Category Archives: Cycling

anything to do with cycling mainly in Ireland and the south west

3 Peaks Cyclo Cross Race

A week has gone since the race that I had been training for for the last eleven months. That’s 11000 KM of training for a race that was supposed to take me four hours. In the end mostly due to me being very careful on the descents I got 4h26 mins which put me at 248th overall of a field of 650 and 38th in the male fifty category out of 150. That is 60 KM of tough uphill climbs and savage down hills.

Its a race not an adventure, although there is a bit of that too

The picture below shows why sometimes it is best to play safe and get off the bike.

3 peaks cyclo cross race
Picture by andrewnward copyright is his alone

The race has been going since the 1950’s way before mountain bikes were ever thought up. Which is why it is a cyclo cross bike event. Cyclo cross bikes were the original off road bike with drop handle bars. These days they are commonly sorted with disc brakes and frames often made out of carbon fibre. Which is good as in the race there is about 8KM of carrying the bike, which is not too bad when they weigh around 9KG a bit lighter than most mountain bikes.

three peaks cyclo cross race
Picture by bradshaws @ sportsunday copyright is his

Of course the tyres being much narrower means that care should be taken down some of the rocky descents. Some riders in the event would have gone down the hills a full 8 minutes quicker than me though. So next year it is on the down hill sections that I intend to make up my lost time….

Picture by Michael Kenyon of Racing snakes, copyright is his

So next year is only 358 days away and I fully intend to get back to the race and hope to bring Neil too, we could have a go at the father and son category, but I will have to get quicker…

Many thanks to my godson Ben Houlihan who cycled around the circuit using the roads to meet me twice and hand me food and drink, he also had a spare pair of wheels for his father and myself in case we punctured.

Watch a Video of the Bike with Neil riding it

Camper van cycling road trip France

Camper van cycling road trip France a two week trip with 4500KM of driving and a few hundred KM of cycling up some epic French mountain passes.

Start off with a 328KM drive to Rosslare for the Irish Ferries boat to Cherbourg

Waiting to board

Crossing was rough.

The cabins are very good, great night sleep 13 hours non stop.

Entry to Cherbourg, I guess Napoleonic Fort

First stop “Chez Ginnie” a friend of Nadette’s who she met in India.


Then on to Baudelys “chez Jean”

Sardines and squid

Saturday Market

Neil cycled up the Pic de Nore two times in two days, the second day was a French race he entered. There were some issues with his UCI licence but it all worked out in the end. 24KM of uphill all the way.

Jean shows Neil his vines

Jean Sandrine Neil Richie and Nadette

Cycling past this sign, it aint no 2 minutesĀ  šŸ˜‰

Stopping for lunch on the way to Mt Ventoux

Drying Tilleul in the sun, whilst Neil and I ride the Mt Ventoux from Malaucene

Getting ready

Made it, very hot I was slower than last year at 2hours and 10 minutes. Neil was 1 hour thirty five


Lunar landscape at the top of Ventoux

Neil does Ventoux second time from Bedoin, 90 minutes, one of the fastest on that day.

Looking down from the top

Proud Mum

We stayed for a few days “Chez Fabienne” in a tiny hamlet, Provence near Buis le Barronils.

“Chez Fabienne”

Unlike Ireland, French people are still driving their old cars, if they pass the MOT why not. The most ecological car is an old one. Not consumerism

Night talking


Lunch stop on our way to Col de la Bonneta

Top of Col de la Bonneta almost 3000 Meters


Found a great place to stop the night 2500 meters

Spot the MArmot

Road blocked at the very top

Neil searches for a mobile signal to upload his Strava time for the climb

Campsite for the night

Watch a short video here Col de Bonneta

Plenty of natural beauty


We then moved on to the Col de Galibier

Tough climb my sixth in seven days. Neil was much faster than me…

Looking down the Col de Galibier

Evening Meal at Alpe de Huez

Nice evning meal, were going to camp here the night but tractor started cutting grass very late. So moved down to campsite at foot of Alpe D’huez

Breakfast before cycling up Huez

Neil under the hour me 75 minutes

Last few days in the Jura with Catherine, Lionel and Augustin.

When in France

Lots of cows in the Jura, the home of Compte Cheese

Camper van cycling road trip France

Last spin inĀ  France

Boat trip home

Camper van cycling road trip France

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