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Long cycle Galway/Clare/Mayo

  • 20-04-2021 7:45am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 7,668 ✭✭✭ dinneenp


    Hi,
    So when restrictions allow I'm looking to spending a day cycling by myself. I'm in Galway, not to far from Mayo or Clare. Any recommendations for a long cycle (100km +), mainly off busy roads?

    Some routes could be-
    - drive to Cong then cycle Leenaun, Recess, Maum Cross and back to Cong

    - From Galway city- Moycullen, Knockferry, Oughterard, accross the bog/Fermoyle to Derroe and back in via Spiddal (main road though)

    - Oranmore and head out somewhere towards Clare

    - around Lough Derg

    Cheers,
    Pa.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,623 ✭✭✭ cletus


    I can't recommend any specific roads, but https://cycle.travel/ is an excellent resource for planning cycling specific trips while keeping to quieter roads.

    If you give your start and end point it defaults to the quietest route rather than the quickest.

    It will also generate routes based on a pub/restaurant/café etc being the end point


  • Registered Users Posts: 499 ✭✭ lissard


    I did a loop around the Burren in north Clare a few years ago and it was lovely - 100k on quiet roads. Starting just outside Kinvara.
    https://www.strava.com/routes/5204945
    Surface was so-so.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,668 ✭✭✭ dinneenp


    lissard wrote: »
    I did a loop around the Burren in north Clare a few years ago and it was lovely - 100k on quiet roads. Starting just outside Kinvara.
    https://www.strava.com/routes/5204945
    Surface was so-so.

    Cheers, looks like a great route and you get the Corkscrew as well. I've marked it. I have a day off next week and can do the Cong-Leenan route while staying in county Galway so will do that.

    It'll be my first 100km+ cycle so will stock up on gels, jam sandwiches etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,699 ✭✭✭✭ dastardly00


    Hi Pa,

    You could try the following -
    Drive to Maam Cross. Then cycle to Maam, Leenaun, Recess, then continue south on the R340 and around the coast until Screebe, then finally back north to Maam Cross. 101 km in total with 844 m elevation gain.
    dinneenp wrote: »
    Some routes could be-
    - drive to Cong then cycle Leenaun, Recess, Maum Cross and back to Cong

    That's a nice route too but the section of N59 between Recess and Maam Cross would be busy enough and the road isn't the widest


  • Registered Users Posts: 499 ✭✭ lissard


    One other option - slightly shorter - park in Recess and follow the Tour De Conemara 80k route. North through the Inagh Valley, on past Kylemore to Letterfrack, south to Clifden and continue out the other side on the road to Roundstone then back north to Recess. Very scenic and flat, only gets tough if it's windy. If you wanted 100k you could add a loop to Leenane after the Inagh valley.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,633 ✭✭✭ plodder


    Another option from Cong with a couple of very nice hills is to head towards Westport from Leenane but head over the Partry mountains to Tourmakeady and back along Lough Mask. Also 100km.

    https://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=7579927


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,668 ✭✭✭ dinneenp


    Thanks Plodder. So out of my route and the Tourmakeady one, which would be the most enjoyable & scenic?
    I might try the Tourmakeady one as I don't know that route at all; there's always something interesting in cycling a new route.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,633 ✭✭✭ plodder


    dinneenp wrote: »
    Thanks Plodder. So out of my route and the Tourmakeady one, which would be the most enjoyable & scenic?
    I might try the Tourmakeady one as I don't know that route at all; there's always something interesting in cycling a new route.
    I'd have a preference for hills over flat - though might be weather dependent. If you get a good clear day, I'd definitely try out the Tourmakeady one. But, if the weather is bad or is very windy it could be a bit brutal up there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,668 ✭✭✭ dinneenp


    plodder wrote: »
    I'd have a preference for hills over flat - though might be weather dependent. If you get a good clear day, I'd definitely try out the Tourmakeady one. But, if the weather is bad or is very windy it could be a bit brutal up there.

    That's it sorted so, thanks (weather permitting).


