Mike’s Spanish ‘Everest.’

Mike and Pete’s training for their epic bike ride from Seville to Santiago de Compostela across Spain continues apace: their flight is booked for three weeks today.

Pete has calculated that the total climbs on their route equate to just over the height of Mount Everest: call it 30,000 feet.

Whilst on the Beara in West Cork, Mike and Graham rode over the Healy Pass into County Kerry and back down to sea level at Kilmackilogue, before retracing their route to Adrigole. The Healy Pass road is not ridiculously steep but it is relentless: it snakes up via hairpin bend after hairpin bend after (yet another) hairpin bend.

View down the Healy Pass

View down the Healy Pass (Cork side)

At the top the mountains of Kerry suddenly appear. The road swoops downhill, passing Glanmore lake far below.

Looking down on Glanmore Lake

Looking down on Glanmore Lake

At lower levels the road passes through lush woodlands before heading out to Kilmakilogue Harbour on the North-facing coast, where a friendly pub is handy for a refreshment break.

Kilmackilogue Harbour

Kilmackilogue Harbour

The return trip is somewhat tougher, as the climb is steeper towards the top. However, Mike and Graham completed the ride in about 3 hours.

Total height climbed was around 2,000 feet. So, returning to the Everest comparison I mentioned earlier, that made one fifteenth of an Everest, likewise one fifteenth of the climbing on the Seville to Santiago de Compostela route – and all in 3 hours.
It looks more doable when  viewed that way Рnext year the Himalayas, Mike?

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Mike and Pete’s big Spanish ride – training update

There are only 4 weeks to go before Mike and Pete set off on their mountain bike adventure across Spain. 1,000 km of back roads and tracks on plains and mountains lie ahead of them along the Via de la Plata, a lesser known pilgrim route between Seville and Santiago de la Compostela.

Graham (Carningli Bike Hire) is one of the group of friends supporting Mike’s pre-trip fitness drive, so on their recent visit to the Beara in South West Ireland a few bike outings were a must.

The peninsula is hilly: the Caha Mountains form its spine, with little flat ground between mountain and sea. Magnificent views across to the ring of Kerry to the North, Bantry Bay, South and the  Atlantic, West are breathtaking on a fine day Рthat is if the Atlantic gales have not already taken your breath away.

Checking the map

Checking the map

One route started at sea level in the fishing port of Castletownbere. After a stiff climb over the ridge, the West wind nearly blew them off their bikes on the track down past the abandoned copper mines to Allihies, in the far West. A German tourist took pity on them at the local shop, plying them with almond slices, which put the strength in their legs to take them along roads to ‘Town.’

Ready to ride to Allihies

Ready to ride to Allihies

Graham toils up

Graham about to feel the wind