This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
FEATURE I POPULAR RIDE S


ome rides you rock and roll and grit your teeth for, more you just roll. It almost feels effortless, like one swift, violent downward pedal


stroke will get you home.


The 100k route used every May for the Stephen Roche Tour de Cure falls into the latter category and it’s one of those rides that sadly, is over all too quickly.


Little wonder that thousands enter every


year. Granted it’s for a good cause and that’s got something to do with the huge sign-on but we cyclists are as much do-gooders as egotistical maniacs really, aren’t we? We love nothing more than killing our neighbour on a Strava segment, setting a course record for a ride, blitzing that guy with the shiny Pinarello Dogma and the full (and matching) Assos kit on a climb. This 100k ride, I’m convinced, can be done in two hours if you really mash it, that’s how good these roads roll. And the scenery, where do we start?


Rolling out of Midleton heading east you’ll be glad of the tailwind that takes you almost 35 kilometres through the neat villages of


Castlemartyr and Killeagh before you hit the seaside town of Youghal, the last remaining outpost in the county of Cork.


Crossing the bridge at the far side of town you’ll enter Waterford where Clashmore provides the first real climbing of the day after around 40 kilometres. Buffeted by a crosswind you’ll head north for Villierstown and Cappoquin – taking in some stunning rivers and lakes.


After Cappoquin you’re going to encounter the smoothest road in Ireland on the way back for Lismore, where the real treat awaits. Flanked by the river Blackwater for this eight kilometre stretch it’s hard to imagine many places as breath-taking.


Lismore itself is one of those towns you’d love to be from. It’s a walled little enclave at the foot of the Knockmealdown Mountains bordering the counties of Tipperary and Cork through which the river flows through in no real rush.


Nestled in a snug well-wooded hollow


it’s one of those places on the outskirts of civilisation inhabited by no more than 1,200


people, one of whom is one of Ireland’s best loved travel writers Dervla Murphy, a woman who has cycled to most corners of the world. After Lismore, however, there’s some real climbing to be done with a fine six- kilometre drag after Tallow that’s not for the feint-hearted. You’ll also be riding into the teeth of a headwind – usually – so if you’re new to this game, be sure to know how to operate the small chain ring because you’re going to need it.


Up, up and up you’ll go until the wind whips up and you can see for miles and miles around at the top, but with a long sweeping descent into Dungourney to come you won’t want to hang around at the top for long. There’s another little stinger after 90 kilometres but with the finish in Midleton so close, you’ll have no need to leave the big ring. And that sweet-scent of whiskey which hangs in the air from the town’s distillery is surely worth another few km’s to your average speed.


Who fancies another lap?


January 2015 I Cycling World


31


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116