The Ring of Beara charity cycle attracted over 4,000 cyclists to the hills of West Cork and Kerry last Saturday, the 25th of May. The Ring of Beara Cycle Kenmare is an initiative undertaken by Kenmare Marketing and Events Group. Castletownbere Community Hospital, Castletownbere Day Centre and Kenmare Family Resource centre will once again be the main beneficiaries of the money raised for charity by the event. The other recipients receiving the balance of the funds for a second year in a row, are Kenmare Special Needs Group, St. John of God Services Kenmare and Kenmare Special Olympics. The cycle starts in Kenmare and heads out the Beara Peninsula towards Lauragh, passing some of Ireland’s most picturesque and quaint towns including Ardgroom, Eyeries, Allihies, Castletownbere, Adrigole, and Glengarriff before heading back to Kenmare town. Participants had a choice of two routes; a 140km route that headed out from Kenmare and branched right beyond Eyeries following the Wild Atlantic Way to Allihies and on to Castletownbere to meet up with the 100km route. The 110 km route left Kenmare and headed directly towards Castletownbere. The Ring of Beara cycle is renowned as a tough cycle and despite being shorter than its better known big brother, The Ring of Kerry Cycle, many people reckon it’s a tougher day out. Blackwater Triathlon Club was well represented in the event with seven members taking to the West Cork roads on the day. Sean Lomasney, Bill McAuliffe, David Harte and Christian Board started in Kenmare, while Dave Bartley, Jim Crowley and Peter O’Brien started from Castletownbere. The weather at the start was close to perfect and there was a great buzz of anticipation, as hundreds of riders prepared for the off. The scenery on the day was truly breathtaking, even if West Cork coastline did its best to spoil it by covering itself in a blanket of mist during the mid morning. Equally, the beautiful scenery was also punctured, by some tough climbs, particular after the food stop in Allihies (around the 65km mark). However, the trip to Glengarriff was fantastic as the weather cleared, the road surface improved, and the cyclists were treated to some spectacular sweeping views of Bantry Bay. The final section of the spin, from Glengarriff to Kenmare, included the bit all the participants were dreading – the Caha Pass – and while tough, the views of Bantry Bay and Glengariff we rewarding enough to soften the climb. After more than 5 hours of cycling, 140 km of road and 6,000ft of climbing the lads were back in Kenmare, where there was a carnival atmosphere, with music playing, and everyone sitting out in the town square enjoying the sunshine and refuelling after an excellent day out. All in all it was a very enjoyable and rewarding day out for everyone who took part on the day.