Sunday, 24 February 2019

Wolftrap Mountain and the Cut

Wolftrap Mountain


Kinnity Pyramid

 

A couple of runs up Wolftrap Mountain and the Cut today in atrociously bad visibility alongside gale force crosswinds made for sketchy riding.


Wolftrap Mountain

I noticed someone had painted the word "brake" on the road, it seemed very apt for the weather that was in it. 

Kinnity Pyramid

I dropped into the back of Saint Finian's Church of Ireland at Kinnity village to get a photo of the Bernard Mausoleum, a Pyramid shaped structure. Coincidentally I had just been at another Pyramid in the grounds of Kilcooley Abbey yesterday.

Cycling in laois

There's a beautiful Cross Slab inside the Church if you're ever passing and it's open.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Cycling in Laois

Cycling in Laois

 

Laois Cycling

Another short spin around Laois today saw probably more photography than actual cycling.

Laois Cycling

Heading out of Mountmellick Fisherstown was the first stop on the agenda. I wanted to get a couple of snaps of the lovely Fisherman's Thatched Inn.
Laois Cycling

Then it was up to nearby Vicarstown on the Grand Canal. I noticed that as well as boats and barges for hire they also have a place hiring out bicycles as well, good thinking there. There's a stretch along the canal all the way to the outskirts of Athy that's fully tarmac and a great family spin with very few cars about.

Laois Cycling

There's also lot's of cycling to do on a Gravel or MTB along the grassy banks of the Canal.

Laois Cycling
 
Coming back I stopped at Lea Church of Ireland near Killenard in Portarlington. A lot of the grave markers and headstones at the back are covered in Moss and Ivy but I noticed one which marked the resting place of a Naval Captain. I couldn't quite make out the full name but Loos was mentioned which was a First World War battle.

Laois Cycling

Then it was off onto the boreens before cycling into Emo Court along it's old "main" entrance which is unpaved and not used by cars. There's actually wooden bollards to keep cars out of this approach to the house.

Cycling Ireland

Out of Emo Court and then around and into Emo village I decided to stop and go into Saint Pauls Catholic Church to see the Effigy Tomb of Aline (Alexandrina), Wife of the Third Earl and Countess of Portarlington.


Cycling Ireland

I had been meaning to visit for a while so it was good timing as I met a nice gentleman inside who regaled me with a bit of local history.

Cycling Ireland
 
I've just added some random photo's from the cycle below. One of these days I'll have to leave the photography for another day and get on with the cycling.

Cycling Ireland


 It never ceases to amaze me how much we are surrounded by history in Laois.

Cycling Ireland

Cycling Ireland

Cycling Ireland

Cycling Ireland

Cycling in Ireland

Cycling in Ireland

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Silvermines Man

No spin today but I came across this chap on the Laptop. A photo from some time ago of the sculpted miner at Silvermines in Tipperary.

 
Silvermines

I've had occasion to cycle through here and it's a nice spot for an Ice Cream stop on the bike.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Cashel Cross and the Battle of Barnaglitty

The Battle of Barnaglitty


A spin by Portlaoise and out to Cashel Cross on the Ballyroan road today before heading for home.

Cashel Cross

I got a few snaps of the memorial to the Battle of Barnaglitty (Pass of the Plumes) and the Druids Stones.

Battle of Barnaglitty

I wondered why it was called the Pass of the Plumes. Seemingly this is in reference to all the Plumed Helmets which littered the battlefield afterwards....

Battle of Barnaglitty

I later discovered that in 2011 a well preserved "bog body" was recovered from nearby Cashel bog which was carbon dated to around 2000 B.C.

Battle of Barnaglitty

On the way home I couldn't resist another trip into the simple but beautiful Straboe Medieval Church near Shaen.... It's a hidden treasure. Someone has done a lot of good work to preserve what remains on the site. The Cross slab is a nice touch.

Straboe,Laois

Straboe Church

Later I rode on Zwift for an hour to check my connections and readings from the power meter with the readings from Zwift and Garmin and to update the firmware. It wasn't half as interesting...................

