Five summer options for the enthusiastic cyclist
Charity cycles an ideal way to help stay fit over the summer months
Cyclists taking part in the Ring of Kerry cycle. Photograph Nick Bradshaw
Ring of Kerry Cycle
Background: The ROK Charity Cycle has been going for 36 years and brings together 10,000 participants on an annual basis making it Ireland’s largest one-day charity event. The event has raised almost €16 million for 150 charities. It’s not a race and anyone can take part. As things stand they are fully subscribed for this year but there is a waiting list.
When: It takes place on Saturday, July 6th.
Route: 175 kilometres, starting and finishing in Killarney and taking in the delights of towns and villages like Beaufort, Killorglin, Glenbeigh, Cahirciveen, Waterville, Sneem and Kenmare.
Logistics: The official start time is 7.30am but some people set off earlier or later on the Saturday morning but if they do so they will not have the benefit of back-up services or traffic restrictions.
The organisers allow a maximum time of 14-hours to complete the course. Support systems stand down at 8.0pm. There are three official food stations along the cycle. These are located at Cahirciveen (72 kms), Kenmare (136 kms) and Killarney (finish).
However, there will be plenty of facilities to stock up on water, bananas along the route. There will be 11 Fixed Bike Stations and some mobile units looking after bike problems but participants are expected to have a puncture repair kit, tubes, tyre irons etc.
Wild Atlantic Mizen Cycle
Background: The Wild Atlantic Mizen Cycle (formerly The West Cork Emergency Services & Friends Charity Cycle) is based in Bantry, West Cork. It is run to raise funds for local charities and is organised by members of An Garda Síochána, Cork County Fire Service, HSE Ambulance Service, West Cork Civil Defence, The Red Cross and The Irish Coastguard. It is in its 16th year and has raised €490,000.
When: It takes place on Saturday, July 13th.
Route: There are three routes, 130k, 100k and a new 65k route, all starting and finishing in Bantry, taking the Mizen and Sheep’s Head peninsulas. A €60 fee applies.
Logistics: All cyclists must sign in at Bantry Fire Station, which is located on the main square in Bantry. Sign in will be from 7.00pm – 8.30pm on Friday July 12th and from 7.00am – 8.30am on Saturday 13 July. The cycle starts at 9.0am.
Ring of Clare Cycle
Background: Ring of Clare Cycle is a cycling sportive that forms part of the international ŠKODA Celtic Cycle Series. Hosted in Ennis, Co Clare July 2019, the town is preparing for a major cycling party.
When: It takes place on Saturday, July 27th.
Route: The event will provide two route options for cyclists, the Ring of Clare 160km (9.30am start) and the Ring of Clare 120km (9.0am start), beginning in Ennis and taking in part of the Wild Atlantic Way including Loop Head and the Shannon Estuary.
Cost: €40 plus booking fee for Cycling Ireland members. If you are not a member of Cycling Ireland you will have to purchase a day licence for €5 along with your entry fee.
Logistics: The registration fee includes event participation, specially designed Celtic series event hoodie (subject to early bird), pre event pasta party, ŠKODA Cycling gift, full event back up, feed stations and refuel points, on route mechanical supports, specially commissioned finishers medal, post event massage and BBQ.
Lap the Lough (Neagh)
Background: Lap The Lough is an annual, not-for-profit cycle event around Lough Neagh. The event is a one lap cycle around the Lough and offers a high-profile fundraising vehicle so individuals can, if they wish raise money for their favourite charity. Each year up to 2500 cyclists take part.
When: It takes place on Sunday, August 25th.
Route: 140km. There are four water stops along the way at Gawleys Gate, Antrim Castle (lunch), Ballyronan Marina and Moy and Charlemont. The fee is £39.50 and includes emergency energy (ClifBar + ShotBloks), water stops, lunch, sport massage, mechanical support, sweeper vehicle, motorbike marshals, 1st Aid cover, post ride wrap/tea/coffee, cycle cap.
Logistics: The organisers state on their website: “We’ve moved out the road to the Moy & Charlemont – a beautiful village bordering the counties of Tyrone and Armagh. We’ve lost a big hill at the finish and about 20km but gained a few bars, cafés and restaurants. In 2016 the first person home was at 11.55am (4h 25min) and the last person home was 7.20pm (10h 20min). Everyone else was in between.
The Tour de Boyne Valley
Background: This is the third of the ŠKODA Celtic Cycle Series. The Tour de Boyne Valley is a sportive hosted by Drogheda Wheelers Cycling Club and takes cyclists along the coast, the Ancient East sites and through the countryside. It is not a closed road event.
When: It takes place on Saturday, August 31st.
Route: There are 145 kilometre (9.0am start) and 95 kilometre (9.30am) routes and a €40 fee applies for Cycling Ireland members and €45 for non members.
Logistics: Both routes start at the Western Motors in the M1 Retail Park, and take in the seaside town of Clogher Head before heading inland to the rolling roads of the Boyne Valley.
For those choosing the longer option the Feed station is in Collon after 47Kms and then again in Bohermeen after 91Kms. After the second feed station you will travel back towards Drogheda passing more monuments including the Bective Abbey on the side of the River Boyne and Newgrange. At 124Kms there is a water station as there is on the shorter route at 80Kms.