Dreaming in Green: Cheeky’s Route

3 months, 1 hurricane, 2 plane rides and a train ride later, I arrived at the Southwest Coast of Ireland ready for an epic adventure!

Cheeky Backs it up: I had planned my trip back in June, but when my departure date came I was watching Hurricane Harvey unfold around Houston. I was very lucky and came away with very little damage to my house. But there was some impact to my trip which would be cut 2 days short of the original plan. I had planned for 9 days of riding, but it was now cut to 7. Honestly, with the tragedies others suffered I can’t complain.

The tour company that planned the routes worked with me to help modify my new shorter schedule and we decided the best approach for my self-guided tour would be to combine two days of our routes into one longer day, and cut another day entirely. No problem! I was up for a little extra challenge. After all, I was feeling MEGA confident after my training for the AIDS Lifecycle just 3 months earlier, and I was excited to see as much of this incredible country as my legs would allow.

Okay! Now time for epic adventure!

I picked up my rented Fuji road bike in Killarney, changed out the saddle and pedals I had brought from my own bike at home, made a few more quick adjustments for size and fit and pedaled out the door. The sun was shining (awesome!) and the following day I would set off for an epic adventure riding the Irish coast, and a nice portion of the Ring of Kerry, through some gorgeous forests and up many mountains.

Quick view of the Itinerary, route, mileage, and expected climbing.

Day Route ~ Miles ridden / Elevation Climbed
Day 1 Killarney to Gougane Barra + an additional ride around Lough Allua 49 miles / + 3070 feet
Day 2 Combined two days into one —> 56 miles / + 3172 feet
Part 1: Gougane Barra to Glengarriff 20 miles / + 1010 feet
Part 2: Glengarriff to Kenmare 36 miles / + 2162 feet
Day 3 Kenmare to Waterville 38 miles / + 2454 feet
Day 4 Waterville to Killorglin 36 miles / + 2047 feet
Day 5 Killorglin to Dingle 35 miles / + 1624 feet
Day 6 Dingle Loop 0 miles, a rest day for my legs that felt like raw hamburger.
Day 7 Dingle to Tralee

Tralee to Dingle: happily took the train

30 miles / +1250 feet

Bikes on a train!

When it was all said and done, the route map looked like this:

Killarney-Tralee-GarminMap-2017

Wait, did you see that average speed?! I was clocking it in at a blazing 6.4 miles per hour average! When it was all said and done, the route map looked like this:

Honestly, I’m not a fast rider (after all, one of Cheeky’s core values is: If you can’t be fast, you still can look fast. So precautions were made and I wore my fastest looking socks throughout the trip). But 6.4 mph is significantly slower than my normal pace.

In fact 6.4 mph is darn-near fall off your bike slow!

There were a few occasions where I forgot to turn my Garmin computer off while stopped, so my little computer  logged a chunk of 0.0 mph speed while I was eating lunch, but it really doesn’t matter that much. I intended to take a slow pace on this trip. Why rush through this gorgeous landscape or pass up opportunities to meet some amazing Irish people along the way?!

Well all of that is true, but what I haven’t told you is this: because of my quick planning and because I’m a little bit of an idiot, there was A LOT more climbing than I expected.

Which brings us to our story for next time about a little phenomenon I like to call “Irish Flat.”

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9 thoughts on “Dreaming in Green: Cheeky’s Route

    1. Cheeky

      Oh my gosh! I’m so sorry I just saw this comment come through, I can’t believe I missed it earlier! Thank you so much and what a great honor!

  1. One of the main reasons I stopped joining group rides is “speed.” Almost every cyclist I know uses Strava and the majority of them are only bothered about their personal records and KOMs and such. Enjoying the ride, the place, the scenery, all these seem non-existent to them. And I used to hate that. 2017, I did only one long ride. Rode from a place called Fort Kochi all the way to Thiruvananthapuram (of course, you wouldn’t know these places), approx 230 km (143 miles). It was a ride entirely planned through the coastal route and it was really awesome!

    Sorry for the rant. Am very excited to follow your rides through this blog! 🙂 Which is your bicycle back home?

    1. Cheeky

      I’ve come across those riders too! They typically pass me like a swarm of spandex-clad bees. Your ride sounds lovely! I hope that you might post about it soon so I can hear more! I’m riding a Bianchi Infinito named Fiercey. And you?

  2. I have a 2012 Fuji Nevada 3.0. It’s an MTB, but now transformed into a touring bike. I have attached fenders (mudguards), has both front and rear carriers, and the tires are now Schwalbe Marathons. My Fuji is called “Oriole” (named after the tropical songbird). 🙂 I have a not-so-expensive vintage “roadster” too that’s 100% made in India. I use that for my daily city rides. And he is named Kafka (after the character in Murakami’s novel – Kafka on the Shore). 🙂 You can see the roadster in my posts 008 and 015.

  3. Cheeky

    Awesome! Great names too! I’ll have a look for those pictures. Also I was wondering how you get your bike’s to stand in your pictures, they look great!

  4. Cheeky

    Awesome! Great names too! I’ll have a look for those photos! Also, how do you get the bikes to stand in your pictures? They look great!

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