This week we will ride the recently opened Suir Blueway from Clonmel to Carrick-on-Suir and back. Starting at the Gashouse Bridge in Clonmel, we will take the Blueway path running alongside the river Suir via Kilsheelan and on to Carrick-on-Suir where we will stop for a coffee break before heading back to Clonmel.
I joined the Cashel Rock Pedallers in 2014. Since then I built up my distances, from an initial 5km in 2016, completing a 170km on the 2012 Olympics Road Race Course! I have also completed many more Sportives, including all four Great Dublin Bike Rides. If I can do it at nearly 70, so can you!
Appropriately, for our first visit to the River Suir Blueway, we awoke to a clear blue sky. Arriving at the Gashouse Bridge in Clonmel the sun was shining and our hope was that it would stay that way for the duration of our AXA Community Bike Ride. As we set off it was obvious that this welcome amenity had captured the hearts of the locals, with some taking the opportunity of sitting on Riverside park benches reading the Sunday papers, others taking infants for a spin in their baby buggies, while many more enjoyed a stroll along the newly laid Riverside path. And, there was no shortage of cyclists, including many family groups out for a spin.
Heading east, our first reaction was the quality of the pathway, then how tranquil sylvan setting was as we made our way towards Kilsheelan. On the way we were treated to a plethora of wildlife, swans, heron, comirant and ducks. With the river on our right, our first landmark was Bulmer's Orchards, then beautiful golden fields of barley and green fields of maturing maze. Just short of Kilsheelan we had another treat, the magnificent DePaor Castle on the opposite bank of the river.
Arriving at Kilsheelan Bridge we took a brief divertion into the village, Ireland's Tidiest Town, twice! With its neatly trimmed lawns, floral beds and wildlife meadow, it is easy to see why.
Pedalling on, it was plain to see this was a great angling river. The first clue was the number of fishermen standing waist high, fly rod in hand, in the middle of the river. The second was the number of Riverside Huts belonging to various angling clubs.
Arriving in Carrick-on-Suir it was time for a welcome cup of coffee ahead of the reverse back to Clonmel.
Thankfully, in spite of the sun hiding behind grey clouds and a couple of threats of rain, we arrived back in Clonmel dry and high after a thoroughly enjoyable Sunday morning spin with great company in a glorious setting along the banks of the River Suir Blueway.
So enjoyable we will be back for more!
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