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There’s no better place for a staycation than in Ireland. On a fine Sunday afternoon, we took off for a local trip out to Ballyhoura in Co. Limerick to tackle the mountain bike trails. A simple search of Ballyhoura in Google maps brought up the location and within less than 45 minutes of a straightforward trip, we arrived at the mountainside. Once all of our group had arrived we got our pre-booked bikes and helmets and started our ascent. We were taking the brown trail, which is the second easiest trail. It was a 17km round trip that brought us up, down and around the mountain. The weather was perfect, there had been a bit of rain so the terrain was wet.

Being a regular road cyclist, I thought that there would be nothing different about this apart from a bit of mud. By God was I wrong! Mud was the least of it, there was also tree trunks, pools of water, hills, and magnetic boulders drew me in once they entered my line of sight. After about a half-hour of crashing into rocks and falling into swamps, I started to get the hang of it. I stayed behind keeping my own pace getting used to the terrain. Throughout the 17km, there were a few stopping points where we stopped to take breaks, taking in the magnificent views as we had a bite to eat. The halfway point at the top of the mountain was the most picturesque spot.

At the end, after about 15 minutes of descending the mountain, we arrived at the car park, where we devoured the food that was brought by the lads who had been there before. Overall the cycle took approximately 2.5 hours to complete. Some parts of it were tough going and in my opinion, it requires moderate fitness levels. It was an amazing day and they have the track really well laid out, I would highly recommend for anyone to try it out.