A great mix of ability arrived at The Lumpers, for this, the third ‘National Trails Day’ mountain bike spin in the Cooley’s, organised by the local Cuchulainn Cycling Club. Two groups took to the hills, those who were out for an easy spin and some beginners, led by group leader Frances Dollard.
Those who were going that little bit further, led by David McKeown and Mickey Laverty (Transalp Veterans) started up a forest road before breaking out on open hillside. Over a short boggy section at Moneycrockroe and then steeply up to the start of the roller coaster below the Black Run and Carnawaddy to the north-east, which marks the burial-place of Cuchullain’s dog, Bran. Lovely views over the Sliabh Foye, the Mournes and Carlingford Lough to the east and to the west, Slieve Gullion and Dundalk Bay. The roller-coaster is a magical single track, all downhill towards the Doonan. Passing ‘Lisnachiggle’ in all its splendor (to the delight of club Chairman Pat O’Shaughnessy) and the Lazy Beds. From the Doonan, around Ray’s loop following the track back through Ballymakellet and on to the Lumpers.
Back at the Lumpers, the facilities better than none, providing the mountain bikers with bike wash, showers and tea/coffee and scones for one and all. The ‘beginners’ will be back.
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