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 – next year the Himalayas, Mike?

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Photography and mountain biking

Saturday was a beautiful, sunny day. The low winter light shows our North Pembrokeshire scenery to great advantage, so Graham set off on his mountain bike with camera.

That in itself was a triumph. Many times he has arrived home after a ride saying, “If only I’d had a camera……” or remembered to take it, only for the weather to change instantly.

This time, his aim to record key points in a ride in photos did work out – here are a few.

Imageplenty of water about

ImageImage Bedd Morys

This time, Graham’s comment on coming in was “The riding didn’t flow.” Looking out for likely photo-spots, stopping, manipulating gloves, camera case etc., in fact generally concentrating on the photography more than the riding, was a trial for him.

I’m guessing that photography-lovers know this but enjoy the hunt for the perfect image enough to compensate for the difficulties – or even see the riding as a means of reaching good photo locations.

I don’t expect Graham to morph into more of a camera nut than a mountain bike one – but I do think the results were worth the effort.

Beautiful Autumn

We’ve had rough weather recently.
Too poor, you might think, to enjoy mountain biking around Carningli – too wet – too windy?
Well, some of the time – yes – but in between the gales and downpours there have been interludes of calm beauty. Nothing beats the exhilaration of coming down the mountain – and the scenery – always amazing.