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Cycling Cork to Dublin (day 3)

July 17, 2011

The best day of all was the final one, a glorious summers day with a nice cool breeze from the north.  I went back to Dublin the direct and hard way – over the Sally Gap.  From Aughrim this meant cycling up to the small town of Rathdrum, familiar to anyone who’s done the Wicklow 200.  I stopped for lunch at a nice cafe in Laragh, then up and over the high wild hills.

Its always a relief when you finally see the Sally Gap, whichever direction you are cycling.  You know then its all downhill to wherever you are going.

Its a familiar road then down past Lough Bray, with a detour down Glencree because of roadworks further ahead.

It was one of those perfect rides that you feel like going slower, just to prolong the pleasure.  After 85km I was home, even the necessity of a cold shower didn’t alter the mood.

The total ride from Cork was approximately 300 km, including a few minor detours to explore things on the way.   I could easily have strung it out over five days to look at things along the way, or likewise, it could be done as a 2 day trip if you push hard and get up early (but really, why bother?).  Its one of the unexplored parts of Ireland, and is really good by bike – towns a nice distance apart, a good network of not-too-busy roads, and usually (but not in this particular week), a good wind at your back.  If I was doing it again I would have spent a little more time exploring the south Waterford coast, maybe going as far as Waterford town, then going north, and perhaps I could have strung together more minor roads, rather than spending most of the time on R roads (which, while nice, do have a little too much traffic for comfort).  But all in all, I’d recommend it as a long weekend ride, or a route back from the south for anyone touring the country.

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