ALL SYSTEMS GO FOR THE DONEGAL BAY CYCLING CLUB SPORTIVE EVENT

first_imgBy Paul McGroary: It’s all system go this week for the Donegal Bay Cycling Club as they host the second edition of the Donegal Bay Spring Sportive Leisure event this Sunday April 13th.The first running of the event last year proved to a great success, with more than 200 cyclists turning up to participate, and the feedback received was very positive. The hope this year is to build on the success of the first edition and turn the event into one of the best leisure events in the country.The formula is once again similar to last year with three routes to choose from 50/100/150k. There are small alterations to the route’s from last year with the circuit’s of the Donegal By-pass now excluded.The 50k route now includes a new loop around Ballintra-Laghey whilst the 100/150k route’s has a few new changes, with a section along the coast at Mountcharles, a new loop around Glenties/Maas/Clooney and a new route home via the Ardaghey road from Ardara to Inver. The food stop on the longer routes has also moved to the top of the hill in Ardara just so the cyclists are not faced with a hill straight after the refuelling!!!The scenery on each route is some of the best Donegal has to offer with magnificent coastal scenery and plenty of boglands in the wilds of Donegal. Indeed the scenery on offer proved to be one of the big draws for people attending the event last year, and one of the long-term aim’s would be to turn the event into a major sporting/tourist event that would draw people to Donegal Town and the surrounding areas.With the option of three distances to choose from, the Sportive accommodates a wide selection of cyclists. From those who are just getting into the sport to those who are looking for a real tough challenge. Many sportives don’t really cater to the newer cyclist but the club feel this is an important part of getting more people out on their bicycles. As such the 50km distance is perfect for the newer cyclist. You don’t need a huge amount of training and only a few weeks or so of preparation would probably see the average joe non cyclist capable of completing the 50km route.The other big plus is the Sportive is not a race but more of a fun day out. Yes, there will always be a few who are hammering along but really the idea is that you cycle at whatever pace you feel comfortable. There are no prizes on offer and the reward is just getting out on your bike, enjoying the countryside and the satisfaction you gain from finishing the event.Registration for the Sportive is from 8:30am to 9:30 am at the Abbey Vocational School in Donegal Town with the cycle starting at 10:00 from The Diamond. Helmet’s are compulsory for participation.There will be a food stop on each route as well as hot food at the finish for those cyclist’s who participate in the 100/150km routes.Further information can be found on the club website Donegalbaycyclingclub.com or the Donegal Bay CC Spring Sportive facebook page. Route Previews:50km Route: The 50km route leaves the Diamond in Donegal Town and heads out the N15 toward Ballyshannon continuing south as far as the village of Ballintra, then it turns left onto the old main road heading north again back towards Laghey. Anyone who has competed in the Donegal Bay Club League will be familiar with this section as it used as the road race circuit. From Laghey the course crosses the Seven arches bridge and heads out on the quiet backroads towards Barnesmore taking in some lovely scenery with a refreshments stop at the old school Barnesmore before hitting the main Donegal-Ballybofey road just before Barnesmore Gap. Across the main road and it’s back on to the back-roads as the route heads west again dropping down past the shore of Lough Eske and continuing on mostly flat roads until it comes out on the N56 west of Donegal Town. The route then turns east back toward Donegal Town passing through the town and finishing at the Abbey Vocational with refreshments and a hot shower awaiting those with weary legs100km Route: Starting at the Diamond, the 100km heads west on the N56 before turning off the main road just before the village of Mountcharles were it drops down to the shore road, past the pier and back up to the Doorin line before rejoining the N56 at Inver. Continuing west through Dunkineely and Bruckless, the route changes direction just before Killybegs at the five points junction, taking a right and heading back toward Ardara where there will be a refreshments stop. Now refueled, the route continues on through Glenties and heads toward Dungloe but cuts off at Maas to do a loop past Kildoney and Portnoo before re-entering Ardara, its down the hill and then left, climbing out of Ardara on the road back to Inver through a landscape of bog and heather. Once back on the N56, its east again toward Donegal Town and finishing at the Abbey Vocational School for the re-energising. 150km: The first part of the long route is the same as the 100km as far as the five points junction but rather than turning off, the long route continues west through the fishing town of Killybegs, out past Fintra and just after the Blue Haven Hotel leaves the main road to take the beautiful scenic Coast road into the village of Kilcar and then onto Carrick. The scenery starts to get more stark now but remains enchanting and beautiful as we head further west before dropping down into the village of Glencolumbkille where we cannot go much further west, instead the route turns east and takes the quiet back road back toward Ardara. Its down the famous Glengesh pass which will come as a relief to many and it’s no time at all to the refreshments stop in Ardara. The remaining part of the route mirrors the 100km all the way back to the finish in Donegal TownALL SYSTEMS GO FOR THE DONEGAL BAY CYCLING CLUB SPORTIVE EVENT was last modified: April 10th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Donegal Bay Cycling Clubroute mapssportivelast_img read more