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FEATURE I THE RING OF KERRY CYCLE


way, and though it only weight 140grams, it can weigh 140 tonnes at times. Taking to the Ring of Kerry lightens ones load in many ways.


The climbing is epic and so are some of the sights. In no particular order and probably forgetting a few, Coomakista Pass is one of the highlights of the Ring, Derrynane House is the former home of statesman Daniel O’Connell and if you can spare a few minutes you should browse around, Derrynane Beach is sheltered, scenic and a short way off the road, as is the Gap of Dunloe, seen on many a postcard. Little wonder some people take two days to ride this. Your best bet is to start in Killarney and head for Killorglin, where you’ll be in 20 minutes if you’ve the tailwind so many speak of. From there it’s on to beautiful Glenbeigh


and Caherciveen, where a top-up and a cake is advised. This town is home to one of the greatest footballers to ever emerge from the county and don’t go into a pub if you haven’t heard of one Maurice Fitzgerald. After Caherciveen it’s Waterville (the halfway point) and onto Sneem, via a very nasty draggy road. From here, it’s more climbing but more descending and some stunning scenery on your right-hand side. There’s just one more major climb after Kenmare, but it is major. Moll’s Gap has been the scene for many of the country’s biggest races, and it regularly features in the An Post Rás as well as the Kerry Group Rás Mumhan every Easter.


The good news is that when you get to


the top it’s pretty much downhill all the way home….though that 20k to go sign could crack you…like it cracked me the first time I


rode the ROK.


Still, with Muckross House and Gardens flanking you on your triumphant return, and the sound of Torc Waterall just about audible, you know you’re close to home. Killarney is about as welcoming a town as there is in Ireland and there’s hardly a better sight than the Gleneagle Hotel on your right… or maybe it’s the Jacuzzi in the Brehon nearby that made you sprint those last few hundred metres. Anyone for another lap?


INFORMATION:


The Ring of Kerry Cycle – Skoda (Main Sponsorship Partners) www.ringofkerrycycle.ie/ The event takes place on Saturday 4th July 2015


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