The famous annual Ring of Kerry Cycle took place on Saturday 4th of July last.
Twelve thousand crazy cyclists of all sizes and shapes started off in Killarney with a nice gentle cycle to the town of Killorglin. On then past Caragh Lake and over the gently flowing River Caragh and into the picturesque village of Glenbeigh. Then on to Caherciveen past Kells Bay and then to Waterville passing gorgeous views of Valentia Island along the way. From Waterville up the quite severe climb to the Coomakista Mountain Pass the highest pass in Ireland that overlooks Derrynane Harbour and Derrynane House, which was once the home of Daniel O Connell, and then rapidly downhill to the quiet village of Caherdaniel.
Then pass the lovely beach at Carroll’s Cove through Castlecove to a climb that begins at Kelly’s Cross and finishes with a gently descent into the lovely village of Sneem. After another stop for refreshments the cycle continues along the Kenmare River past Parknasilla and over the River Blackwater into the town of Kenmare. From Kenmare the penultimate stage is the steep climb to Molls Gap near Barfinnihy Lake (where my son Owen will remember I hooked and lost a world record sized rainbow trout!) and then the final descent from Molls Gap situated above The Black Valley, when the weary cyclists if they have the energy left, experience some of the most wonderful views of a few of Killarney’s famous lakes and finally the triumphant and totally exhausted but jubilant cyclists arrived back into the town of Killarney.
Phew, I am exhausted just thinking about the cycle that those incredible wonderful twelve thousand people of all ages completed on a sunny (thankfully!) summers day. Well done to all and the amazing volunteers and organisers who guided them and encouraged them along the way.
I went up to the Coomakista Pass to see them going through and you can see below the photo of Peter Kiernan and another volunteer with the cyclists in the background having a rest at Coomakista after their tough climb from Waterville, thankfully they had the breeze at their backs on the way up.
The LIA were I know well represented on the cycle, and one prominent member that I spotted at Molls Gap was the well-known Vincent Casey from Killarney having a well-earned pit stop. Well done Vincent, at your age that was a mighty effort!
As they started on their downhill journey to Caherdaniel the cyclists were able to enjoy at their leisure one of Kerry’s most glorious views that of Derrynane Harbour and its beautiful sandy beaches.
The distance of the cycle is a challenging 112 miles or 180 kilometres, with three tough climbs. It is probably one of the greatest charity events of its kind as it raises over €1.5 million every year for local charities.
But it’s really much more than that because every cyclist who took part and completed the Ring of Kerry Cycle must have felt an incredible personal pride in having prepared for and completed in one day a journey of that distance on a bicycle. Surely a satisfaction that will live with them forever. Well done to all. Take a bow!
Ted Dwyer Family Business