Posted by: Darragh | July 9, 2009

Chain Gang CC: July, August & September Sportives

Hi Gang,

Well here’s a rundown of some sportives to consider taking part in over the latter part of the cycling season.

  • The Trip to Tipp
    • Run by Blazing Saddles for the National Council for the Blind in Ireland, there are cycles over two days starting from the Anner Hotel and Leisure Centre, Thurles on the 18th and 19th of July.
    • The 18th sees a 70km ‘Three Counties Tour’ with a depart time of 1pm, and the 19th sees cycles of 200km (route map), 100km (route map), 60km and 20km departing at 9am, 10.30am, 10.30am and 11.30am respectively.
    • Several members of the club participated in the 200km cycle last year and it is highly recommended as a great way to complete a 200km event. It’s a well run event, with good marshalling and food stops and with a strong focus on maintaining pace and cyclists in a tight peloton so as to ensure everyone completes the challenge. The route has a lot of flat rolling road and two climbs, the Vee and the Glen of Aherloe to provide a bit of work and views.
    • Entry is €30, or free with a sponsorship card (available from Billy Shanahan @ and shower facilities will be available in the Hotel after the cycle.
    • Website: N/a
  • The Sean Kelly Tour of Waterford
  • The Chain Gang Connor Pass Challenge
    • Finally! Our own cycle!
    • In the process of being formalised
    • Starting from St. Pats GAA club, Blennerville on the 19th September
    • Start time TBC
    • 105km of fun all in all (route map)
    • Refreshments en route with shower facilities etc available in St. Pats afterwards

Now so! Hope I’ve given you food for thought there there’s about one a fortnight and something in each month. I’ll throw an email or text out in advance of each of the above to see who’s interested and try to help organise those intending to travel.

Posted by: Darragh | July 6, 2009

Ring Of Kerry 2009

Just a brief post to say a big well done to all those who completed this years Ring of Kerry Cycle with the Chain Gang.

We had an amazing 45 members of the club come out, some for their first time – who deserve a special congratulations, some for their 9th and 10th times (some for something close to their 20th time!) to take on the 108 miles and ~1500m of cumulative climbing that the day demanded which was a great achievement.

So once again – Well Done!!

Posted by: Darragh | May 18, 2009

Upcoming Cycles

Hi Gang,
Just letting you know about some upcoming cycles that might be considered in the period coming up to the Ring of Kerry.

1) Limerick CC Classic Tour

  • 100/150km
  • Sunday May 24th
  • Sign on 9am, Rear Cross. Co Tipp . {Newport Rd}   R506
  • Depart 10am
  • Cost e10 Cycling Ireland members, e20 for non-members
  • Website:

2) Currow CC Leisure Tour

  • 100km
  • Sunday May 31st
  • Sign on Currow Community Centre 9.15am
  • Depart 10am

Could be worth doing to help another local club along, it’s the same route as last year I think (Currow, Tralee, Castlemaine, Milltown, Killarney, Faranfore, Currow) with shorter options available also.

3) Emergency Services and Friend’s Charity Cycle

  • 100km
  • Saturday June 13
  • Sign on Kerins O’Rahillys Clubhouse ~10am
  • Depart Tralee 11am
  • Sponsorship cards are available from Gearoid Constable on 086-8759444 or Simon Evans on 086-8781868 or email

Good cycle for a good cause. Route is Tralee, Castleisland, Faranfore, Killarney, Tralee.

The next two cycles are either or choices as they are on the Saturday and Sunday of the same weekend

4) The An Post Sportive Cycle Series: Tour de Burren

This is supposed to be a good day out on the bike, I’ve heard very positive reviews from those that have done it before and would lend itself to a good pre-Ring of Kerry cycle as the distance is similar. Also as it is part of the An Post series, it should be well signposted, marshalled, and supported and after cycle shower facilities etc will be available. There is a barbecue afterwards and given that it’s on the Saturday of the weekend the option is there to book in and stay the night and chill out before journeying back home on the Sunday.

5) The West Cork 200

Looks like a good challenge, I haven’t cycled much of that part of the country before (short of a 20km TT near Schull) but should be very scenic & could be a good cycle as the organisers seem to be well experienced and organised.

