COMERAGH TOUR 2018
Comeragh Tour is back and bigger than ever!! Comeragh Tour takes place 26th August 2018. The Comeragh Tour 100km & 125km (if you do the OPTIONAL Climbs) cycle sportive will take place at 10AM on Sunday 26th August 2018 starting & finishing in picturesque village of Ballymacarbry, Co. Waterford in the heart of the Nire Valley. This is a fundraising event and has benefited both local and not so local causes. The beneficiaries of the cycle over the past years included Special Olympics – Local & Munster Region, The Ballymacarbry National School, The Ballymacarbry Community Centre and Haven Partnership (Re-building Homes in Haiti following their devastating earthquake in January 2010).
Legendary cyclist Sean Kelly has given his personal support to the Comeragh Tour in helping us promote the tour and has made the personal effort to appear at the funds presentation event, much to the delight of the Special Olympics athletes! Special mention is need also for Sean Kelly’s brother, Martin Power who is also a great supporter of the tour and has been lead marshal every year.
This is not a timed event. It is a challenge that you do at your own pace. All levels of cyclists are catered for from the fastest to the slowest and all levels in-between. There will be plenty of help on the day so make sure you keep the event emergency / help number to hand, just in case.
TWO ROUTES 100km or 125km (with 2 optional climbing loops) Option of doing two very challenging and iconic climbing loops of Mahon Falls & Tincor/Powers The Pot.
Both routes route travel around the very scenic Comeragh Mountains. Starting in Ballymacarbry (on the R671) the peloton will travel to Dungarvan and onto Lemybrien. Expect all the colours of the rainbow representing club kits to professional team outfits. After Lemybrien the cyclists will have the choice either to climb the iconic Mahon Falls and then returning to the main route or continuing straight on to Carrick on Suir. In Carrick there will be water stop to recharge the energy levels. After Carrick its onto Clonmel and the second of the optional climbing loops – Ticincor up to the very top of Powers The Pot and returning to the main route in Clonmel via the scenic Nire Road climb. All cyclists will then return to Ballymacarbry where there will be some welcome refreshments available.
MAHON FALLS & TICINCOR/POWERS THE POT CLIMBS The optional climbs are very challenging. Mahon Falls starts from Mahon Bridge and is approx. 5 km long with an average gradient of 7 % BUT the last 500 m of the climb has a gradient of 15%. Ticincor is approx. 6 km long and hits you immediately with a gradient of 16%+ then “flattens out” to about 10% followed by a stiff 20% section as you pass the aerial masts towards the top. Powers the Pot is a very scenic climb with grades of 6-7%. Mahon Falls featured on the, sadly now discontinued, Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford in all years it ran except 2017 while The Ticincor climb all the way up to to the highest road section of the Comeragh’s followed by the Powers The Pot climb was a new addition to that tour in 2017.
There will be plenty of help on the day including the Civil Defence who will provide medical cover, the Garda, bike marshals, road marshals, caterers, photographers, and general helpers on the day. The Ballymacarbry Community Centre will allow us use their first class facilities for the event including use of dressing rooms before after the event.
Every participant must report to Ballymacarbry Community Centre on Sunday 26th August 2018 between 8.30am and 9.30am. A hard shell cycling helmet is compulsory. We ask all participants to remember that this event is being run on open roads and the rules of the road apply at all times. Marshalls will be out on the course but remember that they DO NOT have any authority to control or stop traffic. They are present for awareness purposes only. ALL participants are responsible for their own safety and participate at their own risk. Please ensure that your bicycle is in a roadworthy condition (correctly working brakes, gears etc.) and that your wheels are fully inflated. Please bring a pump, spare tubes and puncture repair kit. The official start time for the route is 10:00 a.m. SHARP. There will be PARKING in the immediate vicinity of Ballymacarbry Community Centre (please follow stewards’ instructions on arrival). Parking will not be allowed in the private housing estate adjacent to the Community Centre. Please allow plenty of time for parking, registering and getting ready prior to the starting time of 10AM.
