This could be a little ambitious but I'm eyeing up three sportives close together in June. The first is the Midsummer Night Century in Dundalk on Thursday evening the 21st. This is an overnight 160km event that covers Dundalk - Dublin - Dundalk over the night of the summer solstice. Did it last year and thought it was a fantastic event. Once this is done it's drive towards Clare and do the the Tour de Burren on the Saturday. I did this event back in 2009 and have been threatening to go and do it again as I thought it was a fantastic event, another 160km in the bag. Later that evening head up to Sligo for the last event, the North West 150 which takes place on the Sunday. I haven't a clue about this event. All in all 470kms in 60 hours or so. Anyone else interested?
Thinking of doing two around the weekend of the Orwell Randonee. Orwell and one in the Slieve Blooms.
I am hoping to do Tour de Burren. Do you have a link for the Sligo one?
Any information or links to the first one?
Will be doing the Burren run myself as well but for the tripple I'm looking at the West Cork 200 for the Sunday that weekend.
Thought Tour De Burren was Sat, June 16th?
How do you hope to tackle the key issue of the hangovers and sexy party clean-up?
23rd, according to their website
Did the mid-summer century last year (link to last year's site) - not sure if I'll do it again this year. It was good fun, well organised and the feed stop in Dublin was well stocked, but the number of punctures to fellow participants and the early soaking took the shine off it a bit.
The brekkie at the end was fantastic - never has a sausage sanger tasted so good!!!
I'll just get whatever burd(s) I wake up with to clean up and fetch me an alkaseltzer.
Just back from doing theme, I sense a long post.
Mid-summer century Dundalk-Dublin-Dundalk 165km, Thursday 10pm
We went up to Northern Ireland during the day and only got into Dundalk at around 8pm. We checked into the Fairways hotel, we got a nice deal for €39 room only. I arrived at the start, there were only 17 there and the call was made to split, so I decided to take the fast group. With only seven of us I knew it was going to be difficult. After around 20km or so I knew it was going to take a big effort to keep in with them and I needed everything for the upcoming days so I joined the steady group. The route itself is fairly simple, it's dark so there isn't much to look at but it's one of those cycles that's an experience more so than anything else. We stopped at Drogheda for our first water stop then continued on to Dublin passing onto Dublin. I think everyone in the group was thinking about getting home early, it was wet and obviously at night it's cold. So after a welcome cup of tea, couple of hang sangwiches and a banana we turned around quickly. Around 30km on the way back from Dublin I punctured, the group continued on, myself and back up changed the tube and I was driven around 4km to get back with the group. I don't think I went near the front on the way home, Jawgap was doing a good job driving the train. The last hill, not steep but long, split the group a little, we all got back together and headed on. I fell out the back on the way into Dundalk, I really didn't want to push it. Got back to the hotel and received a medal. Very good event.
Tour de Burren, Ballyvaughan, Saturday 160km
Slept for two hours in Dundalk and then drove over to Clare Friday afternoon. Got to Ballyvaughan for 16h30 just in-time for the opening of the sign on. We stayed in Lisdoon lodge in Lisdoonvarna Friday night, very nice B&B. I was washing the bike when I noticed there wasn't much of the back tyre left so I called the back-up number on the card we were given at sign-on and I was able to buy a new tyre.
Got to the start the next morning and headed off, the group was moving steady enough but not bolting due to the strong wind. I was in what was now the second big group. The first climb was difficult but the decent was a bit hairy, we passed the guy on the road and I hope he makes a swift and full recovery. Back on the coast road my saddle comes loose and I have to stop. As I'm adjusting it, not the easiest thing on my seat post, the last big group passes me and I'm on my own until Lisdoonvarna. There was a short but 16% climb. We were heading up the coast road towards the cliffs and I wish the climb went on as on the other side there was a nasty head wind.
At Lisdoonvarna, I meet up with a clubmate and we head on together. I really like the way they do the food in the Tour de Burren, I commented on it the last time but riders have quick and easy access to it and it's not overly complicated to do. Back to the riding, we head on in the wind, rain and general missery for another 40km or so when we get to Fr. Ted's house, we were going to get photos with Ted and the gang when a group of sound Burren CC riders show up, so I said "fook the photos and get on the back of that", we were so glad to meet them. They stopped at the water stops but we made quick refills and headed on to allow them to catch us after the climbs as I was climbing like I had a lead bike and my friend was descending with brake blocks made of butter. The rest of the way was fine, even the rain stopped with about 45mins to go.
My girlfriend also did her first event. She set out to do the 100km but her cleat broke and had to get it replaced. By the time that happened an hour had passed and she decided to do the 60km. The attention she got was second to none and was delighted with the level of support.
The route was very testing, with dead roads, wind and the odd hill. I probably would have gone around at least half an hour quicker if my saddle stayed on and I stayed in a group.
200 150, Baltimore, Sunday 144km
After leaving Ballyvaughan, we got to Baltimore rather late, just after 11pm. A quick shower and off to bed. The start wasn't a mass start, which I don't like as I have no one to sandbag. I started off slowly and continued like that for the rest of the day. Again I wasn't going to push it, the legs didn't feel anything, they just moved.
Finally I had a day of sunshine and the west Cork scenery is only magical. The climbs felt rather gentle as did the descents. The road surfaces were very good bar one part coming down from one of the peninsulas. At the food stop, I realised I was one of the last ones in so I decided to skip the 200 and get on the 150, which in hindsight was a very good decision. I met up with a Wexford Wheeler and the two of us accompanied each other most of the way home.
I thought the entry fee of €40 was a bit steep when I paid it but we got nice food at the stop, fish and chips at the end, a shower and a good quality t-shirt.
470km done since 10pm Thursday night. Next year the summer solstice is on a Friday so I'll have to pedal harder to get to Ballyvaughan on-time for the start
Nice one Havoc. You'll be floating across those Pyrenees next month...
Fair play to ya but I must go for a Geography refresher course because when I was in School they never taught me that Sligo was in Cork
When I saw Monaghan Utd pulled out of the league during the week, meaning that Sligo Rovers would have no match, I decided to go down to Cork to attempt 200, for the craic. I have to get on the bike again today, I plan on bringing the beginners for 70km on flat road. Garmin has me down for 573km in the last week I'm 11 meters off 1,000km for the month to date and I'm 3,712 for the year to date
well done captain!! hows the legs after it. Would you manage another 300 k? with hills? (When I say hills I mean mountains obviously)
I'm thinking i'd like to involve myself in one of these Sportives sometime, never done one and they seem like great events.
Just one question though, what kind of level are they on speed wise? Like for a 160km, obviously there's gonna be faster and slower guys but what kind of times would most be putting in.
I did the first sportive at 25kph, the second at 22.5kph and the third at 20kph, so there's various levels. I think for a first sportive one of the an post events would be ideal as they're well signposted and marshalled, I know some people lost their way in the Burren, I met a guy doing the 60km on the 160km route, but generally they're very well signposted. Our own Tour de Kilkenny will be on the Saturday of the August bank holiday weekend and will be very well signposted. I pushed my girlfriend into doing her first one in the Burren and she loved it, she was afraid before hand but I think I might have her hooked The legs are sore I'm determined to do another 288km before the end of the month though