Sunday 15th April 2018
Ballinkillen: Ballinkillen, Carlow, Ireland
Welcome to the Blackstairs Cycling Challenge, which is a great day of cycling commencing in Ballinkillen, Co. Carlow, in the foothills of Mt. Leinster. It is a great day of cycling through beautiful Inistioge, Graiguenamanagh, Borris, Kiltealy, Bunclody and Mt. Leinster in the Blackstairs Mountains.
This event takes place on Sunday 15th of April 2018, and is dedicated to the memory of Eoghan and Ruairí Chada, who are always in our thoughts, and all proceeds will go towards facilities for the young people of Ballinkillen, Eoghan and Ruairí's schoolmates, teammates and friends.
The proseeds will be shared three ways:
- Ballinkillen Primary School
- Ballinkillen Camogie Club and Juvenile Hurling Club
- Jack and Jill Foundation/Down Syndrome Ireland
There are 5 routes to choose from, catering for all categories of cyclists: 140km 105km, 80km, 50km and 12km.
All routes will be fully signposted and junctions marshalled, and there will be backup available for anyone requiring technical assistance, provided by Peter Thatcher of GP cycles, Ballon.
Tea and scones/brown bread will be served from 7:30am for all the early birds and there will be HOT FOOD for all cyclists at the finish line in Ballinkillen. Borris Vocational School hosts the main food stop for each of the 140km, 105km, 80km and 50km routes, where there will be tea/ coffee and sandwiches/cakes/scones.
There are 5 routes to choose from, catering for all categories of cyclists. All routes go in an anti-clockwise direction.
Route 140km: This is a beautiful but gruelling route through Inistioge, Graiguenamanagh, Borris, Kiltealy and Bunclody, culminating in two magnificent climbs of Mt. Leinster. Incorporating 1,900m of climbing, this one is not for the faint-hearted! Enjoy a breath-taking descent from Mt. Leinster all the way down to Ballinkillen as a hard-earned reward at the end of a long day in the saddle.
Route 105km: This route follows the 140km route through Inistioge, Graiguenamanagh, Borris, Kiltealy, Bunclody and Mount Leinster but returns to Ballinkillen without the second climb of Mount Leinster. It is still a tough and gruelling ride.
Route 80km: This route follows the 105km route through beautiful Inistioge and Graiguenamanagh almost as far as Kiltealy, cutting back to Ballinkillen across the lower slopes of Mt. Leinster.
Route 50km: This is a scenic spin across the River Barrow in Goresbridge and doubling back through Borris and Kiltealy, finishing with a climb of the lower slopes of Mt. Leinster and a beautiful descent into Ballinkillen.
Route 12km: This is a fun spin for all the family around Ballinkillen, passing Eoghan and Ruairí's house on the last turn for home.
140km,105km & 80km...9:00am sharp
Signing on and registration will be in Ballinkillen Community Centre and takes place from 7:30am until 10 minutes before the start time of each cycle. Please come in plenty of time to allow yourself time to sign on and grab a quick cuppa!
Those who have registered online will queue separately to those who have not. There will be separate queues for all the routes. There will be stewards present to show everyone where to go, where to queue and where to get a cup of tea! Please follow their directions.
Parking will be on the GAA pitch at Ballinkillen. Please follow the instructions of the marshals.
Directions to Ballinkillen:
From Dublin: Take the M9 South. Get off at junction 6 for Bagenalstown and Leighlinbridge onto the R448 south. After 8km turn left onto the R724 for Bagenalstown (Do not take any other left turns for Bagenalstown). After 2km you meet a 'T' junction in Bagenalstown. Turn right here onto the R705 heading in Borris direction. After another 7km there will be a left turn onto the L3004, signed for Ballinkillen. Look out also for our cycle sign here indicating a left turn. About 1km on that road turn left and you are in Ballinkillen.
From The South via motorway: Take the M9 North. Get off at junction 7 for Paulstown and Bagenalstown onto the R448 North (towards Carlow). After about 5km turn right onto the R724 for Bagenalstown. After 2km you meet a 'T' junction in Bagenalstown. Turn right here onto the R705 heading in Borris direction. After another 7km there will be a left turn onto the L3004, signed for Ballinkillen. Look out also for our cycle sign here indicating a left turn. About 1km on that road turn left and you are in Ballinkillen.
