Rider Info for 7-Day Tour

Tour Itinerary

Our meeting point on arrival day is the Cork Airport Hotel. You can make your own way there in the afternoon, or we can collect you at Dublin Airport at 12:30pm. We stay in the Cork Airport Hotel overnight. The hotel is a few minutes’ walk from the Cork Airport terminal.

During the evening we will get you registered, unpack bikes and brief you on everything you need to know. We ask that your bike pedals are removed until the next day at Mizen Head. This allows us to pack the bikes in vans more securely and safely.

Bike boxes will be taken away and stored until the end of the tour so make sure you have everything you need out of them.

In some circumstances, we may be able to arrange for alternative collection points. Please contact us to discuss in advance.

Departing at the End

On the final day, we arrive at Malin Head. After celebrations, photos and refreshments, we will pack belongings and journey back to the city of Belfast via the Belfast International Airport. (approximately 3 hours).

It is worth nothing that there are two airports serving Belfast – the Belfast International Airport and the George Best City Airport. The International Airport is 12 miles north-west of the city of Belfast and the City Airport is 4 miles east of Belfast. The International Airport offers a much wider range of destinations, with the City Airport primarily offering flights within the UK and Ireland and some European destinations. The International Airport is on our route from Malin Head to Belfast.

Our routine drop off points on finish day are:

1.      Belfast International Airport - at the Maldron Hotel. This accommodates those flying the next day. The Maldron Hotel is five minutes’ walk from the airport terminal. We do not recommend departures from Belfast International Airport on the evening of the finish day as the time arriving at the airport is very variable, depending on the time to reach Malin Head by bike (wind, weather, mechanicals, etc.). The Maldron Hotel can be checked / booked here - http://www.maldronhotelbelfast.com/

2.      The city of Belfast - at the Premier Inn, Titanic Quarter. This accommodates those staying over in Northern Ireland and travelling on the next day or later from Belfast. We recommend you stay in the Premier Inn, Titanic Quarter if possible. However, if booking an alternative venue, please try to ensure it is within a one mile radius of the Premier Inn. We will endeavour to set you down at your alternative venue where possible (an additional fee may apply). The Premier Inn Titanic Quarter can be checked / booked from this web page - http://www.premierinn.com/gb/en/hotels/northern-ireland/antrim/belfast/belfast-titanic-quarter.html

Your bike box / bag (if you used one) will be delivered to your drop off point for you to repack / box for onward travel.

General Transport Information

In all cases, you are advised to check provisions for travelling with your bike in advance.

Taxis and Minicabs

-        Value Cabs Ltd +44 (0)28 9080 9080.

-        ‎fonaCAB Ltd +44 (0)28 9033 3333

From Belfast city centre to Belfast Ferry Port

Translink operate the Metro service 96 from Donegall Square West next to Belfast City Hall to the Norfolkline and Stena Line terminals and also from the terminals to Belfast city centre. The service runs approx. 20 minute intervals taking 25 minutes.

From Belfast city to Dublin city

Translink operate the Enterprise train service from Belfast to Dublin - http://www.translink.co.uk/Services/Enterprise/Routes--Timetables/All-Timetables/

From Belfast city to Dublin Airport and Dublin city

Aircoach operate services from Belfast to Dublin - http://www.aircoach.ie/timetables/route-705-x-belfast-dublin-airport-dublin-city-express

From Belfast city to Belfast International Airport

http://www.belfastairport.com/en/content/2/49/to-from-belfast.html

Airport Express 300 operates a 24 hour service between the airport and Belfast Europa Buscentre adjacent to the Europa Hotel, on Great Victoria Street, central Belfast. Buses departing every 15 minutes for the majority of the day on weekdays, with reduced frequencies at off peak times and weekends. Tickets are available from the driver and are priced at £7.50 (single) £10.50 (return).

From Belfast city centre to George Best City Airport

http://www.belfastcityairport.com/To-From-the-Airport

The Airport Express 600 operates between 0545 and 2125 every 20 minutes Monday to Saturday and every 40 minutes on Sunday from outside the airport to the Belfast Europa Bus Centre adjacent to the Europa Hotel, on Great Victoria Street, central Belfast.

The Route

Where possibly we have kept off main roads, however, as it is an end to end, there is some cycling on main roads. Road surface is tarmac, but may not be of the quality you are used to in some parts.

Please note, there may be circumstances where it is necessary to change the itinerary – accommodation and / or route. We will endeavour to ensure that any changes will not detract from the comfort and enjoyment of the tour.

What to Bring

  1. Your bike. Please ensure your bike is in sound mechanical condition. We strongly advise you have it serviced and a new chain and cassette fitted before the start of the tour. A worn chain or cassette can slip especially on the hills. Ensure that you have suitable low gears as some of the climbs have an average gradient of 10%. New tyres and tubes should also be fitted at the start of the tour. When deciding on your choice of tyres, consider whether you wish to opt for better puncture protection or more of a race tyre which will roll better. Road conditions may be poorer in the west of Ireland than what you are used to. We recommend you use no smaller than a 700 x 25c tyre. Before the tour, please check your wheels carefully for hairline cracks in the rims, corroded or loose spokes, cracked hubs and badly adjusted bearings.

  2. We recommend you bring a spare rear derailleur hanger (mech hanger). This is the piece of metal that the rear derailleur attaches to. On most bikes this is a replaceable piece of aluminium which is designed to break when stressed rather than causing costly damage to your bike frame. Mech Hangers are individual components specific to your type of bike, so it’s best to have a spare.

  3. Lights – a good idea to have and if you generally ride with your light(s) on even during the day, then please do what you are used to and comfortable with. There will be no riding at night, however, lights will make you safer in fog or poor visibility.