And that brings us up to a fortnight before the Ring of Kerry!

If those members interested in doing either the Tour de Burren (and if they’d be interested in staying up there for the weekend) or the West Cork 200 cycles could email back just to give an idea of the numbers intending to travel it may be useful in helping to coordinate things on this end if required.

Posted by: Darragh | April 30, 2009

National Bike Week

National Bike Week
14 – 21 June 2009
Set Your Wheels in Motion

  • Minister Dempsey Announces Ireland’s first National Bike Week
  • Launches dedicated bike week website
  • Calls on communities nationwide to get involved

Mr Noel Dempsey TD, Minister for Transport, today announced that Ireland’s first National Bike Week will take place on June 14th to June 21st 2009. The aim of bike week is to raise the profile of cycling as a healthy and fun mode of transport.

National Bike Week is supported by a new dedicated website which, among other things, contains –

  • Information on individual bike week events as details become available,
  • Tips, including an instructional video, on maintaining your bike,
  • Advice on how to promote cycling in the workplace and in schools,
  • A downloadable poster to promote national bike week,
  • A facility for individuals and groups up and down the country to advertise details of events that they plan to organise during bike week.

A number of headline events in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Waterford are currently being organised to celebrate the upcoming national bike week. Minister Dempsey is today calling on local communities right around the country to organise events in their own areas during the week 14-21 June.

Bike Week is a cross-community effort led by a group comprising (Ireland’s National Cyclist Lobby Group), the Dublin Cycling Campaign, representatives from the various strands of the cycle industry, An Taisce, local authorities, the health sector, Cycling Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, private individuals, the Office of Public Works, the Dublin Transportation Office, the Road Safety Authority, and the Department of Transport.

The following events are at an advanced stage of planning and further details will be available and posted on <; over the coming weeks –

  • Free health checks for bikes in the lead up to, and during, Bike Week
  • A major opening event in the Phoenix Park, Dublin on Sunday, 14 June
  • Outdoor activities in the cities of Cork, Galway and Waterford to celebrate bike week
  • A series of events, around the country, to highlight the provision of dedicated cycling infrastructure
  • A mass cycle in Dublin City on Wednesday, 17 June, to celebrate All-Island Bike to Work Day.
Posted by: Darragh | April 24, 2009

Damn the Recession!!

Damn the recession,  we’ll buy more bikes!! And for anyone with a few remaining bob in their pocket after being mugged by the government, check this out – a real head turner for the Ring of Kerry Cycle

Posted by: Darragh | March 11, 2009

Tour De Cure Route Maps

Hi Gang,

Just a post with the maps and entry forms for the Stephen Roche Tour de Cure Cycle on in Midleton on the 9th of May

The entry form is here (entry closing TBA) and maps below

Tour De Cure 200km Route Map

View Interactive Map on

Tour De Cure 100km Route Map

View Interactive Map on

Tour De Cure 50km Route Map

View Interactive Map on

I would urge new riders to consider going along to this 50km route if it is their first experience of leisure tour (aka sportive) cycling – the route is nice and flat and at 30mile all in all it could be a great introductory experience.

I already have one confirmation of a 200km rider, will all those interested complete their entry and send it off as soon as possible and confirm with me what route they’re aiming to complete.

Posted by: Darragh | January 27, 2009


Members are reminded that the public road from Tralee to Renagown is presently unsafe for cycling.

Kerry County Council have caused or permitted a trench to be dug in the road from Ballybeggan to a point approx. 500 metres past the entrance to the landfill site at Muinegehane. The trench has been resurfaced with a wearing material which is not suitable for this type of road, while the bitumen sealant on the sides of the surface is lethal if coming in contact with a bicycle tyre. In the past year it has been responsible for several accidents including causing riders to fall during the Rás and the Currow/Castleisland cycle. The Council have indicated to the Club that they will reinstate the proper road surface next April.

In the meantime members should avoid using the road or exercise extreme caution if doing so.

(If driving on the road note that a 50 k.p.h. – 30 m.p.h. – speed limit applies on the section referred to)

Posted by: Darragh | December 11, 2008

Membership, Kit and the First Planned Cycle of 2009

Just an update post.