We hope that your training schedule is on track and are looking forward to welcoming you on the day. For further event information and news, visit our facebook page: Comeragh Tour or telephone Martin Moore on 086-2571203.
Waterford Greenway is a spectacular 46km cycling and walking trail along an old railway line which takes you from stunning Dungarvan all the way to the quays of Ireland’s oldest city (Waterford). It’s a cycling paradise!!!! One of the best ways to explore the greenway is by bicycle and we are facilitated by The Greenway cycle tours and bike hire companies – see links below.
Some of the attractions enroute are:
Dungarvan:– Breath taking views across Dungarvan Bay traveling to the town centre.
Ballyvoile Tunnel:-The Ballyvoile 400 metre brick-lined tunnel is as fresh as the day it was built and discreetly lit to keep it’s magic.
Two Stone Viaducts:- The Durrow 7 arch and Kilmacthomas 8 arch viaducts are engineering marvels.
Mount Congreve:-These world famous gardens are directly accessible from the Greenway.
Dungarvan to Ballinroad (4km) :This 4km stretch is simply fantastic. A beautiful walk will take you from the Norman-founded market town of Dungarvan, leaving the glistening Dungarvan Bay and passing beautiful Walton Park with King John’s Castle behind you. Pass the Moresby Buoy in Abbeyside which recognises the tragic sinking of the Moresby ship in 1895. Then move on to the Barnawee Causeway, where many species of birds and sea life can be observed and finish at the newly-constructed carpark in Ballinroad. A number of bike hire outlets will have you set up in minutes for an experience that will last long in your memory.
Ballinroad to Durrow (6km) :Leaving Ballinroad head east, pass the newly planted Irish native trees with the view to your left of the Old Clonea Church and its graveyard. It is said that Christian devotion was practiced here before St. Patrick arrived in Ireland and there is the legend of the skull-like stone. Heading past marshlands will take you to Clonea. The Atlantic Ocean is to your right; breathe in the salty sea air combined with the aroma of fresh local strawberries.
Passing Clonea the trail then moves inland at Ballyvoile leaving magnificent views of Dungarvan bay and the Gaeltacht area of An Rinn (Ring) and Helvick across the inlet before proceeding. Next you cross the Ballyvoile Viaduct, beautifully restored by Waterford City & County Council with the story of the viaduct embedded in some of the panels of the bridge before heading through a type of tropical jungle type cutting into the quarter of a mile Durrow Tunnel, with tasteful and discreet lighting keeping its magic and mystique alive. Continue on a little further to Durrow for a welcome break at O’Mahoney’s Pub, where there is also a free car park available.
Durrow to Kilmacthomas Old Workhouse (13km): Leaving Durrow only a few hundred metres , you can find the lonely ruins of the Durrow and Stradbally Railway Station, a hive of activity in its heyday, now coming alive again. On another few hundred metres to Durrow Viaduct, another impressive stone bridge but what’s unique about it is- it is a railway bridge over a road bridge over a river.
Heading through the lush countryside with the Comeragh mountains on the left, continue under the N25 at McGraths Cross by means of a newly installed tunnel and it’s onward for Kilmacthomas, crossing the impressive curved viaduct that can be really appreciated by coming down onto the path bringing you to the park below and viewing it from here. Kilmacthomas with its milling history and home to Flahavan’s Porridge is making a big comeback with a powerful and highly driven local community ensuring that there will be a big welcome and plenty of facilities for the greenway users. The river Mahon flows under this viaduct. Leaving Kilmacthomas you head past the ruins of the Kilmacthomas Railway Station recently taken over by the community to renovate into a welcoming station for visitors.
