climb). This time the road was quite rough and I was glad when the 180mtrs of climbing was over. Down swiftly to the Kerrymans Table and another 140mtrs followed to the pass at Mushera. Again swiftly down and on to the village of Rylaneand on to the Kanturk Cork road. Here a left turn means another 170mtr pull over the bog and down again to Nad. From there home means another couple of short climbs and it was much to my rear ends relief when I arrived home just over four hours after I started from Killarney. All in all 95 kilometers and 1100mtrs of climbing made it (for me at least) a great day on the bike.
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