2011 The wetest Run Of The Country

Motorcycle touring is all about fun, friendship, adventure and exploration.  A time where you get to ride fantastic roads, meet like minded people, visit exiting places and develop you riding skills.

The Run Of The Country ticks all these box

2011 Diary

It started a grey day and ended in a drenching.  No one was to know this at 7:30am as the bikers assembled early for registration at St. Ita’s Special School, Drogheda. Breakfast was prepared and served by volunteers from staff and parents council.  Lots of children attended to see the bikes and the bikers.  They took the opportunity to sit on the bikes and have their photos taken.  The bikers could see for themselves where the fundraising money was being spent.

The run was sent off on its merry road by the Mayor of Drogheda Paul Bell.

Stage 1

44 miles 1hr 10min

St Ita’ Special School

Exit School Gate and turn Left

T junction turn Right

Ballymakenny Road

GrangeBellew (Doherty’s Pub)

Annagassan L2250

Castlebellingham R166

Dundalk R132

Carrickmacross R175

Kingscourt R179

Turn left at the roundabout

Signpost for Navan

Check Point is Topaz Garage

From the start this route was twists all the way.   A bikers dream.  Down the east coast through Co, Louth coastline then turning west from Dundalk to Carrickmacross.  This is an excellent road with challenging twists and bends as the road winds its way out of Louth into the drumlins of Monaghan.   Carrickmacross to Kingscourt is a legend of a road as it winds around the estate wall finally climbing up the hill into Kingscourt.

 

Stage 2

53 miles 1h20m

Kingscourt

Baileiborough R165

Cavan Road

2 miles Right turn for Cootehill

Cootehill R191

Cavan R185

Immediately after Bridge of Cavan bypass

Take the left turn for N87

Belturbet N87

Ballyconnell N87

Check point

Donohoes Top Garage & Super Valu

One of the highlights of this part of the route road to Coothill from Bailiebourogh the R191.  These are tight drumlin roads that follow the contours of the little hills.  The last few miles from Belturbet to Ballyconnell are great Cavan roads.  Quiet, undulating roads which are bordered with tall Whitethorn hedges.  The vanishing point on many of the corners is quite near creating blind corners that need lots of concentration.

Stage 3

MIlage 55 1h15m

Bawnboy N87

Turn left for Ballinamore R202

Immediate right for Glangelvin &

Ballavary Gap R200

Glangelvin keep left R200

Dowra R200

Dowra turn right

Cross bridge turn left

Drumkeeran R200

Manorhamilton R280

Sligo N16

Check Point

Xpress Stop Regional Stores

Stage 3 is another 55 miles tour of West Cavan, the Leitrim Glens and into Sligo.  Amazing scenery when the weather is good.  Unfortunately the weather started to deteriorate and the mountain passes of the Ballyvally gap, Glengelvin were wet and misty.  From Dowra onto Sligo the weather was a little better but the roads were wet and needed care and concentration.  No time to admire the views of Lough Gill.

Sage 4

48 miles  1h20m

Sligo inner relief road  N4 South

Head for Dublin

Exit N4 Dromahair Exit

Ballygawley R284

Keadue R284

Leitrim R284

Foxfield R209

Keshcarrigan R209

Ballinamore R209

Check Point

Super Value Main St Ballinamore

Wet weather was not the order of the day.  Arriving in Ballinamore the riders were wet through.  “Whats the shortest way to the hotel” was the question on every riders lips.

Stage 5

47 miles  1h40m

Ballinamore

Carrigallen R204/R201

Arvagh R203

Crossdowney R198/R199

Bellananagh R154

Kilnaleck R154

Turn Left Crossroads R194 Ballyjamesduff

Ballyjamesduff R194

Virginia

Destination

Park Hotel Virginia

The suggested route was binned.  All went directly to the hotel by whatever route they could.  The hotel staff were wonderful hanging up the wet riders gear in the out offices at the rear of the hotel. Once out of the wet gear and pint in hand All the riders had smiles on their faces and tired and very happy.

Billets

Overnight accommodation was in the Park Hotel Virginia which is a comfortable period residence  house with soft beds, hot showers and great food and drink.   The shabby sheik of the hotel went down very well with the bikers.  All the staff were wonderful and helpful with the wet gear.

The evening meal was great.  The food was tasty, well presented and there were generous country portions for hungry bikers.  The prizes for the poker run were given out and spot prizes were won.  There was plenty of chat and a post mortem of the route.  Everyone adjourned to the bar for a few pints before bed.  Even the staff joined us for a few scoops.  It was a great day out on the bikes

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