Day 1 - Saturday
Distance options A 15 Miles B 20 Miles C 35 Miles D 40 Miles
Accommodation : The Courtyard, Bunratty
John Heagney, CYCLE HOLIDAYS IRELANDAll our tours begin in Bunratty, County Clare on Saturdays. We will be available to run transfers from Shannon airport and Limerick train station the day before the tour starts. Most people like to arrive a day early, allowing some time to recover from jet lag before getting on a bike. The Courtyard is located in the heart of Bunratty village. We utlize the small, quiet roads that abound around the West of Ireland.

Bike sizing and fitting will be carried out in detail. If you wish to bring your own saddle or pedals we will fit them to our bikes for you. The single most important element of the tour is the bike fitting session. Consider how much time and effort is expended fitting an engine to a vehicle. In cycling, you are the engine.

Fit is critical. Your body will not adopt to an ill fitting bicycle. You must start with the appropriate frame size.That's why we request your inseam measurement on our booking form. Handlebar and saddle adjustments optimize your anatomical geometry to deliver power to the pedals throughout the week while, while avoiding any injury. Most people arrive the day before the tour starts. I take full advantage of this extra time by spending all day fitting out group members. By fitting people with bikes for over 15 years I have learnt, through experience, the single most important thing that you must have is the proper size bike frame to start with. It's the foundation to a successfully fitting. That's why we use a bike that comes in seven different frame sizes ranging from 13 to 24 inches. Customizing the fit with non-standard adjustable stems will get you into the sitting position that best suits your requirements. Anyway enough about bike fitting, we take it seriously and it will be done correctly.

Before we do any cycling we will discuss the route and how to interpret the daily route maps. On the back of each map you will find detailed instructions for each junction you will encounter. Some people navigate better with the map, some people prefer the instruction but the favorite navigation aids are the yellow arrows sprayed at each junction, pointing you in the correct direction. From the map on the right you can see that we stay on the country lanes avoiding the larger roads.

We have selected deserted country lanes to get you started on the tour. They serve the local farms and steer clear of all but one little village, Quinn where we will have lunch. We will use a motorbike in conjunction with one of the busses to support you today. The use of the motorbike is invaluable as it ensures we maintain exceptional levels of contact with you. Being your first day on the tour, we are anxious to help you to become familiar with the maps and the directional arrows we have painted at the relevant junctions. The motorcycle allows us to comb the entire route several times throughout the day. We could be accused of overkill in relation to contact with the guides on the first day, but to be honest that's what we're going for. We will pull back a little bit and give you more space from the second day on. Rest assured, with the GPS cell phones provided we will know exactly where you are.

We encourage the group to split up and spread out as much as much as possible. Within 1 hour of the tour starting the group will spread out by as much as 8 to 10 miles, with many people opting to explore the small by-roads that cover the Irish countryside. Today’s cycling will be based in an area dotted with small farmhouses and cottages. The route will be a loop route starting and finishing in Bunratty. You can choose any distance that you feel comfortable with today. The roads for today’s route are particularly quiet and wander through the farmland and forestry of south Clare.

We encourage everyone to cycle at their own pace so dispersal of the group will occur naturally. You are free to enjoy a sense of adventure as you explore the minor roads safe in the knowledge that support is just a call away. . We would aim to finish cycling today around 6-00PM. Dinner will be booked for 7-00PM. After dinner there is a good selection of pubs in the village of Bunratty .

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