4 events for... Cycling fans looking for fun on two wheels

From Westport’s third Gran Fondo to a charity cycle on the Cork cost.

SPRING HAS WELL and truly sprung, so there’s no excuse not to get outside this weekend. And what better way to get some fresh air than on a bike?

Here are some of our favourite cycles and organised events around Ireland for would-be Stephen Roches wanting to get outside on two wheels.

1. Take on Westport’s Gran Fondo for a great cause

17239854_612301432294649_8701910020662257622_o A happy participant in last year's Westport Gran Fondo. Photo: John Mee. Facebook / Westport Gran Fondo Facebook / Westport Gran Fondo / Westport Gran Fondo

Where: Westport Plaza and Castlecourt Hotel, Westport, Co Mayo

When: Sat, April 14. Registration from 7.30am

Westport Gran Fondo is going into its third year, with 1000 cyclists expected to take part this weekend. Raising funds for Men’s Sheds, the event has two routes, the Medio Fondo for those who want to take it slow, and the big one for the pros.

At 70km and 122km respectively, the routes are not for beginners, but the breathtaking scenery of Westport will definitely make all the sweat worthwhile.

Book a place here.

2. Loop around the North Dublin coast

Where: Start out in Howth village, then proceed via Dublin Harbour, Malahide and Portmarnock.

When: Anytime (weather permitting!)

This Howth loop is an absolutely gorgeous cycle, perfect for a sunny spring day. It takes a little over two hours, but you won’t feel the time passing as you zip past the Dublin.

Fun fact: this route was once used as part of the Tour de France.

3. Sign up for Cork’s Fort2Fort charity cycle

Where: Camden Fort Meagher, Co Cork

When: Registration begins at 5pm, April 14

Set up in aid of the Mercy Hospital Foundation, as well as local sports clubs and Camden Fort Meagher Restoration, the Fort2Fort is a gorgeous cycling event around Cork’s coast that combines doing good and feeling good.

Cyclists can choose between a 65km, 85km or 120km route, taking in views around Camden Fort Meagher and Cork Harbour.

Book your place here.

4. Traverse the Connemara Sky Road Loop

Where: The cycle begins in Clifden village.

When: Start whenever you like – you can try a super-short one hour loop, or strike out on the full three hour cycle.

This Connemara cycle is, perhaps, one of the most beautiful in the world. Kick off in Clifden, and take in sea views, castle ruins, islands and panoramas to beat the band.

The longest route goes past Ballyconneely, where the world’s first transatlantic pilots, Alcock and Brown, crash-landed in 1919 – a slice of history well worth seeing.

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