Date: 14th April 2018
Organiser: Mark Hodnett
Address: 23 Halldene Grove, Bishopstown, Cork
Entry Fee: €5 (New Entry Forms). CI licence required (Annual Licence, or 1 day).
If paying by PayPal please be sure that you agree to pay any charges yourself, and that the full entry fee will be received by the organiser.
Closing Date for Entries: 7th April 2018
Start Point: Midleton, Co. Cork
Start Time: 8.00am
Facilities: Free parking at start.
Cycling Ireland licence, helmet and good lights mandatory.
Starting off with a flat section and a bit of island hopping from Fota and onto Great Island we cross the Lee, the first of the rivers, by ferry to Glenbrook. Then onto Monkstown and continue on the flat to Carrigaline. From here it starts to gently roll. The first major town on the route is Kinsale – the Gourmet Capital of Ireland. Along the Pier Road past the yacht club and marina gives a good view of the harbour with Charles Fort on the left and James’ Fort on the right. A little outside the town the Bandon, the second of the rivers is crossed and some more gently rolling countryside awaits. On the approach to Ballinspittle you will pass the famous moving statue before hitting the village itself. After leaving Ballinspittle the route heads through Harbour View and past “The Pink Elephant” where you will see the colourful town of Courtmacsherry across the bay. Enjoy the coast hugging flat section through Timoleague to Ring before another seaside approach into Clonakilty. Clonakilty is the first control and major town where re-fuelling has a number of options. Supervalu on the entry to the town has had good feedback. Personally my choice is Hart’s midway on the main street. On the west side of the town is a petrol station/Centra which does hot food with indoor seating.
After passing through the town the route starts to head in a northerly westerly direction. Some gentle hills await as we head deep into west Cork. After passing through Dunmanway things start to get a little serious as the hills start head more skyward. First up is Cousane, the top of which on a clear day gives a spectacular view over the Bearra Peninsula and the Sheehy Moutains (which will be explored during the Bearra 400) before descending to the sea at Ballylickey. After sampling some fresh sea air its time to turn inland again and visit the Borlinn valley. As soon as you leave the main road you relax to the sounds of flowing water as you gently climb up the east side of the valley before it circles around at the top such that you can look back down through the valley to the ocean. Cresting the top brings the dual satisfaction of being at the half way point on the event and another valley opening up. This time you are descending and so can savor scenery and bristle with excitement as you head for Healy-Rae country of Kilgarvan.
Leaving Kilgarvan the next hidden valley is awaiting with the country’s highest pub at the top if you so wish to partake. You also transition back into the Peoples Republic and the Gealtacht area of Coolea where Sean O Riada resided later in life. After crossing the N22 we continue northerly towards Millstreet passing the Mullaghanish transmission tower and again being treated with more stunning scenery in all directions. This also means you have passed the highest point on the route at 441m. Millstreet is the next control and makes a suitable point to stop and re-fuel. Options from here to the finish are limited so better to be looking at food than looking for it later. Over 200k done and less than 100k to go!
The next 50k are back to rolling countryside where we meet and follow the Blackwater, the third of the rivers, through Mallow and onto Killavullen. At this point we start to head south easterly on final approach to Midleton. While great in theory Midleton is however, two valleys away to with some ridges in between. Nothing to be done only getting on with it and targeting Rathcormac as the next milestone. Now only 25k to go and half it downhill with the last few k filled with the sounds of gently flowing water to relax the weary mind and body. The lights of Midleton beckon as does the satisfaction of having done a good days work.
This event is also available as a Permanent. Details to follow.
Please note that a Cycling Ireland annual licence will be required to take part in a Permanent. Day licences will not be available.