Cycle event 14th June 2014

ardeatina-bike-MultiThe Tour of the Fracking Country

Event details and registration information

UPDATE: Photos and a video of the day are now available:

Video of the 2014 Tour of the fracking country

Photos from the 2014 Tour of the fracking country

Thank you to all who took part in making this day a success.

Love Leitrim in association with Lakeland Cycling Club are pleased to announce their cross border Cycling Event – The Tour of the Fracking Country – on June 14th 2014, taking in challenging yet rewarding routes around West Fermanagh and North Leitrim.

Sign on & Parking – Belcoo GAA grounds – Sign on from 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Routes 50K / 100K / 140 K
Grand Depart 10:00 am for the 140/100K groups. 10:10 am for 50K group.
Pitstop at the Organic Centre in Rossinver.
Refuel afterwards at the Community Centre Belcoo.
Entry – 15 Euro / 12 GBP. A surcharge of 1 pound/1Euro to be applied for non Cycling Ireland members for a one day licence for insurance purposes.


Pre registration is not a requirement but it will speed up the sign on and also help us deliver a better tour if we know likely numbers in advance. No monies are taken – its purely to help us get an idea of numbers.

Event Organiser Queries: email Tom White Secretary Lakeland CC  at

Route Descriptions:

Detailed RouteMaps:

50K –
100K –
140K –

There are a 50K route, a 100K route and 140K route to choose from. The 100K and 140K routes are challenging, taking in the climb from Rossinver, all the way up to Saddle hill, with a few other leg breakers and lung busters.  However as the aim of this cycle is to promote awareness of the area, Cyclists will encounter fantastic vistas on their way around the course, with panoramic views over Lough McNean and Lough Melvin. There are some fast and technical descents on the 100K and 140K routes.
The 50K route is challenging too, with the climb over “Bernard’s Brae’s” in Glenfarne to contend with. This does come early in the course, then from the summit to the pitstop is relatively flat. Again after the pitstop there is a climb from Garrison to Cashel, but from there, the road is relatively flat back to Belcoo, offering some good views of Lough McNean en route.

What do I need ?

The event is run under Cycling Ireland rules.  A helmet is compulsory. Bikes must be in good mechanical order and participants agree to random spot checks to verify.  While a broom wagon will be deployed, it’s advisable to carry a puncture repair kit, tyre levers and/or spare tube.  Similarly while there is a pitstop and some water stops planned, riders are strongly advised to carry a drink and some food/snacks/gels with them.  Riders should dress appropriately for conditions and if we have sunshine, ensure that  adequate sun-screen is applied.

What level of fitness / skill do I need ?

People embarking on strenuous physical activity should consult with a medical professional before doing so.
Ideally participants should be used to cycling in a group. The aim of the event is to promote cycling in the region and show-case some of our scenery, so we’re hoping that participants will not be ‘chewing the bars’ all day, but rather enjoying the scenery.
The 50K event  requires a fairly good level of fitness as it will take between 2 – 3 hrs to complete.  Bernard’s braes has some very short stretches with 10 percent gradient – so an adequately low gear to allow one to remain seated yet ‘spin’, is advised.
The 100K event (110K to help route changes) encompasses a number of stiff climbs as can be seen by ‘metres ascended’.  The road in between the climbs tends to be undulating.  Ideally cyclists should be capable of cycling  100K on flat terrain, and should be used to riding in groups. There are some technical descents. Cyclists should practice their descending in preparation also.  Given the length of the course, during training, cyclists should get used to taking drinks and snacks as they cycle.
The 140K event adds in a loop around Glenaniff. The climb up to the mast has areas of 18-20 percent. [a rise of 230M in 2K is an average of  11.5% ] Riders are strongly advised to get a ‘dinner plate’ on the back or use a triple.  If the road surface is wet, it will become very difficult to get up the hill unless seated as rear wheel will lose traction with the steep gradients. The descent from the climb is also very technical.


Probably one of the best pieces of training advice is to join a club. Generally lots of advice on bike fit, equipment, pedalling style, fitness, training, nutrition, handling skills will be dispensed free. It also makes for social training and has the added ability of helping to learn to ride in a group.  Events like this should stretch ones ability and fitness, but not too far – so one gets the satisfaction of achieving ones goals without the exhaustion forcing you to throw the bike in the corner for two months. Preparation is key to events like this. Build up distances gradually, and remember that other skills – cycling one handed, no handed, descending can all be practised to add some variation.  A bike fit at your local bike shop or by another competent person is advised. There are three contact points – handlebars, saddle and pedals – and if they’re not in balance then one or more can hurt. Comfort is key to cycling long distances.

What is Fracking?

This area sits on a rock formation called the North West Carboniferous basin. There may be gas reserves in the area. The company doing the prospecting has determined that ‘fracking’ or hydraulic fracturing would be required to release the gas. Unfortunately this is a dirty, industrial process which requires building of many concrete pads (120) and wells (3000 gas wells) in the area along with roads, pipelines, compressors and other infrastructure. The process is known to contaminate water and air, and studies are showing human and animal health impacts. While the industry would bring jobs to the area, these would be more than offset by jobs lost in the Tourism and Agricultural sector.  We believe that the industry is totally at odds with the eco-tourism and tranquillity and unique landscapes and heritage of the region. Love Leitrim members are actively engaged in promotion of Leitrim and the surrounding areas as a unique tourist destination in an ever busier world, and are delighted to help Lakeland CC in promotion of Cycling in the area.

Click on the images for full size panoramas of the area. Please note that these files are very large.


Fermanagh Scarplands and Lough McNean upper and Lower, with Cuilcagh on Right, taken from Thur Mountain.


Glencar Valley on Left, Duagh mountain, Glenaniff hills (odd shapes) overlooking Lough Melvin, Donegal Bluestacks in background.


From Left can see Hanging Rock, with Knockninny (Quinns Quarry squared out) Cuilcagh, Sliabh an Iarann, Minkeeragh mountain overlooking Glenfarne.


Benbo, Glencar valley from Thur mountain.


The following businesses would like to wish Love Leitrim and the cyclists the best of luck for the event on June 14th

Castle View B&B
 Manorhamilton Castle
Manorhamilton Castle
 Leitrim Pottery advertisment
Leitrim Pottery Rossinver - Maker of fine pottery, glass and jewellery
 Local Hands advertisment
Local Hands - A selection of work produced by local artists and crafts people under one roof
 Tawnylust lodge
Tawnylust lodge eco-friendly self-catering accomodation and guided walks
Gurns Milestone bar & restaurant
JR Hackney & Bus hire

Thanks to our sponsors for their support.