Ireland. Home to 2017’s Enduro World Series, round 4 took to Carrick Mountain; now known as one of the most gnarly and wildest circuits. As its almost St Patricks Day and all, it leads us to thinking what else is there to do around the Irish nether regions…
A brief bit of research finds these select few road bike and off-road MTB single track trails:
Inishmore Island Loop; this is a full days pedalling around the Inishmore Islands and is extremely popular, interesting and picture perfect scenic. Inishmore is the largest of the Aran Islands off the west coast of co. Galway, Ireland. This route is a moderate (55 km) cycling route around the entire island.
Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Coastline; this signposted route stretches 2,750 km (1,700 miles) along the remote winding west coast of Ireland from Kinsale in Co. Cork in the south to Co. Donegal in the north - where it connects to the Causeway Coastal Drive and onto Belfast. The benefit of this route is that it can be enjoyed over a busy few days, or drawn out over a couple of weeks, even! With thousands of outdoor pursuits such as walking, hiking, fishing and kayaking. There's 50+ beaches to explore on your way, among various long distance walks and with local festivals and events happening throughout the year, you're bound to find something you fancy.
Blessington Lakes, Wicklow Mountains and Glendalough; this is whole day of cycling (approx. 75km). It's possibly better being split into smaller chunks as there are a few nasty climbs mid way. The views are breath-taking, so why rush? You'll pass through the spectacular Glendalough, Wicklow Mountains National Park, great mountain hikes, Lough Tay where the Vikings TV series films and Sally Gap.
Sally Gap; if you're Dublin based this is on your doorstep! a remote mountain pass at 503m above sea level, located in the Wicklow Mountains. It's an unpredictable road; exposed and innumerable twists and turns. You'll possibly venture down onto old Military road (approx. 20km), weaving through some of the most desolate landscape in the country.
Ballinastone; again in the Wicklow Mountains, this is one of five Coillte mountain bike trail centres. It's a short loop of purposely built single track. With flowing trails that never really reach a peak and forgiving terrain - it's no wonder why it's one of the most popular trails in the country.You'll have a longish grind up some gravel road, where some technical climbing will come in handy. The trail will gradually wind downhill, across open hillside and thick forest.