We are now taking membership for 2009, and will continue to do so up to and including the 7th of January 2009. We are trying to get members in early in the year so that proper planning for the club can be done from the outset. From the 7th onwards all club email and comunications for training, cycles, kit etc will be sent exclusively to registered members.

The kit, comprising of a short sleeve ¼ zip jersey, bib shorts and gloves costs €94.00 per set. The cost of €94.00 is based on an order of 10 sets or more. Should an order for numbers less than 10 be placed an increase in price is incurred, i.e 5-10 sets of kit will cost €112.00 per kit and  1-5 sets of kit will come in at €140.00 per set.

This year other garments bearing the club logo only will be available for order also. These include jackets; (windproof training jacket €53.00, waterproof breathable €62.00), cycling gilets; (windproof €52.00, waterproof breathable €61.00) and bib-longs €51.00. The prices of these are similarly affected by order numbers.

Now Down to the Intersting Stuff –  Blarney CC have invited The Chain Gang CC and its members to participate in the Donal Crowley Memorial Sportive run on Sun 4th Jan 2009.

The route is 72km long running Blarney – Coachford – Macroom – Ballincollig – Blarney. I’m including a link to a map to show the route with options to view its profile HERE. Blarney CC have said it’s suitable for all levels of fitness and experience so it could be a good one for everyone to start the year with and burn off some of the turkey calories after Xmas!!  A text will be sent out in the near future via a team managment system (TEAMER so you’ll see it when it comes through) and interested parties should reply Y to confirm their interest.

There is also the possibility of a Stevens day spin and even a New Years short spin and more information will be sent out when we know more.

Posted by: Darragh | December 3, 2008

More Bike to Work Scheme info

Here’s another article courtesy of the Independent Newspaper that gives a run down of the new bike scheme LINK

Posted by: Darragh | November 20, 2008

1000 euro tax free bike scheme

There has been a lot if interest and an equal ammount of confusion surrounding the new scheme and how it will work .

Todays’ Irish times explains it well –

How to claim and what it covers

How much is this new incentive going to cost the taxpayer?

The Department of Finance estimates it will only cost from €200,000-€400,000 annually depending on the take-up of the scheme.

And what’s the point?

The cycling initiative is the carrot the Government is using to get motorists out of their cars with plenty of stick to come. The Government wants 10 per cent of all journeys by 2020 to be undertaken by bicycle and to persuade 150,000 commuters to use the bicycle for short journeys. Currently just 4 per cent of Dublin commuters travel by bicycle to work, one of the lowest figures in Europe. The Minister for the Environment John Gormley has announced a €5 million initiative in his carbon budget to upgrade cycle paths in Dublin. Details of the scheme will be in the Finance Bill.

Who can apply for the tax exemption?

The scheme must be operated by an employer. The bicycle can be funded by either the employer or through salary sacrifice of the employee, but it must be purchased by the employer. If employers pay for the bicycle, they can claim it as a tax exempt benefit-in-kind. Where funded by salary sacrifice there will be savings on tax, PRSI and levies. The scheme means an effective saving of at least 41 per cent on the cost of a new bicycle for a top rate taxpayer.

How does it work?

The employee would choose a bicycle and any associated safety equipment (up to a maximum value of €1,000) and the employer would purchase same on behalf of the employee.

How will it be enforced?

It is not envisaged that there will be a notification process involved, but the purchase of bicycles and associated safety equipment by employers for employees will be subject to the normal Revenue audit procedure with the normal obligations on employers to maintain records.

What equipment is covered?

The list of equipment covered under the scheme is exhaustive. It includes cycle helmets, bells, horns, lights, mirrors, mud guards, reflective clothing panniers, luggage carriers and straps. Also covered are locks and chains, pumps, puncture repair kits and cycle toolkits.

When does the exemption begin?

The scheme is scheduled to come into operation with effect from January 1st, 2009, subject to the passing of the Finance Bill by the houses of the Oireachtas.

How many employees in a firm can be covered by it?

There is no limit on the amount of employees in a company that can avail of the scheme provided that the employer agrees to participate in the scheme. However, the tax exempt benefit in kind can only be provided to an employee once every five years.

© 2008 The Irish Times

This article by RONAN McGREEVY

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