Cyclists called to west Kerry with launch of 'Ride Dingle' sportif

Tadhg Evans

As if Kerry were not already a hub for cycling enthusiasts, Dingle will be the venue for a major cycling event in 2019 following collaboration between Dingle Cycling Club and the organisers of the hugely popular Ring of Beara cycle.

Elite Event Management also runs a range of other events such as the Quest Adventure Series and is now offering another event, 'Ride Dingle', with two separate routes of 55 kilometres and 120 kilometres respectively. 

It will take place on April 27, 2019, and it will raise funds for the Dún Síon-based Camphill Community, which works with people with intellectual disabilities and other special needs.

The longer route will take in such famous scenic attractions as the Slea Head drive and Conor Pass before returning to Dingle via Camp and Annascaul.

Dingle Cycling Club has held the event in years gone by, and its launch under this new collaboration was carried out by Rás Tailteann winner and Dingle Cycling Club President Paudie Fitzgerald; Camphill Community Dingle's Lucy Harvey; and Minister Brendan Griffin TD, who has vowed to take part himself next year.

Late Dingle cycling stalwart John Browne was represented by his son, Niall, and wife, Camilla. Also present was Race Director Oliver Kirwan, who feels the event's scenery alone  is enough to prove irresistible to cycling enthusiasts.

"This cycle is on one of the most dramatic routes I've ever encountered," Mr Kirwan said.  "Because so much of it is on the coastline, it's a constant stream of photo-opportunities - but you'll be much too busy pedalling to think about that. 

"It's an event that has a great reputation locally, and we want to grow it so more people can access it and enjoy this unspoilt, challenging route that will keep you coming back for more," he added.