From The South via New Ross: From New Ross take the R705 North through Graiguenamamagh and onto Borris. At Borris there is a 'T' junction where you will turn right and after 100 metres or so turn left towards Bagenalstown (still on the R705). After another 4.5km there will be a right turn onto the L3004, signed for Ballinkillen. Look out also for our cycle sign here indicating a right turn. About 1km on that road turn left and you are in Ballinkillen.
Start and Finish:
All routes start and finish in Ballinkillen, at the Community Centre.
At registration on the morning of the cycle all cyclists will be given wrist bands which are colour coded for each route. There will be an emergeny contact phone number on the band in case of an accident or breakdown. The wrist bands are required at the start of the cycle and for the food stops.
While we will try to have all junctions marshalled there may be some junctions not marshalled. Unless the marshalls state very clearly that the junction is safe to go through DO NOT assume the right of way. The marshals are there for directional assistance and all cyclists must use their own judgement regarding their safety at junctions. Remember that normal rules of the road apply at all times.
12 Km Route:
From Ballinkillen head in Corries direction but just outside Ballinkillen branch off to the right for Ballymartin, via Skahanrane. At Ballymartin turn left for Ballinree cross where you will take another left for Corries Cross. At Corries there will be a drinks stop and maybe a few jellies ( In the yard beside Sean Dalton's house). Go straight through Corries as far as Ballycormack. Turn left for Lorum here. At Lorum all cyclists will regroup and when everyone is present you will turn left for Ballinkillen via Eoghan and Ruairí's house. Return to Ballinkillen Community Centre for well earned refreshments!
Ballinkillen - Goresbridge - Clashmcgrath(near Gowran) - Mt. Loftus - Tyroe - Borris (Food Stop) - Ballymurphy - Scullogue Gap/Knockroe(towards Kiltealy) - Tom Duff - Ballinree - Corries - Ballinkillen.
Ballinkillen - Goresbridge - Gowran - Thomastown - Inistioge - Graiguenamanagh - Borris(Food Stop) - Ballymurphy - Scullogue Gap/Knockroe(towards Kiltealy) - Tom Duff - Ballinree - Corries - Ballinkillen.
This route follows the 105km route for the first half as far as Borris. After the food stop in Borris follow the 50km route back to Ballinkillen.
Ballinkillen - Goresbridge - Gowran - Thomastown - Inistioge - Graiguenamanagh - Borris(Food Stop) - Ballymurphy - Kiltealy - Bunclody - Corrabut Gap - Nine Stones(Mt Leinster) - Tom Duff - Ballinree - Corries - Ballinkillen.
Ballinkillen - Goresbridge - Gowran - Thomastown - Inistioge - Graiguenamanagh - Borris(Food Stop) - Ballymurphy - Kiltealy - Bunclody - Nine Stones(Mt Leinster) - Tom Duff - Ballinree - Fenagh - Myshall - Corrabut - Nine Stones(Mt Leinster) - Tom Duff - Ballinree - Corries - Ballinkillen
Please observe EXTREME CAUTION at the following places (105km route):
Thomastown(25km): There is a descent into Thomastown where the street bends and narrows and at the bottom there is a sharp left turn.
Borris(55km): The food station is at the bottom of the town. You could be gaining speed as you descend down the town but be prepared to slow almost to a stop as you will be taking a sharp left for the food station at the Vocational School.
Kiltealy(68km): There is a descent into Kiltealy where you meet a 'T' junction in the village and must yield to traffic. It is a left hand turn but be prepared to slow down drastically. The road surface in Kiltealy is very uneven and watch for speed ramps also.
Bunclody(80km): For last kilometre into Bunclody the road surface is very rough. Be aware of the speed ramps as you descend into Bunclody.
Nine Stones at Mt Leinster(90km): After climbing up from Bunclody to the Nine Stones at Mt Leinster there are three cattle grids to cycle over. The first is on the way up to the Nine Stones. The other two are on the descent down the other side towards Tom Duff. Extreme care must be exercised on this descent. It is possible to achieve very high speeds here but please slow to around 40km/hr at the cattle grids. If in doubt stop and walk over them. Immediately after the cattle grids the road narrows and becomes very twisty. You will very quickly come to a junction (at Tom Duff) where you must yield to traffic and after turning right here you will start climbing immediately, so get into a low gear before the junction! Again cycle with extreme caution as you could meet oncoming cars.
Also on the ascent to and the descent from The Nine Stones there are horses and sheep which are often out on the road as there are no ditches up there. So be very careful if you encounter any animals on the road - please slow down as you approach them as they are liable to jump in front of you especially if they don't see you coming and get a fright. Let out a few yells to warn them of your approach!