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Wheelers go South for Off-Road Fun

posted 30 Jan 2017, 02:21 by Kevin Monaghan
(By Shay O'Toole - Sun. 29th Jan. 2017)   
Last Saturday a group of 12 Wheelers headed south to Co. Limerick for a day out in the hills and forests that make up the Ballyhoura Mountain Bike trails. These trails were developed in the Ballyhoura Mountains by one of the leading off-road course designers in the world and cover an impressive 92 kilometres of single-track and fire road trails spanning the Limerick and Cork border. This is the largest site of its kind in Ireland and provides many options for off-road cycling in the area. The trails are a mix of tight, twisty and very hilly terrain with loads of technical rocky sections.

The surfaces throughout the centre also vary from pressed hardcore to loose rock to water and there are several nice boardwalk sections which can be slippy and technical in damp weather. The trails are laid out like ski-runs in a colour-coded system so the routes are relatively simple to follow.

The Wheelers crew headed out on the trails at 11am in chilly but dry conditions which made for great cycling. From the start, the trail rises along a fire road before diverting off through forested sections which contain rivers, bridges, narrow paths and rocky hill climbs. Thanks to the staff of the Deebert House Hotel in Kilmallock who supplied us with a lovely packed lunch we enjoyed a nice picnic after a couple of hours and then continued to finish the days cycling with a rattling 35kms in the legs. 

That evening after a badly needed hot shower and a hearty dinner there was a few pints had in the local pub. To keep the competitive edge on things a game of darts was started up which went on for at least two hours and funnily enough, as the Guinness flowed, the aim got better, well, it did for some. It is fair to say that the winner, Mickey Hynes, was an unexpected victor but he came good in the end and claimed the prize money in a fashion that only Mickey could.

Off-roaders in Ballyhoura were, Eoghan Kevlihan, Billy Cunnane, Tosh Kiernan, Mark Monaghan, Eric Smith, Aidan Daly, Shay O’Toole, Charlie Sheridan, Mick Reynolds, Mossie Keane, Mickey Hynes and Matt Burke. 

Lakeside Wheelers  in Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Centre
Lakeside Wheelers  in Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Centre