Straboe

Straboe



Cashel Cross

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Aghaboe Abbey, Laois

Aghaboe Abbey 

 

Aghaboe Abbey


Yesterday was a short spin to Agahaboe Abbey and Saint Canice's in Laois.


Aghaboe Abbey

I managed to get all four seasons in a day.

Today  the 21st Century technology will get a look in with a Power Meter and Zwift.

Zwift

  I was reintroduced today to Zwift by way of an FTP Test (Functional Threshold Power).
If you've never seen Zwift it's a kind of virtual cycling world.

By using a power meter on a bike I can get a reasonable workout by working off a percentage of my FTP depending on what type of workout I'm doing.

Zwift


Zwift takes some of the boredom out of indoor training however if you compare a Photo of Aghaboe Abbey with a Photo of Zwift I think you'll agree the Abbey is much more interesting.

If you've not seen Zwift before it basically turns you into a CGI cyclist but measures Speed Power and Cadence pretty accurately if used in conjunction with either a Power Meter or some type of Smart Trainer.

One of these days I'll tidy up and fix those broken wheels......

Friday, 15 February 2019

Clopook in Laois

Clopook and the Boreens

 

Clopook

I think the camera might have been overused today. A short cycle today took me from Mountmellick and out through Emo village and Coolbanagher near Emo Court and then over into Stradbally via Chicken Byrne hill.

Dun Of Clopook

I climbed the Windy Gap passing Oughaval on my right and descended by going left onto a boreen before emerging a while later further down back onto the N80.


Lime Kiln

Within moments I was off the N80 and back onto boreens heading through Clopook past the Hill Fort, through Timogue past two old Lime Kilns, Ratheniska past Dysart Enos 18th Century Church then back across the main road and up past the Rock of Dunamase via more boreens and into the Heath. 


Clopook

From the Heath it was boreens again and then past Shaen back to Mountmellick.


Lime Kiln,Laois

There's a recurring theme here ...... boreens.These byroads seem much safer than busy main roads and more often than not boreens and the road less travelled will reveal a hidden surprise to me.


Shane
 
On the short spin there was enough history and sights to keep me occupied for a day if I had the time to spare. 
 
Dysart Enos

Wheels can be expensive and I've broken what I consider  an expensive (to me) Campagnolo Zonda rear wheel once.

Clopook

My choice for general road use is now the Shimano RS 010. They're inexpensive and I think you could hit this wheel with a sledgehammer and it would still run straight and true.

Ratheniska

With a 20 second wheel swap I'm ready to hit the boreens, saving the good wheel for another day.

Timogue
 

A cycle along the byroads and boreens of Laois is generally nice and quiet with few cars to be seen. It's also thoroughly enjoyable and very scenic.


Lime Kiln





Thursday, 14 February 2019

Russian Orthodox Church, Laois

Russian Orthodox Church

Russian Orthodox Church, Laois.

 

A short spin today over to Stradbally and out the far side past the little Russian Orthodox Church. I met the Patron in the grounds and had a short chat and took a few photo's. 

 

Russian Orthodox Church

Lots of wind but nice and sunny with very high temperatures for January so that's a real bonus when out cycling early in the year. It looked to all intents like a summer day.

Russian Orthodox Church

The Church is named after Saint Colman. It is called the Parish of Saint Colman, Oughaval but is located on the R427 heading from Stradbally towards Ballyroan about a Kilometre or so out of town.


Russian Orthodox Church

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Brittas Castle in Clonaslee


Brittas Castle.

 

Brittas Castle,Clonaslee

 

A short spin today to Clonaslee and back. After a hard session on the Turbo yesterday it seemed sensible to go for an easy relaxed spin... 


I got a few photographs of the remains of Brittas Castle while I was there. Not much left of it unfortunately.


Built in 1869 for Major-General Francis Plunkett Dunne it was destroyed in a fire in 1942.

 

Brittas Castle,Clonaslee

 

 It looks like there will be ongoing work to build anew around the remains. Some work has been done at the moment. I believe at one stage there were plans to make it into a small hotel. It is in private ownership.