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Photography : Frank Cawley Last Updated: 4, Jul 2012 - 08:35


Get on your Bike!
By Frank Cawley
20, Mar 2009 - 11:48

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Mayo County Council have installed a series of three cycling routes on the largest Irish offshore island.  These cycle routes wind their way around the majority of the island.  (The Castlebar Town Council are planning a similar initiative to help drunken rugby fans to get home from tavern after the six nations matches.  These maps will be provided in braile in case the injured parties are blind from pints.)

AchilJanMap_1.JPG
The new maps of the island, where you are and where your going to. I heard a padre answering the same question for a sinner one time, (A)Bedlam, and Hell


There are Three new cycling routes around the island, all three start from the largest village in the world: Keel.  The council have erected a series of cycling posts along each route where you can tie up your bike and find some shelter from the sun.  Each of the posts has detailed information about your current position and information about the island and the rest of the cycling routes.  I think it’s a great idea; it would be even better still if the brought back the Achill Donkeys.  A man could saddle up one of the asses and do the bike tours in style.

AchillJan09_26_1.jpg
All of these pictures were taken in January 2009 one of the nicest months on the island.


Option 1.  (44 KM) Not for the old or infirmed or people who injured themselves the night before by self-medicating with alcohol. This route brings you around the southern tip of the island where you will cycle along the Atlantic drive where you will have a bird's eye view of Clare Island. 

Points of interest Graine Uaile's Castle.

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This is an example of one of the new cycling posts at the golden strand.


Option 2 (28KM) A gentler challenge, more suited for the man who stayed off the shots of sambuca the night before.  This route visits the north east corner of Achill, along the bottom of Slieve Mor, you get a bird's eye view of Blacksod bay along the golden strand in Doogort.  If you have bat-like hearing, then you might be able to hear the music from teach John Joes in Aughleam across the bay, and just like most nocturnal mammals the best time to listen might be very late at night.

Points of interest Dugort church of Ireland.

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These cycle stands won't be empty for long.


Option 3 (12KM) If all you can manage is Option 3, the shortest of the three routes, then you should really stay in bed because it's doubtful that you're safe enough to be allowed to cycle on the nation's highways. 

Points of interest, the Deserted Village. (If you want to see a more modern version of the deserted village then you could also visit Tulsk in Roscommon.)

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Some sea battered posts

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This was an easy shot you won't find too many footprints on the beaches in January.

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The new Michael Davitt bridge




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Frank Cawley
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