  • Registered Users Posts: 839 ✭✭✭ Gorteen


    I've done a circuit around Lough Corrib a couple of times.
    Galway city, Moycullen, Oughterard, Ma'am Cross, Ma'am, Clonbur, Cons, Headford, Galway.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,668 ✭✭✭ dinneenp


    plodder wrote: »
    Another option from Cong with a couple of very nice hills is to head towards Westport from Leenane but head over the Partry mountains to Tourmakeady and back along Lough Mask. Also 100km.

    https://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=7579927

    Hi,
    Thanks for this route, did it yesterday. B*tch of a climb out of Tourmakeady but a beautiful cycle on extremely quiet roads. Got chased by 2 farm dogs but thankfully saw them in wait and it was downhill so I manged to speed away. (what if a dog chases you going up a hill; do they attack or 'is their bark worse than their bark'?)

    Strava


    Some photos here

    Cheers,
    Pa.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,633 ✭✭✭ plodder


    dinneenp wrote: »
    Hi,
    Thanks for this route, did it yesterday. B*tch of a climb out of Tourmakeady but a beautiful cycle on extremely quiet roads. Got chased by 2 farm dogs but thankfully saw them in wait and it was downhill so I manged to speed away. (what if a dog chases you going up a hill; do they attack or 'is their bark worse than their bark'?)

    Strava


    Some photos here

    Cheers,
    Pa.
    Fair play, well done. I probably should have warned you about that descent off Lally's mountain from Tourmakeady, in that direction, there's a few steep bits with sharp turns, but it sounds like you survived it. That stretch is part of the Westportif which I think is planned (fingers crossed) for June coming up.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,327 ✭✭✭ tphase


    Start in Clifden, follow the coast on the R341, R342 and R340 via Roundstone, Cashel, Carna, Kilkieran. Turn left at Derryrush onto the L1205 here (known as Bothar na Scrathog) and head back to Cashel and on towards Roundstone. At Ardkeen Beg, turn right onto the bog road to Clifden (L1105) here

    According to Google maps, total is about 102km


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,668 ✭✭✭ dinneenp


    tphase wrote: »
    Start in Clifden, follow the coast on the R341, R342 and R340 via Roundstone, Cashel, Carna, Kilkieran. Turn left at Derryrush onto the L1205 here (known as Bothar na Scrathog) and head back to Cashel and on towards Roundstone. At Ardkeen Beg, turn right onto the bog road to Clifden (L1105) here

    According to Google maps, total is about 102km

    Cheers, looks nice. I live near Claregalway so Cong is a handy starting point, just over 30 mins away for me. Clifden is 1.5 hours.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,668 ✭✭✭ dinneenp


    So I've booked a day off work next week and going to head back out and do a 120km this time, but flatter route. Any thoughts on these routes or any others? I prefer to stay of main road as much as possible as there's less traffic. I want to start near Cong as that's a short drive from my house.

    I'll head towards Clare/Burren sometime but want a flat-ish, low traffic route this time.

    route 1 Clonbur- Finny-Leenaun- towards Recess with a small loop to add on some kms- Maam Cross- Maam- Clonbur, 123km with 528 climb

    route 2- Clonbur- Teeranea- Maam cross- Recess- Carna- Screbe- Maam Cross- Clonbur, 124km with 499m climb.

    Cheers,
    Pa.


  • Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭ patspost


    A great loop would be Ballyvaughan to Lisdoonvarna ( Via Corkscrew hill) to Doolin then back via the Coast road to Ballyvaughan.
    You could start in Kinvarra or Oranmore to get the distance you need.

    Traffic would be busier on the coast road as the summer progresses.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,998 ✭✭✭ what_traffic


    dinneenp wrote: »
    So I've booked a day off work next week and going to head back out and do a 120km this time, but flatter route. Any thoughts on these routes or any others? I prefer to stay of main road as much as possible as there's less traffic. I want to start near Cong as that's a short drive from my house.

    I'll head towards Clare/Burren sometime but want a flat-ish, low traffic route this time.

    route 1 Clonbur- Finny-Leenaun- towards Recess with a small loop to add on some kms- Maam Cross- Maam- Clonbur, 123km with 528 climb

    route 2- Clonbur- Teeranea- Maam cross- Recess- Carna- Screbe- Maam Cross- Clonbur, 124km with 499m climb.

    Cheers,
    Pa.

    What time of the day will ya be doing this Pa? If the conditions on the day are breezy, usually its South West/West -the second route is nice, from Carna to Cong you will have wind on your back for the second leg of the cycle.

    FYI There are two stop-go traffic light sections for Roadworks on the Galway side of Maam Cross currently on the N59 - so if you are cycling West towards Clifden on the N59 the traffic will probably be in convoys behind ya, depends on the time of the day.


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