Speaking to former Cycling Ireland president Rory Wyley one day he suggested that I should join him on one of his training spins to see roads down around Dungarvan and beyond that I may never have been on before.
I was delighted to tag along. Rory is always a mine of information about the history of different localities. He is also a very strong bike rider, a previous National Vets Champion and someone who just loves the sport of cycling and getting out on his bike. The time would pass quickly with Rory for company and acting as guide.
First detour was via the new Boardwalk in Abbeyside, Dungarvan. . Pat Kennealy had posted pictures on Instagram but it was great to see it in the flesh. During the summer there will be a great atmosphere down here as families gather to enjoy the sun and the sea.
On through the town and out to the bottom of the sweep on the main Youghal road where we turned in left. Soon after Rory suggested another left turn and we found ourselves down at a small car park in Ballynacourty. Looking back across the bay to Dungarvan was impressive.
Next it was back on the winding deserted car free road over past Ring Irish College with 2 stops along Helvic Head. The fishing harbour is well known for its fresh catches of the day and many a local restaurant benefit from its produce.
Back on over the other side on yet another deserted road to a lookout point where we could see across towards Ardmore.
Off we set again over through Old Parish skirting the coast all the way along. The roads were small, narrow, winding, smooth surfaced and traffic free. Perfect for cycling.
In Ardmore we spun up around the 5 Star Cliff House hotel before stopping at the White Horses for a fresh Cappuccino and scones with clotted cream and fresh jam. Sitting outside watching the world go by at a sedate pace with no one rushing or racing was very relaxing.
However, soon it was time to get back on the bikes and head on over to Whiting Bay where a couple were out soaking up the sun on their Deck Chairs. Then on through Piltown before turning up left as we approached Clashmore. The hill was steep but the view from the top was worth it.
We looped around to Youghal bridge before a short section of main road which we turned off quickly. It was amazing how alien the volume of traffic felt having spent so long already that morning in such a traffic free environment.
Back on over a small climb running parallel to the main road we emerged once more near Kielys cross before turning in left in the direction of Aglish. A quick stop at a shop for refreshments and another spectacularly scenic road appeared. Then Rory turned right into a small carpark overlooking the river Blackwater as it heads down to the sea in Youghal. Across the river stood a stone tower, which Rory informed me was an old river toll point in years gone by. There is also a jetty across the water linked to a substantial home hidden amongst the trees.
On up to another viewing point where we could look down upon the picture perfect village of Villiarstown and the surrounding countryside. A place made famous by Olympic Marathon Silver Medalist and current President of the irish Sports Council, John Treacy.
Down into Aglish again where we met the famous Magoo. Former President of the Lemonade Wheelers. A rebel offshoot of the all conquering Cidona Carrick Wheelers of the late eighties. Many a Nissan Classic climb was emblazoned with the Lemonade Wheelers logo in white emulsion.
Now, unfortunately it was time to head back towards Dungarvan, but I will definitely travel those roads again. If there is a more perfect place to cycle a bike it can only be up to the same standards as West County Waterford.
Thanks to Rory for being my guide for the day.
Here is a map of the route we took :
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<a href=”http://www.mapmyride.com/courses/1394677″ target=”_blank”>View this Course</a> on <a href=”http://mapmyride.com” target=”_blank”>MapMyRide</a>
[iframe src=<iframe src=”//player.vimeo.com/video/97459198″ width=”500″ height=”283″ frameborder=”0″ webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen allowfullscreen></iframe> <p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/97459198″>Cycling the quite roads of west Waterford</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/thecyclingblog”>The Cycling Blog</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>]