– Round 2 of Biking Blitz on Sunday, 26th February –
Days are starting to get longer, and our thoughts are beginning to turn to getting more active and enjoying the great outdoors. And what better way to do this than to explore Ireland’s most extensive mountain bike trail network, Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails.
Ballyhoura Country, on the border of Limerick, Cork and Tipperary, is an area with a wide-open landscape of hiking and bike trails, significant heritage sites, thrilling outdoor activities, and rustic accommodations, and is included in Failte Ireland’s Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands tourism regional brand.
Coillte has made significant upgrades to the Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails network, making it the ideal destination for the ever-increasing number of biking enthusiasts in Ireland. The trails have been completely revamped, featuring new flowy surfaces, as well as the addition of fresh new trails, and there is much more to come!
With trails to suit all cyclists, from novice cyclists looking for a fun way to start their mountain biking experience, to the more experienced riders who are looking for fresh routes and challenges, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
The ongoing upgrades at Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails are part of a substantial investment by Failte Ireland in the mountain biking proposition for rural Ireland. The project is focused on bringing four mountain bike centres across the country, including Ballyhoura, to a national standard.
It builds on existing success stories like Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails, with the aim of increasing visitor numbers, increasing jobs in rural area and providing economic benefits to local communities.
Coillte are developing National Mountain Bike Centres around the country, working on the new upgrades, ensuring that mountain biking and adventure tourism experiences are accessible for visitors and locals alike, all year-round. The area offers a wide variety of accommodation choices, as well as many visitor amenities to enjoy and experience.
For the walkers, there are a range of waymarked trails that allow you to explore the hills, valleys, and glens of the Ballyhouras. All the walking and mountain biking trails are available to download on the Ballyhoura Trails Guide App (available to download from Google Play and Apple Store).
The 98km trail system has been designed by Dafydd Davis, a world leader in mountain biking, and is an exciting network constructed to give a challenging and rewarding ride. The trails range from the moderate 6k Greenwood loop to the demanding Castlepook Loop, over 50km in length!
Visitors can park their car, rent a bike from Ballyhoura Trailriders (or bring their own) and head off!
OISIN O’CALLAGHAN – LOCAL HERO, WORLD CLASS
Local hero, Oisin O’Callaghan, the 2020 U21 Downhill Mountain Biking World Champion, is still riding the trails when he’s home and enjoys riding the newly refurbished trails.
“Coming up here since I was 5 years old, the progression in the mountain bike trails for the last 10 years has been huge, and now to see where they are today and being able to spend time riding the tracks I grew up on and to be able to take my bike skills to next level is exactly what I need”, he enthuses.
As a 7-year-old boy in third class, Oisin would tell his teachers he wanted to be a mountain bike world champion when he grew up. And having the perfect mentor in his father Chris certainly helped in him achieving his dream!
Chris was ideally placed to introduce his son to the sport, as he worked his way up to winning the U21 Downhill Mountain Biking world championship in 2020.
Oisin and his friend Killian Callaghan (the 2017 U21 EWS World champion) tested the newly refurbished trails at Ballyhoura; captured on a video produced by Visit Ballyhoura: https://youtu.be/9L5ihE_ci88
BUSY TIME FOR BIKING EVENTS!
The upgrades of the bike trails at Ballyhoura Mountain Bike Trails come ahead of a busy couple of months for biking events.
Biking Blitz is a beginner friendly mountain bike series, which kicked off this February 2023, with a series of events taking place in Wicklow, Limerick (Ballyhoura), Galway, Dublin, Sligo, Laois and Offaly.
The second round of the series takes place at Ballyhoura on Sunday, 26th February.
The Biking Blitz is a mass start cross country mountain bike event, and while aimed primarily at beginners, it has something for everyone. There are three senior categories to choose from: Novice, Ebike or Expert, as well as youth categories ranging from Under 6 to Under 18.
These events are hosted exclusively at Coillte built mountain bike trail centres, to ensure a fast-flowing course in all weather conditions.
Check out more information on Biking Blitz at https://visitballyhoura.com/events/biking-blitz
Team Ballyhoura – local mountain biking club – is delighted to present an exciting new format of Enduro racing to Ireland – 2NDURO, which takes place at Ballinboola on 26th March 2023. There will be double the fun at 2NDURO, as you get to race with your biking buddy.
You and your teammate will start and finish each stage of the race together and share all the thrills and spills as you make your way down five separate stages.
And while the emphasis is on fun for all competitors, the stages are on a par with Gravity Enduro and Grassroots Enduro stages and will require an ability to ride technical and challenging terrain, so plenty to keep racers on their toes!
Organisers are particularly doing a call-out to all ladies to enter the event and hope to see more female and mixed teams than ever before.
2NDURO 2023 is organised by local mountain biking club, Team Ballyhoura. Check out more information at http://teamballyhoura.com/
It couldn’t be easier to get involved, and anyone who wants to get an early access race entry link can email firstname.lastname@example.org to get all the race details! Race entries officially opened on 20th February.