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Slieve Blooms / The Cut & Midlands Help Needed

  • 12-02-2024 1:02pm
    Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 37,953 Mod ✭✭✭✭

    I'll be in Athlone later this week (dropping car in for a recall service) and as I've a day to pass, I have the notion of heading down to do the Cut in the Slieve Blooms.

    I'm not at all familiar with cycling this area so would be grateful for some advice.

    I assume that I'm correct in that I approach it from Clonaslee sa per the map below.

    Am I better off returning towards Kinnity via the R440 or the route I've highlighted below (the surface of this doesn't look ideal for a road bike on Streetview)?

    The plan was to head over towards Clonmacnoise on my way back to Athlone. Where would be the best spot for a wet cyclist to stop for lunch e.g. cycle cafe, etc. between the hills above and Shannonbridge/Clonmacnoise?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,089 ✭✭✭nilhg

    The map shows you going over the Cut and on to Kinnity via the Glendine climb, which should be fine but most people would take the R440 over the Wolftrap climb. You should be fine on either but solo and not knowing the area I'd suggest the R440 as a first look, if you did have a mechanical on the Glendine it's very remote.

    Peavoys in Kinnity is good for a bite to eat, further west is out of my area so I'll let someone else suggest somewhere for you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,276 ✭✭✭beggars_bush

    a full day you say?😃

    Go from Kinnity up Glendine (or you can do the R440 climb) and then up the Cut, lunch in Peavoys in Clonaslee.

    Return via the Cut - easier climb from this side and then up the Wolf Trap and second lunch in Peavoys in Kinnity! (or swing round at the top of the Wolf Trap and do the reverse Glendine)

  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 37,953 Mod ✭✭✭✭Seth Brundle

    As really tempting as that sounds, even taking a Hobbit style second lunch, I still have the other 110+kms to complete and it looks like it will be lashing rain all day.

    Edit: the idea is starting to grow on me now!

  • Registered Users Posts: 225 ✭✭Jimbo789

    The Glendine climb from the Laois side is the toughest climb in the Slieve Blooms but it probably has the worse road surface.

    You could do the Wolftrap and Glendine.

    The Cut is good training climb, very uniform gradients, so it's easy set a steady tempo. It's a bit shorter from the Killanure side because the real climbing doesn't start until Monicknew.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,351 ✭✭✭Ryath

    Athlone to Blooms is a decent day out even the most direct route.

    It's 110 even just taking in one climb up Lissanure and decent off the Wolftrap

    If your going to come this far you may as well do the Cut and Wolftrap. 132 this way you can cut 5-7 km of it by taking more direct route back but these are the quite back roads. If you do come back the N52 come of at Doon and come back the slightly longer way. The road from there to Athlone is horrible for cycling solo. Highly recommend Peavoys for food.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,276 ✭✭✭beggars_bush

    Would the garage not give you a car for the day?

  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 37,953 Mod ✭✭✭✭Seth Brundle

    I didn't bother asking. If anything, I'd prefer if they had showers that customers could use after a cycle but I don't think that's something BMW dealers tend to offer.

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 23,202 Mod ✭✭✭✭godtabh

    Get the legs warmed up with the bullet road behind BMW. Then head to **** off hill on the way to the Kinnity

    This is what I am planning in the summer.

  • Moderators, Politics Moderators Posts: 37,953 Mod ✭✭✭✭Seth Brundle

    Back home after my day out today and I'm knackered! 157km with 1300m of up.

    Headed off from Athlone via the Old Rail Line greenaway to Moate and then headed South along quiet roads to Clonaslee.

    The plan I set off with was to head over The Cut and then head towards Kinnity via the Wolftrap. Once in Kinnity, I'd double back and head back the way I came. I was going to grab a coffee in Kinnity and lunch back in Clonaslee.

    However, shortly after starting the climbing I got two punctures in quick succession which I reckon we're down to hedge cutting. With both of ky spare tubed used up, my paranoia kicked in and I was wondering if I should change the plan. I knew there was a bike shop in Kinnity so surely I could get a few tubes there! On my descent from the Wolftrap, I pulled over to take a photo of an old lime kiln (at least I think it was a LK!) and a man driving downhill with a mountain bike on his car asked if I was OK. I said I was and then hesitated as it occurred to me that he might have a tube. However mountain bike tubes would be no use to me so I thanked him and said I was OK again.

    Once I got to Kinnity I headed for the bike shop. Closed (bugger!) with no idea whether this was for lunch or for the day. Saw mountain biker man's car parked outside Peavoys. As it was after 1:30 I figured I'd head the main road back to Clonaslee rather than risk going back over the hills and potentially not getting back to Athlone before 6pm to collect my car. Have to add that the bike shop had a fine looking Pinarello in the window!

    Along the route to Clonaslee, a car came up behind me and sat patiently until it was safe to overtake and then they gave me a wide berth. I recognised it as mountain biker again and gave him a thankful wave and he reciprocated with the hazard lights.

    As I pulled into Clonaslee for lunch my relief turned to disappointment as I realised Peavoys was closed. Feck it, I'd have to get a crappy sandwich in Londis. I had brought a light coffee-stop lock with me and secured the bike. As it turned out, I didn't really have to - as I was dining on my sandwich outside Londis, several people drove up and left their engine ticking over as they went into the shop 🙄

    Anyhow, made it back to the dealer in good time and with no more punctures. Before I pulled into the car park, I did the short Bullet Road as suggested by @godtabh - I had it in my head that there was a viewing point along it but I was wrong - it must be further up the main road.

    Several coffees in the dealer got me ready for the journey home to Leixlip where I finally got something decent to eat!

    Thanks again for the advice everyone. Next time I'll bring half a dozen spare tubes!

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 23,202 Mod ✭✭✭✭godtabh

    Viewing point is towards Glasson beyond the Dog and Duck

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  • Registered Users Posts: 225 ✭✭Jimbo789

    The bike shop in Kinnitty only seems to open on the weekends.

    Peavoys in Clonaslee was closed any time I passed recently so it’s possible it’s permanently closed.