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Ireland: Southwest Peninsulas 2019

  • Arrival
  • 6/16/2019
  • Departure
  • 6/29/2019
  • Ride Coordinator
  • John McManus
  • Tour Company
  • Iron Donkey Bicycle Tours
  • Starting Location
  • Killarney, Ireland
  • Finishing Location
  • Tralee, Ireland
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $3700
  • Deposit
  • $1700
  • Number of Riders
  • 23 (min. 16 /max. 24)
  • Space Available
  • 1
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 0

Ride Rating

2B  Warning - Read the Description Carefully

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† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

Ride Description

OVERVIEW:  Besides having some of the most stunning scenery in the country, the Southwest of Ireland is also renowned for its archaeological treasures and for the hospitality and warmth of its native population. There is an abundance of superb cycling routes. This is basically a repeat of the ride led by George Ellis in July, 2018.

Centered on the beautiful town of Killarney, the region encompasses five spectacular peninsulas, each with its own unique scenery and attractions.

To the west of Killarney, the beauty of the Ring of Kerry coastline is legendary. To the south, Beara is another wonderfully rugged and beautiful peninsula stretching out into the Atlantic. Sheep’s Head, the smallest and least visited of the peninsulas, has a quiet charm all of its own. Further south Mizen Head at the extremity of the Mizen Peninsula is the most southerly point on the Irish mainland.

North of Iveragh, the Dingle Peninsula has sublime coastal scenery and some of Ireland’s most fascinating antiquities. Offshore islands, the Skelligs and the Blaskets are the best known of the region’s islands.

THE RIDES:  Starting in Killarney, we spend a loop day climbing the rugged and remote Gap of Dunloe and visiting Killarney National Park, Muckross House, and Ross Castle.  We then ride east to Gougane Barra, where we have the option to ride around Lough Allua, and then head south to meet the coast at Bantry.  Using this as a base for two nights, we explore remote Sheep’s Head, before following the coast north to the Beara Peninsula.  The spectacular Healey Pass takes us through the Caha Mountains to Kenmare for another two night stop, where we can enjoy the town’s famous musical pubs.  The Ring of Kerry occupies the next 3 days of riding, with the option to visit the UNESCO World Heritage monastery at Skellig Michael by boat or attend the Skellig Experience on the mainland.  The wonderful Dingle Peninsula is then explored, climbing Conor Pass, the highest mountain pass in Ireland, before the long descent and flat stretch into the colorful town of Tralee.

ATTRACTIONS:  Lakes of Killarney, Muckross House, Macgillacuddy’s Reeks, Gap of Dunloe, Kate Kearney’s Cottage, Moll’s Gap, Meeting of the Waters, Gougane Barra, Bantry House,  Garinish Island, Beara Peninsula, Ring of Kerry, Derrynane House, Skellig Michael, Gallarus Oratory, Slea Head, Dunbeg Fort, Valentia Island, Kenmare’s musical pubs......  

RIDE RATING: The average daily required riding distance is 38 miles with an average daily elevation gain of 2479 feet, putting it slightly under the threshold for level 2. Two required riding days exceed the 2500' climbing limit for a level 2 ride (2663 and 3017 feet). In addition, one day's route is 50.3 miles with a climbing level of 2976 feet, but an easier alternative is available.

WEATHER:  June's weather is pretty good.  The temperature ranges from 52 to 61.  This is the 2nd lowest month for rainfall (2.75 inches for the month) and has more sunshine (7 hours per day) than any other month. This IS Ireland, however, and you should be prepared for cooler temperatures and rain at any time.

LODGING & MEALS:  The estimated cost covers 13 nights accommodations, Killarney (2), Gougane Barra, Bantry (2), Kenmare (2), Cahirciveen (2), Killorglin, Dingle (2) and Tralee.  In addition, all breakfasts and 7 dinners (3 courses) will be included.

LOGISTICS:  The tour begins in Killarney with a dinner on June 16 and ends in Tralee after breakfast on June 29. Most people will fly into and out of Dublin.  Dublin is a fantastic destination and deserves of a few sightseeing days by itself.   Easy train service is available to Killarrney and from Tralee.  Airport transport between Dublin and Killarney and Tralee and Dublin can be arranged for an additional fee if there is a demand. On the return, would arrive in Dublin around noon on June 29 so plan your flights accordingly.  The cost will be determined based on the number of riders; you will pay the driver if this is arranged.

Iron Donkey will transport luggage and bike cases but will not provide rider support unless there is an emergency.  Be prepared to ride the entire route every day.  Electric bikes will not be allowed.

If you intend to participate in this ride following the Hadrian's Wall ride, plan on flying to Dublin on Saturday, June 15 and then taking the train to Killarney on Sunday.

Brenda Cole is co-coordinator on this tour.

COST & ADMINISTRATION:  Included in the $3700 tour costs are 13 nights accommodation, all breakfasts, seven dinners, electronic cue sheets, maps, gps files, business meetings, luggage transfer, van pickup for emergency use and bike box storage and transfer, and tips. The price is calculated on an exchange rate of $1.456 to the Euro. Some fluctuation may occur between now and June 2019, requiring a price adjustment.

Rental Bikes and Garmin GPS units are available for rent from Iron Donkey; arrangements must be made directly with them.

Nightly happy hour/business meetings will be held in or near hotel pubs.  Due to hotel restrictions in Ireland, the usual BAC cocktail hours are not included in the tour cost.  We have budgeted one drink per person per happy hour.  Participants can purchase additional beverages and/or food.

SINGLES & SOLO POLICY:  It is recommended that singles who want a roommate try to find their own. However, after receipt of the initial deposit, a limited number of singles without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until October 1, 2018 to find a roommate. If they are unable to find a roommate, they will have the option to receive a full refund (minus the $100 BAC fee and payment processing fee) or pay the $1,000 solo supplement and stay on the ride.  If a single pays the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary.   The Ride Leader will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the ride. Solo supplement payments need to be sent to the BAC office.  Checks should be made out to "BAC" with a notation of the tour name included on the check.  They should be mailed to:  Bicycle Adventure Club, PO Box 23998, San Diego, CA  92193. 

CANCELLATION POLICY:  The $100 BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fee are not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled.  Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up, and on costs that can be recouped.  The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional cost as a result of cancellations.  If the cancelling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time.  If the cancelling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed.  If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the cancelling roommate may also be liable for the single supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour.  BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.

In addition to the BAC Cancellation policy, those who cancel may be subject to Iron Donkey's cancellation policy: If the participant cancels, and no replacement can be found, then the following penalties will apply (all amounts are subject to adjustment based upon the exchange rate in effect at the time).

  • More than 90 days before the tour starts, 10% of Iron Donkey trip cost or $298.48
  • Between 90 days and 30 days before departure: 25% of Iron Donkey trip cost or $746.20 .
  • 30 days before departure and departure: 100% of Iron Donkey trip cost or $2984.80

RIDE PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITY:  Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support.  Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles.   All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour.  We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from Ride Leader.  While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and clean-up.  Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour.  Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you may have and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions.

SIGN-UP: To submit a request to join this ride use the "links" displayed above this Ride Description. When you are accepted, the Ride Leader will move you from the Waitlist to the Pending List. At this time you will receive an email notification to login to the BAC website to sign the release of liability form and pay the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee and the initial tour deposit of $1,700 by credit card. As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List.

Final payment of $2,000 is due no later than March 1, 2019.

To contact the Ride Leader, "click" the name at the top of this Ride Description.

Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510

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