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[googlefont font=”Handlee” size=”16px” ]My friends and I would not be the most accomplished cyclists but we do like to set ourselves a challenge. We completed the 50km Pink Ribbons Cycle in May of this year. We trained, starting on 20km spins and made our way up to 40km and succeeded in completing our target distance of 50km on the day of the sportif. The three of us do have road bikes (and cycling shorts!).[/googlefont]

 

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[googlefont font=”Handlee” size=”16px” ]To keep building on our 50km, we decided to do the route of the Westportif 80km cycling challenge and here is the synopsis of our journey:
As we left the Westport leisure park and made our way up the Quay Street hill, the legs were already beginning to burn but it was short lived. Possibly a reminder to warm-up first![/googlefont]

 

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[googlefont font=”Handlee” size=”16px” ]Heading out the Louisburgh Road, the three of us were in agreement that there was nowhere we would rather have been, with the mighty Croagh Patrick guiding us on our left and the beautiful coast line of clew bay on the right. There was lots of complimenting ourselves on how great we were that we were going to cycle 80km-we’re remaining positive![/googlefont]

 

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[googlefont font=”Handlee” size=”16px” ]We made a quick stop at Croagh Patrick to take in the scenery and pump one of the tyres on the bikes. Remember to check your bike is road ready and your tyres are pumped before you leave. Also, bring your pump and bicycle tools with you on the day, be self-sufficient.[/googlefont]

 

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[googlefont font=”Handlee” size=”16px” ]Our next stop was Louisburgh. A quick food pit stop and after the refuel we were ready for the next section of road. We had brought lots of snacks with us to keep us refueled until we reached the main break stop at Delphi. It is a sportif so you might aswel stop and enjoy the scenery with a bar in hand! An advantage of a non-competitive sport.[/googlefont]

 

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[googlefont font=”Handlee” size=”16px”]Through Doolough Valley, we powered on (in our heads we powered, we may have been crawling to the more experienced cyclists!).[/googlefont]

 

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[googlefont font=”Handlee” size=”16px”]Approaching the half way point and there’s no turning back![/googlefont]

 

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[googlefont font=”Handlee” size=”16px”]On to Delphi for our main break stop. We felt good again after some food and Ashley Falls was our next stop, where we came to a standstill to take in the sights.[/googlefont]

 

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[googlefont font=”Handlee” size=”16px”]Homeward bound as we took the turn after Ashley Falls. At this point, talk turned to what treat we would have after our first 80km triumph. Food was high on the list of priority treats-even a mention of pizza![/googlefont]

 

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[googlefont font=”Handlee” size=”16px”]We arrived back in to Westport with our mission accomplished! We were happy to see Westport town but exhilarated and the feeling of accomplishment outweighed the tired legs. Such wonderful and beautiful scenery along the way, plenty of laughs, lots of food and drinks to keep hydrated and a very rewarding mornings activities. Highly recommended and will definitely be doing this route again.We tested the course out and recommend that you sign up to this sportif and see some truly inspiring sights. Good luck on the day and I hope you have as much fun as we have had.Mary, Michelle and Paula[/googlefont]