Miners Cross 200

Organiser: Paul O’Donoghue, Sorrento CC

Event Date: NOT scheduled in 2024

Difficulty/ Climbing:  Approx 3000mts, with 2km of unsurfaced road.

Entry Limit: Limited to 60 riders

Closing date for entries:

E-Mail: podluna@gmail.com

Address: 12 Tinna Park, Kilpeddar, Co. Wicklow

All entries must be made on Eventmaster only.  Cycling Ireland Licence is required.  One-day Licence is available for €20 if required, this will be charged automatically on Eventmaster if you do not provide a valid current Cycling Ireland Licence Number.

Eventmaster Entry Link: https://eventmaster.ie/event/L8qwcp3H76

Entry fee: €10 plus fees

Optional ACP or Audax Ireland Medals €5 each

Start time 8.00am.  7.30am for Registration.

RidewithGPS Map: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/42852226

Start Location: Kilpeddar, Co. Wicklow

Facilities/Parking: Parking may be an issue so I will be in touch with entrants nearer the start. 5km to Greystones DART.

Helmets and Cycling Ireland Licence (Annual or One-day) mandatory.

Route Description:

The Miners Cross is a new event for Wicklow, starting in Kilpedder, 1km off N11 and 10km south of Bray. Heading south via backroads to Ashford, we will head for Glenealy. After traversing the level crossing, we ascend to the Black Hills. A smashing and quiet part of the world, with great views and some impressive old trees lining the road. After a sharp descent to The Beehive Pub, the road rises again to pass Ballymurrin Quaker graveyard. The gate is usually open and it is worth checking out the scenic graveyard. This area was a focal point for a large Quaker community, many of whom, as pacifists, were imprisoned in Wicklow Gaol after refusing to pay taxes for the Napoleonic Wars. Many emigrated to Pennsylvania afterwards and were active in the governance of the State. There are some fine looking houses in the area, many quite distinctive in style. After crossing the M11 the route travels to Redcross, home of the award-winning Wicklow Brewery. The ascent to Barranisky transmitter offers great views across the sea and Wales should be visible on a clear day.

 After crossing the Avonmore River in Avoca, we follow the river for about 10km in the picturesque Vale of Avoca. A right turn under the archway leads us onto some pretty and little-travelled roads. I cycled by here for about 25 years before realising it was not private. The climb ends in the  village of Kilcarra , which was built for the workers of Glenart Castle. The route then heads for the coast and  Tara Hill via Coolgreaney. After turning inland again near Courtown the terrain is pan flat to Camolin. Cranford is reached via the potato fields of North Wexford. The route starts climbing again and returns to Co. Wicklow via some quiet roads. Coolboy to Tomfinnogue Wood to Tinahely, a good spot to stock up as there are no shops for a good distance. There are 2 coffee shops here too. Taking the lumpy backroad to Ballinglen  is followed by a nice descent to the Aughrim River. From here we drop into the Avoca Valley again, after 3km we take a left, passing the recently restored silos for the Avondale Copper and Sulphur Mines. A bumpy road takes us to a left turn and the off-road section to the Miners Cross. This was erected by the workers in memory of their colleagues who had died in accidents in the mine works. Past the cross there are great views of the opencast mine workings and spoils. After rejoining tarmac the road rises to Conary, before a long descent to Kilmacurragh Gardens. This is part of the botanical gardens and always worth a visit in Spring when the azaleas are in bloom, it also has a coffee shop. After ascending back into the Black Hills, we return to Ashford and take the hilly but scenic backroads home to Kilpedder via Newtownmountkennedy.

This route has been in my mind for several years, as the area between the N11 and Vale of Avoca has some fantastic roads for cycling. I tried to use as many of these as possible, but ultimately the distances weren’t sufficient to compile a decent event without heading further South. Wicklow is well stocked with events, so I have done my best to not retrace previously used roads.   The “offroad section” is manageable on a road bike if you take your time.

See also

Long-distance cycling in Ireland