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Rev-Up4DSI has magic time in the Kingdom

Riders at Gougon Barra in Cork
Riders at Gougon Barra in Cork

A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” So said renowned travel writer Tim Cahill.

After last weekend’s Rev-Up4DSI charity motorcycle run, I can see his point.

We had a ball when laughing, crying (with laughter, mostly) and blasting our way along 1,111.1km of some of the best biking roads you’ll ever come across.

Our base for the weekend was The Rose hotel in Tralee, Co. Kerry, but to misquote another great writer, it was more about the journey than the destination.

Setting off from Joe Duffy Motorrad in Finglas, Dublin, on Saturday morning, 140 bikers, pillions and support crew headed south-west on the N81 and N80, heading for Thomastown and then Inistioge in Co. Kilkenny for the first stop of the day.

 

There are three stages per day over the three-day bank-holiday weekend event, with participants only learning where the road will bring them at each checkpoint.

From Inistioge, we headed for Callan, then on to Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, and off in the direction of Lismore Castle in Co. Waterford.

The second checkpoint of the day ticked off the list, it was off to our newly-revealed base for the following two nights in the heart of the Kingdom.

 

I had gladly delegated navigation to my riding buddy – let’s just call him Mag Guy – for the day. He let us down badly at this stage, misreading his route notes and bringing us into a perpetual Bermuda Triangle around Mallow in Co. Cork, before finally navigating us back to the right road and on to Tralee. Note to self: bring along a sat-nav next year.

Just the right amount of food, beer and craic was had that night, before we all headed for some shut-eye ahead of day two.

And what a day it was, bringing with it the magical roads of the Kingdom, Cork and the Wild Atlantic Way.

We headed towards Bantry and on to Gougane Barra, nestled in a forest park, for Saturday’s first checkpoint. This is a holy place (it was the reputed home of St Finbarr), and it felt like a bikers’ Mecca.

And it just got better from there. We headed for Glengarriff, then on along the Beara peninsula towards Castletownbere and back in to Kerry towards Kenmare, where we stopped for big bowls of mussels.

Then it was on to Killarney along the N71 through the National Park and up over Moll’s Gap. If you’ve never ridden this road, put it on your bucket list.

 

We stopped at Lemonrock Bike Tours (www.lemonrockbiketours.com) in Killarney for the second checkpoint. 

The beauty along the stunning roads of the Dingle peninsula and the dizzy heights of the Conor Pass were up next, before we returned to The Rose.

At dinner that night, testament was paid to everyone involved in Rev-Up, now in its 12th year, having raised almost €2m for Down Syndrome Ireland. And we all remembered our good friend and co-founder of the event, Aidan Lynam, who passed away following an accident during Rev-Up two years ago.

I had to go straight back to Dublin on Monday morning, but my fellow participants headed off for another 344km. They went to Charleville in Co. Cork en route to the Rock of

Cashel in Tipperary, then back to Dublin via Birr, Mountrath, Portlaoise and the finish point at the Spa Hotel in Lucan, Co. Dublin.

To join next year’s event, see www.revup4dsi.ie. Just don’t rely on Mag Guy (or me) for directions.