ON YOUR BIKE The Westportif routes take in spectacular west Mayo scenery. (Picture courtesy of Seán Rowe.)
Looking for a challenge for 2020? Registration for the hugely popular west Mayo cycling challenge Westportif has just opened, offering cyclists of all levels the chance to focus their energies on a fun event with plenty of heart. The event, which takes place on Saturday, May 9, has two new routes are on offer – 80km and 150km.
Both routes start and finish in Westport and take in the spectacular scenery of Clew Bay and the Doolough Valley. Cyclists on the 150km route will see the splendour of Lough Mask and Tourmakeady as well. The routes are well managed and marshalled, ensuring maximum enjoyment for everyone.
The shorter route is an ideal distance for less experienced cyclists and is a great length to aim for over the next few months. A well-deserved break for refreshments at the half way stage make it even more accessible to newcomers to the sport.
The Westportif is run by two local cycling clubs, Westport Covey Wheelers Cycling Club and Western Lakes Cycling Club. As well as raising funds for the clubs, it is also a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish charity. “We are delighted to be the charity partner for the third year in a row with Westportif,”said Sheila Kelly of Make-A-Wish, who explained that Make-A-Wish grants wishes to children with life threatening illnesses all around Ireland, including Mayo. “We are so thankful for the amazing support from the local Westport people and the great team at Westportif,” Kelly added.
Anthony Murray, the chairperson of Westport Covey Wheelers, loves how the event is an opportunity to encourage cycling while showing off the beauty of west Mayo. “It’s a real celebration of leisure cycling, bringing cyclists from all over the country and beyond to enjoy the scenery and camaraderie in the west. The Westportif is growing in stature year on year, and we’re really looking forward to welcoming participants in 2020,” he said.
Earnan Naughton, the chair person Western Lakes Cycling Club said, “The Westportif is an exciting cycling challenge for all levels of cyclist. The event ethos is one of safety and enjoyment for all participants while enjoying the scenic routes of Co Mayo’s mountains and lakes.” He also commented on the number of participants who return each year, many from cycling clubs around the country as well as groups of friends, family groups and charity fundraisers. “It’s great to see the successful collaboration of the Westport Covey Wheelers and Western Lakes Cycling Club in running this event while supporting Make a Wish Foundation.”
For more information and to register, see www.westportif.ie, where details on early-bird rates and special rates for groups can also be found.