Travelling another kilometre and over the newly installed bridge across the N25 road, will bring you into the Old Workhouse of Kilmacthomas (also called ‘The Union’). Here are a collection of interesting buildings, which in 1850 housed the destitute after the famine of the 1840’s; recalling a sad but important history. There is also a large carpark here with bike hire available in the workhouse buildings and soon there will be a restaurant and a Workhouse Experience. Additionally, Mayfield Birds of Prey offers you an opportunity to meet, handle and fly a variety of wonderful birds, an interesting end to this stage of the Greenway.
There are various car parks located along the route, in Ballinroad, Durrow, Kilmacthomas – (Toilet Facilities) and Bilberry.
This is a shared use Greenway. That means that people are allowed to use it in different ways. People can cycle, walk and run. The Greenway Code is about respecting other people and the environment. Let’s all work together to keep the Waterford Greenway a special place, where people are kind to each other and to the beautiful surroundings.
*Keep left and pass on the right while cycling and walking, and listen for bicycle bells
*Cyclists -Please use your bell and cycle at a safe speed
*Bring your litter home
*Keep your dogs on a short lead, and clean up after your dog
Bicycle Hire is available from the following:
The Greenway Man, Durrow
Waterford Greenway Bike Hire, Abbeyside and Kilmacthomas
Waterford Greenway Cycle Tours and Bike Hire, Davitt’s Quay, Dungarvan
Bob Troy Bike Hire, Dungarvan
O Mahony’s Cycles, Abbeyside
Base your group here in the hostel, and you can drive or cycle to Dungarvan to enjoy the amazing Greenway.
SEAN KELLY TOUR OF WATERFORD
Our Hostel sits on the route of the famed Sean Kelly Cycle. You have a choice of the 160km or the 100km route and some or all the climbs at Mahon Falls and Seskin Hill. Both routes are permanently marked so it is no harder than choosing route 1 or route 2. With sports changing rooms and showers you can be guaranteed that none of your group will be left waiting for a shower and we have drying facilities. A favourite of many cycle clubs is to cycle from their home base to Ballymacarbry on a Friday Evening do the Sean Kelly Route on Saturday and head home on Sunday with members who would have brought a car. The Sean Kelly Routes are marked on OS 74 & 75. Our hostel has a kitchen which can cater for a full house, but we also have the option of a caterer that will come in to provide meals. The hostel is within walking distance from two pubs, shop and post office.
Base your group in Ballymacarbry Hostel and be in the centre of the action. 2017’s Sean Kelly Tour takes place on Saturday 19th August and Sunday 20th August 2017.
Comeragh Tour 2017
Unfortunately 2017’s Comeragh Tour has been cancelled. We hope to see you in 2018.
Comeragh Tour 2016
Comeragh Tour 100 km cycle will be taking place Sunday 29th May 2016 at 10 am at Ballymacarbry Community Centre. There will be options to climb the iconic Mahon Falls and or Seskin Hill in Sean Kelly country. Route takes place around the scenic Comeragh Mountains. Funds raised in aid of Special Olympics – make a difference and get on your bike. For more information on prices and registration, please check out the website www.comeraghtour.com
Sean Kelly Tour 2016 – 20th & 21st August.
The Ballymacarbry Hostel is an ideal location for your hostel accommodation if you are taking part in the Sean Kelly Tour.
The Sean Kelly tour is already a legend in the cycling world, it is so popular that a cap has been placed on numbers taking part. The tour passes through Ballymacarbry as does two of Waterford’s way marked cycle routes.
For more information on the Sean Kelly tour check out their website by clicking here: www.welcomewaterford.ie/seankellytour
Base yourself in Ballymacarbry and you can challenge yourself to miles of mountainous roads in the Comeraghs or the Knockmealdowns.
Other cycling events.
Roads aren’t the only attraction for the bike enthusiast – there are miles upon miles of unexplored forest roads and paths in the Nire Valley area ideal for the person and their mountain bike.
On 25th October 2015, we are hosting the Comeragh Drop mountain biking event. 40km of RAW Mountain Biking.
Why not base your group in Ballymacarbry Hostel and be in the centre of the action.