  4. Energy, hydration, recovery powders / tablets / bars, etc.

  5. Drinks bottle for bike

  6. Cycle kit to carry as you cycle with spare tubes, pump or gas inflators and tyre levers

  7. Helmet – for your own safety. We recommend that you wear at all times when cycling, however it is not a legal requirement in Ireland or the UK

  8. Clothing for wet spells – Ireland has its fair share of rain. However, rain often clears up quickly and it’s common for wet mornings to turn into glorious afternoons of warm sunshine. Normally a light-weight rain / wind ‘shell’ is sufficient to carry, however it is worth having a heavier rain proof jacket for any extended spells of rain

  9. Cycle gloves – fingerless gloves will normally suffice, however full fingered gloves will keep you warmer in any cold spells

  10. Evening clothing and personal effects (accommodation provides bed linen and towels, etc.)

  11. Money / cards – the currency in the Republic of Ireland is Euro (€). The currency in Northern Ireland is British Sterling (£). There will be access to banks and cash machines regularly along the route. Most cafés and shops take all major credit / debit cards

  12. Garmin or other GPS device, if you use one. We will send you GPX files for upload to your device well before departure. Our route cards give directions in reference to distance covered, so some type of cycling computer or Garmin / GPS is advisable.

  13. Mobile phone – please ensure you have your Tour Leader’s number and they have yours. You will be asked to complete ‘In Case of Emergency’ information at the start of the tour.

Provided en Route

Brew stops and lunch are provided for you. We will communicate the brew stops and lunch stop at each morning’s briefing. We will have snacks, fruit, cereal bars, etc. for you also.

Bicycles will be stored overnight in the accommodation’s lockup facilities for bicycles, or securely in the box trailer.

Mechanical Assistance

Wild Atlantic Cycling provides basic mechanical assistance during the tour. You will be expected to repair your own punctures and to assemble / disassemble your bike. You will also need to be able to assemble and pack your bike if bringing by box / bag. We are of course happy to help. Repairs and non-minor adjustments, etc. will be coordinated through a local bike shop on the road (the cost of these repairs will be up to you).

We ask that you take care of basic bike maintenance. Your bike should be inspected daily to ensure proper working order. A work stand, track pump, chain lubricant and cleaning materials will be available for your use.

Please ensure that you are able to change a flat tyre as mechanical support may not always be immediately available, however if a vehicle is with you at the time, we will of course help you out. We will carry standard size tubes and tyres for purchase. However, we ask that you carry a basic cycle kit as you cycle with spare tubes, pump or gas inflators and tyre levers.

Nutrition

Eating and drinking the right amount at the right time is crucial to your health and enjoyment of the tour. You should aim to eat small amounts of carbohydrate-rich foods during your ride to sustain energy levels. Oat / cereal bars or flapjacks are perfect. Do not wait until you are hungry to eat, and be sure to drink regularly.

When the day’s ride is over you should still drink and eat plenty. You may wish to have a protein / recovery shake. A well balanced meal in the evening is also advisable to fuel for the next day.

Luggage

Only bring what you really need. 2 or 3 cycling outfits should suffice. Some stop-overs provide laundry services. You can also wash them in the sink or shower in the evening and semi-dry them by winding tightly in a towel. Please pack well and only bring one larger bag and one smaller bag. You will have access to a small bag during the day from the support vehicle if required.

Accommodation

Accommodation will be in good hotels and guest houses. We use good quality accommodation throughout. Breakfasts are generally hearty with a choice of cereals, cooked breakfasts, fresh fruit, breads and rolls normally on offer.

Weather

The weather on Mizen to Malin can vary. Generally temperatures will be around 16 oC to 19oC with occasional days of light rain showers. Bring clothing to cope with a range of conditions. Sun-screen will be required.

Safety and Alcohol

Wild Atlantic Cycling’s main concern is your safety and comfort while on the tour. We ask that you use common sense in obeying the rules of the road and refrain from consuming alcohol until after the day’s ride. We want your adventure to be both safe and fun.

Plug Sockets

Plug sockets in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland are the same three pin as used in Great Britain.

Navigating the Route

We recommend you bring a touring style GPS device onto which you can upload the GPX files of the route. We also provide Wahoo Elemnt GPS units for hire at a cost of £35. These have the routes pre-loaded and are very easy to use even without prior experience. You will be sent route profiles to help with finding your way.

Daily Routine and Support

Each morning after breakfast we will meet and review the forecast for the day ahead and the day’s route. Distances, climbs, places of interest, Brew stops and lunch stops will be pointed out and discussed. Any concerns or issues can be raised. We will also ensure you know how to locate your next night’s accommodation. The tour is supported, but there will NOT ordinarily be chaperones riding with you (unless agreed in advance). However, we will be within a few minutes driving distance at any point and directly contactable by phone. Following the morning briefing you are free to depart at your own speed. Groups may stay together, or split into natural sub groups (based on average speed, preference or friendships), or you may choose to cycle the route on your own. All we ask is that you stick to the provided route and agreed lunch stop.

We will have a morning brew stop at approximately mile 20 to 25, lunch stop at approximately mile 45 to 50 and on longer days, an afternoon brew stop at approximately mile 70 to 75. Your support / guide will stay at the agreed lunch stop until all riders have had lunch and are ready to continue cycling. Your cycling day will finish at your accommodation.

The evening is yours to do as you please, however we will be happy to advise on places for you to have an evening meal or enjoy a drink. Many of the pubs have nightly traditional Irish music sessions. Remember, evening meals and entertainment are NOT included in the price of the tour.